UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 3 | Mar.
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
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
We know funding is an issue for students at this level
of their studies and this is an incentive to attract and retain
the worlds best PhD candidates to campus, said
Barry McBride, UBCs 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 UBCs 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.