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Vote about it!

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This May 30th vote in the Nova Scotia provincial election! Our provincial government affects the lives of students in so many ways! Check the issues we want to be addressed in this election and how our provincial government effects these issues below. 

Not sure if you can vote? Check out more info here: VOTE

 

Accessible Education

Fight the Fees!

Nova Scotia has the second highest tuition fees in Canada and the fastest rising in the country. In the last two years, the provincial government has deregulated fees for out-of-province students, graduate students. Fees continue to climb without regulation for professional and international students. In 2016, Nova Scotian students also faced a one-time tuition fee increase free-for-all that saw fee hikes as high as 20 percent for the Agriculture, Pharmacy and Engineering students. Students are calling for a commitment to accessible education which means increased funding for post-secondary education and an immediate reduction in tuition fees.

What can the provincial government do? Reduce tuition fees! The provincial government is in charge of regulating tuition fees for all 10 universities and the community college in Nova Scotia. It is the provinces responsibility to adequately fund post-secondary education and not offload the cost onto the backs of students.   

What can you do? Vote about it!

 

Grants not loans!

Students in Nova Scotia are currently graduating with an average of $38,000 in debt because the cost of post-secondary education is too high. Students who take on the largest debt loans end up paying twice as much for their education compared to students who can afford to pay fees up front.  The government currently spends $23.6 million on student grants and $26.8 million on student loans and loan forgiveness programs. That means the government currently spends more money managing debts from student loans rather than eliminating barriers by providing up-front grants to students need them the most.

What can the provincial government do? Convert all student loans to grants and eliminate the debt forgiveness program. The provincial government controls student assistance programs in Nova Scotia. With an investment of $8.6 million, we could have a fully funded up-front grant program. 

What can you do? Vote about it!

 

Safer Campuses

Sexual assault and harassment are prevalent on university campuses. One in five women will experience sexual assault during their time at post-secondary. Universities don’t have a good track record of supporting survivors of sexual assault. Students have called out their institutions time and time again for sweeping experiences of sexualized violence under the rug, having difficult-to-navigate policies and not being honest about realities of sexual violence on campus.

What can the provincial government do?  Pass legislation mandating that all post-secondary institutions have standalone sexual assault policies and mandatory reporting on the number of sexual assaults reported to the institution. Create a Sexual Assault Division within the government of Nova Scotia, and shift funding from the Sexual Violence Prevention fund to a new Sexual Assault Support Resource Fund to ensure funding is available for campaigns that can shift the culture. 

What can you do? Vote About it!

 

Support International Students

Universities have started relying heavily on international students to Nova Scotia and pay massive tuition fees. International student fees have been deregulated for years meaning, fees can jump drastically and unpredictably from year to year. Institutions often fail to adequately support students once they are here and students struggle to navigate housing, part-time work, classes or medical concerns. Currently, international students only receive Medical Services Insurance (MSI) after living in Nova Scotia for a full year. That can mean costs upwards of $100,000 if students end up in an emergency room. 

What can the provincial government do?  Invest the $500,000 needed to provide MSI to international students as soon as they arrive. Regulate tuition fees for international students. The Provincial government has the power to protect international students!

What can you do? Vote about it!