The GSS is joining the AMS this week to meet with members of the BC Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and discuss the most pressing issues facing students. The group, led by AMS VP External Affairs Kalith Nanayakkara, and GSS VP External Affairs Alireza Kamyabi, will address topics including housing affordability, support for the post-secondary sector in BC, access to Higher Education (particularly for indigenous students), and additional funding for sources for students.
GSS VP External, Alireza Kamyabi says: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to meet with so many members of the legislative assembly to discuss real problems of affordability and access but also to emphasise that students have an important role to play in ensuring the Provincial economy flourishes in a post COVID world.”
The specific policy proposals recommended by the Societies include:
- Include students in rental support programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Make certain that there are predictability measures for international students in terms of tuition fees and ancillary costs through the Tuition Limit Policy.
- Invest in affordable housing for Indigenous people and communities.
- Include non-STEM disciplines in the BC Graduate Scholarship and establish permanent funding for the scholarship.
- Expand the BC Access Grant to include graduate students.
Ali continues: “Extending the BC Access Grant to include graduate students, and making the very successful BC Graduate Scholarship a permanent program that can also support students outside STEM disciplines would make a tangible difference to graduate students. These changes would also support research in host of priority areas for the Province.
Housing affordability is a perennial problem for students, that has only been made worse by COVID-19. Ensuring they are included in available rental support programs during the pandemic would help students manage the immediate uncertainties.”