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:


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»

2012 in Review (Executive Director Edition)

Posted on December 27, 2012

Like my colleagues, I wanted to write a brief post just to highlight what I’ve been up to in the past year–working together with Alexis, Bob and Brian here at the office, as well as our Board of Directors. I jump between a lot of different files, so I won’t cover everything, but I’ll do my best to pick some of the key things that may be most of interest.


Some Thoughts Deserve More Thought: Alex Usher, Stigma, and Mental Health in PSE

Posted on December 6, 2012

At StudentsNS we try to keep up with current trends and debates in Canadian PSE. A frequent and valuable contributor to these debates is Alex Usher, President of Higher Education Strategy Associates. His daily blog on Canadian PSE issues – called “One Thought to Start Your Day,” – is often thought provoking. However, two of his blogs this week provoked very different kinds of thoughts showing that while some thoughts are worth sharing, others might be so hastily composed that they could have done with a little more, well, thought. More»

What makes a great university president?

Posted on June 21, 2012

By Jonathan Williams, ANSSA ED

Multiple Nova Scotia University presidents will be leaving their positions in the next two years, including at Cape Breton University and Dalhousie University. Presidents play a key role in setting the directions of their institutions, and negotiating the terms of their funding with the province. More»