Federal funding lacking in Langara’s engineering transfer program

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Margaret Heldman, dean of faculty of science, gives her input on the absent federal funding. Photo by Melanie Green

Reported by Melanie Green

Though Langara College now has a two-year transfer diploma program for engineering students aiming to attend UBC, it has still not received some of the federal funding that other post secondary institutions have enjoyed.

Federal government gives post-secondary funding for engineering but not to Langara

On Nov. 8, the federal government granted SFU $90 billion to expand its environmental and engineering facilities. But Langara does not receive federal funding because the college does not have an official engineering program. Langara engineering transfer program instead falls under the science & technology department.

According to Margaret Heldman, dean of the faculty of science programs, departments at Langara are funded by the college, which relies on the province and tuition fees to subsidize budget costs. Requests for additional funding are made frequently, but no supplementary resources were provided, so dollars were spread across departments she said.

Federal funding is an option for research done by specific instructors and it’s highly competitive, she said.

Langara has an eight-month certificate transfer program duplicating UBC’s first year program, and in fall 2016 the college rolled out a two-year diploma program where students can take arts and sciences as well as prerequisites to increase their chances of getting into UBC.

Heldman said the popularity of the diploma program validates the need for engineering departments across the province, reflecting the huge demand.

“Langara is a pathways institution—the mission is to prepare students to enter the workforce by creating the capacity at the bottom, then moving them into other institutions,” Heldman said.

Langara’s engineering transfer program is competitive to get into

More than 800 people have applied to Langara’s program, but only 60 students are accepted on average, said Csilla Tamas, a math instructor and current engineering transfer program coordinator.

“[The diploma program] started because it was getting harder to get into UBC,” she said.

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