Message from the Minister and
During this Government's mandate, many remarkable improvements in our post-secondary education system have been realized through the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Advanced Education and our post-secondary partners. We have increased capacity significantly, ensuring each year that more students are able to access post-secondary studies than the year before. In particular, we have expanded opportunities for students to pursue occupations in high-demand fields such as nursing, medicine, skilled trades, and engineering. And we are ensuring these opportunities are available to students in their home communities, as seats and programs are added to post-secondary institutions throughout the province. In 2004 we announced the new Thompson Rivers University, UBC Okanagan, and the new Okanagan College to meet the needs of students in British Columbia. We are committed to providing access where students need it.
Along with the growth in learning opportunities, we have seen dynamic expansion in post-secondary research activity. We are improving research infrastructure and encouraging collaboration between public institutions and the private sector. We are committed to solidifying British Columbia's reputation as a world-class research centre and to improving lives through advances in biotechnology, resource management, and health care.
We have accomplished a great deal, but we still have much to do. In the years to come, the ministry and our system partners will continue pursuing the strategies that have yielded our successes to date. We will continue removing barriers to education by helping students manage the costs of education through student financial assistance programs and by expanding facilities and seats at public post-secondary institutions, adding 25,000 more student spaces by 2010. We will continue seeking ways that private institutions may respond to the demand for post-secondary education by providing students with additional educational choices. We will persist in our efforts to ensure students receive relevant, high-quality education and training, preparing them for a modern workforce in a modern society. We will expand initiatives to improve adult literacy, helping British Columbia become the most literate jurisdiction in North America by 2010. And we will continue supporting and encouraging post-secondary research activity, augmenting British Columbia's competitive advantage and enhancing our quality of life.
The 2005/06–2007/08 Ministry of Advanced Education Service Plan was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am accountable for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of January 31, 2005, have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.
Honourable Ida Chong
Minister of Advanced Education
February 1, 2005