- Higher education in British Columbia
Higher education in British Columbia is delivered by 26 publicly funded institutions that are composed of eleven
universities, twelve colleges, and three institutes. This is in addition to three private universities, five private colleges, and six theological colleges. There are also an extensive number of private career institutes and colleges (listings available via the [http://pctia.bc.ca/search/AccreditedInstitutions.htm Private Career Training Institutions Agency] (PCTIA) or the [http://www.bccca.com/members.html BC Career Colleges Association] ).
In 2007, the population of
British Columbia(BC) stood at 4,383,000. ] Approximately 433,000 people were enrolled in public post-secondaryinstitutions in BC in 2006-2007. More than 17,250 identified themselves as Aboriginal and approximately 10,558 were international students. In the 2006-2007 year, 15,538 registrations took place through [http://www.bccampus.ca/site3.aspx BCcampus] , a "virtual post-secondary institution" that handles the online learning options for most of British Columbia’s post-secondary institutions.British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2007b). Campus 2020: Thinking Ahead. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/campus2020/campus2020-thinkingahead-report.pdf] From 2003 to 2006, approximately 48,618 degrees, diplomas and certificates were awarded by the public post-secondary institutions.
Each of the province's post-secondary institutions sets its own admission requirements. Generally, successful graduation from high school, with the required academic prerequisites, is needed for admission to programs. Special consideration may be given to mature applicants, Aboriginal peoples, and people with disabilities (see Glossary). Information about admissions and prerequisites is available from the registrar's office of each institution. The Post Secondary Application Service of British Columbia (PASBC) assists people seeking admission to the institutions and is a system-wide application portal.MYBCcampus (n.d.) "Home page" Retrieved Aug 29, 2008, https://portal.bccampus.ca/home.jsp]
In British Columbia, public post-secondary institutions have responsibility for establishing tuition fees for both domestic and international students. Tuition fees vary across specific program areas, and detailed information on tuition rates is available from each institution directly. The average tuition for domestic students paid by undergraduate students in 2006-07 was $4,636, which is claimed to be the fourth-lowest in
Canada. British Columbia (2007) "For the Record: Facts on Tuition in British Columbia" Retrieved Aug 29, 2008, http://www.mediaroom.gov.bc.ca/For_the_Record/07sep04_facts_on_tuition.htm ] Domestic students are defined as both Canadian citizensand Permanent Residents. Foreign and International studentswere required the unsubsidized cost of training, which could total as much as three to five times the tuition fees paid by domestic studentsBritish Columbia (2001) "Ministry Policy Site: Policy Document: International Students" Retrieved Aug. 29, 2008, http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/policy/policies/international.htm] .
Higher education in
British Columbiastarted in 1890 with the first attempt by the British Columbia government to establish a provincial university, "An Act Respecting the University of British Columbia" that failed to establish "one university for the whole of British Columbia for the purpose of raising the standard of higher education in the Province, and of enabling all denominations and classes to obtain academical degrees." Dunae, P.A. (Ed.). (2003). 100 Years of Advanced Education, 1901-2001: Higher Education and Advanced Teacher Training in British Columbia. Retrieved June 1, 2008, from http://records.viu.ca/homeroom/content/postsec/postsec.htm] In the same year, Whetham College opened as a small, independent institute located in downtown Vancouverthat was intent of preparing “its students not only for the Army, Navy and Civil Service examinations and for Matriculation Examinations in any university or college, but also for first and second year examinations in Arts leading to the degree of Bachelors of Artsin any university;” unfortunately, it closed only three years due to financial difficulties. Logan, H.T. (1958). Tuum Est: A History of the University of British Columbia. (p.13) Vancouver, BC: Mitchell Press.] A second independent post-secondary institution opened in 1892 known as the Columbian Methodist College. It was opened by the Methodist Church of Canadain New Westminster, and it was affiliated with Victoria College of the University of Torontoand offered courses towards Arts& Theologydegrees. The provincial government made amendments to the Public School Act in 1894 and 1896 to allow any Canadian university to affiliate with any of the high schoolsin British Columbia. The high schools could then be incorporated as colleges of these institutions. McGill Universitywas the first to take advantage of this new amendment.Hives, C. (2006). From Humble Beginnings: UBC's Origins and First Decade. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/humble.html] By 1898, an affiliation between McGill University and Vancouver High School was established. The high school curriculum was extended to include the first two years of Arts and part of the school become Vancouver College in 1899. McGill University controlled the curriculum, set and marked exams, and approved the hiring of instructors. Students were required to travel to McGill to complete their studies.
1900 - 1909
In 1901, British Columbia's first post-secondary teachers' training college opened in Vancouver. It was styled after the Provincial Normal School. McGill University affiliated with a second British Columbian high school in 1903, Victoria High School which was renamed
Victoria College. In 1904 & 1905 McGill University received permission to improve and expand the University's course offerings in British Columbia. Two acts were passed to enable this; "An Act Respecting McGill University," which gave McGill University permission to establish a University College in British Columbia for the higher education of menand women, and "An Act to Incorporate the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning of British Columbia," which established the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning of British Columbia. This institution would undertake the responsibility of establishing a college anywhere in British Columbia.Humphries, D., & Hunt, W. (1988). Higher Education in British Columbia before the Establishment of UBC. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/mucbc.html] Vancouver College in 1906 was formalized as McGill University College of British Columbia; then it began offering first and second year courses in Arts and Applied Sciences.
Victoria College was brought under the direction of the Royal Institution in 1908, and it offered first and second year Arts courses. In this same year, the provincial government made a second attempt to establish a provincial university. They succeeded with "An Act to Establish and Incorporate a University for the Province of British Columbia". It would be called the
University of British Columbia, and it would be located in the western part of Point Grey. However, plans to start construction on the campus for the new university had to be postponed due to lack of funding. McGill University agreed to continue providing higher education through the McGill University College until the new provincial university could be built.
1910 - 1930
The provincial government granted to the Royal Institution a lease for land at Point Grey. “The Royal Institution held a competition for the construction of a McGill University College at Point Grey, to which a number of architects submitted plans,” [Humphries & Hunt, 1988, ¶ Housing an Institution for Higher Learning. ] and construction started in 1911. In 1913, the provincial government appointed
Frank Wesbrookas the new provincial university's first President, in anticipation of UBC opening in the near future.
In 1914, the onset of
World War Ihalted the construction at Point Grey. There would be no more construction for almost a decade. McGill University closed McGill University Collegein 1915, and the provincial government changed the provincial universities name to the University of British Columbia, and it opened to classes at the Fairview facilities recently vacated by McGill University. With the opening of UBC, Victoria College closed. A second Provincial Normal School was also opened in Victoria in 1915. President Wesbrook died in 1918, and Leonard Klinck became UBC’s second President. UBC added the Nursingdegree program in 1919. This was the first such program in the British Empire. In 1920, the Anglican Theological College opened in downtown Vancouver, and Victoria College re-opens as an affiliate campus of UBC.
On October 28, 1922, almost 1,200 students with floats, bands and banners marched through downtown Vancouver to the Point Grey campus. This was known as “The Great Trek.” The students protested the inferior conditions and overcrowding of buildings at the Fairview campus. It also protested the still uncompleted construction at Point Grey. The student protest and media attention spurned the government to provide funding to finish the construction and move UBC from Fairview to Point Grey. [Hives, 2006, ¶ Student Campaign and Great Trek.] The new Ryerson College took over the theological training curriculum at Columbian College in 1923. Columbian College continued to operate as a residential secondary school and general arts institution. On September 22, 1925 the University of British Columbia opened its first classes at the new Point Grey campus. This same year the Vancouver School of Art opened. In 1927 Ryerson College (Methodists), Westminster Hall (Presbyterians) and the Congregationalists amalgamated to form the United Church seminary, named Union College.
1930 - 1944
Great Depressionput a halt to any further plans for higher education. UBC came close to being shut down due to government cutbacks, but Professor Henry Angushelped prevent this. In 1936, Columbian College was closed, yet in the same year; the NanaimoVocational School opens and starts providing vocational education. The Extension Department (later called Continuing Studies) at UBC is established, enabling UBC to bring higher education to all parts of the province.
