News Release Archive

  Following is a statement by Janet Halliwell, Chair, Nova
  Scotia Council on Higher Education, regarding the council's
  report released today:
  The Nova Scotia Council on Higher Education today released a
  major report on the university system "Shared
  Responsibilities in Higher Education" and a companion
  document "The Institutions -Their Roles and
  Universities face two opposing forces for change. Deficit
  reduction at federal and provincial levels is driving
  significant decreases in government expenditures on
  universities in Nova Scotia and elsewhere. At the same time
  there is an unprecedented demand for the university system
  to change in response to new expectations from students and
  To provide the same or more value for lower unit cost will
  not be easy, but is essential. Simply substituting student
  tuition fees for decreased government revenues is not the
  answer expected by students, parents or taxpayers.
  Universities must make improvements in their productivity
  and in the quality of outcomes in their core functions of
  instruction, service and research. Students will pay a
  greater share of their university education, but expect more
  say in the services, accountability of the institutions and
  attention by government to equity of access.
  The necessary institutional and program changes must be
  framed by a positive vision about the kind of higher
  education system that Nova Scotians want and how the
  university system assists in addressing the basic social and
  economic challenges of Nova Scotia. The council has
  articulated such a system vision and goals. Within that
  system vision and goals, each institution must confirm or
  reassess its distinctive role and how it is delivering its
  core services. Excellence can only be sustained in this new
  fiscal context with increased selectivity in institutional
  mandates and differentiation among institutions that
  collectively deliver the system goals and vision.
  Cooperative action among institutions holds particular
  promise for economies in administrative costs and evolution
  of program restructuring. The consortium announced today by
  the metro Halifax universities is a key step in the process
  of system reform. It delivers a commitment to shared systems
  and services and a framework within which there can be tough
  decisions on academic program restructuring.
  Council has recommended a set of actions and outcomes for
  system and institutional renewal. Three of the essential
  elements of change are the metro-based programs in business
  and computer science, and the development of a stronger
  research nexus. The consortium offers certain solutions to
  these priority issues that differ in their detail from the
  approaches advanced by council. The effectiveness of the
  metro solutions must be assessed, monitored and balanced
  with the interests of the universities outside metro. While
  the council believes strongly that those who design their
  own future are the most likely of success, it is an
  essential role for Council to ensure that the public
  interest is brought to bear on these decisions. With limited
  public funds, ensuring quality and the connection of the
  university system to the future of Nova Scotia is vital.
  With less government funding, the allocation of limited
  public dollars takes on a new importance. While universities
  must continue to be autonomous in operation, the future will
  bring increased distinction between what universities may
  chose to do and what governments choose to fund. The public
  policy expectations of the university system must be clear,
  with a clear connection to the use of public funds. During
  the next six months, the council will complete its review of
  how government funding should be allocated among
  institutions to achieve public purposes.
  Contact: Janet Halliwell  902-424-6992
  NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of the reports are available at the
  Nova Scotia Government Bookstore  1-902-424-7580. Copies of
  the formal recommendations, system vision and goals and
  executive summary are available by calling Communications
  Services 1-800-670-4357 or 902-424-4492 or by accessing
  Internet address HTTP://WWW.EDNET.NS.CA.
  trp                     Dec. 06, 1995