For immediate release
Halifax, Nova Scotia- Students were shocked today by the Province’s budget that it will be eliminating the Graduate Retention Rebate without reallocating funding to support youth success in Nova Scotia. Compared with new expenditures on supporting student and graduate employment, the Province will be saving approximately $33.85 million in 2014-15.
“We’re shocked that this government is deciding to take funding away from students and graduates with this budget, just one month after the Ivany Commission report highlighted the importance of young people for our province’s future”, said StudentsNS Executive Director, Jonathan Williams. “Eliminating the Graduate Retention Rebate without reinvesting in supporting our young people is a betrayal of our students and graduates.”
The Budget also delivers the fourth consecutive year of real cuts in university operating funding. Students are very worried about the implications of these cuts for quality of education and support services. Also, these cuts have been offset by increases in tuition at 3% per year for domestic undergraduate and graduate students, and even higher rates for international and professional students.
“Just as all Nova Scotians, and especially our young people, are being called upon to turn our province around, the Province is taking funding away from students and graduates,” said StudentsNS Chair, Amy Brierley. “When it is imperative to keep graduates in the province, this budget sends the message that investing in youth is not a priority.”
The Province is following through on promises to create a graduate student scholarship program, eliminate interest on student loans and introduce a Graduate to Opportunities Program. These programs will deliver important benefits to students, but none will be fully implemented in 2014-15 to the extent suggested in the government’s election platform. The budget will also expand the Student Career Skills Development and Strategic Cooperative Education Incentive Programs.