With the start of
World War IIin 1939, UBC’s faculty, staff, and students dedicated themselves to the cause. In 1940, the Government of Canadaestablished a military college in Victoria, Royal Roads Military Collegeto train officers for the Canada’s armed forces.
1944 - 1966
After World War II, UBC’s President
Norman MacKenziedeclared any returning veteran was guaranteed a space at UBC. Student numbers triple to over 9,000 by 1947 due to this, and UBC experienced a crunch in classroom space, lack of faculty to teach the extra classes needed to accommodate the increasing student population. In 1949, the Vancouver Vocational Institute opens. By 1956, a new provincial Teacher Training Program is established at UBC, and the Victoria and Vancouver Normal Schools are closed. In 1960, the British Columbia Vocational School opened under direct management of the provincial government. In the report [http://www.bccat.bc.ca/pubs/macdonaldreport.pdf "Higher Education in British Columbia and a Plan for the Future"] dated 1962 John B. MacDonald recommended changes in the post-secondary system in British Columbia. A recommendation of the MacDonald report was the establishment of two-year community colleges offering programs in four fields of education: academic(university transfer); career/ technical, to train students for specific employment with programs ranging in duration from a few weeks to two or more years; vocational, offering short applied programs of a year or less; and adult basic education to prepare those without high school graduation for other post-secondary programs or for employment. The report marked the development of British Columbia’s Post Secondary School System. In the same year, King Edward Continuing Education Centre and the private Christian evangelical college, Trinity Junior College both open their doors.
In 1963, the provincial legislature passed an act to establish
Simon Fraser University. UBC’s Victoria campus received degree-granting status as the University of Victoria, and moved to the Gordon Headcampus. Also, the government of British Columbia charted Notre Dame University of Nelson as a private, Catholic university. The British Columbia Institute of Technology(BCIT) opened in 1964. Simon Fraser University opened in 1965. This same year saw the opening of the first college recommended by the MacDonald report; Vancouver City College. Vancouver City College was the first autonomous community college in BC, formed by amalgamating Vancouver Vocational Institute, Vancouver School of Art, and King Edward Continuing Education Centre.
1966 - 1988
Community colleges around the province started opening between 1966 and 1975:
Selkirk Collegeopened in 1966 followed by Capilano College, College of New Caledonia, Okanagan Regional College, and Malaspina College in 1968. Douglas Collegewas opened in 1970 followed by Camosun Collegein 1971, and East Kootenay Community College, North Island College, Northern Lights College, and Northwest Community College all opened in 1975.
In 1971, Union College and the Anglican Theological College joined to form the Vancouver School of Theology at UBC. Also in 1971, UBC became the first university in Canada to offer a program in Women's Studies for academic credit. Trinity Junior College was renamed Trinity Western College in 1972. The government establishes the Post-Secondary Articulation Coordinating Committee in 1974 to provide a means of determining whether post-secondary institutions could apply previous credit at another British Columbia institution toward completion of a program. This same year, Simon Fraser University (SFU) became the first university in Canada to have a female President with Pauline Jewett's installment. Then in 1975, the provincial government passed the "Royal Roads Military College Degrees Act" enabling Royal Roads to grant degrees. In 1977, BCIT opens Sea Island Campus in Richmond [British Columbia Institute of Technology: About the Institute: History, (n.d) Retrieved June 25, 2008, from http://www.bcit.ca/about/history.shtml] The year, 1978 saw the establishment of the Open Learning Institute, the Pacific Vocational Institute, the Justice Institute, the Pacific Marine Training Institute, and the
Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design(ECIAD). In 1981, Kwantlen Collegeformed as a separate institution from Douglas College. Then in 1983, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology opened to address the low participation and success rates of First Nations students in higher education. 1984 saw the closure of the Notre Dame University of Nelson due to costs per student. In 1985, the government of British Columbia supported a private member's bill that would change Trinity Western College to Trinity Western University. BCIT merges with the Pacific Vocational Institute in 1986. [British Columbia Institute of Technology: About the Institute: History, (n.d) Retrieved June 25, 2008, from http://www.bcit.ca/about/history.shtml] In 1988, the Open Learning Agencyis formed by combining the Open Learning Institute and the Knowledge Network.
1989 – 2008
British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer(BCCAT) was created in 1989 to address the concerns about mobility and transferability of program credit throughout British Columbia, especially with regards to university colleges and students wanting to transfer from their local colleges to provincial universities. Between 1989 – 1995, Three 2-year community colleges became 4-year degree-granting university-colleges; Malaspina University College, University College of the Fraser Valley, and Kwantlen University College. In 1993, Yukon Collegebecame a part of the BC credit transfer system. This same year, Aboriginal peoples in British Columbia established Wilp Wilxo'oskwhl Nisga'a, a community driven, student focused aboriginal post-secondary institute. In 1994, Vancouver City College’s Langara campus separated into an independent college, and it was renamed Langara College. Also in 1994, the University of Northern British Columbiaopened, and the Pacific Marine Institute merged with BCIT. [British Columbia Institute of Technology: About the Institute: History, (n.d) Retrieved June 25, 2008, from http://www.bcit.ca/about/history.shtml] Two Aboriginal education institutes — the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and the Institute of Indigenous Government — were designated as public post-secondary institutions in 1995. This same year, the provincial government passed the "College and Institute Act" that provided university colleges, colleges, and institutes with authority to grant associate degrees, diplomas, and certificate. Also, 1995 saw the closure of Royal Roads Military College closed, yet by 996, Royal Roads Universityopened on the same campus of Royal Roads Military College.
In 1999, the Technical University of BC opened only to be shut down in 2002, Simon Fraser University assumed responsibility for the students and facilities of the former Technical University of BC and established its Surrey campus. Also in 2002, the government of British Columbia passed the "Degree Authorization Act" that enabled private universities to grant BC degrees. The Act also expanded degree-granting capacity for colleges (applied baccalaureates) and university-colleges and institutes (applied masters). The University College of the Cariboo and the Open Learning Agency amalgamated in 2005 to become
Thompson Rivers University. Also in 2005, Okanagan University College is split to become UBC's Okanagan campus and Okanagan College, and the British Columbia government approves new private degree programs at Sprott Shaw Community College, University Canada West, and Columbia Colleges. In 2006, Canada and British Columbia’s first private sector, for-profit, university, University Canada West, opens in Victoria. Former University of Victoria president, David Strangis the first president of UCW. A year later in 2007, Canada and British Columbia’s first private, non-profit secular liberal arts and sciences university, Quest University Canada, opens in Squamish. Former UBC president, David Strangwayis the first president of QUC.
On April 29,2008 changes to the "University Act", established five new B.C. universities:
University of the Fraser Valley(formerly University College of the Fraser Valley), Kwantlen Polytechnic University(formerly Kwantlen College), Vancouver Island University(formerly Malaspina University College), Capilano University(formerly Capilano College), and Emily Carr University of Art and Design(formerly Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design).
tructure and governance
The British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education (AVED) is the provincial administration for higher education in British Columbia. The Ministry “develops educational, professional and economic opportunities for British Columbia's learners by providing and supporting a wide range of postsecondary programs and encouraging relationships between educational institutions, business, and industry.“British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (n.d.a). About the Ministry. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/] It enacts legislation regarding the establishment, management, and operation of post-secondary institutions. A large part of the Ministry is focused on providing service planes, reports, and publications about the provision of higher education in British Columbia. The Ministry also “provides leadership and support for excellent and accessible post-secondary education and an integrated and dynamic approach to research and innovation.” [Ibid.] The Ministry is organized into three major divisions, each with particular governance of the higher education system in British Columbia. The three divisions are Post-Secondary Education, Students and Learning, and Research, Technology, and Innovation.
The [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/psed/welcome.htm Post-Secondary Education Division] manages the overall funding and program co-ordination for the public post-secondary education system and provides co-ordination and support to the private post-secondary education system in the province. British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (n.d.b). Post Secondary Education Division. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/psed/welcome.htm] The division is also responsible for implementing the goals outlined in the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/serviceplans/ annual service plans] put forth by the government as measures of accountability to the public. Within the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/psed/welcome.htm Post-Secondary Education Division] are the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/cucb/welcome.htm College and University Branch] , the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/psqb/welcome.htm Policy and System Quality Branch] , the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/fab/welcome.htm Funding and Analysis Branch] , and the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/uib/welcome.htm Universities and Institutes Branch] .
