Private post-secondary institutions complement public universities, colleges and institutes, giving students more options and flexibility. Private institutions help ensure students are gaining education, skills and experience to be first in line for the significant job openings expected in the next decade.
Private post-secondary in B.C.
- More than 350 private institutions bring diversity to the post-secondary system in B.C. and expand the range of training available, including:
- 19 private and out-of-province public institutions with authority to grant degrees under the B.C. Degree Authorization Act.
- More than 330 private training institutions (includes career training institutions and English as a Second Language schools).
- 13 theological institutions with a private act to grant degrees in theology.
Private Training Act
- The Private Training Act and regulations came into force on Sept. 1, 2016, and brought responsibility for regulation of private training into government. Private training institutions were previously regulated by the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA).
- Private training institutions in B.C. must be certified under the act if they provide at least one career-related program that is 40 hours or more in length and has tuition of at least $4,000.
- The new legislation balances the needs and interests of students and institutions by:
- Strengthening consumer protection.
- Setting higher quality standards.
- Streamlining and harmonizing administrative processes.
- Reducing student financial assistance default rates.
- Reducing the regulatory burden for registered institutions.
- The Ministry of Advanced Education is working with the private training sector as they make the transition to the new regulatory scheme.
- In 2014-15, private training institutions in B.C. awarded 41,931 credentials to students, an increase of 9.7% over 2013-14.
Degree Level Education
- Private or out-of-province public institutions are required to meet established quality standards in order to gain authority under the Degree Authorization Act to offer degree level education or grant degrees in B.C.
- Nineteen institutions enrol approximately 14,800 students in 57 degree programs each year.
- Institutions must provide annual reports to ensure that all degree programs at all institutions meet consistent and high-quality standards.
- Degree-granting institutions must meet financial security requirements to protect students financially in the event the institution cannot complete delivery of its programs.
- In 2015, there were approximately 67,965 international students in private post-secondary education in B.C., representing 52% of the total international student population. This includes students in private degree-granting institutions, private career training institutions and private language schools.
- The number of international students studying in the private sector in B.C. increased 36% from 49,834 in 2010 to 67,965 in 2015.
- All post-secondary institutions in B.C. interested in accepting international students on study permits are required to obtain Education Quality Assurance (EQA).
- More than 220 private post-secondary institutions in B.C. currently have EQA and are on the provincial list of Designated Learning Institutions for the International Student Program. (100 private post-secondary institutions held EQA designation prior to the implementation of the EQA standard for the list).