April 24, 2020 | 4:30 pm
Dear Faculty of Education students and colleagues,
As you have no doubt heard, the Prime Minister has announced a suite of funding mechanisms to support students struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement represents a federal investment of $9 billion. The Prime Minister’s announcement is viewable here with more details from the press release.
The Prime Minister began his announcement by recognizing that many students will be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), but many will not. As a result, the government is moving forward with the following targeted supports for students:
Canada Emergency Student Benefit
- A benefit of $1,250/month for students from May to August.
- If students have a disability or are caretakers for others, they are eligible for up to $1,750 each month (an additional $500 a month).
- This benefit is designed to support students who are struggling to pay rent, groceries, etc.
- Students currently enrolled in post-secondary education are eligible, in addition to students beginning post-secondary in September or who graduated in December 2019.
- Students who have a job but only make up to $1,000 a month are also eligible.
- Payments will begin on May 1, and will be delivered through the CRA.
Creation of New Jobs… read more
- In recognition of the difficulty students may face in finding employment this summer, the Government of Canada is creating 116,000 jobs for young people, which will be in addition to the Canada Summer Jobs Program.
- The placements will be in key sectors that require additional labour support, or are on the front lines of the pandemic.
Support for Student Researchers and Graduate Students
- The government is investing $291.6 million to support student researchers and graduate students by extending scholarships, fellowships and grants.
- The government also expects to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the NRC.
Canada Student Service Grant – Support for Student Volunteers
- Recognizing that a lot of productive and important work during this pandemic has been done by student volunteers, students volunteering in the fight against COVID-19 this summer will be eligible for $1,000 to $5,000 (depending on their hours) through the new Canada Student Service Grant, which will go towards the students’ education in the fall.
Doubling Student Grants
- The federal government is doubling the non-repayable grants students can expect to receive from the Canada Student Loans Program for the 2020/21 school year.
- This doubling will bring grants to $6,000. The government is also increasing the amount students can borrow under the Canada Student Loans Program from $210 to $350 a week, meaning an additional $11,000 per year. For part-time students, this will be an increase of up to $3,600 per year. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents will also be doubled.
- Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut who manage their own student aid programs will receive funding directly.
- The Government is also broadening eligibility for financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions for 20/21,
Targeted Support for Indigenous Students
- The government is also providing an additional $75.2 million in support for Indigenous post-secondary students in the fall.
Please note that all of this funding proposal will require legislation to be implemented, and the Prime Minister indicated he will be working with opposition parties on moving this forward.
Please also note that Faculty of Education departments, units and schools will be receiving details on these various measures and will send further information once next steps are confirmed.
April 7, 2020 | 3:40 pm
UBC Parking Permit Fees
UBC Parking is waiving short-term parking and parking permit fees on both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses until April 30, 2020. Staff and faculty do not need to contact UBC Parking to request a suspension of payroll deductions as this will be addressed automatically. Permit holders who have prepaid for parking permits will be contacted once parking fees are reinstated for a refund or credit and do not need to contact UBC Parking.
April 2, 2020 | 4:45 pm
Emergency Funding for Students
This is a reminder that students facing financial distress may contact their Enrolment Services Advisor to schedule a confidential advising appointment. If students do not already know who their ES Advisor is, they can log onto the Student Services Centre and find them under “Personal Info” > “UBC Contacts”. More information here.
March 30, 2020 | 8:30 am
These are unprecedented times for our generation, and the uncertainty and upheaval they are causing are especially difficult to navigate when it is the health and wellbeing of so many that are at stake.
I’m writing on behalf of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to let you know that we are aware that many of you are experiencing especially difficult challenges right now – in your personal circumstances, your research, and your academic work – and to assure you that we, and those at all levels at UBC, are working extremely hard to find ways to alleviate the challenges you face. You may find that some of your concerns and questions are addressed on our website, and I encourage you to visit it: grad.ubc.ca/covid-19.
Briefly, the following are the measures that we and the University are taking to date: read more
- As courses and assessments go online, we realize that this can entail many uncertainties. Your instructors have the capacity to alter the grading schemes or standing options for current courses if necessary, and requests for concessions are always available to you. In concordance with the Senate, we are also delaying the deadline for grade submission. The Assessment FAQ shows details sent to grad programs and course instructors; please connect with your course instructors for details regarding your own course(s) if you have not already heard from them.
- We understand that interruptions in your ability to progress in your programs, whether because of personal circumstances, research curtailment, or other issues, may result in delayed completion of your program. We will therefore effectively extend deadlines for milestones (e.g. candidacy) and program completion by at least one term. Although process details of this are still being determined, please be assured that we will eliminate justification requirements for extensions related to the pandemic.
- Final doctoral exams are successfully proceeding completely online, and will continue as such as long as necessary.
- There will be a slight delay only in the granting of degrees, however the graduation ceremony has been indefinitely postponed.
- We appreciate that some of you may decide to take a leave of absence for some period in the near future. While this may be feasible for some, please note that leaves come with certain restrictions, especially in terms of funding and student employment as outlined in our general FAQ.
- We realize that research projects for many have been put on hold for diverse reasons. We encourage you and your supervisor(s) to explore other opportunities for furthering your research and academic progress throughout this time of curtailment, while also planning ahead for how to proceed when the curtailment eases. Examples of such opportunities and suggestions for practices that promote effective continuity of supervision and academic progress have been compiled and are being sent to supervisors. Please view a copy of this message in our announcements. We, and the University and research community more broadly, are continuing to deliberate on the longer term ramifications and potential mitigating strategies of research curtailment.
March 27, 2020 | 3:10 pm
Emergency Funding: Information for Students
Today, Dr. Jennifer Shapka, Director of Graduate Studies in Education released additional information about emergency funds that are available for students during COVID-19. Please read Dr. Shapka’s full message below at the 10:15 am update.
Undergraduate students facing severe financial hardship are encouraged to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. For BEd students in the Teacher Education Program, the point of contact in Enrolment Services is email@example.com.
March 27, 2020 | 10:15 am
Over the coming days, grad studies will be sending out emails to faculty and students to address many of the questions you may have about your program of studies. Please note that to receive the direct communications from G+PS, your contact information on the SISC must be accurate.
There is also an up-to-date FAQ on the G+PS website: www.grad.ubc.ca/covid-19, which covers many of the questions you may have. This page is being updated regularly.
Regarding financial hardship, as a reminder, there are two sources of emergency funding available… read more
- The Faculty of Education has created a small emergency fund to provide relief for students. This is short-term funding that can be used to get you through a few days or a week. The amount available is small, and should only be seen as an emergency, short-term solution. If you are a graduate student in need of this level of support, please contact Aloy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, department, and student number in your email to Aloy.
- Through enrolment services, domestic and international students who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (extraordinary expenses, loss of employment, etc.) may be eligible for financial assistance: https://students.ubc.ca/enrolment/finances/funding-studies/financial-distress. You will need to make an appointment with a financial advisor who will help assess your need. I have been informed that very few graduate students are accessing these funds, but they are not sure why. If you are in need, please reach out to them.
Jennifer D Shapka, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies in Education