The [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/sld/welcome.htm Student and Learning Division] manages the provincial and federal student financial aid programs for eligible students. It is also responsible for intergovernmental issues, legislation, performance accountability, measurement and reporting, data management, analysis and dissemination, and planning and managing transitions within the post-secondary education system. British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (n.d.c). Students and Learning Division. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/sld/welcome.htm] Within the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/sld/welcome.htm Student and Learning Division] are [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/welcome.htm StudentAid BC] , the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/idm/welcome.htm Information and Data Management Branch] , the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/learning_prgms/welcome.htm Learning Programs Branch] (includes Aboriginal education, International education, and Adult special education--for students with disabilities), and the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/governance/welcome.htm Governance Branch] (federal/provincial intergovernmental relations).
The [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/rtid/welcome.htm Research, Technology, and Innovation Division] is oversees research activities funded through other core business areas. It funds provincial post secondary institutions that conduct basic and applied research, the province’s major research infrastructure program, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, and oversees the activities of the British Columbia Innovation Council and the Premier’s Technology Council. It also liaises with the Leading Edge Endowment Fund, which funds research chairs.British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (n.d.d). Retrieved June 2, 2008, from Research, Technology and Innovation Division. http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/rtid/welcome.htm] Within the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/rtid/welcome.htm Research, Technology, and Innovation Division] is the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/organization/rib/welcome.htm Research and Innovation Branch] .
In order to maintain the quality and accreditation of higher education in British Columbia, the Ministry passed legislation titled [http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/D/02024_01.htm "Degree Authorization Act"] (2002) that established criteria for when either a private or out-of-province public institution applies for consent to provide degree programs or use the word “university” in British Columbia, or new degree programs are proposed by British Columbia’s current public post-secondary institutions. A [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/degree-authorization/board/welcome.htm Degree Quality Assessment Board] established in 2002 works with the Ministry on reviews and makes recommendations to the Minister of Advanced Education on institution applications.
Each of the higher education institutions in British Columbia have a particular mandate and serve specific community needs. They are able to decide how to achieve their missions and deal with the various levels of administrative details with regard to operations, faculty, staff, and students. As a result, there are different types of legislation that create and regulate an institution’s mission and sets out its internal and external governance and accountability. Research universities such as the
University of British Columbia(Vancouver and Okanagan), University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Northern British Columbia, operate under a bicameral structure (two branches) composed of a Board of Governors and a Senate. Special purpose universities such as Trinity Western Universityand Royal Roads Universityhave Boards of Governors, but instead of a Senate they have a University Council and an Academic Council, respectively. In addition to those bodies, Trinity Western Universityhas a Planning Council and Royal Roads Universityhas a Program and Research Council.
The rest of the institutions such as university-colleges, institutes, and colleges follow a bicameral governance structure composed of a Board of Governors and an Educational Council. Before the legislation of the [http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/c/96052_01.htm "College and Institute Act"] in 1996, these institutions used to follow a form of governance based on administrative or governing board authority. When the new Act came into effect, the bicameral governance permitted faculty to now play a role in board governance in a senate-type body where before decisions were made by administrators and board members.Levin, J.S. (2003). Organizational paradigm shift and the university colleges of British Columbia. Higher Education, 46 (4), 447-467.]
Private career and college institutions fall under the auspice of the [http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/D/02024_01.htm "Degree Authorization Act"] , but only if they provide degrees or call themselves “university.” Institutions that offer only diploma or certificate programs are legislated by the [http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/P/03079_01.htm "Private Career Training Institutions Act"] (2003), and have to register with the [http://www.pctia.bc.ca/ Private Career Training Institutions Agency] (PCTIA). This self-regulating agency is governed by a board of appointed industry representatives and the board’s responsibility is to provide information and consumer protection to the students of registered institutions and to establish standards of quality that must be met by its accredited institutions.
Funding and financial assistance
“Public post-secondary institutions in
British Columbiareceive about one-half of their total revenue from the provincial government in the form of grants from AVED. The rest they receive from tuition, ancillary services, federal grants, donations, endowments, investments and research revenue.”British Columbia. Office of the Auditor General. (2006). Government’s post-secondary expansion: 25,000 seats by 2010. (p.30) Retrieved May 30, 2008, from http://www.aud.gov.bc.ca/PUBS/2006-07/Report7/PostSecondaryExp2006.pdf]
Governmental funding for higher education in
British Columbiais through a two-tiered system. Funding is done through incremental (or historical) and strategic funding. Incremental funding has a base funding of less than 90%, and institutions are allocated funds according to the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) student spaces the government has allocated to them. Most institutions receive $7,200 per fulltime equivalent student (FTE) for the majority of their programs (referred to as “general growth seats”). Institutions also receive seats and funding for some targeted programs such as nursing and computer engineering. Funding for these seats is negotiated by the institutions with the government, and is almost always higher than the amount provided for general growth. As well, some institutions may sometimes negotiate a rate higher than $7,200 for general growth seats. For example, the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, Okanagan Collegeand Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus each received more than $7,200 per general growth seat when they were created because they successfully argued that their costs per seat were higher. [Ibid.] Institutions are able to choose their program mix (which programs get what funding), and the government uses this as a way to promote funded growth at post-secondary institutions. The funding model enables government to direct resources to a small number of high priority program areas, while allowing institutions the flexibility to allocate the majority of their operating funding in response to demand. British Columbia. Office of the Auditor General. (2006). Government’s post-secondary expansion: 25,000 seats by 2010. (p.53) Retrieved May 30, 2008, from http://www.aud.gov.bc.ca/PUBS/2006-07/Report7/PostSecondaryExp2006.pdf]
The second part of higher education funding is strategic funding, known as “Innovation, Enrichment, or New Era grants,” designed to create spaces for high priority areas with skill/labour shortages such as the high tech sector and nursing. This type of funding is associated with increasing the number of graduates from high priority programs (computer science, electrical and computer engineering, nursing and health programs), expanding on-line access, and establishes permanent British Columbia Leadership Chairs (in the fields of environmental, social, medical and technological research) and British Columbia Regional Innovation Chairs via the [http://www.leefbc.ca/index.htm Leading Edge Endowment Fund] . Pakravan, P. (2006). The Future Is Not What It Used to Be: Re-examining Provincial Postsecondary Funding Mechanisms in Canada. (p.28) Retrieved May 29, 2008, from http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/commentary_227.pdf] Strategic funding is “used to expand the number of spaces in high-priority fields of study, such as nursing, where there are current or projected labour market shortages and in emerging fields of study, such as the computer sciences. In most cases, only a small percentage of operating grants (between 2 and 7 percent) is disbursed through strategic mechanisms. “Pakravan, P. (2006). The Future Is Not What It Used to Be: Re-examining Provincial Postsecondary Funding Mechanisms in Canada. (p.30) Retrieved May 29, 2008, from http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/commentary_227.pdf.] When incremental funding is not enough, it is suggested strategic funding is eventually “rolled into base operating grants, thus being subsumed into future block funding levels.” [Ibid.]
The amount of funding an institution receives each year is determined primarily on what it received the previous year (this is “the base”). The government decides each year whether, and by how much, it will fund institutions to help them manage their inflationary pressures. In addition to the base, institutions receive an incremental amount that is determined by the number and type of seats it was assigned to deliver.
In the report, [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/campus2020/campus2020-thinkingahead-report.pdf "Campus 2020: Thinking Ahead"] , the creation of a
Higher Education Price Indexis recommended to reflect education costs so that each institution can set its own tuition levels independently, but subject to the limits imposed by the provincial government. Regarding the issue of funding higher education in British Columbia, “research-based allocation” of resources will increase the efficiency of these funds. In relation to the system, more funding is necessary to focus on the specific targets of post-secondary achievement by progressively introducing outcome and performance measurements and accountability into the budgeting process.
