The government of Alberta has banded together with British Columbia and Saskatchewan to bring open resources to its post-secondary institutions.
The Open Educational Resources Initiative is part of the Building Alberta Plan, and is dedicated to reducing costs for university and college students in the province.
According to estimates, the average student spends between $1,000 and $1,700 on course materials in a single year, with costs totaling up to $6,000 over the course of a four-year program.
Under the new initiative, students will have access to textbooks, modules, multimedia educational materials, lesson plans, and more, all free of charge. It is hoped that the initiative will encourage access and flexibility to all of Alberta’s students.
“Student groups and leaders have been clear this is an important issue for them; we’ve heard them and are pleased to be responding with this initiative. Government is committed to ensuring affordability of post-secondary education and we recognize the opportunities provided by open educational resources to reduce costs for students,” said Dave Hancock, premier and minister of Innovation and Advanced Education.
According to a memorandum of understanding between Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, the three provinces will work together and pool resources to reach the greatest number of students possible.
Alberta’s ministry of Innovation and Advanced Education has since contributed $2 million to fund the initiative.
More information can be found at the government of Alberta’s website.