For Opale Hullen, a second-year PhD student in aerospace engineering, the university’s announcement of guaranteed financial support for graduate students was great news. “I knew my [Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada] grant was running out, and so it was a relief to know that I was going to get a definite amount. I think that feeling applies to a lot of students here,” she says.
This September, U of T became the first Canadian university to offer guarantees of financial support to students pursuing doctoral degrees. The funding package, starting at a minimum of $12,000 plus tuition and fees ($17,600 for arts and science students in 2001-02), will be available for up to five years of study.
The university is allocating some $11 million to implement the financial guarantee, which will benefit almost 4,000 doctoral-stream students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. It will be phased in to cover those in other faculties over the next four years.