Western students to benefit from Jubilee bids

OTTAWA – A pair of Western projects are among 46 from 34 Canadian universities to share $40 million in funding through the new Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program, announced earlier this week. In total, these projects will offer scholarship opportunities to more than 1,900 university students in the Commonwealth.

“Western’s Africa Institute is world renowned for its work in Africa and we constantly strive to leverage and strengthen our existing research programs and African partnerships,” said Biology professor Irena Creed, Canada Research Chair in Watershed Sciences and director of the Africa Institute. “Students are our future leaders and so it is important to create opportunities for them to be engaged in Africa through interdisciplinary and inter-faculty learning and these scholarships provide funds that will allow that to happen.”

Through the Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program, Canadian undergraduate and graduate students – known as Queen Elizabeth Scholars – will participate in internships or academic study for up to one year in another Commonwealth country. Scholarships also will be available to students from Commonwealth countries to attend a Canadian university for graduate work.

Western’s successful projects include:

  • The Professional Masters Program on Global Health Systems in Africa received $499,900 to support the development of programs targeting students seeking careers in government, NGOs, industry or self-employment. This curriculum will bridge gaps between disciplines and provide students with organizational, leadership and communication skills, enabling them to build successful careers. After course work, there will be a three-week intensive field school in an African country and a 12-week internship or major research project; and
  • The Collaborative Research and Training Program on Global Health Systems in Africa received $498,500 to support the development of programs targeting future researchers who will help solve complex global health problems. This curriculum will bring Western researchers and their state-of-the-art facilities together with Commonwealth scholars to take their research skills to the next level. Students will be provided with short-term research internships, giving them a competitive edge.

At Western, funding for both projects will allow more than 80 students to participate in internships with partners in Commonwealth countries in Africa as well as provide scholarships for 25 African students to study at Western.

The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program is a joint initiative of the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.