BC budget continues to increase access to post-secondary education – FPSE

BC budget continues to increase access to post-secondary education – FPSE

VICTORIA— BC Budget 2018 provides a welcome increase in post-secondary funding, as well as affordability measures that will help students, educators and their communities across the province say the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE).

“Today’s budget confirms the change in direction this government began last August to improve affordability and choice in our post-secondary system,” said FPSE President George Davison. “By removing some of the largest financial barriers to post-secondary education, and adding program choice to institutions in communities across BC, this government is reversing the concerning trend in post-secondary where access was decreasing as it becomes more crucial for today’s economy.”

The budget provides $21 million dollars to the post-secondary system in affordability measures for learners such as tuition waivers for former youth in care and tuition-free Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning classes. Also added: $30 million in new dollars for additional supports for former youth in care. Industry Training Authority funding is continued at the same level: within that budget more funding will be available for under-represented groups. The government anticipates that 78% of future jobs will require post-secondary education.

“Clearly, this government recognizes the key role that post-secondary education plays in our society and economy, and our federation welcomes the actions taken to address this crucial affordability issue,” continued Davison. “After 16 years of uneven funding that downloaded an unsustainable burden on to students and their families, more changes are needed to ensure that students of every age and income are able to return to school or attend post-secondary for the first time, and receive the support they need to succeed. We are committed to working with the government to find every opportunity to make post-secondary more affordable and comprehensive.”

FPSE also applauded new spending aimed at addressing affordability issues experienced by members across BC, through $1 billion in child care and early learning over 3 years (including increasing the number of spaces to train early childhood educators), $6.5 billion in homes and housing supports over 10 years, and the elimination of MSP fees effective January 1, 2020.

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for 10,000 faculty and staff in teaching universities, colleges, and institutes across BC.

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For more information:
Nicole Seguin, Communications Officer, FPSE
(604) 831-6684