Administration of awards

All awards accepted for administration at UBC are reviewed and approved by:

  • Faculties or departments
  • Student Awards Committee of the Senate
  • Senate as a whole
  • Board of Governors

The review and approval process ensures that the award terms are consistent with the regulations governing awards and that the University can meet its financial and legal obligations to the donor.

Funding sources

There are three major sources of funding to support students:

  • The generosity of donors who endow or annually fund awards.
  • The commitment of the University which funds programs through the general purpose operating budget.
  • The commitments of provincial and federal governments, which support specific programs.

University obligations to the donor

Donors provide funding for student awards either as annual or endowed gifts. The type of gift and the terms governing the gift determine the University’s obligation to the donor.

Annual gifts may be renewed, cancelled, or changed. In general, donors are requested to make a three-year commitment to fund an award, but they confirm funding and award terms annually.

The University holds endowed gifts for the donor in trust. The University’s obligation to the donor(s) extends in perpetuity. Changes to award terms can be made only within the context of specific legal obligations and, in some cases, only by application to the Court.

Audit of award accounts

Both internal and external auditors review award accounts randomly and on an annual basis. Auditors ensure that the University has properly discharged its obligations to the donor when assigning awards to students.

Types of awards

For administrative purposes, funding received from all sources is divided into three major categories:

  • Academic merit-based funding such as fellowships, scholarships, and prizes for which the primary criterion is scholastic achievement.
  • Financial need-based funding such as loans and bursaries for which the primary criterion is financial need.
  • Achievement-based funding such as awards that recognize participation in student government, athletics, or other student activity as well as personal qualities.

Fellowships, scholarships, and prizes assigned on the basis of scholastic achievement:

  • Are noted on the student’s transcript
  • Have currency for students in both their academic and professional careers
  • Require faculty recommendations provided through the academic departments or through a variety of committees managed by the College of Graduate Studies (e.g., University Graduate Fellowships Committee) or by Enrolment Services (e.g., Entrance Award Committee)
  • May or may not require or accept applications

Bursaries assigned on the basis of demonstrated financial need to both graduate and undergraduate students:

  • Are not noted on the student’s transcript
  • Are assigned by Enrolment Services, which is the office of record for data related to student financial need
  • Are handled through a general bursary application at the beginning of Winter and Summer Sessions with the exception of Affiliation Bursaries, which have a separate application

Financial need information is confidential and is shared with faculty only with the written permission of the student. Students who express concern to faculty advisors about their ability to fund their post-secondary education at UBC should be referred to Student Services. Professional advisors are available to help students to identify and access all sources of funding for which they are eligible.

    Awards, a category for which scholastic achievement may be a criterion, but it is not the primary criterion:

  • Are not noted on the student transcripts except in rare cases where the award is primarily based on academic achievement.
  • Are disbursed on the basis of recommendations from the academic faculties, departments, or committees.

Recommending process

Award recommendations are made by academic faculties and departments and are assigned by either the College of Graduate Studies or by Enrolment Services.

Both departments are responsible on behalf of the University to ensure that faculty recommendations are:

  • consistent with the regulations governing awards as approved by the Senate and the Board of Governors and
  • consistent with the University’s obligations to the donors.