Students applaud move to make textbooks more affordable in B.C., seek support for federal study.

Three hundred students in British Columbia saved a combined $43,000 over one semester in the first project of its kind.


January 15, 2014—OTTAWA

A fledgling open textbook project saved participating B.C. students an average of $146 each last semester. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is calling on the federal government to study how students and institutions from across the country can benefit from these savings as well.

“Every dollar students save helps them access and complete post-secondary education,” said Amanda Nielsen, Chair of CASA. “Open textbooks should be adopted nationwide and would save students, families, and taxpayers a considerable amount of money while improving the quality of learning.”

The OECD defines open educational resources (OERs) as “digitised materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning and research.” OERs are more flexible and less expensive than traditional textbooks.

In November 2013, CASA representatives lobbied to have the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology study open educational resources and to propose ways that the federal government could support implementation nationwide.

“Positive results in B.C. show how transformative this change could be for students and educators across Canada,” added Nielsen. “CASA is hopeful that the committee will see these results and undertake a study of open educational resources when parliamentarians return at the end of January.”


To arrange an interview with Amanda Nielsen please contact:

Rob LeForte
Government Relations Officer
Office: 613-236-3457 ext. 221