The University of British Columbia has reduced the cost of course packs sold through the UBC Bookstore. Students at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses will realize an average savings of 33 per cent.
Course packs are compilations of excerpts from journals, books or other sources, selected by a course instructor for distribution to students and required for supplemental reading.
“We have been able to realize these savings for our students in large part because of efforts to maximize the value of library resources, and the choices we have made on copyright,” said Louise Cowin, UBC Vice President Students.
Course pack prices are determined in large part by the copyright clearances needed for each copy. Three main factors have contributed to reducing pricing, namely:
- UBC is making use of digital subscription licences, making millions of journal articles and other scholarly materials available for use in course packs;
- UBC is relying on the recently modernized Copyright Act and new landmark Supreme Court of Canada rulings that have expanded the understanding of ‘fair dealing’ and its applicability to course pack production;
- UBC is avoiding onerous blanket fees by opting out of arrangements with Access Copyright.
Cowin said access to reasonably priced learning materials is part of UBC’s efforts to make learning materials more affordable. “Added to our textbook rental service that can save students 50% on book costs, the burden is getting a little lighter.”
While savings differ for each course pack depending on specific contents, UBC will continue to explore ways to reduce the cost of accessing all learning materials.
More information on copyright compliance and course pack price reductions can be found here