Public or Private?

In British Columbia, students have the option of enrolling in a public or a private post-secondary institution.

Public institutions

Public institutions receive funding from the provincial government, and as a result, tuition fees tend to be lower. Public institutions are often larger and more established as many have been around for longer.

Private institutions

Private institutions are not funded by the provincial government, and as a result, tuition fees may be higher. Some are non-profit, while others are run as a business. Private institutions require authorization to grant degrees in BC, please see the Ministry of Advanced Education’s listing of authorized institutions. Private institutions that provide career training must comply with provincial regulations for private career training institutions.

Each type of institution has its pros and cons. Things to consider include class sizes, course transferability, cost, and environment. The public post-secondary institutions in BC offer information nights in school districts across the province; if you are still in high school, ask your school counsellor, or drop in to visit the school’s career centre. If you have been out of school for a while, you can get more information from adult education centres in your area, or contact the post-secondary institution directly.

For more information about things to consider before choosing between public and private institutions, check out the Ministry of Advanced Education’s list of things to consider. If you plan on continuing your education, or changing schools, look at the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer’s guide, so you can ensure your courses will transfer and you won’t have to repeat anything.

Which program would be best suited for me?

The next page shares some resources to help you select the program you would like to pursue.
Choosing Your Program