HALIFAX – In a letter sent to Kelly Regan, Minister for Labour and Advanced Education (LAE) today, students are demanding the Nova Scotia government delay decisions on university funding for the 2015-16 year until after an ongoing review on post-secondary education can be completed. Students were shocked to learn in a meeting with government staff on November 25 that the Treasury Board will decide on university funding levels before the review concludes in January.
“Students engaged in good faith when this government said they wanted to consult students and the public to determine the future of post-secondary education in Nova Scotia,” said Michaela Sam, Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia. “Making a decision on something as fundamental as university funding before the review is complete completely undermines the purpose of any consultation.”
During the 2013 Provincial Election, the Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia asked the political parties if they would commit to reducing tuition fees once elected. While the Nova Scotia Liberal Party did not commit to a reduction, they did promise that the aforementioned review would determine tuition fee levels in Nova Scotia.
“A decision on university funding it is effectively a decision on tuition fees,” said Sam. “The government has already informed at least one university that they should budget for a 3% increase in tuition fees, a complete turnaround from their election promise to students.”
Along with their letter urging the government to respect the review, students have also sent a copy of their policy recommendations included in the report Face the Future. This publication lays out how Nova Scotia can reduce tuition fees, convert student loans to grants, and increase university funding, while still considerably reducing the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio.
The Canadian Federation of Students, Canada’s national student movement, is comprised of nearly one-half million students from over 80 college and university students’ unions. Students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations since 1927.
For more information:
Chairperson – Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia
Maritimes Organiser – Canadian Federation of Students