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KPU expands course offerings that have zero textbook costs

The university estimates that students who opt for the ZTC degree program could save $5,000 over four years by exclusively using open-access course texts and library course reserves.


Degree options just got a little bit cheaper for students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Last fall, the B.C. university introduced a four-year bachelor’s program as part of its suite of Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) credentials and courses.

Students pursuing a BA in general studies will now have the option of choosing courses with reading lists made up entirely of free online texts, or texts widely available through library course reserves. Students in the program must complete 120 credits, or roughly 40 courses. The university estimates that students in the program who opt for all ZTC courses will save $5,000 over four years.

Read also: Publishers, universities struggle to provide timely access to accessible textbooks

KPU has long supported open-education resources as part of its mandate as an open-access university. The institution first adopted open textbooks in 2012, and now offers some 700 courses with open textbooks and other free course material. The BA joins six other ZTC credentials offered at KPU – two associate degrees, a diploma, two certificates and an adult graduation diploma. In a press release, KPU says that since 2017, students enrolled in ZTC courses and programs have saved over $3.1 million.

Rajiv Jhangiani, associate vice-provost of open education, says the university is working on bringing more degree programs under the ZTC umbrella.

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