The University of British Columbia and College of New Caledonia are receiving funding from the BC government for new engineering programs.

UNBC will receive $400,000 of startup funding for new civil and environmental engineering degree programs.

This will help support 280 spaces by 2022-23, with 70 graduates per year expected by 2023.

UNBC Provost and Vice-President, Academic Dan Ryan sees this as an opportunity to bring students to the north and keep them here.

“When students go through their four-year degree as an engineer, often they create work contacts and colleagues and if they create that network somewhere else, they’re less likely to come back here,” he explains.

“So by creating that network in the north, I think it creates a greater opportunity for them to see their future in the north.”

As for CNC, $250,000 will be funded for the school to develop a new civil-engineering technologist program.

This will support 50 spaces by 2021-22 and is expected to produce 25 graduates per year by 2022.

CNC President Henry Reiser says the new program will help usher in the next generation of engineers.

“Technology is everywhere and there’s a retiring cohort of engineers and technologists and these students will backfill those positions as we move forward.”

These funds come from an earlier announcement made by Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Melanie Mark.