Universities & Colleges Division

The Universities and Colleges Division develops and manages funding agreements between the province and the public post-secondary institutions, analyzes reports and publications to inform the Minister on policy issues, conducts Nova Scotia based higher education research through the Minister's Post-Secondary Education Research Advisory Panel, and represents the province at a regional and national levels on post-secondary education issues. Through the MOU Secretariat, the Division manages the implementation of initiatives identified in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Province of Nova Scotia and the universities for the three-year period 2012-2015.

Key initiatives of the Universities & Colleges Division are:

Excellence Through Partnership - Memorandum of Understanding
The third three-year Memorandum of Understanding with universities was signed in December 2011. The MOU outlines a number of partnership initiatives, including the following: a new funding allocation mechanism; a funding stability mechanism; a tuition policy review; an international student policy; improvements in quality assurance, transparency and accountability; enhancements of research and development and contributions to economic development and workforce strategies.

Nova Scotia University Student Bursary Program
Since 2008-09, this program has provided bursaries to Nova Scotia students studying at Nova Scotia universities. As of 2010-11, this bursary provides $1,283 for Nova Scotian students studying at Nova Scotia universities and $261 to Canadian students studying at Nova Scotia universities. For 2012-13, the average tuition for Nova Scotia undergraduate students studying in Nova Scotia was $5,557 compared to the national average of $5,581. For Canadian students (from outside Nova Scotia) the average undergraduate tuition was $6,579.

Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)
NSCC plays an important role in preparing Nova Scotians for challenging and rewarding careers. The Province works closely with NSCC as a key partner in preparing Nova Scotia’s workforce for labour market opportunities.

  • Since 2003-04, NSCC’s enrolment has increased by 26.1%. 
  • NSCC provides learning opportunities for diverse students, including students with disabilities; Aboriginal and African Nova Scotian learners; and women in trades and technology. The 13-campus NSCC is now the second largest post-secondary institution in Nova Scotia.
  • In October 2012, an MOU was signed to create the Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence at NSCC. Irving Shipbuilding will contribute $250,000 each year during the lifetime of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy program (20 years) to create and support the Centre. The MOU is a step towards ensuring that as jobs are created, opportunities are available for more First Nations, African Nova Scotians, persons with disabilities, women in non-traditional trades, and other Nova Scotians who are under-represented in the workforce.
  • In November 2012, the Province and IBM, in close partnership with Nova Scotia Business Inc. and a consortium of six higher education institutions, led by NSCC, announced new agreements to establish an IBM Global Delivery Center, create up to 500 new highly skilled jobs and nurture the development of analytics skills within Nova Scotia.