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A brighter future for grad studies

By Janet Harron

The future all of a sudden looks a lot brighter for the many students who wish to pursue graduates degrees at Memorial in 2010 and beyond, thanks to the recent provincial budget.

The budget, delivered on March 29, provided $2 million in support of graduate student fellowships as part of a $22.2 million budget increase.

“I was sitting high up in the visitors gallery when the Finance Minister Tom Marshall read the paragraphs about $2 million coming our way for graduate fellowships and I can tell you I just about bounced up to the ceiling and kissed the plaster angels,” said Dr. Noreen Golfman, dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Dr. Golfman acknowledged that the media attention of the last few weeks regarding the School of Graduate Studies budget shortfall might have had something to do with the good news but maintains that “that attention was an acknowledgement of the seriousness of the situation, and of the reach of community interest.”

Graduate students bring considerable benefits to the university as a whole by stimulating research, assisting with teaching and as such an increase in the number of graduate students is a crucial component of Memorial’s strategic plan.

Previously the School of Graduate Studies announced that entrance scholarships for 2010-2011 would be suspended as would the Teaching Opportunities for Graduate Assistants (TOGA) program and the New Faculty Incentive Fund.

After the budget for 2010-11 is adjusted and assessed, Dr. Golfman is looking forward to “relaxing the grip” on graduate programs and will be forwarding details to academic programs as soon as possible.