June 17, 2020 – Charlottetown, PE
The UPEI Student Union is pleased with the announcement of an investment of $700,000 into an expansion of the Island Advantage Bursary at the 2020-2021 PEI Provincial Budget Address on June 17, 2020.
“This is a historic investment that the UPEI Student Union has been advocating on for the past year,” states Malak Nassar, Vice President Academic and External of the UPEI Student Union. “Increasing the Island Advantage Bursary will ensure that low-and middle-income students are able to have better access to post-secondary education on the Island.”
The Island Advantage Bursary is a suite of upfront, non-repayable grants that were introduced in 2018 by the PEI government. These bursaries specifically support students from low and middle income backgrounds in accessing post-secondary education in PEI. In February 2020, the Federal government committed to expanding the Canada Student Grant by 40%. Considering the IAB is similar in structure to the Canada Student Grant, the UPEISU advocated that the Province match these investments by equally expanding the Island Advantage Bursary.
“In light of the economic impact of COVID19, especially with a significant number of students not accessing jobs that they would rely on in order to pay for their tuition, rent, or other expenses, this is a progressive measure to ensure that those who have been hit the hardest on the Island are accessing the supports they require in September,” elaborated Nassar. “We commend the Government on recognizing the precarious situation students are finding themselves in and taking steps to increase affordability of post-secondary education.”