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Study Shows BC Colleges & Institutes are Engines of Economic Growth

VICTORIA (September 19, 2007)– The B.C. economy creates $7.7 billion in income each year due to BC colleges and their past students, an amount that equals over four per cent of the provincial economy.

A government-sponsored study conducted for BC colleges by CCbenefits Inc. reported these findings today in the largest analysis of its kind in British Columbia.

The analysis of 13 colleges and institutes located in more than 50 campuses throughout BC concludes that BC colleges and institutes are engines of economic growth for the province, returning 14 per cent on taxpayers’ investments in the colleges.

“This study confirms the importance of BC colleges and institutes in contributing to a skilled workforce and to the vitality of both the local and provincial economies,” said Jim Reed, President of the BC College Presidents.

“The results show that rural colleges as well as urban colleges contribute a significant financial return to governments, students and communities,” said Lou Dryden, Chair of the BC College Presidents and president of North Island College in Campbell River.

CCbenefits Inc. reports a benefit/cost ratio of 3.8, meaning that every dollar of taxpayer money invested in BC colleges returns $3.80 to the provincial and local governments.

Other key findings of the study, conducted over six month period in 2007, include:

  • Community colleges and institutes encourage new business, assist existing business, and create long-term economic growth.
  • Students generate about $219 million annually in higher earnings due to their BC college education, thereby expanding the tax base and reducing the tax burden on taxpayers.
  • The province saves nearly $21 million per year that students are in the workforce due to improved health and reduced welfare, unemployment and crime.

The BC College Presidents is a consortium of 12 community colleges and the Justice Institute of B.C. It was created in 2002 to represent B.C.’s community colleges and technical institutes. Its purpose is promote a better understanding of the role colleges and institutes play in British Columbia's post-secondary system.

CCbenefits Inc. is an economic modeling company. The economic impact model used in the analysis is a peer-reviewed model that has generated more than 700 studies for communities and technical colleges in the U.S. and Canada.


Jim Reed, President,
BCCP, Victoria, B.C.

Lou Dryden, Chair,
BCCP, Courtenay, B.C

Dr.Kjell Christophersen, President,
CCbenefits Inc., Moscow, Idaho

Last updated: September 19, 2007 9:49 am

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