Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thinking of running for grad council?

Hey grad students ! Why not run for grad council as your departmental graduate representative to the GSS?

Info here:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BC September 2009 budget update and graduate students

BC's September budget update makes little mention of graduate school, graduate students or research, although graduate studies is briefly mentioned as one targeted area of expansion in the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour service plan.

Capital spending is discussed in the budget speech, with $500 million for capital expansion on campuses--$86.4 million is going to UBC's pharmaceutical research facility--which is a drug commercialization facility. The ministry must disclose projects over $50 million, sp presumably the rest of the capital spending falls under that amount. Other major projects mentioned focus on environmental technologies or research, including Okanagan College's Centre for Green Building Technologies ($27.6 million), Energy House project at Northern Lights College ($7.8 million) and 21 million for UNBC's project involving turning waste wood into energy. Indeed, the investment in research and development mentioned in the budget speech is in green energy.

The Ministry's service plan shows an increase in funds directed to post-secondary institutions (5% increase). Bear in mind there is a 2% price index increase over last year, and UVIC is slated to have a 14% increase in graduate enrollement this year. Meanhile there's a 15% cut back to Student Aid BC--this is for ministry spending so whether this will result in cuts to bursaries, and exactly how this will be handled, is not yet clear. But earlier this year, the Pacific Leaders graduate funding was put on hold, and other student support focussed on helping disabled students, nursing students and those needing loan forgiveness was quietly cut in July (see Vancouver Sun article).

Grad Students and self funding

I always find it fascinating and impressive to see how graduate students manage to do so much while in school.

For instance, Nursing grad student Pasquale Fiore teaches nursing courses at Camosun and is a Reiki master... he also manages to keep up with artistic hobbies. Today he showed me he art cards today--they are on sale at the UVIC bookstore and feature Victoria and BC lanscapes and scenes.

you can see his work here on a sight dedicated to creative work by nurses--so it seems he is not alone among his colleagues in creating art work!

I asked him how he manages to pursue a graduate degree, his SSHRC research, teaching and his art projects, and he says, "With a very good iPhone. It beeps and tells me what to do!"

So next time you need to send mom a card, check out Pasquale's cards at UVic bookstore!