Endowed bursary for School of Continuing Studies to benefit domestic and international students

yfile FEATURED image shows students walking into Vari Hall on the Keele campus

A donation of $100,000 will support student bursaries that help students in financial need beginning in 2023.

York University’s School of Continuing Studies has announced its first-ever endowed bursary, after a $100,000 donation from Gautham Kolluri, founder and director of CIP Study Abroad. This one-of-a-kind bursary will support two domestic and two international students in financial need starting in 2023.

Kolluri is an international education and student recruitment expert and thought leader with more than 20 years of experience in the field. “I was born in Hyderabad, South India, and I am a new Canadian here; I started my journey as an international student. Canada has welcomed me, Canada has embraced me, and I want to give back to Canada for welcoming us and embracing us,” said Kolluri. “This donation will help support Canadians and international students. I feel it is my moral responsibility to support my fellow Canadians in these difficult times, as well as international students who come to Canada to study, work and live.” 

Kolluri previously donated $10,000 towards the Continuing Studies Emergency Benefit, the school’s one-time financial aid bursary for students that was launched in April 2020 in response to the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kolluri’s donation helped grow the school’s emergency benefit fund to support an additional seven individuals (from the original 17) with $1,500 toward their School of Continuing Studies’ certificate tuition.

While the school’s domestic students are largely mid-career professionals looking to upskill or manage career transitions, many of the school’s students are newcomers to Canada looking to translate their existing educational and career experience towards an in-demand field locally or prepare their English language and academic skills to thrive in degree studies.

Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly
Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly

These types of students are rarely eligible for educational funding due to immigration and employment status. Yet the financial challenges they face can be significant. International students face limits on the number of hours they are allowed to work and mid-career students are often balancing responsibilities which are not typically considered in funding applications, such as dependents. This bursary will provide important annual funding to four students in these financial positions and will be awarded by a committee comprised of the school’s senior leadership.

“Continuing Studies units rarely receive endowed donations. This is a significant gift not just as a first for the School of Continuing Studies, but also a major development for post-secondary institutions supporting the career aspirations of domestic and international students everywhere,” says Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly, assistant vice-president of York University’s School of Continuing Studies. “I am once again deeply moved by Gautham’s generosity and his commitment to the pursuit of education. I am so excited and grateful that we will help four students each year achieve their ambitions and reach for what comes next in their careers.”

The school’s certificate programs, offered in a range of formats, allows international students and Canadians to reskill or upskill in high-demand fields, stay competitive and seize new opportunities as the economy recovers and businesses invite workers back into the office. 

For more information on York University School of Continuing Studies visit https://continue.yorku.ca.