Archive for month: August, 2016

Free textbook adopted by Earth & Ocean Sciences course at UVic

Free textbook adopted by Earth & Ocean Sciences course at UVic
Students continue to advocate for more open educational resources

Victoria – As the UVic Students’ Society gets set to launch its textbook affordability campaign ‘TextbookBroke’ in September, some faculty at UVic are already moving forward to adopt free textbooks for their courses. Earth and Ocean Sciences 120 recently switched from a printed textbook worth $123.50 to a free online textbook offered through BCcampus’ Open Textbook Project.

“The adoption of Open Education Resources (OER) is a great step forward for students at UVic,” said UVSS Director of Campaigns Maxwell Nicholson.  “If more colleges and universities throw their weight behind the BC Open Textbook Project and we see wider adoption, this has the potential to make education more affordable for students who are burdened by high debt, expensive course materials, and an extremely tight rental market.“

Textbook affordability has reached a crisis point. Prices have risen three times the rate of inflation since 1970. Textbooks can be up to 50% of the total cost of a university course. For students in EOS 120, the BC Open textbook could collectively save them up to $12,473.50 a year. Students at SImon Fraser and UBC have already seen many open textbook adoptions at their campuses and they are actively pushing for more.

“I’ve heard stories of first year students choosing courses based on how expensive the textbook is, or whether they will really need it for the course,” said UVic Earth and Ocean Sciences professor Lucinda Leonard. “We’d like to remove any obstacle to students being introduced to earth, ocean & atmospheric sciences.”

Over the coming year, the UVSS will continue to advocate for the adoption of more free open textbooks at UVic through ‘TextbookBroke’, a campaign run in partnership with the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) and the Alma Mater Society of UBC (AMS).

The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) was established in 1964 and represents the 17,000 undergraduate students at the University of Victoria.



Maxwell Nicholson
UVSS Director of Campaigns & Community Relations, 250-721-8366

Students are #TextbookBroke


The UVSS is currently ramping up to launch our 2016-2017 campaigns and we are very excited to launch #TextbookBroke – a campaign focussed on textbook affordability and the movement to adopt free open textbooks at colleges and universities in BC.

Textbook affordability has reached a crisis point – prices have risen four times the rate of inflation in the past decade, 64% of students don’t purchase a book at some point due to cost, and 23% of students regularly go without textbooks due to cost.

We’ve spent the summer lobbying profs and university staff to adopt open educational resources, as well as working in conjunction with student societies at UBC and SFU.

If you want to get a sense of the campaign and some of the stakeholders we’ve been working with, check this feature article on the BCcampus website.

We’ll see you out on campus soon and stay tuned because we’ll be running a social media contest where you can win $300 towards your textbooks!

Maxwell Nicholson
UVSS Director of Campaigns & Community Relations

More info:

Vancouver Sun: Students returning to the University of Victoria are expected to have trouble squeezing into the tight housing market.