November in Review

Posted on November 4, 2013

Here’s an excerpt from our November newsletter!

Why not click here and sign up for it?

You wanted news about what StudentsNS is up to and a way to stay plugged in to the important and exciting work it’s doing: here’s a start.

Student Financial Assistance and Tax Credits Report
On November 26th, we released our report From Worst to First: How Nova Scotia Can Lead the Pack on Student Financial Assistance. The report recommends eliminating the Province’s Graduate Retention Rebate, Tuition and Education Tax Credit and Student Loan Interest Tax Credit and reinvest the more than $40 million in savings into the Nova Scotia Student Assistance Program. Specific student assistance program recommendations include eliminating the maximum assistance amount, converting all loans to grants, and building greater fairness into the assessment of parental and spousal contributions. Unlike tax credits, the student assistance program favours students with the greatest financial need, delivers funding to students when they need it, and is an effective tool for youth retention because it reduces student debt; a major factor in graduate’s choice to stay in Nova Scotia. The report was completed by StudentsNS Director of Research Bob Parker.
Draft Housing Report
StudentsNS released a draft report on Off-Campus Housing. The draft argues that universities must play a greater role in planning for how their students are housed and proposes that they significantly expand their affordable rental units to expand the supply of affordable housing. It also recommends changes to the Residential Tenancy Act and related services to protect tenants from abuse of their security deposits and ensure landlords are maintaining their properties. StudentsNS is looking for feedback on the report, written by Brian Foster and Jonathan Williams, before it is scheduled for approval by the Board of Directors in January.
StudentsNS also attended a roundtable organized by HRM Mayor Mike Savage. StudentsNS, in partnership with a number of community organizations and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, has signed a letter calling on the Federal Government to establish a long-term plan for housing, backed by significant investment.

September in Review

Posted on October 3, 2013

Here’s an excerpt from our first-ever monthly newsletter!

Why not click here and sign up for it?

You wanted news about what StudentsNS is up to and a way to stay plugged in to the important and exciting work it’s doing: here’s a start.

September was a busy month for StudentsNS. From Elections to Researcy Papers and firing up this annual cycle of our campaigns, Staff, Board Members and Volunteers have been busy. Here’s some of what we’ve been working on.


Call for Feedback on International Student Position Paper Draft

Posted on March 19, 2013

Students Nova Scotia is inviting student feedback on the draft version of our latest position paper on International Students in Nova Scotia.

This paper considers the importance of international students for Nova Scotia and the challenges they face in the Province. International students are critically important for Nova Scotia’s present and future because of the economic and cultural wealth they bring, and especially because with out significant aging trend we need these students to maintain enrolment at our universities and as a source of potential immigrants. More»

Call for Feedback on Student Fees and University System Funding Position Paper

Posted on March 19, 2013

We are inviting student feedback on a second draft position paper on Student Fees and University System Funding.

This paper conducts a thorough assessment of all aspects of university system funding policy, with a particular emphasis on tuition and student fees policies. Our goal was to help neutralize the tired, interest-based rhetoric of the university funding debate and begin a constructive dialogue on how all those who stand to benefit from the university system can collaborate to move the university system and the Province forward on a more solid fiscal and economic footing. The paper builds upon our previous work by exploring answers to a few key foundational questions.

  1. How much does our university system actually cost?
  2. Who pays these costs?
  3. Who benefits from our universities? Do we receive good value for our money?
  4. Do we actually spend enough to achieve our goals for the system and the Province?
  5. What should we do differently?

This paper is in draft form and we invite your feedback on its contents. To provide feedback, please email Bob Parker at: [email protected]


We look forward to hearing from you!

Health insurance for international students would make N.S. more inviting for settlement

Posted on January 30, 2013

This year, there are more than 6,000 international students studying at Nova Scotia’s post-secondary education institutions. The Chronicle Herald’s Jan. 26 story “No back burner for this cultural melting pot” highlighted these students’ incalculably valuable cultural contribution. Much attention has also been given to the fact that these students infuse our economy to the tune of $231 million per year and generate $3 in government revenue for every public dollar spent to support them. More»

2012 in Review (Director of Research Edition)

Posted on December 27, 2012

When I joined StudentsNS in August, I was new to post-secondary education (PSE) policy. In five short months, I have quickly learned just how complex and highly contested PSE policy can be. Of course, these complexities are amplified by current global economic conditions and the fiscal challenges faced by Nova Scotia in particular.  For a policy wonk like me, I couldn’t have hoped for a more interesting introduction to Nova Scotia’s policy community.  More»