The overall context of the restraint policy within the B.C. Post-Secondary Education System (universities, colleges and institutions) gives zero growth in support dollars over the next 5 years. Our post-secondary institutions were all asked to prepare, this summer, a '5-year plan' in which the parameters were no growth in dollars for the next 5 years. This no growth dollar policy comes at a time when colleges in B.C. are experiencing growth in enrollments of anywhere between 5 and 25 percent. (See Box)

The restraint policy in place in B.C. community colleges will affect women's participation in post-secondary education significantly for the following reasons:

  1. While males and females tend to be approximately equal among full-time students enrolling in non-vocational programs in community colleges and institutions in B.C., women far outnumber men as part-time students. The largest single group of students attending B.C. colleges are female, twenty-five years of age and older, taking courses on a part- time basis. Hence, any cut-backs which either systematically or unintentionally influence part-time students will impact females to a far greater extent than males. In implementing funding restraint, colleges are already reducing part- time sections of courses to a far greater extent than full-time sections. In addition, in the foreseeable future in an attempt to live within the imposed Social Credit Restraint Program, the major budgetary impact will be on 'off campus' or 'after hours' classes. Particularly hard hit will be older students, most of whom are enrolled part-time and most of whom are women.

Fall Enrollment Statistics

Total % Change
University Transfer / Academic 3129 + 8
Career / Technical 2519 + 9
Adult Basic Education 409 + 13
Continuing Education 4686 + 14

Post-Secondary Enrollment in Non-
Vocational Program 1981/82

Male students 12,406 8,966
Female students 17,269 9,051

*Ministry of Education, Province of B.C., Post-Secondary Enrolment Statistics 1981/82. Non-vocational programs include: University Transfer, Career/Technical & Adult Basic Ed.

  1. Fees charged to part-time students on a per course basis are higher in most colleges than those charged to full-time students for the same course. A number of colleges are considering implementing a full cost-recovery fee policy for their part-time courses to allow them to add sections of academic and career programs without additional funds. This would force fees for part-time courses to three times and higher for the same full-time program. The impact for the part-time women students would be significant.

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