Free textbooks support high-quality, affordable post-secondary education

Post-secondary students in British Columbia will be starting a new academic year using one of more than 150 available open textbooks

Andrew WilkinsonMinister of Advanced Education

 

VICTORIA – Many incoming and returning post-secondary students in British Columbia will be starting a new academic year using one of more than 150 available open textbooks, provided free of charge by the B.C. government.

Open textbooks are available online and use an open licence, making digital versions free to use by students and faculty. Students have the choice of using them online for free, or printing them for a fraction of the cost of traditional textbooks, unlike some traditional textbooks that cost hundreds of dollars per course.

More than 170 faculty members at 23 public post-secondary institutions are participating. As a result, it is estimated that more than 15,600 students in B.C. have saved between $1.6 million and $2 million, so far, with open textbooks.

Since British Columbia became the first jurisdiction in Canada to launch a government-sponsored open textbook project, students and faculty have welcomed the idea. Many of our student organizations are leading the charge by campaigning to encourage and support faculty to create and adopt open textbooks, which will make the cost of post-secondary more affordable.

Open textbooks are available for a range of courses and programs from popular first- and second-year areas, such as math, chemistry and business, to skills and technical subjects, such as foundational trades courses, healthcare, tourism/hospitality and adult upgrading.

Course selection and career planning are important steps

Choosing these programs and courses can seem like a daunting task.

Speaking with family, friends, career counsellors and employers is one way to begin the process.

A good starting place for anyone seeking information about post-secondary opportunities and future job prospects is EducationPlannerBC.ca. Here, you can find advice, information and links to resources such as application tools, financial aid information and job search resources to help plan your educational journey.

It is important to be prepared as British Columbia is expecting almost one-million job openings by 2025. Around 80% of these nearly one-million jobs will require post-secondary education or training.

Two-thirds of the openings will be from retirements and the rest will come from strong economic growth in B.C. Our Skills for Jobs Blueprint outlines the plan by our government to make sure that students are well positioned to take advantage of these job opportunities.

In-demand occupations requiring post-secondary education or training range from professional and management careers to trades, and lead to employment in the technology industry, the resource sector, health care and elsewhere.

As an example, the tech sector employs close to 86,000 people, generates about $23 billion in annual revenue and offers higher than average pay.

The tech sector offers a range of potential career opportunities. For example, a digital media company in Kelowna will need people with different technology skills than a computer gaming company in Victoria.

Higher education remains a priority for government

Across the public post-secondary system, your government invests approximately $5 million every day to support universities, colleges and institutes, while keeping student tuition fourth lowest in Canada.

More than 32,000 new student seats – including 2,500 graduate student spaces – and seven public university campuses have been added to the public post-secondary system since 2001.

Students can also expect to see new buildings springing up on post-secondary campuses as a result of our $2.6 billion-investment in capital and infrastructure projects over the next three years.

Examples include a new Emily Carr University of Art + Design campus that is under construction in Vancouver, a new trades training building at Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, as well as the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond that broke ground this summer.

Completing your post-secondary education will pay off whether it is a trade, a certificate or an undergraduate degree. For example, British Columbians with an undergraduate post-secondary degree can expect to earn an additional $827,000 over their lifetime.

Post-secondary education is an investment in your future.

Free-to-use open textbooks are just one way that students can continue to access high-quality and affordable post-secondary education. Search the collection of open textbooks online at: http://open.bccampus.ca

Just Posted

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read