Volume 92, Issue 59

Wednesday, January 13, 1999

sleeping with the enemy


Voulez-vous coucher avec Davenport?

USC proposes two $1,000 raises

New rez to bring more Sophs, upper-years

Ontario Court steals Western dean

B.C. student population lagging

Snow to blame for parking troubles


Caught on campus

B.C. student population lagging

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

Students intending to study at colleges and universities in British Columbia may have a tough time getting their post secondary careers underway, according to a new report issued by the University Presidents' Council of B.C..

The report said B.C. has less youth attending post secondary institutions when compared to youth from every other province.

Dean Goard, the council's secretary, said the report highlights B.C.'s lagging participation rate for post secondary enrolment. "The major point is that our participation rate compared to the rest of Canada puts us in last place," Goard said.

Goard added population growth has increased the problem of a need for more post secondary institutions to educate and train students.

Ron Heath, registrar and dean of students at Simon Fraser University, said students face barriers to access at the post secondary level. "[Students are] already under-funded and there is also a space problem – we have physical restraints that limit the amount of students we can take in," he added.

David Gagan, VP-academic at SFU, said the demand for post secondary education in B.C. has increased because of the lagging economy. "When the economy goes down, more and more students go to university. In B.C., the demand has gone up. The potential number of students would require the government to build another university the size of SFU," he said.

That demand prompted the B.C. government to create three new schools, the Technical University of British Columbia, the University of Northern British Columbia and Royal Roads University.

Gagan said the creation of these three schools is meeting some of the demand, but supply still falls short.

Flynt Bondirant, issues manager for the Ministry of Advanced Education and Training in B.C., said the government has provided more funding as well as more classroom space. "In the last six years we've allocated more than $200 million to post secondary institutions despite cuts to federal transfer payments. This is in sharp contrast to what other provincial governments have done," he said.

He pointed out the report could be interpreted quite differently. "The report is based on an 18-24 age range – this does not really reflect reality because the average age for a post secondary student is over 24 years old."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999