In 2002 the provincial government de-regulated tuition fees. Higher education institutions, freed from a six-year tuition freeze, and in need of funding to operate their institution, almost immediately raised tuition costs so much that, “de-regulating tuition fees [has] priced post-secondary education out of the reach for thousands of potential students. As those fees skyrocketed over the last five years, students were forced to drop out all together, drop back from full-time to part-time or take on enormous levels of debt…The average student debt is now close to $30,000 according to the
Canadian Federation of Students.” Kwantlen Faculty Association. (2007). Submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. (p.3) Retrieved May 29, 2008, from http://www.kfa.bc.ca/pdf/2008_budget_response.pdf]
Since de-regulation “tuition fees have increased at a higher rate than anywhere else in Canada, doubling on average. Graduate and professional programs, as well as international student tuition fees, have increased at an even more rapid rate, with graduate student tuition fees nearly tripling.” Canadian Federation of Students. British Columbia. (2007). Smarten Up Mr. Campbell: Make Education a Priority. (p.1) Retrieved May 30, 2008, from http://www.cfs-fcee.ca/html/english/media/mediapage.php?release_id=926] In 2005, as a result of significant pressure from students, the provincial government re-regulated tuition fees, capping increases to the rate of inflation. Tuition fees in BC are now 14% higher than the national average. [Ibid.] The government also altered its student aid provisions, eliminating student grants while enhancing loan remission.British Columbia. Office of the Auditor General. (2006). Government’s post-secondary expansion: 25,000 seats by 2010. (p.7) Retrieved May 30, 2008, from http://www.aud.gov.bc.ca/PUBS/2006-07/Report7/PostSecondaryExp2006.pdf]
Government funding for higher education decreased by 12.5% over ten years while the costs of operating a campus increased. “In addition, the Ministry of Advanced Education’s (AVED) share of the provincial budget has dropped from 8.1% in 1995-96 to 7.3% in 2005-06.” As a result with funding falling short of institutional needs, operating costs of post-secondary institutions are shifted on to students via tuition increases, through the sale of endowment lands to developers for market housing, or relying more on corporation and private donations to maintain programs and build or restore facilities.
In the 2007-2008 Budget, the provincial government allocated the bulk of its 1,592.5 million operating funds to the
University of British Columbiawith 477.8 million. Simon Fraser Universitygot 187.4 million and the University of Victoriagot 151 million. Out of the colleges, Kwantlen University Collegetopped the list with 62.2 million, while Douglas Collegegot 53.1 million and Vancouver Community Collegegot 48.4 million while the British Columbia Institute of Technologygot 99.7 million. British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2008c). Post-secondary Funding in British Columbia. Retrieved June 2, 2008 from, http://www.mediaroom.gov.bc.ca/For_the_Record/08may08_post_secondary_funding.htm]
For the entire public post-secondary both capital and operational costs have increased, but those costs were not matched by compensating increases from the provincial government. Since March 2008, the post-secondary education system has undergone funding and policy changes that indicated the provincial government was cutting operating grants for post-secondary institutions by 2.6%. Federation of Post Secondary Educators. (2008). 2008 AGM endorses plan to deal with system-wide changes in post-secondary education. Retrieved May 30, 2008, from http://www.fpse.ca/prescomment/080526prescmnt] Several weeks later the government moved to create five new universities, which increases the dividing up of government funding for higher education in British Columbia. Where there were only six universities needing funding there are now eleven vying for decreasing funding from the government.
Financial assistance for students attending post-secondary institutions in British Columbia can be either from government or private sources. AVED administers a variety of student assistance programs for Canadian citizens, protected persons, and permanent residents. Both repayable and non-repayable loans and grants are available for qualified full-time and part-time students. Such loans include [http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/learning/canada_student_loan/index.shtml Canada Student Loans] , and [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/welcome.htm British Columbia Student Loans] . Students also may be eligible for [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/specialprograms/cangrant_highneedparttime.htm Canada study grants] , a
Canada Millennium Scholarship(the program ends in 2009 and will be replaced by the [http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/learning/budget_2008/question_en.shtml#whycsgp Canada Student Grant Program] ), and [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/specialprograms/healthcarebursary.htm British Columbia Grants] , depending upon their financial need and personal circumstances. [http://bcawardsonline.sd61.bc.ca/index.asp BC Awards Online] is a collection of scholarships, bursaries, and awards for British Columbia secondary students planning to attend a post-secondary institution in British Columbia. Other resources include [http://www.studentawards.com/ Studentawards.com] which is a database of scholarships, bursaries, grants and fellowships operated by an online advertising and market research data collection company, [http://www.scholarshipscanada.com/index.asp ScholarshipsCanada.com] (operated by EDge Interactive, a student recruitment company), and while searches can be tailored to focus on British Columbia, both web-sites require registration and personal information in order to search the databases.
For Aboriginal students, resources are available at [http://www.fnesc.ca/current_issues/news_scholarships.php First Nations Education Steering Committee's Scholarships and Bursaries] and the federal government's [http://pse-esd.ainc-inac.gc.ca/abs/main.asp?lang=E Aboriginal Bursary System] . For students with disabilities, resources are available at [http://www.neads.ca/en/norc/funding/ National Educational Association of Disabled Students] . The federal government also has listings for British Columbia in a section of its web-site dedicated to youth, [http://youth.gc.ca/yolist.jsp?ta=1&lang=en&flash=0&cat=2_730&recfrom=1&geo=0 Scholarships and Bursaries] . The
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada(AUCC) manages more than 150 scholarship programs on behalf of the federal government, domestic and foreign agencies, and private sector companies. International students with a permit to study in Canada are usually qualified to apply for entrance or transfer scholarships, and they should contact their intended institution's awards and financial assistance office for further information.
There are also a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries for all types and levels of students, many provided through corporations, private organizations, and individual donors that are associated with a particular institution and information about these financial awards are available from the awards and financial services at each institution.
Equity, mobility, and access
There is a concentrated effort in British Columbia to increase access to higher education for aboriginal peoples. The [http://www.cmec.ca/ Council of Ministers of Education, Canada] (CMEC), commissioned a report in 2002 that stated only 38% of Aboriginal students were found to finish high school, compared with 77% of non-Aboriginal students. The legacy of residential schools, of distrust or indifference to the school system, which is seen as antagonistic to their culture, and the lack of reflection of an Aboriginal perspective in the secondary system were all cited as factors in the poor performance and completion of Aboriginals in the secondary system which subsequently affects enrolment of Aboriginal peoples in post-secondary education. Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. (2002). Best Practices in Increasing Aboriginal Postsecondary Enrolment Rates. (p.58) Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.cmec.ca/postsec/malatest.en.pdf]
Four out of ten Aboriginal people in British Columbia complete post-secondary education compared to 6 out of 10 non-aboriginal students.British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2005a). Review of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Programs, Services and Strategies/Best Practices & Aboriginal Special Projects Funding (ASPF) Program. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/documents/Final_Report-June_30-05_REVISED_April%2026-07.pdf] A report called [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/documents/Final_Report-June_30-05_REVISED_April%2026-07.pdf "Review of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Programs, Services and Strategies/Best Practices & Aboriginal Special Projects Funding (ASPF) Program"] outlined various strategies higher education institutions in British Columbia employed to attract and retain Aboriginal post-secondary students. Currently in British Columbia there are three Aboriginal institutions,
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, [http://www.necvancouver.org/ Native Education College] (a private Aboriginal College), and [http://wwni.bc.ca/ Wilp Wilxo'oskwhl Nisga'a] . Such higher education institutions offer academic, vocational, technical, and continuing education for adults, striving to provide bilingual, bicultural certificate, diploma, and degree programs in areas such as forest rangers/technicians, fishery technicians, biologists, and scientists and training in hospitality and tourism, social services, trades, and financial planning. Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. (2002). Best Practices in Increasing Aboriginal Postsecondary Enrolment Rates. (p.28) Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.cmec.ca/postsec/malatest.en.pdf]
The following universities offer the largest number of programs designed specifically for Aboriginal students (2 to 11 programs) and also have some of the largest enrolments of Aboriginal peoples:
Simon Fraser University, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, and Royal Roads University. British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2005a). Review of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Programs, Services and Strategies/Best Practices & Aboriginal Special Projects Funding (ASPF) Program. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/documents/Final_Report-June_30-05_REVISED_April%2026-07.pdf]
On April 24, 2007, the provincial government announced a $65-million [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/documents/strategy.pdf "Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy"] . The Government of British Columbia is “committed to closing the higher learning education gap so that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can participate equally in the social and economic fabric of the province” British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2007a). Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Strategy. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/documents/strategy.pdf] The Ministry outlined the following strategies aimed toward helping Aboriginal students and institutions by:
# Increasing the opportunity for Aboriginal students and those who want to be by providing funding to the Aboriginal Endowment Scholarship, the Chief Joe Mathias B.C. Aboriginal Scholarship, Alberta Centennial Scholarships and loan options through StudentAid BC.
