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Students Enraged by Government’s Anti-Youth Stance

For Immediate Release

Halifax, NS – Today, the Nova Scotia Government announced multiple steps to substantially increase the cost of university, reduce student financial support and undermine university accountability. In particular, tuition fees are being deregulated for all students in 2015-16, then capped only for Nova Scotian undergraduates at 3% per year moving forward, leaving all other students unprotected.

“This government’s direction is anti-student, anti-youth and anti-Ivany Report”, said StudentsNS President Brandon Hamilton. “Despite talk of support for the Ivany Report, they have now cut over $45 million in funding for youth retention and attraction, and are making it more expensive for students from Nova Scotia and elsewhere to be in our province.”

Instead of announcing their tuition policy at a university-related event in late March, the Government chose to announce their tuition policy within the budget.

“This government is giving our university presidents more control over student fees than anywhere else in Canada and they’re doing it in the most underhand way possible, burying the announcement in a budget to distract the public when it’s not even a budgetary decision,” said StudentsNS Executive Director Jonathan Williams. “Today’s announcement will lead to immediate and ongoing tuition increases across Nova Scotia’s universities, including for Nova Scotia residents.”

“The government’s decision to allow a tuition reset provides the opportunity for StFX to immediately increase tuition by $500 all students, including Nova Scotians,” said Hamilton, who is also President of the StFX Students’ Union. “These decisions are going to hit low-income students the hardest.”

The Maximum Assistance amount for student financial assistance will not increase, leaving students with the greatest need with no additional support to cover the cost of tuition increases. The budget indicates that the Province will be cutting $3.2 million from the Nova Scotia University Student Bursary, more than $2.55 million from student financial assistance for Nova Scotians, cutting $1.95 million from their commitment to Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships in 2015-16, and cutting $3.3 million from their initial commitment to the Graduate to Opportunities Program for 2015-16.

“Today’s announcement will further undercut Nova Scotia’s ability to retain youth and attract young people from elsewhere to settle here,” said Callie Lathem, StudentsNS VP University Affairs. “The Ivany Report says we should make youth a top priority, we’ve lost young people to out-migration every year since 1985. What is this government doing?”

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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 Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College, and the Atlantic School of Theology.

 

For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Williams, Executive Director

Phone: 902 483 5480

Email: director@studentsns.ca

 

Or

 

Brandon Hamilton, President

Phone: 902 867 2435

Email: president@studentsns.ca

Kate Elliot