Core Business Areas
The work of the Ministry is encompassed within the following five core business areas.
1. Educational Institutions and Organizations
The Ministry provides funding to British Columbia’s public universities, university colleges, community colleges, institutes, and other organizations that support the province’s public post secondary education system teaching, research and innovation.
2. Student Financial Assistance
Student financial assistance is provided to make post-secondary education and the associated personal and societal benefits accessible to all students, irrespective of financial circumstances. It is available to eligible students at the post-secondary level attending public and designated private institutions. It combines repayable loans, non-repayable assistance, merit-based awards, and debt reduction measures. In addition, the Ministry manages student aid programs on behalf of the federal government, the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, and other British Columbia ministries and agencies.
3. Debt Service Costs and Amortization of Prepaid Capital Advances
The Ministry provides funding to public post-secondary institutions to finance capital projects, including upgrades, renovations, replacements, expansions, and new facilities and equipment. The Ministry services the debt associated with these projects and amortizes the resulting assets over their economic lives.
4. Research and Innovation
The Ministry is responsible for research, innovation and technology in the province, with the goal of providing both social and economic benefits. This includes funding and overseeing the activities of the British Columbia Innovation Council and the Premier’s Technology Council. The Ministry’s responsibilities also encompass research activities funded through other core business areas. These include a mandate to fund provincial post secondary institutions that conduct basic and applied research, to fund the province’s major research infrastructure program, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, and to liaise with the Leading Edge Endowment Fund, which funds research chairs.
5. Executive and Support Services
The Ministry provides leadership, establishes policy, and administers accountability and planning processes for British Columbia’s public post-secondary education system. The Ministry also establishes policy and legislative frameworks for private post-secondary institutions, and supports the Degree Quality Assessment Board, which administers a quality assessment process for new degree programs at public and private institutions. Support to the Ministry in the areas of human resources, information systems, records management, financial management, and information privacy is provided by the Management Services Division, whose budget is reported by the Ministry of Education.