Plan outlines education opportunities

The presidents of B.C.’s six research universities today released an “Opportunity Agenda for B.C.” – a practical plan to expand post-secondary opportunities for young people, close the skills gap, and create jobs throughout British Columbia.

Speaking to the B.C. legislature’s Select Standing Committee on Finance in Victoria, David Turpin, University of Victoria president, said the Opportunity Agenda is about supporting students and meeting the competitive needs of B.C.’s economy now and for the future.

The agenda sets out three key pillars for action including: a space for every qualified student, a guarantee for students in need and a commitment to innovation and jobs.

The agenda calls for 11,000 new funded spaces in graduate, undergraduate, college and trade programs at a cost of approximately $130 million over four years; expansion of student financial aid to include grants, loan reductions, and graduate scholarships at a net cost of approximately $51 million; and the creation of an Innovate B.C. initiative to build on the province’s research and innovation potential, advance new opportunities and help drive economic growth though a commitment to stable funding and support for B.C.’s Knowledge Development Fund.

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