Toronto – The Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education (Engineers Foundation) will raise its investment in Ontario’s engineering schools by $50,500 a year, beginning this month.
“With this 50% increase in our current funding, the Engineers Foundation will be investing a total of $153,000 a year into Ontario’s 15 engineering schools, helping 102 engineering students annually with a $1,500 scholarship,” said Foundation president Marisa Sterling, P.Eng.
The Engineers Foundation’s scholarships are given to students who meet the criteria of high academic achievement combined with demonstrated leadership in their community. The Foundation believes in cultivating a next-generation engineer who is both a technical expert and a leader who can innovate and evolve how engineers contribute to society.
The scholarship “is not only recognition for my dedication but also a demonstration of strength of the engineering community,” said Anna Yu, a scholarship recipient from the University of Toronto. “I hope to follow suit in the future, to remember, just as you have, to give back and inspire younger generations of engineers.”
It is estimated that an average engineering student spends upwards of $100,000 to complete a four-year bachelor degree and many leave university with significant debt.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) reports that tuition and fees for undergraduate students will rise by almost 13% by 2017-18. In addition, CCPA reports that Ontario has the highest compulsory fees above tuition to compensate for inadequate public funding. This forces more students to assume part-time work during the school year to help pay their education costs and leaves many of them with a steep financial hurdle to afford the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education that is widely promoted as a means to grow Ontario’s economy.
This affordability imbalance has led the Engineers Foundation recently to implement a more aggressive fundraising plan to meet the increased demand for student financial assistance.
“I would like to thank the Engineers Foundation for providing engineering students with awards year after year,” said Dr. Tom Duever, P.Eng., dean, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Ryerson University. “I know for a fact that these have been provided for many years since I myself was a recipient of the Entrance Award as a first-year student entering chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo. It meant a great deal to me at that time and I know these awards continue to be important for current students in our engineering programs.”