# Supporting three-year Aboriginal service plans created by communities and institutions to develop partnerships that will encourage people to access post-secondary programs that will lead to jobs in their local areas.
# Increasing opportunities for institutions and communities to develop Aboriginal-focused programs that recognize cultural and learning needs,like the Aboriginal Special Projects Fund.
# Building supportive ways to help Aboriginal people enter the education system through adult basic education, upgrading and beyond up to graduate levels to reach their goals.
# Providing institutions with funding to build culturally welcoming structures and gathering places that will lower isolation and increase retention by reflecting the character, community and traditions of Aboriginal cultures.
# Encouraging Aboriginal perspectives and decision making by supporting Aboriginal participation on public post-secondary education boards.
# Continuing to address the education needs of Aboriginal students by working with institutions to create a system-wide standard to track participation and success.
Aboriginal students have personal and academic support like that offered through the [http://www.longhouse.ubc.ca/ First Nations House of Learning] at the
University of British Columbiawhich offers students a “home away from home” and can help to alleviate the feelings of isolation and loneliness that many Aboriginal people feel, especially at large urban universities and colleges. Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. (2002). Best Practices in Increasing Aboriginal Postsecondary Enrolment Rates. (p.4) Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.cmec.ca/postsec/malatest.en.pdf] The same principle is available at the University of Northern British Columbiaat their [http://www.unbc.ca/firstnationscentre/index.html First Nations Centre] and Simon Fraser University’s [http://students.sfu.ca/firstnations/ First Nations Student Centre] .
Just about every higher education institution in British Columbia provides services or liaisons for Aboriginal students.
Thompson Rivers Universityprovides an Elder-in-Residence in their [http://www.tru.ca/staffairs/aboriginal/acc.html Aboriginal Cultural Centre] while the University of Victoriahas a [http://www.uvss.uvic.ca/nsu/index.html Native Students Union] which “works towards empowering students to benefit from the technical and academic learning available at UVic while at the same time providing an outlet to maintain strong cultural and spiritual ties with other First Nations students involved in higher education.” University of Victoria. (n.d.). UVic - Native Student Union. Retrieved May 29, 2008 from http://www.uvss.uvic.ca/nsu/index.html]
University of British Columbiaprovides a wide range of programs and services to Aboriginal students, starting with the [http://www.longhouse.ubc.ca/ First Nations House of Learning] , established in 1987, that ensures that students have access to a range of supports. Available at UBC are the [http://www.familymed.ubc.ca/aboriginal/Aboriginal Residency Program] , [http://aboriginal.science.ubc.ca/index.php Aboriginal Science] (to encourage Aboriginal students to enrol in the sciences), [http://www.cic.cstudies.ubc.ca/ahcap/ Aboriginal Health and Community Administration Program] , [http://www.ch-nook.ubc.ca/ CH'NOOK Aboriginal Business Education] , [http://www.forestry.ubc.ca/firstfor/intro.html First Nations Initiatives - Faculty of Forestry] , [http://www.slais.ubc.ca/PROGRAMS/first-nations.htm First Nations Curriculum Concentration at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies] , [http://fnlg.arts.ubc.ca/FNLG1.htm First Nations Language Program] , [http://www.law.ubc.ca/fnations/index.html First Nation Legal Studies] , [http://fnsp.arts.ubc.ca/index.php?id=4931 First Nations Studies Program] (Vancouver campus), [http://www.web.ubc.ca/okanagan/ikbarberschool/options/indigenousstudies.html Indigenous Studies Program] (Okanagan campus), [http://www.health-sciences.ubc.ca/iah/ UBC Institute for Aboriginal Health] , [http://teach.educ.ubc.ca/bachelor/nitep/index.html Native Indian Teacher Education Program] , [http://www.edst.educ.ubc.ca/programs/ts_kel.html Ts"kel Graduate Studies in Education] , and a specialized campus library at the [http://www.longhouse.ubc.ca/ First Nations House of Learning] called [http://www.library.ubc.ca/xwi7xwa/welcome.html Xwi7xwa Library] .
University of Victoriaalso has a wide range of programs and services to Aboriginal students. One key component is the [http://web.uvic.ca/lenonet/index.html LE,NONET Project] which is composed of a network supporting Aboriginal students at UVic through a Bursary Program, Peer Mentoring, Community Internships, Research Apprenticeships, and Staff and Faculty Aboriginal Cultural Training. In addition to that, there’s also the [http://www.uvcs.uvic.ca/calr/index.aspx Aboriginal Language Revitalization Program] , an [http://web.uvic.ca/ablo/home.html Office of Indigenous Affairs] , [http://www.fnpp.org/ First Nations Partnership Programs in Early Childhood and Youth Care] , [http://web.uvic.ca/igov/home/index.html Indigenous Governance Program] , [http://web.uvic.ca/calendar2006/FACS/InPr/ISPr.html Indigenous Studies Program] , [http://socialwork.uvic.ca/fn/index.htm Indigenous Initiatives at the School of Social Work] , and the [http://www.uvss.uvic.ca/nsu/index.html Native Students Union] .
Aboriginal involvement has successfully extended to the development of curriculum and the hiring of staff at mainstream postsecondary institutions and there is a strong Aboriginal voice in the development of general curriculum and Aboriginal studies at many university and colleges. The Faculties of Education, Medicine, and Law at the
University of British Columbiamake it a point to reserve spaces in their admissions for Aboriginal students in addition to providing concentrations in issues relevant to Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.
For more information about the various endeavours to improve and increase enrolment of Aboriginal peoples in British Columbia higher education, the Government of Canada’s [http://www.aboriginalcanada.gc.ca/acp/site.nsf/en/ao20063.html Aboriginal Canada Portal] has a short list of universities and colleges and their programs and services for Aboriginal students in British Columbia. There are associations involved with Aboriginal peoples in higher education. [http://www.tyendinaga.net/naiihl/ Indigenous Aboriginal Higher Learning Association] and the [http://www.fnesc.ca/about/about_postsecscommittee.php First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) Post-Secondary Sub-Committee] .
tudents with disabilities
British Columbians with disabilities attending post-secondary institutions have access to some of the most accessible campuses in Canada. Disability services are prevalent at almost all campuses, and the [http://www.gov.bc.ca/aved/ British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education] (AVED) provides information in its [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/adultspecialed/welcome.htm Adult Special Education division] . A [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/adultspecialed/resource/resource_directory_2005.pdf "Resource Directory for Post-secondary Students with Disabilities (2005)"] lists programs and services at post-secondary institutions in
British Columbia. Students interested in a particular institution should contact that institution for information about its services for students with disabilities.
