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Students Urge Government to Close Tuition Loopholes, Ensure Meaningful Consultation, and Provide Increased University Funding

For Immediate Release

Halifax, NS – Post-secondary students across Nova Scotia have been pleased to meet with the Department of Labour and Advanced Education (LAE), the Minister, MLAs, and other stakeholders to provide recommendations for the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU is an agreement between the Government of Nova Scotia and the province’s universities which sets the strategic direction of post-secondary education by regulating tuition, providing funding, and creating sector priorities. The current MOU is set to expire March 31 2019, and negotiations for a new MOU are ongoing.

“The current MOU includes a loophole which allowed universities to raise tuition as much as they liked, resulting in average tuition increasing by more than 20% over the last 4 years,” said Clancy McDaniel, Chair of StudentsNS and VP External of the St. Francis Xavier Students’ Union. “Enough is enough. Nova Scotia students experience the highest annual tuition increases and we now have the 2nd highest tuition in Canada. In order to ensure our post-secondary education remains affordable, it is imperative that the government close this loophole and strictly regulate any future tuition increases in the new MOU.”

Along with predictable tuition, students are also asking the government to create mechanisms for student consultation, commit to increased public funding for universities, and include priority areas such as sexual violence prevention and campus mental health in the new MOU.

“Our recommendations for the new MOU are focused on protecting students through tuition regulation, ensuring meaningful student consultation, and providing additional funding for our universities,” said Tristan Bray, Executive Director of StudentsNS. “We have been well-received in our meetings with the Minister, MLA’s, and LAE, and we are hopeful to see the next MOU prioritize the needs of students.”

StudentsNS represents 20,000 undergraduate, graduate, and college students across Nova Scotia. The full report on the new MOU can be found here: http://studentsns.ca/research/reports/.

For more information, contact:
Tristan Bray, Executive Director
director@studentsns.ca
403-837-9967

Kate Elliot