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Metro Vancouver university expands its zero-cost textbooks course offerings

It's the first program of its kind in Canada, and now it covers even more classes 📚
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Students attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) won't have to purchase textbooks for 21 per cent of courses offered this fall, 2022.

Headed back to school? Some students at one local campus won't have to worry about paying for costly textbooks. 

Starting this September, 21 per cent of courses at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) will be offered without the need for students to purchase textbooks. 

The 353 courses which range in subjects will use the library and open educational resources rather than textbooks as part of KPU's Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) initiative. This fall offers a record number of courses without textbooks and increased by three per cent since last fall from 333 courses. 

The program launched in 2018 and is the first of its kind in Canada.

“ZTC reduces financial barriers for students who may need to choose between buying a textbook and buying groceries, or who need to wait several weeks after the start of classes until they have the funds,” says Amanda Grey, an open education strategist at KPU.

Since the program's launch in 2018, the cumulative cost saved for KPU students by not having to purchase textbooks has now reached almost $8.5 million, according to Grey.

"Although ZTC courses do not require students to pay for a textbook, there still may be other costs associated with the course, such as equipment, supplies and studio fees," a news release from KPU says. 

The university also offers eight complete credentials that don't require purchasing textbooks, including two bachelor's degrees, two associate's degrees, two diplomas and two certificates.