HALIFAX – The Student Union of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (SUNSCAD) has requested a formal government review of three new fees approved by the University’s Board of Governors on June 26. The new fees; a technology renewal fee, a facility renewal fee and a graduation fee; contravene the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the government and universities signed earlier this year.
“These fees clearly violate the agreement between the government and universities as NSCAD did not give the student union proper notice of the proposed new fees,” said Sarah Trower, SUNSCAD President. “The university also claims that these new fees don’t violate the three percent cap on tuition fee increases because they are ancillary and auxiliary fees, but there is nothing ancillary or auxiliary about maintaining NSCAD’s buildings.”
According to the memorandum, auxiliary fees are for items such as supplies, equipment, labs and field trips while ancillary fees are fees for services such as residences, meal plans, health centres and student groups. The memorandum also requires universities to consult with the student union at least four weeks before new fees are approved, which NSCAD did not do. It also states that the government can review any fees that may violate the agreement.
“Student representatives on the negotiating team for this Memorandum of Understanding pushed hard to get tighter controls over these types of fees in the new agreement,” said Nicole Cooper, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia. “If the government is going to allow universities to charge fees that violate the Memorandum of Understanding then what was the point of signing such an agreement in the first place?”
The new fees will amount to an extra $190 per student, per year and $240 per graduating student. These fees are in addition to a three percent tuition fee increase, for a total of almost $400 extra per student, per year. SUNSCAD has requested a meeting with representatives from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education regarding the review.
Sarah Trower, President, Student Union of NSCAD University (SUNSCAD)
Phone: (902) 802-0055 (cellular)
Nicole Cooper, Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia
Phone: (902) 403-3006 (cellular)
SUNSCAD is comprised of all students at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD University). The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest students' organization, uniting more than 500,000 university and college students from all ten provinces.