As the provincial election draws closer, educators at Langara College are calling attention to what they call severe under funding of the post-secondary education system.
The faculty at Langara College are at the forefront of a province-wide campaign to make colleges and universities more affordable.
They say that per capita funding to Langara, adjusted to inflation, has dropped by 20 per cent since the B.C. Liberals formed government in 2001, resulting in a heavy reliance on the high tuition rates of international students.
"That means we've had to find other sources of revenue, which has included seeking out and attracting international students to come to our college" said Lynn Carter, president of the Langara Faculty Association.
Andrew Wilkinson, minister of advanced education, said that post-secondary funding across B.C. has gone up 46 per cent since 2001 in terms of operating grants, in addition to $3.3 billion in capital investments for new buildings.
Carter argues that while grants from government have increased, it doesn't account for a growing student population or inflation.
The shortfall has left publicly funded institutions like Langara looking for ways to keep their doors open and Carter says that relying on tuitions from international students is putting them in a precarious position.
"If anything happens in countries where our international students come from, if there's problems with their visas, all of that puts in question our ability to provide education for all our students."
With files from the CBC's On The Coast
To hear the full interview listen to audio labelled Post secondary reliance on international tuition rises as provincial funding falls short