[http://www.at-bc.ca/ Assistive Technology BC] works on contract with both the [http://www.gov.bc.ca/eia/ Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance] and AVED. Its mandate is to “to provide technology support services in order to reduce barriers caused by the disability in meeting educational and employment goals. Through this program, adults with disabilities who are post-secondary students and/or clients of EPPD are eligible for special technology support services. These services include assessment, consultation loan of adaptive technology and training on the use of technology, all of which facilitate independence with reading, writing, and communication within learning and work situations” British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2005b). 2005 Resource Directory of Programs and Services for Students with Disabilities in Public Post-Secondary Institutions. (p.6) Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/adultspecialed/resource/resource_directory_2005.pdf]
University of British Columbiais home to the [http://www.library.ubc.ca/home/access/crane.html Crane Resource Centre and Library] which provides resources for students with print disabilities, including a collection of approximately 2000 Braille titles, including dictionaries and foreign language texts; 4500 titles on audiocassette, CD, or e-text; 75 titles in large-print format; and a collection of print books, reports, government publications and journals dealing with blindness and print impairment.. Interlibrary loans are available to other post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. The library web-site offers the following information describing its services, “Technical resources include an eight studio book recording and duplicating facility, dedicated computers which convert print to synthesized speech, adapted computer work stations with voice synthesis and image-enlarging, a computerized Braille transcription facility, a talking on-line public catalogue, closed circuit TV magnifiers, and much more.” University of British Columbia. (2005). Crane Resource Centre and Library. Retrieved May 29, 2008 from http://www.library.ubc.ca/home/access/crane.html]
Students in British Columbia that have print disabilities also have access to the [http://www.langara.bc.ca/cils/ British Columbia College and Institute Library Services] (CILS), a centralized service funded by AVED and located at
Langara College. CILS supports the delivery of accessible resources to BC’s students with print disabilities in the colleges, institutes, university colleges and agencies. The service has been growing in the number of customers and diversity of products and services for over twenty years. In 2005, approximately 450 students in British Columbia’s post-secondary institutions made use of CILS. [Epp, M.A. (2005). British Columbia College and Institute Library Services (CILS). (Introduction) Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.neads.ca/en/about/projects/atam/submissions_cils.php]
In May 2008, AVED announced it will enhance post-secondary education for students with disabilities by providing $12 million over 6 years. AVED indicated that “a ministry disability coordinator has been established to ensure better alignment of programs and services for students with disabilities. The [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/specialprograms/assistanceprogram_permanentdisabilites.htm Assistance Program for Students with Permanent Disabilities] will be expanded to include students attending private post-secondary institutions within B.C. This program provides financial assistance to students who face disability-related costs that pose a barrier to post-secondary education.” [British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2008b). More Support for Students with Disabilities. (p. 5) Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2008AE0029-000715.htm] In addition, a “$6.6 million Supplemental Bursary program for Students with Disabilities also has been created to help with these higher costs. For students with learning disabilities, an assessment is often a necessary prerequisite to receiving the support and services necessary to excel at the post-secondary level. The cost of an assessment can range from $1,200 to $1,800. A Learning Disability Assessment Bursary is also under development that will assist students who do not have the resources to pay for the costs of a learning disability assessment.” [British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2008b). More Support for Students with Disabilities. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2008AE0029-000715.htm] This is for those students that are unable to pay for an assessment in the first place. Currently students have the opportunity to apply for a "Reimbursement of a Learning Disability Assessment," where if they quality they get a 75% refund of the cost of the assessment.
Students with disabilities attending post-secondary institutions in British Columbia have access to the following financial programs, and qualifications vary especially the longer a student takes to finish their program or continuing beyond a first diploma or degree:
** [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/specialprograms/canstudygrant_permanentdisabilities.htm Canada study grant for the accommodation of students with permanent disabilities]
** [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/specialprograms/assistanceprogram_permanentdisabilites.htm Assistance program for students with permanent disabilities]
** [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/specialprograms/canaccessgrant_permanentdisabilities.htm Canada access grants for students with permanent disabilities]
** [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/specialprograms/permanentdisabilitybenefits.htm B.C. permanent disability benefits program]
** [http://www.eia.gov.bc.ca/pwd/eppd.htm Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities] (EPPD)
** [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/schoolofficials/documents/ABEmanual.pdf Adult Basic Education Student Assistance Program]
** [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/specialprograms/cangrant_highneedparttime.htm High Need Part-Time Study Grant]
International (foreign-born) students have been coming to British Columbia for post-secondary education for almost as long as the higher education system has been established in the province. Globalization and modern technology has made the borders of obtaining education outside one’s country easier, and governments are taking note when they consider their post-secondary student populations as a source of demographic growth at a time when the country’s birth-rates are on the decline and the population is aging. International students are no longer seen as “cash cows” for post-secondary institutions, but as a possible source of population growth, employees and employers, diversity, and skills influx to the local economies.
In 1983 the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology established the International Education and Training Group (IETG), a forum for discussion between colleges, institutes and universities, and the Ministries of Education and Advanced Education. Five years later in 1988, the provincial government commissioned a study on international education issues. The study reported that BC’s institutions were uncoordinated in their internationalization efforts; were failing to present a professional image abroad; and that the province was not sufficiently proactive. In 1990, this led to the formation of the [http://www.bccie.bc.ca British Columbia Centre for International Education] (BCCIE)—the first such organization in Canada. [ British Columbia Centre for International Education. (2000). 10 Years of Excellence Retrospective. (p. 3) Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.bccie.bc.ca/bccie/MembersOnly/info/annualreport/Retrospective.pdf] The BCCIE has an informative website [http://www.studyinbc.com/studyinbc/index.htm StudyInBC] for international students about coming to British Columbia for their post-secondary education.
The total number of international (foreign-born) students in British Columbia for the year of 2006 was 44,799, up from 23,011 in 1997. [Canada. Citizenship and Immigration. (2006). Facts and Figures 2006: Immigration Overview: Temporary Residents. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.cic.gc.ca/English/resources/statistics/facts2006/temporary/12.asp] This does not include students enrolled in programs of less than six month. This seems contradictory to the statistic of “more than 140,000 international students choosing to study in British Columbia each year” the British Columbia government claims in its Campus 2020: Thinking Ahead report. The top 10 source countries for long-term international students in 2003-2004 were: China, Japan, South Korea, United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom. [British Columbia Centre for International Education. (2004). British Columbia Post-Secondary International Student Statistics 2003-2004 Highlights. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.bccie.bc.ca/bccie/MembersOnly/factsfigures/StudentStatsHighlights2003-04.pdf]
To increase the international student population in British Columbia’s higher education system, the government of British Columbia plans to, “Initiate discussions with the federal government to develop and pilot a program for issuing work permits upon completion of studies, with fast-tracking to landed immigrant status” as a way to retain students in the province after they complete their program of study. [British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2007b). Campus 2020: Thinking Ahead. (P.61) Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/campus2020/campus2020-thinkingahead-report.pdf]
An agreement between the Government of Canada and the province of British Columbia states, “International students can help forge and develop future trade, business and educational links between British Columbia/Canada and other countries.” [Canada. Citizenship and Immigration. (2004). Canada-British Columbia Co-Operation on Immigration – 2004: Annex I: International Students. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGLIsh/department/laws-policy/agreements/bc/bc-2004-annex-i.asp] The British Columbia government further stated it is “committed to working together with post-secondary institutions and other government organizations towards the expansion of quality international education in the province.” Their reasoning is the international student population “enhances the educational experience for all students” and that the students’ “cross-cultural skills enhances future business and cultural development” and “an economic sector generating significant revenue.” The government expects that with “potential skills shortages, international students [will] help address labour market needs.” [British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2006). 2006/07-2008/09 Service Plan. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2006/sp/ae/StrategicContext5.htm]
British Columbia’s government is attempting to develop “a province-wide strategy for ensuring BC institutions are maximizing the opportunity to attract international students.” [British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2007b). Campus 2020: Thinking Ahead. (p. 102) Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/campus2020/campus2020-thinkingahead-report.pdf] This is expected to be done by instructing “the Higher Education Presidents’ Council to develop a province-wide strategy for ensuring that BC institutions are maximizing the opportunity to attract and retain international students.” [Ibid, p. 99.]
The British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education has a web-site, [http://www.learnlivebc.ca/welcome.htm LearnLiveBC] that introduces international students to studying in British Columbia. There is an [http://www.educationplanner.bc.ca/ Education Planner] that provides program information on all BC public universities, university colleges, colleges, and institutes and several private universities and colleges currently included in the B.C. transfer system. This web-site can be used to search for programs in several different ways, including by field of study, length of program, institution, region, and type of credential.
The cost of tuition for international students remains high in comparison to domestic (Canadian citizens) students. There is no public subsidization, and international students pay a mostly full-tuition fee basis. This provides the post-secondary institutes with funding that the government has decreased over the recent decades. Most international students obtain funding either through personal resources (i.e., family, savings, etc.), or obtain funding through the institution such as entrance awards. There are some government funds, but are usually open to nationals of developing countries only. The [http://www.destineducation.ca/intstdnt/awards_e.htm Canadian Bureau for International Education] lists some of those awards.
