News Release Archive

Premier John Savage today released a plan for university renewal
that builds on the individual strengths of Nova Scotia's
universities, builds a better future for students, and will
propel the province and the economy into the 21st century.

"I applaud our universities for working together and with
government, leading the way for university renewal in Canada,"
said Premier Savage. "We are showing the world that diversity is
our strength."

The premier endorsed the Metro Halifax University Consortium
business plan, expected to save $17 million through shared
services and streamlined administration. The consortium plan also
opens doors among the metro universities for students and

"The consortium minimizes administration and maximizes course
selection," the premier said. "This means students interested in
our emerging cultural industries for example, could hone their
design skills at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and
study business at Saint Mary's."

The premier said that as a matter of strategic public policy,
advanced technical education and research and a strong institute
of applied science and technology are fundamental cornerstones of
the economy and future of Nova Scotia.

Therefore, the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS),
Dalhousie and the government agree the public benefit in this
regard can be advanced by an amalgamation of the two
universities, with TUNS becoming a constituent part of Dalhousie.
TUNS will have a new faculty of computer science, an amalgamated
faculty of engineering and a faculty of architecture.

The province will provide $3 million in new funding over three
years to support these initiatives. Additionally, the government
has agreed to transfer to TUNS the $1 million currently spent by
government to lease off-campus space. Accordingly, TUNS intends
to redirect more than $400,000 per year into academic programs.

The amalgamation of Dalhousie and TUNS will open doors to more
students and faculty, and position the institution
internationally, acting as a magnet for business and industry,
the premier said. Excellence in engineering will also be
promoted, while preserving the special programs and technical
education now emphasized at TUNS.

Beyond metro, government will support centres of excellence in
computer science and information technology at Acadia and the
University College of Cape Breton by providing for a one-time, $1
million innovation grant to each university, payable over the
next three years.

Business education is another fundamental cornerstone of economic
renewal, the premier said. Government has identified the need for
an internationally-recognized business program with emphasis on
graduate education.

With its consortium partners, Saint Mary's is taking a leadership
role in developing a doctoral program, the only one east of
Montreal. The province will make an initial $1 million capital
investment to house the Frank H. Sobey Faculty of Commerce. Once
the budget is tabled and the university capital is finalized, an
announcement of additional support is expected for this project.

Under the plan, Dalhousie and Saint Mary's can continue to work
together to deliver complementary graduate business programs. As
well, universities offering under-graduate programs can
concentrate in their areas of strength, such as Mount St. Vincent
University's focus on women in management, to complement the
graduate programs. Business programs outside metro will benefit
from the combined resources and high calibre of faculty attracted
by the program.

The premier said that another public policy priority for
government is the development of strong research and development
capabilities across the province. St. Francis Xavier University
will be provided with $250,000, over three years, to create a
program in aquatic resources. The multidisciplinary program will
strengthen St. F. X's growing reputation as a leader in the study
of regional and economic development.

In terms of funding, universities could have faced a reduction in
operating grants as high as 12 per cent as a result of the
federal transfer reductions. However, because of the importance
of universities to Nova Scotia, the premier said the government
held the reduction at seven per cent and has committed that base
operating funds will not drop below $171 million in the next
three years.

In future, to build equity among universities, government and
universities are involved in discussions on developing a new
funding formula, based on established principles. This formula is
aimed at fairly determining the percentage of funding to each
institution based on excellence, innovation and commitment to
fulfilling public policy priorities.

"The universities have created a solid plan, a plan that builds a
better future for our students and for Nova Scotia," the premier
said. "After years of discussion, we've turned the page. Now it's
time to get on with the job."


Contact: Lisa Bugden      902-424-2795

         Donna MacDonald  902-424-2615

trp                 Apr. 04, 1996 - 10:45 a.m.