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NBCAT Symposium October 20, 2014. Who are we? Advocacy organization Seven member-student associations 37,794 students, 86% of all university students.

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Presentation on theme: "NBCAT Symposium October 20, 2014. Who are we? Advocacy organization Seven member-student associations 37,794 students, 86% of all university students."— Presentation transcript:

1 NBCAT Symposium October 20, 2014

2 Who are we? Advocacy organization Seven member-student associations 37,794 students, 86% of all university students in Nova Scotia Local, out-of-province and international, young and mature, undergraduate, graduate, professional and community college students!

3 What do we do? We represent Nova Scotia’s students by: Researching the challenges they face Finding solutions to those challenges Creating the space for solutions to happen We do this through: Communicating with students Advocating to the Provincial Government Policy position papers Campaigns

4 Some of our results… Student assistance improvements worth approximately $24 million in four years Nova Scotia Graduate Student Scholarships worth $10,000 to $15,000 per year (300 recipients) Minimum wage tied to the Low-Income Cut-Off, reaching highest rate in Canada Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner services in Cape Breton and Southwest Nova Scotia Election act amendments allowing more students to vote Nova Scotia University Student Bursary, reducing tuition by $1283 for Nova Scotia residents and $261 for out-of- province students ( )

5 Dropping some PSE Knowledge How do you think university revenues and expenses changed from 1990 to 2009? 202% increase, or 10% per year Funded overwhelmingly through 157% increase in tuition How does Canada rank in OECD for PSE spending? 3 rd with 2.5% of GDP NS: 3.7% of GDP 3 rd in total funds per student at $20,932 vs. $13,728 How does Canada rank for public spending on PSE? 3 rd at 4.7% Canada first in the world in share of total public education expenditure to PSE at 38%, vs. OECD average of 23.5%

6 Dropping some PSE Knowledge How much funding has been cut from NS universities’ operating grants over the past four years, in real dollars? $61 million What is the student debt picture in Nova Scotia? $30,200 vs. $22,300 nationally Has fallen from $32,700 in 2005 Based on current demographic trends in NS and across Canada, what proportion of students will be international by More than twice today’s numbers at 30% How much have ancillary fees increased across Nova Scotia since 2011? Fully 40%, more than 100% increase in Facilities Renewal Fees, worth $3 million from students in total

7 Take away messages Whether we like it or not, the funding situation for universities and colleges looks to be tight for the foreseeable future Universities are going to become much more international, colleges will also be forced to change Nova Scotians expect more from their PSE institutions, especially universities Better quality of education More services in a range of different areas More economic, social and cultural impact The Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy (2014): “it is essential that our PSE institutions maintain a competitive position that is primarily driven by quality”.

8 Methodology Interviews and focus groups Student Assemblies at Acadia, Dalhousie (grad students), CBU, and SMU Met with reps from: university and NSCC administration, ANSUT, Provincial government; MPHEC; PLA Centre Literature review Academic journals MPHEC data/reports Governmental documents Reports from PSE policy organizations (ex. HESA, OUSA, HEQCO, UNESCO)

9 Defining Quality

10 Approaches to Quality 1. Quality as exceptional 2. Quality as perfection or consistency 3. Quality as fitness for purpose- mission 4. Quality as value for money 5. Quality as transformation Source: Harvey & Knight (1996), Transforming Higher Education, p. 2

11 What matters to students? 1, 2, 5: Instructors’ teaching competence, communication skills and up-to-date knowledge of subject matter 3, 4, 7, 8, 10: Administrators’ leadership abilities and concern for quality 6, 9: Student commitment and ability FOCUS ON PROCESSES Harvey and Knight, 2006, p. 34.

12 StudentsNS Values Quality: Policies, programs, and services in post- secondary education should meet student expectations to help prepare them for lifelong success, including in their citizenship, careers, and personal wellbeing. Student Voice: Nova Scotia students must be empowered to actively participate in setting their post- secondary system’s direction via engagement through their representative student bodies, within the post- secondary institutions themselves, and through the broader democratic process.

13 Recommendations Learning Outcomes Credit Transfer information Quality Assurance

14 Learning outcomes Develop degree-level learning outcomes common to all universities Implement the Collegiate Learning Assessment to assess the incoming and graduating student-body Pilot an ePortfolio program at a Nova Scotia university

15 Credit Transfer Information The MPHEC should develop a database to show students the equivalencies of courses taken across the Maritimes The MPHEC should conduct further research into credit transfer

16 Quality Assurance Certification Program for universities that meet standards Funding and international recruitment should be conditional on certification Standard reporting tool for universities on inputs, outputs and secondary outcomes

17 Principles Students should not have to waste time and money taking classes on material they have already mastered A university credential needs to mean something concrete that everyone can understand, including especially the student Universities must put the student and public interest first Professors and PSE institutionsmust be accountable for whether their student learn

18 Question What is the conversation we need to have? Possibles: How can we make RPL a reality in our provinces’ PSE institutions? Why isn’t RPL higher on the radar?

19 For more info:


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