The BC government has announced a new plan to offer free textbooks to BC post-secondary students who are taking the 40 most popular courses (article below).
This raises an interesting question of whether “free textbooks” are the wave of the future. Is this a program that the BC government will grow in the next few years? Is this something the federal government might get involved in?
Perhaps an even bigger question is whether the government SHOULD pay for all university and college textbooks? Is access to course materials for post-secondary education a right or a privilege?
Student accessibility to cheap, discounted textbooks has risen over the past decade. The increased number of textbook marketplaces, textbook rental companies, and student textbook exchanges has lowered the overall price of course materials. However, these materials are still a huge expense to Canadian students. The initiative from the BC government provides yet another indication that the textbook landscape is dramatically changing and that students deserve more affordable course materials at the post-secondary level.
Email us at [email protected] and let us hear your opinion!
Article from the Vancouver Sun:
VICTORIA — The B.C. government is offering some financial relief for post-secondary students who are taking the 40 most popular courses.
Textbooks for those classes will soon be offered to students online for free.
The government says as many as 200,000 students a year could benefit from the changes, with each saving hundreds of dollars or more each year.
It says it will work with post-secondary institutions to implement the open textbook policy, with a plan to have the textbooks online as early as next year.
Advanced Education Minister John Yap says B.C. is leading Canada in delivering free, open textbooks, and joins several other international jurisdictions in taking a leadership role in putting technology to work for students.
Alan Shaver, president of Thompson Rivers University, says offering key textbooks online helps both on-campus learners and those enrolled in distance programs.