The government of British Columbia is eliminating tuition fees for two basic post-secondary programs.
Institutions will no longer be able to charge tuition for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English Language Learning (ELL) programs.
Premier John Horgan and several cabinet members announced the move at Camosun College in Victoria today.
In a statement released shortly after, the government said that the change will allow “tens of thousands of people to upgrade their education and skills every year.”
Reverses 2015 Decision
The move reverses the 2015 decision by the BC Liberal government to allow institutions to charge tuition for both programs.
Fees could be raised up to $1,600 per semester of full-time studies.
After that 2015 policy enactment, enrolment in Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning programs dropped almost 35% from 10,244 full-time equivalent spaces in 2013-14 to 6,692 in 2016-17.
“We’re committed to making it easier for British Columbians to get ahead,” said Premier John Horgan. “By eliminating these fees, we’re tearing down the roadblocks to the basic education and skills people need to improve their lives.
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) August 8, 2017
“Our province can’t afford to lose students who are keen to learn or advance their skills training in the post-secondary sector because of financial barriers,” said Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark. “I’m proud we’re taking this action to expand opportunities for ABE and ELL students to thrive in the workforce and achieve academic success.”