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Student voice becomes increasingly important after disappointing tuition increase

Halifax, N.S. – Saint Mary’s University students were notified of the results of the government allowing a one-time market adjustment. Saint Mary’s announced they would take advantage of the government’s decision and raise tuition, beginning next year. Students’ tuition will rise anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars per year beginning in 2016-2017. This is another example of the cost of university being transferred directly to students.

“The increased financial cost of attending post-secondary institutions in this province cannot be ignored,” Chair of StudentsNS Fallis Thompson stated. “The results of the one time market adjustment this government is allowing will continue to be realized at all of our institutions; it is unfortunate that it is our students who bare the brunt of such decisions.”

Saint Mary’s students were relieved that the administration took the time to listen to their concerns and committed to investing money realized from this adjustment into student services. Students raised varied concerns and the Saint Mary’s University Student Association (SMUSA) reiterated those concerns to administration in writing. “It is our hope and expectation that the University follows through on their commitment to reinvest money into our students. It was encouraging to hear the university listen to us about how we would like to see them spend the money we are paying,” said Rachel MacDonald, Vice President of Academic Affairs at SMUSA.

These tuition increases will affect our most vulnerable students the most. This province must recognize that there are many students who do not even apply to university due to the financial and social barriers of this system. Further tuition increases will only increase this equity gap.

“Investments must be made in our most marginalized and vulnerable populations to ensure that every student who wants to attend post-secondary education has the ability,” said Nick Head-Petersen, Executive Director of StudentsNS. “This means the government and institutions should make targeted investments within this sector to increase accessibility and affordability for our students.”

For more information, please contact:

Nick Head-Petersen, Executive Director
Phone: 902 293 7232
Email: director@studentsns.ca

Or

Fallis Thompson, Chair of StudentsNS
Phone: 902 585 2127
Email: fallis.thompson@acadiau.ca

Students Nova Scotia is a not-for-profit and non-partisan advocacy and research group that represents post-secondary students from across Nova Scotia. Our members include Acadia, Cape Breton, Saint Mary’s, and St. Francis Xavier Universities, the Kingstec and Annapolis Valley Campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College, and the Atlantic School of Theology.

Kate Elliot