Students Respond to Increased Funding for Only Two Nova Scotia Universities
For Immediate Release
Halifax, NS – Today, the Government of Nova Scotia announced increased funding for two of the province’s ten public universities. The recipients are St. Francis Xavier University and the University of Kings College, who will be given operating grant increases of $3.95 million and $2.2 million respectively.
Nova Scotia’s ten public universities receive operating grant funding each year from the provincial government. Today’s announcement is a 13% increase for St. Francis Xavier University’s operating grant, rising from $29.6 million to $33.5 million, and a 36% increase for the University of Kings College’s operating grant, rising from $5.9 million to $8.1 million.
“We are happy to see the province investing in post-secondary education, as this money will improve the educational experience for students studying at St.FX and Kings.” said Tristan Bray, Executive Director of StudentsNS. “While this funding is a step in the right direction, it does not address the overall sustainability challenges of our provincial post-secondary system. Providing university funding on a case by case basis is not an equitable approach to public funding, as it leaves students at other universities behind.”
Since 2015, university operating grants have increased by only 1% each year as stipulated within the 2015-2019 Memorandum of Understanding. These 1% funding increases have not been sufficient to keep pace with the rate of inflation nor to address institutional needs, forcing universities to pass these costs off to students through large tuition increases. Over the last four years, Nova Scotia students have faced the largest annual tuition increases in the country as average tuition has risen more than 20%.
Negotiations are currently underway between the Government of Nova Scotia and the province’s universities for a new Memorandum of Understanding. This will set the fundamental direction of post-secondary education in the province by determining public funding levels, system priorities, and tuition regulations. Students have been advocating for government to cap tuition increases by the rate of inflation and increase annual operating grant funding by 3% for every university in Nova Scotia.
StudentsNS represents 20,000 undergraduate, graduate, and college students across Nova Scotia.
For more information, contact:
Tristan Bray, Executive Director