Dalhousie students amble between buildings and nature. (Photo: Kelly Graham)

Students at Nova Scotia Agricultural College question merger with Dalhousie

Robyn McCallum of the NSAC Student Union raises questions on behalf of the NSAC students

Robyn McCallum, a third-year student at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and representative of the NSAC student union, is hopeful about the merger with Dalhousie University expected in 2012 but she and her colleagues still have questions about what the merger entails.

The Nova Scotia government has supported Truro-based NSAC's merger with Dahousie since talks began in June 2011. No name has been decided on NSAC's future title.

A NSAC student's point of view

Some questions have been raised about the merger.

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Students at Dalhousie expect the NSAC students to come there in the 2012-2013 school year. (Photo: Kelly Graham)

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A history of the Dalhousie mergers by Kelly Graham and Andrew Miller

"As a student, I am obviously worried about rising tuition rates," McCallum said. "I am also concerned about any courses necessary for completion of my degree which may change."

McCallum is excited, though, about the extensive research opportunities in the merger.

Ultimately, McCallum hopes NSAC will still be NSAC in spirit. 

"If in merging we lose a special part of NSAC, or feel somewhat diminished in the great work carried out on this campus, this merger could have negative results," she said.

She mentioned that some other students are against the merger due to lack of information. 

Dalhousie Official in the Merger

Susan Spence-Wach, associate vice-president of academics at Dalhousie, has been involved with the negotiations with NSAC and the provincial government of Nova Scotia. Peter Underwood, a negotiator for the government of Nova Scotia, is leading the merger with her.

Spence-Wach sees the merger as beneficial for both schools.

"For students, over time there will be increased program options, access to increased expertise, greater learning opportunities and further interdisciplinary learning," she said.

She said more collaboration would come out in different academic disciplines.

Spence-Wach sees an economical incentive to the merger too. The benefits would outweigh the costs in her opinion in regards to storing student information, financial including payroll, and human resources.

She explained any questions NSAC students and parents may have, such as the cost of tuition, will be answered in early 2012.

Spence-Wach is aware NSAC students want to keep their school spirit, culture and identity.

"We will maintain NSAC's identity and reputation," she vowed.



Please note an edit has been made to this story: Nova Scotia Agriculture College has been corrected to Nova Scotia Agricultural College.


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