A survey by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador has found that many students who move to NL to study are sticking around. The study surveyed 3,500 PSE students, finding that 43% of Canadians from other provinces were still living in NL 2 years after graduating. Among international students, 71% were still residing in NL 2 years after graduating. Meanwhile, 90% of local students remained in the province. NL’s Auditor General has suggested that the province’s tuition freeze be reviewed, but Advanced Education and Skills Minister Kevin O’Brien said that “the number of out-of-province students staying after graduation proves the freeze is doing what the government wants.” Tuition fees have been frozen in NL since 1999 and are currently the lowest in Canada.
Memorial University has released a draft of its strategic internationalization plan. The plan issues 8 recommendations intended to support MUN’s international and intercultural initiatives. The plan recommends developing further intercultural competencies among students, faculty, and personnel. In addition, the plan calls on the university to aggressively strengthen structures for attracting and retaining international students, faculty members, and other personnel. The report further recommends transitioning MUN’s International Centre into an Internationalization Office with a mandate to facilitate, coordinate, promote, and monitor international activities and to implement the strategic plan. The plan also recommends that MUN better articulate, communicate, and market MUN’s value proposition, that the university design and implement centralized data collection and tracking for international initiatives, and that all academic programs support international learning outcomes. The document also calls for the creation of full-degree academic programming anchored at MUN’s Harlow campus in England.
The 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador budget, tabled last week, includes $50.6 million over 5 years to eliminate provincial student loans and replace them with non-repayable, upfront grants; according to CBC News, about 7,000 students are expected to be eligible. The budget also committed to maintaining its PSE tuition freeze (at a cost of $5.1 million), and $39.8 million for continuing its apprenticeships and labour-market training programs. The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) has welcomed the budget’s move to replace student loans with grants, calling it “a landmark step towards equality of access to postsecondary education.”
TCS Insights: Newfoundland and Labrador have benefited look to benefit many with the implementation of grants for students. Fewer individuals will be burdened with the debt caused by student loans after their graduation, making it easier for them to establish themselves financially. Making higher education more affordable and accessible to students should make the province an area of interest for any student looking to advance their studies.
Source: MUN News Release | January 31, 2014
Memorial University has received a $1.98-million donation from Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd (HMDC), and will use the money to create a new fund to enhance geophysics education and research. The endowment will also allow MUN to purchase specialized equipment for geophysical exploration and its geophysics laboratories, and create a new guest-speaker series that will host up to 3 geophysical experts annually for the next 3 years. Earlier this year, HMDC provided an additional $420,000 in funding to support the university’s development of a new environmental geology and geophysics field school.
TCS Insights: Aspiring geophysics students are being afforded new opportunities at Memorial University as this field of study is expanding with new labs and equipment. Students will now also be able to conduct field research; an experience that will prove valuable to both domestic and international students looking to spend time in real-life work environments.