HALIFAX – In a letter sent earlier today to all three major party leaders, the Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Education Coalition is calling on the provincial government to include faculty, students, and staff in consultations for the new Memorandum of Understanding between the province and university presidents set to begin this fall. The Coalition’s latest poll, Building for the Future: Public Opinion on Post-Secondary Education in Nova Scotia (2014), showed overwhelming support for faculty, staff, and students playing a central role in decisions about the future of post-secondary education.
“Three quarters of Nova Scotians want to see the faculty who teach, the students who learn, and the staff who work in our post-secondary institutions make the decisions about what their future will look like,” said Marc Lamoureux, President of the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers. “The Nova Scotia government needs to engage faculty, students and staff as equal partners when policies relating to fees, funding and governance are being set.”
Despite polling showing that 85 per cent of Nova Scotians support reducing tuition fees, and 60 per cent would pay higher taxes to increase funding, last year’s provincial budget increased tuition fees by three per cent for the fourth year in a row, and provincial funding was in real terms cut. Students were shocked to see the provincial government cut $49.5 million dollars from the Graduate Retention Rebate this past spring, despite repeated calls from student and community groups to redirect this funding into upfront student grants.
“Since the Coalition first started conducting public opinion polling in 2005, the vast majority of Nova Scotians have consistently said they support reducing tuition fees,” said Anna Dubinski, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia. “Our government must stop ignoring the people of this province, who have said students and our families should not be taking on record levels of debt in order to pay for a post-secondary education.”
The Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Education Coalition is comprised of the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers, the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union and the Dalhousie Faculty Association.
Contact: Anna Dubinski, Chairperson — Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia
Tel: (902) 329-2329
Contact: Matthew Furlong, Communications Coordinator – Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers
Tel: (902) 414-8578