Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.74
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Victoria
IN-41: Textbook Affordability

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution host a peer-to-peer textbook exchange program, textbook lending library, or alternate textbook project?:

A brief description of the textbook exchange program, textbook lending library, or alternate textbook project:

UVic provides students with several affordable options for obtaining textbooks, rather than purchasing them as new.

UVic Libraries' pilot project, initiated in fall 2021 and continued through spring 2022-23, tracks the use of library licensed electronic books in courses. The project supports access and affordability for students, listing ebooks by title, course number, term, and instructors' names. It complements the Libraries' advocacy for open educational resources (OER) and aligns with their Strategic Directions. With 280 titles used in 394 courses, instructors saved UVic students approximately $794,469, promoting affordable, quality education in line with United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals #4.

After each academic term, the UVic Bookstore provides students with a time frame of several weeks in which students are able to come to the Bookstore and sell their used textbooks back to the University at a pro-rated value of the original price. The used textbooks are then made available for sale to students in the following term at a significantly reduced price, and are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The UVic Bookstore website also provides an online platform, the “Classifieds”, in which students are able to sell their textbooks directly to other students. If students do not want to purchase a textbook for their course, they are able to rent them for the entire semester for 30%-50% less than that of the sale price. Some courses also provide the option to purchase their textbook online for a fraction of the cost of the physical textbook.

Finally, the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) runs Subtext out of the Student Union Building (SUB). It is a consignment bookstore staffed by students that accepts used textbooks and novels, with an emphasis on bringing in editions that are current to courses being offered on campus. It is unique in the sense that prices are set by the seller of the textbook rather than by Subtext itself, and is therefore often less expensive than other used book retailers.

Does the institution provide incentives for academic staff that explicitly encourage the authorship, peer review, and/or adoption of open access textbooks?:

A brief description of the incentives to encourage the authorship, peer review, and/or adoption of open access textbooks:

UVic provides grant opportunities to undergraduate teachers to encourage the adoption, adaptation, or development of Open Education Resources (OERs) for undergraduates with the aim of replacing existing textbooks or education resources that can be prohibitively expensive. Each grant is limited to a maximum of $5,000, so that financial support can be distributed across multiple proposals in a diversity of faculties and divisions in order to maximize direct benefits to a wide range of students.

Website URL where information about the textbook affordability incentives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

eTextbooks for Students: https://onlineacademiccommunity.uvic.ca/scholarlycommunications/2022/12/22/maximizing-uvic-libraries-ebooks-for-students/

UVic Bookstore/Textbooks:

UVSS Subtext:

News article speaking to how UVic Libraries and Faculty members are working towards free textbooks on campus:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.