Province sweetens bursary funding

Geordie Carragher
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Government increases George Coles bursary

Premier Robert Ghiz visited Charlottetown Rural High School and spoke to students about the George Coles bursary and choosing a post-secondary program on Prince Edward Island.

The P.E.I. government wants more Island high school students to consider staying home to get their post-secondary education.

A further incentive for students to do so was unveiled Monday afternoon as Premier Robert Ghiz announced a 10 per cent increase to the George Coles Bursary for first-time Island students pursuing post-secondary education on Prince Edward Island, effective immediately.

Ghiz made the announcement in a theatre full of grades 11 and 12 students at Charlottetown Rural High School.

“Thank you for letting us interrupt your classes,” the premier said, drawing laughter from the students.

The announcement follows up on a commitment made during the spring sitting of the provincial legislature when the government announced it would increase the bursary’s value.

The increase is a step in the right direction, said Allen Roach, minister of innovation and advanced learning.

“An increase to the bursary is another example of government’s commitment to ensuring high-quality, post-secondary education is accessible here in Prince Edward Island.”

It is important to encourage Island students to stay home to get their post-secondary education, Roach said.

“Studies show a strong correlation between where students study and where they work post graduation, and we want to keep these bright, skilled students here in our province.”

The increase means Island students entering post-secondary education on Prince Edward Island on a full-time basis will receive $2,200 in the second semester of their first year, which is up from the original $2,000 award established in 2008.

In total, UPEI students will automatically receive up to $5,200 in awards and bursaries based on a four-year undergraduate program.

The money also includes a $2,000 George Coles Graduation Scholarship, which is given to UPEI students in their final year before completing their first undergraduate degree, as previously announced by the provincial government in April’s budget.

Island students attending college on a full-time basis are eligible for up to $4,200 for a two-year program depending on tuition: The $2,200 George Coles Bursary, along with the Island Skills Award valued at $1,000 for each year.

Education is essential to a student’s success, said Education Minister Alan McIsaac.

“We believe that education is the key to building a stronger society and a more prosperous economy, and we believe in the importance of preparing students for success in their lives and careers.”

The bursary increase follows the provincial government’s announcement in August that it will eliminate interest on all provincial student loans.

The government is committed to helping Island students, Ghiz said.

“The government of Prince Edward Island prides itself on investments in education and will continue to ensure high-quality education is accessible and affordable. Building a trained and educated workforce is essential to meeting the needs of our economic reality.”

Organizations: Charlottetown Rural High School

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • chris cross
    November 21, 2012 - 07:03

    Oh so cute, - $ 200.- will get the approval numbers up, --was the thinking here. - Anyone looking for fairness or for that matter a proper assessment as to this being in the best interest of the Island taxpayers e.g. our debt situation and the loans we carry. Our Premier is not a resonsible manager, but I guess we have know that from day one. A side issue here if of course, why it is perceived that students to day are harder up than the rest of us was, --- why am I all of a sudden asked to pay for a $ 2200 scholarship to students, while at the same time paying my own loans that I acquired for my studies without any such government supplied scholarship?? I am sure that thought did not occur to Mr. Ghiz, as he would not find himself in this situation on account of his silverspoon upbringing. His thinking when starting this was centered around vote getting and self-glorification. My hope is that for every vote he garners from this, he will loose two from people that feel Iike I do.

  • rita
    November 21, 2012 - 06:51

    As it is with all attempt to bribe people, fairness falls by the wayside. ANyone that thinks this was for the sake of students better think again, this was vote buying at it's dirtiest. The Gov, has cut funding to the institutions, and now under the guise of getting students to stay on PEI when studying further, they throw $ 200.- more pr. nose at students. Don't look to this Government for thoughtful, fair, sensible or mature planning, - they are here and the now and for themselves,-- nothing more.

  • Parent of University Students
    November 20, 2012 - 19:30

    Anything that will decrease the burden of the cost of education on students and their parents is appreciated. However, there are many PEI students, my own children included, who can not follow their career goals at UPEI or Holland College. They simply do not have enough program options. I believe all PEI students should be getting this same assistance with their tuition/costs. It costs a fortune for students to attend other facilities where the costs are higher, not to mention the added cost of living away from home and the cost of travelling back and forth at Christmas and for summer jobs. PEI students who want to become physiotherapists, chiropractors, engineers, etc. have to go off-island to follow their career aspirations , and we need these professionals here on PEI.

  • alfredd
    November 20, 2012 - 19:07

    blatant vote buying, - standing there like a savior, --- why should the taxpayers be hit again, --- I thought we were broke - disgisting politics, I AM SURE THEY CAN SEE THIS FOR WHAT IT IS, - iresponsible eratic behavior, - I hope you will not prostitute yourselves comes election day

  • james macdougall
    November 20, 2012 - 17:48

    Excellent point !

  • What's what?
    November 20, 2012 - 15:52

    For the price of Plan B - pavement nobody needs and fewer want - Islanders could have paid for the undergraduate tuition of every Island child for at least the next four years. Now, not saying that the best way to spend our tax dollars, but it's sure a better investment than what we received.

  • lk
    November 20, 2012 - 12:50

    Is this all provincial money? If not, I'm sure the federal government would not be happy to see its funds targeting provincial students, at the expense of other Canadian students. Why wouldn't we use some of this extremely generous bursary funding and give it to UPEI / Holland College to improve education over all - for all students - provincial, national and international? Why wouldn't some money also be used to help attract students from other provinces, or countries, who might eventually move here? Oh, right.. because their parents cannot be bribed to vote Liberal.

  • Garth Staples
    November 20, 2012 - 12:40

    Another insular opportunity!

  • Translation
    November 20, 2012 - 11:56

    We have to be careful about people starting to talk negatively about us, especially in the suburbs and rural fringe of Chtown where Liberal vote is lost to both the PCs and NDP. Losing Stratford so big really scared us so we are pretty touchy when we get a huge amount of bad press when the legislature is sitting. You know today we are exposed on PNP proceeds hiding, doing a business study on HST but no consumer study and Suzuki embarrasing Ghiz on Plan B. So we have had to come to Chtown Rural and distract your parents by buying them with their own money. No it is not election time but it is polling time. And yes we did a budget six months ago. But who cares? The media does not question us when we start campaigning in the middle of a legislative session. So...whatever. Vote for us..or at least tell the posters you will. Thanks.

  • Nb er
    November 20, 2012 - 11:27

    Great incentive to encourage island students to attend island post secondary schools, too bad they will have to leave the island to find employment in their field.

  • Nice Try
    November 20, 2012 - 11:23

    Ghiz makes it sound like he's saving the Island. Sorry, but this was a promise that was made years ago and he's just now getting around to it (and it's about time, I might add), because he's losing support.