There are no straight As in a report card that grades political parties on how they would support university education if they are elected on May 30. The Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) surveyed the Liberal, PC and NDP parties on topics that focused on operational funding for universities and tuition support for students, and how that support might look over the next 4 years.
“When candidates come knocking on your door, start the conversation with them that university education matters,” says Marc Lamoureux, ANSUT President. “By 2020, 70% of the work force will need some form of post-secondary education to get a job. University education matters now more than ever and it is becoming virtually a necessity, not only to secure a better job, but also in preparing the next generation of citizens to be informed, critical thinkers.”
Lamoureux says an increase in operational funding is particularly important given the fact that this funding decreased ten per cent from 2010 – 2013, and has only increased 1 per cent per year under the current government. “A return to 2010 funding levels, not accounting for inflation, would mean an investment of $22.4 million over current funding to catch up, but is necessary if we want to ensure Nova Scotia universities continue to attract students from our province, as well as those from the rest of Canada and around the world.”
The video report card is available at ansut.ca, along with full details of the survey. Lamoureux says the “report card” will help voters be aware that issues pertaining to university funding are not just for those currently connected with universities. “The knowledge economy in Nova Scotia generated $840 million in 2012. That’s the second highest category, so it’s important to all Nova Scotian’s to ask their candidates how they’re going to keep that growing. Secure, adequate university funding and tuition support is crucial.”
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.