News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 6, 2020

PROVINCE SUPPORTING STUDENTS, POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS WITH INCREASED BURSARY FUNDING

– – –
Dollar-for-Dollar Fund Matching will Strengthen Assistance in Time of Need: Pallister

Watch news conference





The province is increasing its support for students and post-secondary institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing more matching funding for the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI) for the 2020-21 academic year, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

The province will match all funds raised by universities and colleges for the MSBI for the year, dollar for dollar, instead of with one dollar for every two dollars raised or donated privately.

“As students and the post-secondary institutions they attend deal with challenges created by COVID-19, the Manitoba government is committed to providing the funding they need during these uncertain times,” said Pallister. “We are facing the obstacles in front of us together, and it is imperative that we rely on our strong partnership with post-secondary institutions and our shared vision for access to education.”

By temporarily matching contributions from universities and colleges under the MSBI for 2020-21 with a 1:1 instead of a 1:2 ratio, the province will better ensure students receive financial supports amid fundraising challenges faced by post-secondary institutions due to the pandemic.

As well, the province is committing $5 million to the MSBI program on top of the $10 million announced in Budget 2020, to maximize funds for students during the pandemic. With the 1:1 matching dollars, approximately $30 million will be provided to students this year through scholarships and bursaries.

The MSBI is delivered by 12 participating post-secondary institutions and the Business Council of Manitoba, which undertake their own fundraising matched by provincial contributions. The MSBI has been highly successful, with a combined disbursement of approximately $23 million in private and public funds to 13,000 students in 2017-18, and with about $24 million to 14,700 students in 2018-19.

The number of students who benefited from the MSBI in 2019-20 will be known this fall, and it is expected that the number will have increased, the premier noted.

In addition, the separate Manitoba Bursary program, which provides up-front financial support to students in need, has been increased by $1.8 million for 2020-21 to put a total of $17.3 million into the hands of students when they need it as they begin their studies.

The province has made significant enhancements to the Manitoba Bursary program since 2016-17. These changes have more than quadrupled the number of students in financial need who benefit. It is estimated that nearly 11,500 students will be supported under the Manitoba Bursary in 2019-20, the premier added.

These measures further build on recently announced provincial supports for students including the $120-million Summer Student Recovery Plan – a $7-per-hour wage subsidy for employers to hire them – and a deferral of repayments of student loans to help those affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. To date, more than 675 summer jobs for students have been supported through the new wage subsidy program.

“Students are the future of our province and these improvements to the funding of bursaries will play a crucial role in Manitoba’s recovery from the pandemic,” said Pallister. “Students will have greater opportunities to help stimulate Manitoba’s economy and move the province forward.”

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at:
https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

- 30 -