"It's time to re-think provincial policies that have undermined access to our public post-secondary education system for our most vulnerable students," said Cindy Oliver, President of FPSE. Oliver was commenting after outlining a proposal to improve the access and affordability of the post-secondary education system. The FPSE proposal, which was drafted by a working group of developmental education instructors, is called "Opening Doors, Building Confidence: Proposals to Strengthen Adult Basic Education in British Columbia".

"Our proposal makes the case for improving funding and support for ABE programs in BC by examining a wide range of policy changes that have hurt the prospects and participation of ABE students," said Oliver. "It isn't just the increase in tuition fees that have undermined access and affordability. It is the loss of student support services, especially the wide range of support programs for low-income students, that have had a detrimental effect on access and enrolment," Oliver added.

"We outlined our proposal to the Deputy Minister of Advanced Education to ensure that she understands the need not only for funding improvements but also careful policy coordination to address these issues. Ms. Quayle [Deputy Minister of Advanced Education] has a good grasp of the problem and shares our concern that vulnerable students will require renewed emphasis by her ministry," said Oliver.

"The Deputy has committed to convening a briefing session with her counterpart at the Ministry of Human Resources so that we can further outline our concerns about policy changes in that Ministry and their impact on ABE students," said Oliver. "It's a good first step and hopefully we will see some of our proposed changes incorporated into the 2006 budget and various ministries' three-year service plans," Oliver concluded.

To see FPSE's brief Opening Doors, Building Confidence click here (PDF 201 kb)

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 19 public and 5 private sector institutions.