The [http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/study/work-offcampus.asp Off-Campus Work Permit Program] for international students at public institutions was launched nationally as a formalized program on April 27, 2006. Prior to the introduction of this program, students were only allowed to work on the campus of the educational institution at which they were studying. Students who qualify for the program will be able to work up to 20 hours per week off-campus while classes are in session, full-time during summer and winter breaks, and over their reading weeks. Participating institutions are listed at [http://www.learnlivebc.ca/off-campus-work/participating.htm LearnLiveBC]
In April 2008, the Government of Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced changes to work permits for international students who graduate from eligible programs at certain Canadian post-secondary institutions, making it easier to attract foreign students to Canada. Effective immediately, and for the first time, international students would be able to obtain an “open work permit” under the [http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGLIsh/study/work-postgrad.asp Post-Graduation Work Permit Program] , with no restrictions on the type of employment and no requirement for a job offer. In addition, the duration of the work permit has been extended to three years across the country. Previously, the program only allowed international students to work for one or two years, depending on location. A minimum of one year of work experience in managerial, professional or technical positions (i.e., at level 0, A or B under the National Occupational Classification system) will be necessary to apply to stay permanently through the Canadian Experience Class. [Canada. Citizenship and Immigration. (2008). Backgrounder: Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/department/media/backgrounders/2008/2008-04-21.asp]
Nearly all of the post-secondary institutions in British Columbia have an international students office and student association. International students interested in studying in British Columbia should contact the international office at the institutions they are interested in. In addition, the Government of Canada’s [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/index.asp Department of Citizenship and Immigration] has information for international students with regards to studying in Canada and applying for student visas.
Transferability of program credits
The ability of students to transfer from one post-secondary institution to another without losing credit for coursework at a previous institution in British Columbia is enabled with the presence of the [http://www.bccat.ca BC Council on Admissions and Transfer] (BCCAT), a Ministry of Advanced Education funded agency that was created in 1989 to replace the Post-Secondary Articulation Coordinating Committee that had been established in 1974.
The BCCAT does not have legislative or regulatory authority, and Council members are selected from the education system and appointed by the minister. They are required to remain neutral and do not formally represent any particular institution or constituency. The Council follow a set of [http://www.bccat.ca/articulation/principles.cfm Principles and Guidelines for Transfer] that have been in place at one time or another since 1976.
BCCAT has a mandate is to “facilitate admission, articulation, and transfer arrangements among BC post-secondary institutions by encouraging them to develop policies and practices regarding the transferability of post-secondary credit courses so that credit granted at one institution can be applied toward credentials at other institutions.” [British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer. (2008). Mandate. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.bccat.ca/about.cfm] The council carries out its work with the assistance of a number of standing committees, whose members are also drawn from the higher education system. The committees include: Transfer and Articulation Committee, Admissions Committee, Institutional Contact Persons Committee, Research Committee, and Education Planner Advisory Committee.
There are formal agreements between most institutions on mutually acceptable awarding of credits in specific programs. For example, a college may deliver the first two years of an articulated degree program and a university may deliver the final two years and award the degree. Private institutions have to be approved by the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/degree-authorization/board/welcome.htm Degree Quality Assessment Board] and have received Minister’s Consent in order to be accepted by BCCAT as a “Program Member” of the BC Transfer System, and are approved to request formal articulation within the system. The BCCAT has a [http://www.bccat.bc.ca/pubs/private.pdf Private Degree-Granting Institutions Policy] that outlines the requirements a private institution must comply with in order to be considered for membership in the agency.
The BCCAT maintains three web-sites that provide information for both institutions and students:
[http://www.bccat.bc.ca/ BCCAT - British Columbia Council on Admissions & Transfer]
[http://www.bctransferguide.ca/ BC Transfer Guide] (a searchable on-line guide to transfer throughout the BC Transfer System)
[http://www.educationplanner.bc.ca/ Education Planner] (provides information on programs offered throughout the BC public higher education system
Future Directions and Challenges
There are several challenges facing higher education in British Columbia. Most of the challenges have been put forth by student and faculty associations concerned about that state of higher education in British Columbia. Universities are facing structural deficits, staff cuts, cancelling planned expansions of programs cutting back on hiring new faculty and staff, and considering further cuts to programs already cut by previous funding shortfalls from the provincial government. Colleges are cutting ESL programs, cutting back on other program offerings, cutting back on programs for students with disabilities, laying off staff, and cutting staff and faculty positions though early retirement and unfilled vacancies. [Canadian Federation of Students. (2008). Membership Advisory, February 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2008, from http://www.cfs.bc.ca/mysql/Mem%20Adv-2007%20bc%20budget.pdf]
A critique of [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/campus2020/campus2020-thinkingahead-report.pdf "Campus 2020: Thinking Ahead"] , [http://www.chet.educ.ubc.ca/Campus_2020_2007/Campus2020CriticalPerspectives2007.pdf "Campus 2020 and the Future of British Columbia’s Post‐Secondary Education: Critical Responses and Policy Perspectives"] challenges recommendations such as major investment in research, and equalization of participation in post-secondary education from Aboriginal students and those from low-income backgrounds. The critique focuses on the provincial government for cut-backs in funding and providing no clear strategies for increasing enrolment spaces and no real action on Aboriginal Peoples and students with disabilities.
As of April 2008, the provincial government announced the formation of five new full-fledged universities to the current six universities in British Columbia. This creates additional challenges for both institutions and the government that will direct the future of higher educaiton in British Columbia for a long while. [British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2008a). Legislation Paves Way for New Universities in B.C.. Retrieved May 30,2008, from http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2008AE0024-000649.htm]
As of June 11, 2008, the provincial government released "letters of expectation" for British Columbia's higher education institutions.
"...Letters of expectation posted on the [http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/budget/ government website] ...after the Liberals announced a 2.6-per-cent downward revision in funding... [the] government has decided to "redirect its focus" for higher education... [and] institutions will need to refocus existing financial resources...Health programs, skilled trades, adult education, special education, English language training and aboriginal studies are [sic] hands-off. Institutions can't make up the difference through tuition: "Fee increases will be limited to two per cent." Nor do they have a free hand to run deficits...Persistent and substantial failure to achieve targets and complete deliverables may result in more formal action being taken, as deemed appropriate...a "request" for the chair of the institutional board of directors to sign onto the letter of expectations within 10 days...the president of the University of Northern B.C. left, in part, because he got tired of being a scapegoat for Victoria's ever-changing funding decisions...newbie "university status" is to be exercised on a very short leash...There will be will be no move to research-intensive university space modelling...financial resources remain focused on teaching and that resources are not redirected to administration...the serious business of running [sic] universities and colleges is briefly interrupted by a dispatch from the premier's war on junk food..." [Palmer, V. (2008, June 11). Liberals educate institutions on how to live on less money than was promised. Vancouver Sun, p. A3. ]
There is an extensive list of private institutes and colleges accreditated by either the
Private Career Training Institutions Agency(PCTIA) or the [http://www.bccca.com/members.html BC Career Colleges Association] .
Associations of Higher Education
[http://www.bccca.com/members.html BC Career Colleges Association]
[http://www.bccat.bc.ca/index.cfm British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer] (BCCAT)
[http://www.fpse.ca/ Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC]
[http://www.fnesc.bc.ca/iahla/ Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association]
[http://pctia.bc.ca/search/AccreditedInstitutions.htm Private Career Training Institutions Agency] (PCTIA)
[http://www.heitbc.ca/ HEITBC - Higher Education Information Technology BC]
Note: All terms from the [http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/reporting/glossary.php British Columbia Ministry of Education] and the [http://www.educationplanner.bc.ca/glossary.cfm BC Council on Admissions and Transfer Education Planner] .
ABORIGINAL STUDENT: A student who has reported him/herself as being of Aboriginal ancestry (First Nations: status and non-status, Metis, and Inuit).
ACCREDITED: To recognize at a post-secondary institution as maintaining standards required for its graduates to gain admission to other post-secondary institutions or qualify for credentials from a professional organization.
ACADEMIC YEAR: The period of time usually from early September to late April, includes two consecutive semesters or terms (i.e., four months each).
ADULT BASIC EDUCATION (ABE): Enables students to upgrade their education to an equivalent of Grade 12 academic completion.
