Advocacy is at the heart of what the BCFS stands for – over the last week we held our annual Advocacy Week, bringing together seventeen students’ associations that represent more than 190,000 students across British Columbia. Student representatives lobbied 60 MLAs from February 8-10 on issues that impact all students across the province.

Recommendations highlighted three main topics – all centring around the importance of economic recovery in British Columbia and the positive impact that Post-Secondary Education can have on it. The first recommendation focuses on reallocating $61 million of tuition tax credits to the BC Access Grant – a progressive program that provides up-front, needs-based, non-payable loans that would help British Columbians re-train and re-skill to ensure their return to the workforce.

Our second recommendation centres around the need for a comprehensive institutional funding review that is low-barrier and easily accessible to ensure all stakeholders’ voices are considered. The funding review should also ensure that rural and regional institutions are properly funded – a process that would enrich communities across the province that have been feeling economic strain for years.

Our final recommendations include two amendments to the Tuition Fee Limit Policy; the first highlights the need for the policy to prevent institutions from circumventing tuition caps through adding increasingly predatory ancillary fees. The second amendment underscores the importance of implementing an international tuition fee cap to help regulate and ensure fee increases are fair and measurable.

Our recommendations were met favourably by both the government and opposition. We are excited to work alongside all MLAs to progress our goals of ensuring public post-secondary education in British Columbia is accessible, affordable, and of the highest quality.

If you’d like to learn more, you can read the policy proposals published in our lobby document.

john Gauld