Minister monitoring new college fees

Fees increasing above 2% cap for colleges and universities must be for new services, Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson says

Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson

New fees at B.C. colleges and universities are being monitored to ensure that new services are being offered and are worth the money, Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson says.

Wilkinson was responding to NDP questions about college administrators and student societies reporting increased fees appearing on student tuition bills this year. NDP education critic Kathy Corrigan said the ministry has found a way around its policy that increases to tuition and mandatory fees are capped at two per cent per year.

Corrigan said the new fees will cost Selkirk College students $144 more per year for two-semester programs, and Vancouver Island University students will see $188 in additional fees.

Selkirk College increased its fees 4.5 per cent to cover costs of a career portal to match up students with employers. Wilkinson said employer services and co-op placement fees are typical of new services provided by colleges and universities, as the province moves to improve employment links for post-secondary education.

“We’ve told the institutions, colleges and universities, that they have to be able to justify those fees by showing benefits to students,” Wilkinson said. “We’re monitoring that on an ongoing basis.”

He said students and student societies will be surveyed at the end of the current term to see if they received useful service for their fees.

NDP critics pointed to a November newsletter from North Island College president John Bowman, describing a “new interpretation” of the policy on fees.

After the debate in the B.C. legislature, the deputy minister of advanced education released a letter to all post-secondary students to clarify the tuition cap policy. It was introduced in 2005 and extended in 2007 to include “institutional and program mandatory fees.

“For new programs, boards establish the tuition amount for the first year, and the two per cent limit applies thereafter,” the letter states.

 

Just Posted

Surviving the holidays: seven tips for your mental wellness

Interior Health offers ways to cope with the encroaching holiday season

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email editor@trailtimes.ca

Time to talk turkey

Five food safety tips for the holidays

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it to editor@trailtimes.ca

Creston-area rail siding, site of 1910 disaster

Place Names: McNeillie Siding, Savalpee Port, Mud Landing, Nelway and more

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read