February 2, 2016

For Immediate Release
February 2, 2016

Halifax, N.S. – Today, StudentsNS released their 2016 Pre-Budget submission, Investing in Nova Scotia’s Future, Today. This documents calls on the government to make key, strategic investments into the Nova Scotia Student Assistance Program, support for Nova Scotia’s Indigenous and African Nova Scotian Communities, and the coverage of health insurance for international students.

“We feel that this government has a great opportunity to make real change for Nova Scotian students. This province needs to make key investments in our youth to keep them here to study and take up residency, but also invest in our international students as all institutions in this province have identified internationalization as a priority,” said Fallis Thompson, Chair of StudentsNS.

“Our pre-budget submission reflects the goals and priorities laid out in the oneNS report, We Choose Now, and illustrates how investments in our youth will, in fact, benefit the economy, and the social and cultural fabric of Nova Scotia.”

StudentsNS is calling on the government to invest $4 million into post-secondary education in 2016-2017, with additional commitments in the following years. This includes important investments in the Nova Scotia Student Assistance Program, namely: increasing the grant to loan ratio from 40/60 to 50/50 and increasing the weekly maximum for student assistance to $210 to match the federal limit. As well, the pre-budget submission calls for the government to create bursaries for Indigenous and African Nova Scotians, establish a Minister’s Advisory Panel to begin to address colonialism in the post-secondary sector, and provide Medical Services Insurance (MSI) coverage to international students immediately upon their arrival.

“The StudentsNS board has consistently prioritized affordability and accessibility to post-secondary education in Nova Scotia. The pre-budget submission today reflects these priorities clearly,” said Nick Head-Petersen, Executive Director of StudentsNS. “With the unfortunate one-time market adjustments made early this year, it is imperative that this government makes investments to ensure our students can afford to attend post-secondary education.”

StudentsNS will present their pre-budget submission to MLAs and staff during their Advocacy Week, February 16-18.

The full pre-budget submission can be found here.

For more information please contact:

Fallis Thompson, Chair of StudentsNS
Phone: 902 585 2127
Email: fallis.thompson@acadiau.ca

Or

Nick Head-Petersen, Executive Director
Phone: 902 293 7232
Email: director@studentsns.ca

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 and Annapolis Valley Campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College, and the Atlantic School of Theology.