Tuition Scrapped for Adult Basic Education & ESL Programs
Victoria, B.C. – The NDP followed through on an election promise it made last spring to do away with tuition fees on Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning programs this morning.
Premier John Horgan said it will “make access to education easier and give everyone a chance to get ahead.”
“It’s our view that education is a great equalizer in our society,” he said to cheers at Victoria’s Camosun College. “It’s an opportunity to open doors on awareness and self-actualization – finding your way in the world is easier when you have access to knowledge.”
The announcement reverses a move made by the BC Liberal government in 2015 to impose tuition fees for ABE and ELL learners.
The NDP said under that policy fees were set up by each institution up to a maximum of $1,600 per semester for full-time studies.
As a result, it says enrolment in the programs dropped almost 35 per cent from 10,244 full-time equivalent spaces in 2013-14 to 6,692 in 2016-17.
So, how much will the policy reversal cost the new government?
“We’ll be putting that in our budget update this September. That’ll be fully available for everyone to see. We made a commitment during the election campaign to make sure that adult basic education and English-language learning was accessible to as many people as possible, and we’re fulfilling that commitment today, and we’ll be outlining the costs of that in our September update,” said Horgan.