'These results clearly call out for much more comprehensive support than the government has so far chosen to provide.' - Joan Jessome.
Halifax (13 Jan. 2010) - A vast majority of Nova Scotians believe that tuition fees in the province should be reduced, says a poll conducted by Opinion Search for the Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Education Coalition.
The opinion survey questioned respondents on a variety of issues facing students and universities including funding and tuition fees, as well as government priorities.
“Nova Scotians clearly believe in the economic and social benefits of funding a quality and affordable system of post-secondary education,” says Gabe Hoogers, a Nova Scotia representative of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).
“In poll after poll, and at consultation after consultation, voters in this province have shown their support for reducing tuition fees and it’s time for the NDP government to follow their lead.”
Among the findings:
- 83% of Nova Scotians support reducing tuition fees.
- 88% think post-secondary education should be a high or very high priority for the provincial government.
- Two thirds think government funding should make up a larger portion of university funding.
- Nearly 60% are willing to pay higher taxes to improve affordability at universities.
The poll results stand in stark contrast to a report the government released last September by Tim O'Neill, a former Bank of Montreal vice-president. He called for a government policy change that would allow tuition fees to rise indefinitely, producing massive increases in student debt.
Joan Jessome, president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE), says the poll results are clear.
“Consistently, in the three polls we have conducted in the past several years, including 2010, Nova Scotians have said their government is not giving a high enough priority to post-secondary education,” Jessome argues.
“These results clearly call out for much more comprehensive support than the government has so far chosen to provide.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE