April 27th, 2017
For Immediate Release
Halifax, NS – Today, students are happy to see the Nova Scotia Government invest in students through the 2017/2018 Budget. The budget announces $3.4 million for expansion to the Student Assistance program and the introduction of the “Innovate to Opportunity” program.
“We are thrilled to see the budget release,” said Collette Robert, Chair of StudentsNS. “Although we do recognize there is more work to do, we acknowledge that the provincial government is committed to investing in students, and we look forward to working together in the future.”
The most significant investment in the budget for students is to implement StudentsNS recommendations to increase the weekly loan allowances from $180/week to $200/week and expand loan forgiveness from the first four years of an undergraduate degree to five. The government also introduces the Innovate to Opportunity program to assist Masters and PhD students get hired in research and innovation-focused jobs, and enhances the Graduate to Opportunity program to expand the hiring of graduates from underrepresented groups.
While StudentsNS is happy to see this budget reflect student priorities, students still need the government to invest more in their future by introducing needs based, up-front, non-repayable grants for students who need help most. There is much more to be done to ensure this province is investing in its future.
“There is always more that can be done for students in Nova Scotia and key priorities that we will continue to work with government on including student assistance, better data collection, and support for indigenous and African Nova Scotians,” said Sophie Helpard, StudentsNS Executive Director. “However today’s announcement shows us that the government is listening and cares about the issues we are prioritizing as students.”
Other notable items in the budget include money set aside for mental health supports and apprenticeship funding.
For more information, please contact:
Sophie Helpard, Executive Director
Phone: 905 714 5455
Collette Robert, Chair of StudentsNS
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