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U of R Classes Opting for No Textbook Courses

For a second year in a row, the U of R will be reintroducing the Zero Cost Materials Program to alleviate the stresses of costly textbooks for students.
The University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan have extended remote learning until February 7, 2022. Alexa Huffman / Global News

Imagine the burdens that many university students face — including stresses of buying pricey textbooks. But for some classes at the University of Regina, that will no longer be an issue.

The U of R is reintroducing the Zero Cost Materials (ZCM) Courses program after a successful year. Instructors are becoming more intrigued with the program which helps alleviate a significant worry of being a university student.

The ZCM program provides textbooks and easily accessibly course materials for free. Textbooks can cost anywhere from under fifty dollars to several hundred. It’s a huge barrier that many students face.

It’s one of the reasons why the ZCM program was introduced to the university. Last fall, there were 65 ZCM courses and now this year there are over 90 courses that will be adopting this initiative.

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“It is well received by faculty members, students and as well as some community members,” said Dr. Nilgün Önder, the U of R’s associate vice-president of academics. “According to the rough estimates, the 90 ZCM courses are saving over half a million dollars for students and I think that’s a pretty good number.”

Dr. Önder hopes that all courses will be ZCM inclusive regardless of who teaches them. She added this program will be on a semester-to-semester basis. As students head back to in-class learning in the fall, more interests have peaked of the ZCM program. It’s a trend that Önder hopes to see flourish years down the road.

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“The program is still growing and I expect many more ZCM courses in the following semesters,” she said.

The full ZCM course list for the Fall 2021 semester can be viewed on the University of Regina website.

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