Tuition fees removed for Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning programs

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 9, 2017

The fees were set by post-secondary schools at up to $1,600 for a semester of full-time studies.

The new NDP government in eliminating tuition fees on adult basic education or English language learning programs, reversing a 2015 decision by the B.C. Liberals, Premier John Horgan announced Tuesday.

"By eliminating these fees, we're tearing down the roadblocks to the basic education and skills people need to improve their lives", Horgan said in a statement. "It should be a right and we're going to follow through on that commitment". There were 6,692 full-time equivalent space in 2016-17, down from 10,244 in 2013-14, the government said. "We can't afford to leave people behind. As a new government, we want to make sure that everyone can participate in our economy".

This decision reverses action taken by the BC Liberals in 2015 that imposed tuition fees up to $1,600 per semester of full-time studies for adult learners, which saw enrolment in these programs drop by nearly 35 per cent between the 2013/14 and 2016/17 school years. The NDP platform estimated the cost at $4 million for the remainder of this year and $7 million for a full fiscal year.

Horgan adds the costs for this initiative will be outlined in the upcoming September budget reading, which he's also promising a reduction in student loan fees to zero-percent interest rates. "I don't want to put them on the spot, but we're going to be doing everything we can to make sure that those have paid, in anticipation of September, get a refund".

Speaking from Camosun College in Victoria, Horgan believes this will open the door for tens of thousands of people looking to upgrade their education and skill levels. "Finding your way in the world is easier when you have access to knowledge".

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