Halifax, N.S. – Yesterday, StudentsNS was pleased to see the signing of a memorandum of understanding between government and universities that is a positive step towards more transparency, student support, and consultation expectations for institutions in the Province. The Department of Labour and Advanced Education and the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents signed the MOU to govern a four-year partnership in the sector.
“This MOU includes expectations for universities that we believe are student focused and also reflect the need for sustainability in the post-secondary sector. We are content to see that student priorities were given a place in the document,” said Fallis Thompson, Chair of StudentsNS. “From the attention given to institutional transparency, to the addition of student satisfaction and experience of key performance indicators, this MOU is more robust than Nova Scotia has seen in the past.”
Highlights of the MOU include the student support provisions, particularly the institutional commitment to adopting stand-alone policies that address sexual violence. StudentsNS was also happy with the inclusion of student consultation in the determination of ancillary and auxiliary fee increases.
Despite the positive direction of the document for students, StudentsNS was disappointed to see the de-regulation of tuition for out of province students, international students and those studying Medicine, Dentistry, and Law that will negatively impact many students in the province. With the one-time market adjustments that were allowed this past year, all students will be faced with increased financial barriers to attending post-secondary education. This government cannot lose sight of the importance of investing in supports for our most vulnerable students.
In addition to the MOUs, the outcome agreements it highlighted are highly anticipated to see specific commitments from universities to their students and the public. With their release and a thorough implementation plan for the MOU, StudentsNS hopes the government can hold institutions to their commitments. “Now that the MOU has been signed, we look forward to seeing measures made publicly available to ensure the goals outlined in the document are upheld,” concluded Sophie Helpard, Executive Director of StudentsNS.
For more information, please contact:
Sophie Helpard, Executive Director
Phone: 905 714 5455
Fallis Thompson, Chair of StudentsNS
Phone: 902 585 2127
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, and the Kingstec and Annapolis Valley Campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College.