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May 15, 2003

Commitment and Support Fee for Adult Basic Education

Preamble

Vancouver Island University is committed to the notion of co-funding of post-secondary education through provincial funding, proceeds from international and other entrepreneurial endeavors, and contribution from students.

Students entering adult basic education are taking a giant step from under-completion of high school education toward university or college education and eventually to gainful employment and enhanced contribution to society.

Success in adult basic education requires commitment on the part of the students, their supporters around them, and the faculty and staff of the university.  The Commitment and Support Fee is not a tuition fee in the accepted sense of the word.  (Tuition will be encountered when the successful ABE students ascend to university or college programs).  It is a commitment fee, a symbol of the commitment being made by the students, and also a support fee in recognition of those special services provided by Malaspina to enable students' success. Such services include assessment, placement, student success advising, and the provision of a learning center in addition to the many services available to university and college students.

Description

Effective the September 2003 intake, all students entering ABE courses in levels three to six will pay a Commitment and Support Fee of $50 per course.  Literacy students, at the foundation stage of ABE, will be exempt from Commitment and Support Fees.  All ABE students will continue to be exempted from tuition fees.

Rationale for the Commitment and Support Fee

  • A small fee (the value being approximately 1/6 of university and college tuition fees) represents a contribution and commitment on the part of students but will minimize impact on enrolments and FTE delivery.
  • The fee recognizes the special services provided to ABE students in support of their introduction to post-secondary education and their successful transition to college and university programs.
  • Access to ABE will be maintained for a greater number of students than it would be were tuition fees to be introduced.
  • Supports the Ministry of Advanced Education requirement in the Accountability Framework to maintain or increase the level of ABE delivery.
  • The notion of commitment is likely to improve drop out rates, which average approximately 40%.
  • The model will be more efficient and fair to administer than having to differentiate between holders of Dogwood Certificates and others (under the original tuition proposal).
  • All ABE students will be equal in terms of what they have paid.
  • Enables Malaspina to move incrementally, while assessing the impact on enrolments and completions.
  • Enables students to demonstrate the commitment while preparing for the reality of co-funding further education through tuition fees.
  • The model has the same fiscal impact on the university budget as the original tuition proposal, and satisfies the proposed revenue expectation previously identified.
  • As a mandatory student fee but not a tuition fee, its approval by the Board can be achieved in a single reading allowing implementation for the September intake of students.