March 31, 2008

Tuition Fee Reductions Welcomed by Nova Scotia’s Students

HALIFAX–Students greeted the news of tuition fee reductions with mixed feelings as they learned that only some students would receive the full $783 rebate. The MacDonald government has announced a continuation of its discrimination against Canadian students born outside of Nova Scotia.

“We’re pleased that the government is finally listening to students and their families by providing some short-term tuition fee relief,” said Kaley Kennedy, Nova Scotia Representative of the Canadian Federation of Students. “But it’s disappointing that the government insists on treating other Canadians differently. It’s discrimination, pure and simple.”

The government announced today that tuition fees will be frozen for all students for the next three years. Students studying at a Nova Scotia university who are permanent residents of Nova Scotia will also receive up to $783 in tuition fee rebate over the next three years, while students from other provinces will receive a $261 rebate in fall 2010.

Students in Nova Scotia currently pay the highest tuition fees in the country, at more than $5,800 per year for an undergraduate degree A recent study by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission reported that high tuition fees are a key factor in Nova Scotia’s declining enrolments. The study also found a quarter of students from outside of the Maritimes, intend to stay in the region post-graduation. Nova Scotia and Quebec are the only two provinces that opt to penalize Canadian non-residents with higher fees.

“With declining enrolments and shifting demographics, the government is in no place to be penalizing young people who choose to come to our province for an education,” continued Kennedy. “For many students, a $260 rebate in 3 years is too little too late.”