HALIFAX – Students remain concerned about the direction the NDP government is taking on post-secondary education in Nova Scotia after meeting with Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Marilyn More today. In response, students will be holding campus consultations to discuss students’ priorities for colleges and universities in Nova Scotia.
“Students have presented a series of innovative recommendations to improve the quality and accessibility of post-secondary education in this province,” said Nick Stark, National Executive Representative for the Canadian Federation of Students—Nova Scotia. “It is frustrating that the government has been unwilling to commit to ensuring that Nova Scotia’s colleges and universities are more affordable for students and our families and that the quality of education remains high.”
Student representatives attended a roundtable session with government today. At the roundtable meeting, students recommended governance reforms to increase the number of students, faculty, and staff members on boards of governors, mandatory and transparent reporting mechanisms for university spending to prevent mismanagement, a cost-neutral initiative to improve the provincial system of grants, and a reformulation of the funding formula to account for the actual costs of providing a Fine Arts education at NSCAD. Students also requested that the government meet its pre-election promises to reduce tuition fees and that any change to colleges or universities include meaningful consultation with all stakeholders.
“It is essential that those most invested in post-secondary education—students, faculty, and staff—be at the centre of decisions about the system’s future,” said Stark “If Nova Scotia is to achieve a truly accessible, quality system of post-secondary education, the government must start listening to students’ ideas.”
The government initiated roundtable meetings this year in an effort to consult with students, but students remain concerned that their viewpoints are not being taken into account in government policy. In the most recent Memorandum of Understanding stipulating the conditions for partnership between universities and the province for the next three years, student representation was not included in the important Partnership Board, leaving many students feeling disenfranchised. In response, students have decided to initiate their own democratic consultation process with students.
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest students’ organization, uniting more than 600,000 university and college students from all ten provinces.
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Nick Stark, Nova Scotia National Executive Representative
Canadian Federation of Students
Cellular: (902) 818-4838