Targeted funding supports Aboriginal students at KPU

Fri, Jun 24, 2016

British Columbia - Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is one of 14 public colleges and universities throughout British Columbia that will receive $75,000 to support Aboriginal students.

Funding from the province is intended to support new and expanded programs better meet the needs of Aboriginal students as they complete their studies. At KPU, the funds will support research that assesses the needs of Aboriginal students at the university, and will be used to deliver a comprehensive and compulsory program for faculty, staff and administration that deepens their understanding of Aboriginal history and culture. 

“KPU thanks the Ministry of Advanced Education for the one-time grant of $75,000 to enhance and support Aboriginal learners. This funding will go a long way towards helping KPU identify the needs of Aboriginal learners in our community. The funds will help us all get a better understanding of indigenization and what that might mean to us as we work to realize the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission," said President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Alan Davis.

“This targeted funding provides Aboriginal students with the programming and services they will need to complete their post-secondary education and training,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Post-secondary education and training is the best pathway for Aboriginal students towards a prosperous future.”

Just over $1 million will go towards new and expanded programs and services that will help ensure public post-secondary institutions are welcoming learning environments for Aboriginal students.  Examples include Elders-in-residence, summer youth camps, outreach to Aboriginal students and communities, peer mentoring, and workshops for faculty and staff about Aboriginal history and culture.

“This funding is aligned with our government’s plan to ensure Aboriginal students are prepared to take advantage of job opportunities in our growing economy,” said Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad. “Aboriginal people play an important role in helping to meet the need for skilled workers in B.C.”

The funding is part of ongoing activities to support the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Training Policy and Framework and Action Plan. The provincial government launched this plan in 2012 to improve post-secondary education and training opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal people in B.C.

The goal is to increase the number of credentials awarded to Aboriginal learners by 75% by 2020-21. In 2013-14, 3,241 credentials were awarded to Aboriginal learners, an increase of 23%, or 607 over 2009-10.

The Ministry of Advanced Education also provides supports to Aboriginal students through Aboriginal Service Plans, through funding for community-based training and by providing funding for emergency financial assistance and awards. 

The $75,000 in one-time funding is from the Ministry of Advanced Education in support of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan.

To read the original news release and for background information, visit the BC Newsroom.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at    

Photo caption: A hoop dancing performance at Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Surrey campus was part of the university's celebration of National Aboriginal Day 2016.

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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