KPU Zero Textbook Cost initiative saves students millions during pandemic

Tue, Nov 24, 2020

The Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) initiative at Kwantlen Polytechnic University has saved students more than $2 million dollars during remote learning in the spring, summer and fall 2020 semesters.


According to Urooj Nizami, an open education strategist at KPU, the current pandemic has underscored the value of open educational resources when it comes to affordability and flexibility.


“Open education resources allow students to circumvent the high costs of commercial textbooks while offering instructors a smoother transition to online instruction, knowing that copyright and fair dealing matters have already been navigated,” she says.


“At KPU we’re lucky to have many faculty advocates, the library, and the Office of Open Education who all shine a bright light on the possibilities these resources provide.”


Since KPU started the ZTC initiative in spring 2018, there have been a total of 845 different ZTC courses offered at the university that combined enrolled more than 45,000 students.


“In ZTC’s first semester, 75 faculty participated. Since then, a total of 419 faculty members have offered ZTC courses and saved students over $5.2 million,” says Nizami.


Last month, Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, acting vice provost, Teaching and Learning, won the Emerging Leader Award from the international Open Education Awards for Excellence. He heads the ZTC initiative at KPU, which is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada.


“The ZTC initiative offers students the opportunity to choose from nearly 850 courses in an academic year and even seven complete credentials without spending a cent on textbooks,” says Jhangiani.


More than 420 of those courses will be offered in the spring 2021 semester, the most in a single semester since the initiative was launched. Students can use the ZTC filter option in the selection timetable to quickly find those courses.


Learn more about the zero textbook cost credentials offered at KPU