Chart: Average tuition rates by province


Nova Scotia has some of the highest average tuition rates in the country. Data for 2011-2012 is preliminary.


Students are holding the advanced Minister of Education, Marilyn More, accountable for her promises to keep Nova Scotia tuition rates at or below the national average. In a Jan. 9 press release, the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations stated that students are demanding More "reveal her plan" to keep tuition rates at or below the national average. 

Nova Scotia tuition rates are above the national average and have been for the past five years, according to Statistics Canada. With the release of the province's memorandum of understanding with the universities on funding Thursday, the association says the minister's announcement-including a three per cent cut to the province's university funding agreement and a three per cent cap on tuition rate increases-contradicts her promise to keep tuition rates at or below the national average. 

Currently, the average for Nova Scotia tuition rates for undergraduate students rests at $5,731, above the national average of $5,366. While Ontario tuition rates are currently the highest, at an average of $6,640, the Ontario government has promised tuition reductions to students.

The association says the minister also would not guarantee a cap on tuition rate increases in the following years. 

"You're not being honest with students. You're not being honest with Nova Scotians," says Mark Coffin, the association's executive director. He says students want to know the minister's plan.

Coffin says that because of the budget cuts, "students will be spending more for less." As a result of last year's four per cent budget cut, students saw an increase in class sizes, fewer classes taught by full-time faculty (more by part-time faculty), and professors expected to do more.

With 11 universities in the province, Coffin says Nova Scotia has the lowest per student funding, and is also the only province cutting funding.


Related story

University funding cuts punishes students, say advocates 


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It strikes me as unusual that this article doesn't also point out the trajectory NS tuition has been taking in relation to the rest of the country. Collective memory of university students is inherently short because of turnover due to graduation. According to this graph, four years ago we were the most expensive in the country by quite a bit, and in general we have been getting less expensive while other provinces have been doing the opposite. Even with the increases in 2011-2012, we are below the figure for 2009-2010. In fact, over the 5 years represented, Nova Scotia's tuition decreased by 6.2%, while the national average increased by 17.7%.

Posted by Recent grad | Jan 11, 2022