VIU Receives $500K from The Joyce Foundation for Youth in Care Tuition Waiver Bursaries

January 8, 2016 - 1:45pm

A $500,000 donation from The Joyce Foundation will benefit students attending Vancouver Island University (VIU) with support from the Youth in Care Tuition Waiver program.

The funds will be dedicated to bursaries for ongoing support of VIU students in the Youth in Care Tuition Waiver program who are over the age of 24.

“We are very grateful to The Joyce Foundation for this generous gift, which makes a profound impact by supporting former youth in care who do not have the benefit of family or other supports to help them access a post-secondary education,” said Dr. Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Young people who age out of care, and find themselves losing the majority of BC government support by age 24 require additional support in the form of bursaries to help them achieve their educational goals.”

In this province, youth living in care lose the majority of BC government support when they reach the age of 19. A few programs continue until the age of 24, after which all targeted funding supports are cut off. Along with waiving tuition for former youth in care, VIU has developed a bursary program to provide further support to these students, to assist with costs such as books, supplies, rent, food and daycare.

"The Joyce Foundation is pleased to make this donation to Vancouver Island University in support of its tuition waiver program. VIU has taken a lead in closing the educational gap for former youth-in-care, and with these bursaries, more students will reap the rewards that post-secondary education has to offer," said Ron Joyce.

 VIU launched the first Youth in Care Tuition Waiver program in the province in 2013, in response to a call from BC’s Representative for Children and Youth, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. The University has been recognized nationally for its leadership in this area. In its first year, VIU’s tuition waiver program welcomed 17 eligible students. In the 2014/15 academic year the number of students increased to 39. Currently 50 per cent of BC’s tuition waiver students are enrolled at VIU – a total of 63 students.

The Joyce Foundation is a private, family foundation created by Canadian entrepreneur Ronald V. Joyce, best known as the Canadian entrepreneur who, in 1964, invested in the first Tim Horton’s donut shop in Hamilton, Ontario and grew the business into one of the most successful food service chains in the world.

 "VIU would like to acknowledge the support of the Joyce Foundation's Board of Trustees, including Grant Joyce, Steven Joyce, Hon. Ed Lumley, Rob MacIsaac, Aileen O'Rafferty, Michele Thornley, and David Wagstaff,” said William Litchfield, Director, Advancement and Alumni Relations.


About VIU

Vancouver Island University is Canada’s west coast university. Known as a centre of excellence for teaching, learning and applied research, VIU offers a diverse range of certificate, diploma and undergraduate and master degree programs to more than 18,000 students on campuses in Nanaimo, Powell River and Cowichan, and at the Parksville-Qualicum Centre. For more information visit

About The Joyce Foundation

The Joyce Foundation (formerly The Ron Joyce Foundation) is a private, family foundation created by Canadian entrepreneur Ronald V. Joyce. His philanthropy reflects a deep-rooted sense of responsibility to give back to his community. The Joyce Foundation is dedicated to supporting the social, economic and emotional well-being of children and youth by empowering them to develop into healthy, confident, independent contributors to Canadian society. The Foundation's primary focus is to provide access to education for children and youth with significant financial need or facing other socio-economic barriers to success.



Shari Bishop Bowes, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

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