ADULT STUDENT: A student 20 years of age or older as of June 30 in the school year July 1 - June 30.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT: a program offered in secondary schools. Students who achieve specific grades in AP courses will receive credit or advanced standing in university courses.
APPLIED DEGREE: a degree in an applied subject such as accounting, interior design or forest technology.
APPLIED PROGRAMS: programs that are designed to lead to employment in a relatively specific field. These programs usually lead to 2-year diplomas, or are less than a year's duration and lead to certificates.
APPRENTICESHIP: a systematic program of on-the-job training supplemented by in-school instruction. Students must be employed in a trade area and become registered through their employer.
ASSESSED FINANCIAL NEED: this is the amount calculated using a standardized method, and helps predict how much money you will need once your resources have been subtracted from your educational costs and living expenses.
ASSESSMENT: an assessment is a process by which either your need or your ability is determined.
BACCALAUREATE: a bachelor's degree, awarded in recognition of completion of an undergraduate program of post-secondary studies.
BACHELOR'S DEGREE: a bachelor's degree is awarded upon completion of a program of study. Traditionally a bachelor's degree is four years in length.
BURSARY: is a non-repayable award given on the basis of assessed financial need.
CAMPUS: the location of a post-secondary institution. Some institutions have several different campus locations.
CERTIFICATE: a formal credential awarded upon successful completion of a program of study. Certificate programs usually require up to one year of study.
COMPULSORY COURSE: a course that is required to move onto the next course level.
CONCURRENT STUDIES: a BC secondary school student who is taking post-secondary credit courses while in secondary school is enrolled in concurrent studies.
CONTINUING EDUCATION: non-credit courses, lectures, workshops, and seminars, usually offered in the evening or on weekends in a variety of areas, such as: general interest, employment, language skills, vocational, and business.
COOPERATIVE EDUCATION (COOP): a program that integrates classroom learning with semesters of paid practical work experience.
COREQUISITE: a course required to be taken at the same time as another course.
COURSE: a course is one of the building blocks for a program. Courses are offered on a schedule and not every course will be offered each year.
COURSE LOAD: the number of units or credits a student is taking each term.
CREDENTIALS: evidence of an individual's qualifications (i.e. certificate, diploma, degree).
CREDIT: a value assigned by an institution to a course, to represent the quantity of work accomplished during a particular period of study.
DEAN: The head of a Faculty, Department or School of Study.
DEGREE: an academic credential awarded by a university or university-college to students who have successfully completed a program of study. A Bachelor's degree is awarded for completion of undergraduate studies; a Master's degree or PhD is awarded for completing advanced studies beyond the undergraduate level.
DIPLOMA: a formal credential issued to a student who has successfully completed a program that is usually not less than two academic years of full-time study.
DIPLOMA PROGRAM: a program that is one or two years long and leads to a diploma rather than a degree. They are usually geared toward employment in a particular field.
DISTANCE EDUCATION: any instruction which does not involve face-to-face interaction between the student and the instructor using primarily the Internet.
DOCTORAL PROGRAM: the highest university degree. Generally a student must complete a bachelor's degree and a master's degree before embarking on doctoral studies. Most commonly designated as PhD.
DOMESTIC STUDENTS: students who are either Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
ELTT: Entry Level Trades Training.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL): conversational, reading, and writing language instruction for students who are learning to speak English.
ENROLMENT: the registration of a student into a specific post-secondary program of study.
EQUIVALENCY: a level of achievement on par with completing an educational or training program.
FACULTY: the members of the teaching staff at post-secondary institutions.
FINANCIAL NEED: a process for determining when a student's legitimate expenses are more than their financial resources. Financial need is calculated when for student loan application.
FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT (FTE) STUDENT: A measure indicating the proportion of full time participation (full day, full week) in the education system, calculated by adding the FTE values of the enrolments.
GED: General Education Development Test (i.e., grants Grade 12 equivalency).
GRADUATE SCHOOL: post-secondary programs students may wish to take after completion of a bachelor's degree.
GRADUATE STUDENT: a student who is completing a master's or doctoral degree.
HIGHER EDUCATION: a level of education that follows secondary school and normally taken at the college or university.
INSTITUTE: a post-secondary school that provides specialized training in technologies, trades, art and design, law enforcement or indigenous studies.
INTERNSHIP: a period of apprenticeship when students work off campus, under supervision, in a school, factory, hospital, business, laboratory, or government agency.
INTERSESSION: a break between regular terms which may offer courses in a condensed time frame.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT: any student who does not hold Canadian citizenship or Permanent Resident status in Canada.
LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION (LMI): information that provides data on employment potential, wages, standards for employment, qualifications, job openings and working conditions.
LADDERING: a process that allows students to build upon previously earned post-secondary credits or credentials.
LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY INDEX (LPI): a method of rating the standard of English language usage that must be met by all incoming undergraduate students before they are allowed to register for first-year English courses.
LIBERAL ARTS: academic disciplines taught within the behavioural and social sciences, and the humanities.
MASTER'S DEGREE: the degree after a bachelor's degree. Students studying for a master's degree are referred to as graduate students.
MATURE STUDENT: a category of admission generally for students who may not meet the academic requirements, but who qualify for entry based on previous work experience, existing skills, or age. Often there are residency requirements as well.
NON-CREDIT: courses that do not comprise part of a program of study leading to a credential awarded by a post-secondary institution.
ON-LINE LEARNING: an option for students who wish to learn in their own environment and within their own work schedules using computer and internet technology.
PART-TIME STUDENT: an undergraduate student who is enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours a term.
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION: any education that occurs after the completion of high school (i.e. college, university college, university, career and technical training etc).
PRACTICUM: the portion of a course which is made up of practical work experience in the relevant field of study.
PROFESSOR: a senior teacher, lecturer or researcher who is a qualified expert in a given field of study.
REGISTRAR: the official at a post-secondary institution who is responsible for maintaining student records, and the application, admission and graduation policies.
SKILLED TRADE: an occupation, especially one requiring labour in a trade area such as carpentry, masonry, plumbing and electrical etc.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Students that have a disability of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional or behavioural nature, have a learning disability or have exceptional gifts or talents.
STUDENT LOAN: A major source of need-based financial assistance provided by the federal and provincial governments. The governments pay interest on the students loans while the borrower is engaged in full-time study but the borrower must begin repaying loan principal and interest 6 months after he/she ceases to be registered in at least 60% of a full course load.
TRANSFER CREDIT: credit given at an institution for work successfully completed at another institution.
TUITION: the fee charged for post-secondary educational instruction.
UNDERGRADUATE: a university or college student who has not yet received a first degree or diploma.
UNIVERSITY: an educational institution that offers degrees at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. UNIVERSITY-COLLEGE: institutions that offer their own university degrees or degrees affiliated with other BC universities, in addition to offering college diploma, certificate, upgrading, and distance education programs.
UNIVERSITY TRANSFER (UT): credit programs of study, usually in arts, social sciences, and science courses, which are transferable toward degree programs at universities.
VOCATIONAL AND TRADES TRAINING: a variety of vocational, trades, and health education training and upgrading designed to meet employment needs.
WORK STUDY: A need-based form of financial aid which supplements government student loans and grants by allowing qualified individuals to work at a fair wage for up to 10 hours per week on campus, often in positions which relate to their area of study.
Higher education in Canada
External Links and Sources
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British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer. (2008).Mandate.Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.bccat.ca/about.cfm
BritishColumbia. Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. (2005).TransformativeChange Accord.RetrievedMay 29,2008, fromhttp://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/social/down/transformative_change_accord.pdf
BritishColumbia. Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. (2006).MétisNation Relationship Accord.Retrieved May 29, 2008, fromhttp://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/social/down/arr_metis_accord.pdf
British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education. (2005a). Review of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Programs, Services and Strategies/Best Practices & Aboriginal Special Projects Funding (ASPF) Program.Retrieved May 28, 2008, from http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/documents/Final_Report-June_30-05_REVISED_April%2026-07.pdf
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BritishColumbia. Ministry of Advanced Education.(2005b).2005 Resource Directory of Programs andServices for Students with Disabilities in Public Post-SecondaryInstitutions.RetrievedMay 28, 2008, fromhttp://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/adultspecialed/resource/resource_directory_2005.pdf
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