Halifax – Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) president, Marc Lamoureux, says the $25.9 million surplus highlighted in today’s budget could be used to help universities reduce tuition costs for Nova Scotia students.
“This budget perpetuates the underfunding of our 10 publicly funded universities, “says Lamoureux. “Without proper core funding to our universities, it will be difficult to maintain the knowledge economy that our universities generate (more than $840 million in 2012).”
University operating grants declined 10 per cent between 2010 and 2013. Lamoureux says the budget surplus announced by Finance and Treasury Board Minister Randy DeLory could be used to eliminate student loans ($8 million) and increase university core funding by 5.5 per cent ($17.9 million).
“Decreased core funding in universities causes multiple issues, like students at the undergraduate level who struggle with staggering debt loads, maintaining the quality of instruction in increased class sizes, inadequate teaching spaces that are ill equipped for current advances in technology, and full-time professors replaced by precarious contract instructors,” says Lamoureux.
Nova Scotia is known nationally and internationally for the quality of its undergraduate university programs. A funding boost would help to maintain that world-class reputation.
ANSUT represents over 1,400 full-time faculty, librarians, and contract academic staff in Nova Scotia. ANSUT’s vision is to provide its member Associations with the strongest possible voice on Post-Secondary Education issues in the province of Nova Scotia, and to advance its mission by engaging the active participation of its members, both individually and institutionally, to achieve that end.