What is Open the Doors?
Open the Doors is a provincial campaign that addresses BC’s post-secondary education funding crisis. BC is quickly becoming a place where only the rich can afford to go to college or university. High tuition fees and institutional underfunding are preventing thousands of students from getting the education they need to get ahead.
Since 2002, provincial funding for post-secondary students has decreased by 20% after inflation. As a result, students have had to pay higher fees and are struggling with rising living costs.
In some regions, students arrive on campus to find that the classes they need aren’t offered, or there isn’t space for them. Others have had to delay their graduation because a course wasn’t offered when they needed it. In 2013, BMO’s annual student survey found that B.C. students expected to owe an average of $35,000 when they graduated. That figure has only gone up, meaning many prospective students are not even bothering to enroll because they can’t afford the fees.
Everyone who wants to should be able to get an education, regardless of their income — and without being saddled with a lifetime of debt. It’s what we need for BC’s economy to thrive, and for families to build a better future.
Who’s behind Open the Doors?
Open the Doors is a campaign by the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC (FPSE) and faculty associations throughout BC. The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators and its member unions have been serving the needs of BC's educators for over forty years. They represent over 10,000 educators and staff at BC’s colleges, teaching universities, and institutions.
Why does it matter now?
There’s a provincial election coming up on May 9, 2017, and it could change the course of public education in BC. Tuition and fees have skyrocketed, classes have closed, and rural schools have been hit especially hard. In one school, 100 course sections were cut.
If we make our voices heard by contacting our MLAs and voting in May, we can spark a movement to restore post-secondary education funding to a level where it can make a difference.
OK, so how do I get involved?
Start by pledging your support for a robust, accessible, fully-funded post-secondary system. Also follow Open the Doors BC on Facebook. There, you’ll find campaign updates, stories from BC students and educators, and ways to join the conversation.
And finally, share openthedoors.ca with your friends and family. We need everyone to say that our post-secondary education system is vital for our economy, and our future.