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UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 3 | Mar. 6, 2003

Free Tuition for PhD Students

Tuition waived to make UBC more competitive

By Michelle Cook

UBC is waiving tuition fees for PhD students in a bid to become more competitive in attracting top scholars nationally and internationally.

The waiver proposal, approved by the Board of Governors in January, will apply to all full-time research-based PhD students in the first four years of their program, and will take effect September 2003.

“We know funding is an issue for students at this level of their studies and this is an incentive to attract and retain the world’s best PhD candidates to campus,” said Barry McBride, UBC’s vice-president, Academic. “This is a very competitive environment, and most American universities offer tuition waivers to PhD candidates, and other Canadian universities are moving in this direction too.”

McBride says the waiver is designed to help students focus on their studies, and to recognize the important contribution that PhD candidates make to UBC, especially in advancing research, often with little remuneration. Doctoral candidates typically take four to six years to complete their degree.

The proposal to waive PhD tuition comes out of a student financial assistance report prepared by a committee of faculty and students. McBride says the waiver is the first step in defining a minimum financial assistance package for PhD students similar to those in place at the University of Toronto, which has offered tuition waivers to research-based PhD students, plus a minimum of $12,000 in guaranteed funding, since 2001.

Of UBC’s 7,000 graduate students, just more than 2,200 -- or 30 per cent -- are doctoral candidates. Currently, annual tuition costs are $3,200 for domestic students and $7,200 for international PhD students.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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