HALIFAX – The 2015-2019 Memorandum of Understanding Between the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Universities, signed yesterday by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents, fails to create accessible or safe university campuses for students in Nova Scotia. The memorandum caps provincial funding increases at an insufficient 1 percent per year until 2019, less than inflation, and downloads the cost of post-secondary education onto the shoulders of students.
The memorandum’s tuition fee policy reaffirms universities’ ability to increase tuition fees beyond the 3 percent cap through the use of market adjustments, and removes the cap entirely for out-of-province, graduate, and professional students.
“Claims to prioritize improved access for students are proven false while this government is deregulating tuition fees across the board,” said Charlotte Kiddell, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia. “With almost every university using the market adjustment to increase fees beyond the 3 percent cap for the duration of the memorandum, students will face unprecedented financial barriers to pursuing a post-secondary education in Nova Scotia.”
The memorandum includes language that requires universities to develop stand-alone policies that address sexual violence. This language is more limited in the supports it provides than the Safer Universities and Colleges Act and the Sexual Violence Action Plan, both introduced by opposition parties after consultation with students.
“The Memorandum of Understanding is a non-binding document, and students have no recourse if their university does not follow through on creating a sexual violence policy,” said Kiddell. “It’s encouraging to see the government agrees with students that more must be done to combat sexualized violence on university campuses, but this will not make campuses safe.”
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.
Contact: Charlotte Kiddell, Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia
Tel: (902) 580-5735
Alt. tel: (902) 425-4237