UBC Vancouver is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam peoples).

Whether you’re a graduate student from an equity-deserving group or an ally advocating for equity and inclusion, we are here to support you.

The Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) office is engaged in discussion and actively working on initiatives related to UBC graduate students identifying as belonging to marginalized and/or underrepresented groups, such as Indigenous, Black, Persons of Colour (IBPOC), LGBTQ2S+ and persons with disabilities. Learn more about what these terms mean in the equity & inclusion glossary.

It is essential for us to create an inclusive environment where students feel comfortable and safe while pursuing their studies. Graduate students from equity deserving groups enrich our educational environment tremendously through their outstanding scholarship, unique perspectives, knowledge traditions, and lived experiences. We celebrate these strengths and recognize diversity of perspectives as central to supporting academic excellence. We are aware of the systemic barriers and challenges that these communities have faced, and recognize it is an on-going issue. In our role at UBC, we are working to improve the experience of graduate students and dismantle systems of colonialism, classism and economic inequality.

Diversity, equity, & inclusion definition

We hear a lot about the terms equity, diversity and inclusion. Let's define what they mean to us.

Diversity

Diversity acknowledges differences in the lived experiences and perspectives of people that may include race, ethnicity, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical disability, mental disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, class, and/or socio-economic situations.

Equity

Equity refers to achieving parity in policy, process and outcomes for historically and/or currently underrepresented and/or marginalized people and groups while accounting for diversity. It considers power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes.

Inclusion

Inclusion is an active, intentional, and continuous process to address inequities in power and privilege, and build a respectful and diverse community that ensures welcoming spaces and opportunities to flourish for all.

    To learn more about the context and usage for each of these terms, refer to our equity & inclusion glossary.

     

    Funding to Support Racialized Graduate StudentsChallenges and considerations from our students

    We're currently drafting a proposal that would create new award funding for racialized graduate students (BPOC/Indigenous). This proposal is motivated by the recognition that Black Canadians and Canadians of colour face systemic barriers in contemporary society and that they may not be represented proportionately at all levels of society including graduate education. Our goal is to attempt to imagine awards that will mitigate against the specific impacts of hurdles that students have faced in the past and to increase their representation.

    We consulted with racialized graduate students to hear their experiences and challenges at UBC. One of biggest challenges being reported is the experience of arriving in Canada from societies where students may have not experienced racialization, and the toll this takes on them even though they may not have faced personal barriers based on racialization in home countries. Yet, our proposal is aimed at addressing systemic racism and its impacts in Canada. This challenge is exacerbated by the prevailing sense among international students that there is little funding available to them, even though almost all of the UBC-budget derived funding to graduate students is open to domestic as well as international students, even when some of the incentives in the funding systems align with federal funding and thus offer a slight edge to Canadian students.

     
     

    initiatives with contributions from G+ps

    Indigenous strategic planSelf-assessment tool

    UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) recognizes the urgent need to engage with the history of settler colonialism and is in support of the goals of UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan. Over a period of four months, a working group of G+PS staff reviewed and engaged with the ISP Self-Assessment tool. After sharing this self-assessment across the Dean’s office and reflecting on its outcomes, we will develop an action plan. We hope to coordinate this planning with the release of the report of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies’ National Task Force on TRC Calls to Action and Graduate Education to operationalize the TRC Calls to Action with particular relevance to graduate education in a UBC context.

    Student demographic data

    Equity, diversity and inclusion are strategic priorities for UBC, yet we currently have a shortage of demographic data collected about students to be able to measure and understand our progress toward these priorities. UBC is working with key stakeholders, including G+PS, on a centralized demographic data collection strategy for students. 
    The Advisory Committee provides guidance and advice to the Student Demographic Data Project team on the development of an institutional student demographic data strategy, including:

    • Expertise and guidance on the development of student demographic data collection plans at UBC, including the purpose and timing of data collection 
    • Feedback on the communication strategy for the project to the broader UBC community, and 
    • Guidance on what policies or guidelines may need to be developed for the data collection.

    Read more

     

     

    Initiatives in support of grad students across campus

    Equity, diversity, and inclusion is something we are working towards across all of UBC. Many other faculties have their own EDI pages that share specific information about the work being done in their areas. We invite you to learn about what's being done in your faculty by checking these unit-specific EDI pages and featured initiatives linked below.

    Featured initiatives