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Student union pushes for open textbooks

August 25, 2016 2:11 P.M.
Minister of Advanced Education Andrew Wilkinson touts open texts on a TRU visit last year.

Classes don’t begin until Sept. 7, but the TRU student union is getting a jump on the fall semester with a campaign to cut costs for its members.

Next Tuesday, Aug. 30, TRUSU launches a campaign encouraging faculty to create and adopt open textbooks, which are free for students. 

In collaboration with the BCcampus Open Textbook Project, the campaign aims to increase TRU student savings from the use of open textbooks by $300,000.

B.C. was the first jurisdiction in Canada to launch a government-sponsored Open Textbook Project. An estimated 8,000 students in the province have saved more than $1 million through the project.

The project produces textbooks under open copyright licence, so digital versions are free and can be modified and adapted by instructors to fit their instructional needs. It’s considered a valuable tool to counter the inflationary cost pressures confronting post-secondary students.

As of last year, post-secondary students and instructors could access more than 120 textbooks online, including more than 50 new textbooks focussed on skills training and technical subjects.

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