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For Immediate Release

Dec. 30, 2011

Ministry of Advanced Education



Making Progress: Post-Secondary Education
B.C. offers training for more health professionals


VICTORIA – British Columbians who want to work in high-demand jobs in the health-care sector have more opportunities to get the training they need, thanks to continued investments in health education at public post-secondary institutions.


This is just one more example of significant progress made by government in the last year to improve the lives of British Columbians and their families by creating and protecting jobs, by becoming more open and transparent, and by continuing to be fiscally responsible in these uncertain economic times.


In 2011, the Province created new student spaces in a wide range of health professions in partnership with public post-secondary institutions, increasing learning opportunities for nurses, paramedics, health-care assistants, pharmacy technicians and medical radiography technologists. Programs have also been expanded to give learners more options to get their health education and practical experience closer to home, including programs for physical therapy students in the north, nurses in the Okanagan and medical radiography technologists on Vancouver Island.


Investments in new and upgraded facilities and equipment at post-secondary campuses will ensure future health professionals have access to the most cutting-edge health technology available, giving them the hands-on experience they need to succeed. This investment also underscores the BC Jobs Plan commitment to ensuring British Columbia has the skilled workforce it needs to fill future job opportunities.





Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education –


Together with our post-secondary partners, we’re expanding programs, adding student spaces and investing in labs and equipment to attract learners to careers in the health sector and provide them with the skills they need to bring high-quality health care to B.C. families in communities large and small in every region of the province.”



Cathy Ulrich, CEO, Northern Health –


“Our health-care professionals and students are seeing many benefits from government’s investments in post-secondary health education, such as three clinical simulation centres that we have recently been able to open across our region.”


“We know that health-care professionals who are trained in the North are more likely to stay in their local communities and we would like to do everything we can to encourage them to stay and practice in our rural areas.”



Quick Facts:


In 2011, the B.C. government:


·         Invested an additional $6.1 million in ongoing operating funding to expand student spaces in existing health-education programs and support the start-up of new health education programs for nurses, medical radiography technologists, pharmacy and physical therapy.

·         Invested $1.5 million in one-time operating funding to support an additional 188 student spaces at six colleges and universities around the province for nurses, health-care assistants and pharmacy technicians.

·         Invested almost $3.4 million in Camosun College for start-up costs and equipment purchases for a new medical radiography technology diploma program.

·         Invested $685,600 to the Justice Institute of B.C. for additional student spaces in the primary care paramedic program offered in Port McNeill, Smithers, Dawson Creek and Kamloops.

·         In a joint effort with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George and the University of British Columbia (UBC), invested $842,500 in one-time start-up funding and $645,000 in ongoing operating funding to establish a northern and rural clinical cohort, enabling physical therapy students to complete most of their clinical placements in northern B.C.

·         Is investing a combined $2 million in one-time start-up funding and $1.3-million ongoing operating funding by 2014-15 to Okanagan College and University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) for the addition of 24 first-year nursing spaces in Kelowna, giving nursing students the option of completing the first half of a four-year bachelor in nursing program at Okanagan College and completing the program at UBCO. A new nursing lab for students in the program was officially opened at Okanagan College in October 2011.

·         Welcomed the first students to the new medical radiography technology diploma program at the Prince George campus of the College of New Caledonia.

·         Invested $348,429 in one-time funding to UNBC to support delivery of 24 additional student spaces in the rural nursing program in 2011-12.

·         Awarded $598,000 to 299 nursing students through the Nurses Education Bursary (NEB) since the beginning of April – part of $1 million to be awarded to nursing students throughout the province through the NEB in this fiscal year.

·         Provided more than $2 million for 2010-11 to over 288 nursing graduates in B.C. student loan forgiveness for nursing grads who work in underserved B.C. communities for three years.

·         Invested $5 million in one-time funding to 22 post-secondary institutions around B.C. to refresh their labs by replacing and renewing health equipment.



Learn More:


For information on the Ministry of Advanced Education, visit:


For information on British Columbia’s public post-secondary institutions, visit:


For information about student aid programs for post-secondary training, visit:


For information on ‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’, visit:





Marc Black

Communications Director

Ministry of Advanced Education

250 952-6508

250 889-1295 (cell)



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