Post-secondary educators see good news in announced cuts to Adult Basic Education tuition fees

"It's a long time coming, but we are glad to see this policy change is finally going to happen," said Cindy Oliver, President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators. Ms. Oliver was reacting to news out of Victoria that the provincial government would eliminate tuition fees for Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs delivered in BC public post-secondary institutions.

"We have been lobbying for this change for close to four years and it's great to see those efforts are finally paying off," said Oliver. "ABE students already face major challenges in terms of accessing post-secondary education. Adding tuition fees to those challenges was just making a tough situation that much tougher," Oliver noted.

"Our Federation drafted a formal proposal two years ago. It was called Opening Doors and it made a strong case for eliminating ABE tuition fees. We followed that up with a series of meetings with senior staff from the Ministry of Advanced Education. Prior to those presentations, our members had been pressing government MLAs on this issue in hopes that they would support our call for a policy change. Although it took a long time to make it happen, it's clear that our efforts were not ignored," Oliver added.

"We are glad to see this change and we hope it represents a first step by the provincial government in addressing some of the underlying problems in the public post-secondary education system. We will be making that case over the next several months to MLAs and Cabinet Ministers as the government and Legislature Committees begin to identify priorities for the February 2008 provincial budget," Oliver concluded.

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 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.