Message from the Minister and
Accountability Statement

Photograph -- Honourable Murray CoellIt is my pleasure to present the Ministry of Advanced Education 2007/08 – 2009/10 Service Plan.

British Columbians can be proud of our post-secondary education system. We have a high-quality university sector, and an equally high quality system of comprehensive community colleges, university colleges and specialized institutes, as well as a diverse private post-secondary education sector. Our transfer system offers a high degree of mobility between institutions. But to ensure excellence moving forward, our system must respond to a rapidly changing global environment, as we seek not only to maintain our high standards but exceed them.

That is why the Ministry of Advanced Education launched a consultative process called Campus 2020. We want to ensure the province continues to succeed and is well-positioned to leverage maximum value from its current seven-year Strategic Investment Plan, and to ensure the system is well equipped to meet and exceed the learning needs of future generations.

Campus 2020 is about thinking ahead and about imaginative, creative ideas. It is connecting the opportunities of higher education, training and lifelong learning to the health and sustainability of our communities, our economy and our province.

British Columbia's public universities are among the most affordable in Canada and, for the second straight year, tuition fees at B.C.'s publicly-funded universities are the fourth-lowest in Canada. And now that B.C. tuition fees are again near the national average, tuition increases are limited to the rate of inflation.

I am proud of British Columbia's role as a national leader and innovator in education. That role is supported by our government's Five Great Goals for British Columbia's future. This government has proven we can lead our province towards the fulfillment of its rich potential, reinforcing B.C.'s reputation as the best place on earth to raise a family, live, work, visit, invest — and pursue an education.

Our Pacific Leadership Agenda capitalizes on our potential as Canada's Pacific Gateway to North America. We will improve our competitiveness and productivity through education. We promised to create 25,000 student spaces by 2010, and we have already funded almost 12,000 of them. This year we are adding 2,500 new graduate spaces, for master's and doctorate students.

We have also committed more than $700 million dollars to improve and expand our campuses across the province. We are making new research investments in everything from life sciences to natural resources. We are working to enhance B.C.'s capacity for innovation to improve our productivity, competitiveness and prosperity. We will continue to increase opportunities for students to train in high demand fields such as nursing and medicine.

The Ministry of Advanced Education 2007/08 – 2009/10 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 February 12, 2007, have been considered in preparing the plan, and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.

Honourable Murray Coell
Minister of Advanced Education
and Minister Responsible for Research and Technology

February 12, 2007

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