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New government support bolsters grad studies

Graduate studies at Memorial University just received a major boost from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Responding to the call from Memorial’s administration, its Graduate Students’ Union and the Canadian Federation of Students, the provincial government provided $2 million in new baseline funding for graduate fellowships.

“In pre-budget consultations, we presented a strong and compelling case to the minister of education and the minister of finance,” says Dr. Chris Loomis, Memorial’s president pro tempore. “We illustrated how this support was not only an investment in students, but also in the future economic sustainability of the province.

“Graduate studies featured prominently in our presentation whose overall theme was attracting and keeping the best and brightest in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The interest in graduate studies at Memorial continues to grow. This year has seen a 60 per cent increase in the number of applications received to the various programs administered by Memorial’s School of Graduate Studies.

Dr. Loomis credits the hard work of the dean of graduate studies, Dr. Noreen Golfman, for this growth. “Dr. Golfman has been very successful in raising the profile of the school and its programs,” he said. “Memorial is on the radar of students across this country and around the world. Our excellent programs, modest tuition fees, exciting research opportunities, our connection with and relevance to the broader community, and the quality of life for those who come to study here – all these factors converge to make Memorial an increasingly attractive option for grad students.”

The $2 million in new funding was urgently needed. A significant portion will be used to address immediate needs, some will be used to cover past expenses and some will be used to attract exceptional candidates to Memorial.

“I’m working with my vice-presidents and Dr. Golfman on how to best use this additional funding. We’ll be seeking input from our student leaders as well,” Dr. Loomis said.

“We will need about $1.2 million to meet our current obligations. We will be directing about $500,000 towards the deficit that was necessitated by the unprecedented growth in graduate studies over the past few years. The remaining $300,000 will be available for attracting outstanding graduate students throughout the year.”
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