BC institutions to lose funding for ESL

December 12, 2013

The British Columbia government told the province’s colleges and universities this week that their federal funding for English as a second language (ESL) will probably end on March 31. The provincial government has known since 2012 that the federal government would cancel the Canada-BC Immigration Agreement, which funded the training. However, the province is still waiting to find out how Canada plans to continue delivering English language training beyond the end of March. “It seems unlikely that the funding that flows through the ministry to institutions will be replaced," says BC advanced education Minister Amrik Virk. The funding amounts to about $17 million, which paid for more than 9,000 ESL students to learn English tuition-free last year. Vancouver Community College provided 46% of the ESL training under the program, and Camosun College provided 14%. The remaining training is offered through not-for-profit and community organizations that “will negotiate directly with the federal government for funding,” explains Virk. Vancouver Sun