Money for Health Sciences

By Natalie Sit

University of Calgary’s health programs received a boost Aug. 18, 2003 when Alberta Learning Minister Lyle Oberg announced $3.7 million in new funding.

The money is part of a $10 million booster which will create 692 new student spaces province wide, primarily in health programs. The U of C will use the money for 75 spaces in its new bachelor of health sciences program and 32 for its biomedical engineering specialization. The program is so prestigious that five of the 10 Chancellor’s Club scholarship winners are in the program.

"These programs will really set their specific industries on their nose," said Oberg. "Health Science students will go into the various fields and excel in the programs."

The biomedical program will train graduates to apply math, physics and biology to human health. It will allow Alberta to take advantage of the $1-trillion-a-year global biomedical industry.

"It will really move the province and country forward," said U of C President Harvey Weingarten. "The U of C adopted a new academic plan with the promissory note to develop new programs and to make real contributions."

Katherine Boyer, a graduate student in biomedical engineering, wished both programs existed in her undergraduate years. She hopes it will promote biomedical engineering and allow Canada to become a leader in the field.

"It’s important for undergraduate students to gain experience at the undergraduate level," said Boyer. "To learn how research is done, how biomedical is done and to create contacts is very important."

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