News release

Province, Universities Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Government and Nova Scotia universities will continue to work together to provide high-quality, accessible education through a newly signed five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Government had extensive discussions while drafting this agreement with universities, other government departments and students.

“Our universities provide a high-quality education for thousands of students every year,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. “This agreement will advance key priorities that support student success and allow these institutions to continue to serve as a crucial pillar in our province’s economy.”

The agreement will continue the progress that has been made on preventing sexual violence on university campuses, first outlined in the 2015-19 agreement. Universities have committed to reviewing their stand-alone sexual violence policies every three years.

The annual increase to tuition for Nova Scotia students enrolled in undergraduate programs is capped at three per cent per year.

The parties agreed to advance new ideas in support of student experience with a focus on proactive and meaningful consultation with students and elected student representatives. The universities have committed to implementing a university-student consultation framework by March 31, 2020.


The MOU negotiation process was long and collaborative. We are pleased that in this new MOU, government is strongly supportive of issues important to both our students and institutions, specifically, the prevention of sexual violence on campus and student health and wellness, particularly mental health. While we did not achieve all our objectives, in the spirit of our partnership with government, we will continue to work collaboratively on future initiatives that contribute to institutional quality, competitiveness and success. Bill Lahey, chair, Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents

Quick Facts:

  • this is the fifth MOU between the Province of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia universities. It runs from 2019-20 to 2023-24
  • the total operating grant to be provided to universities in 2019-20 is $365 million which is an increase of one per cent or $3.6 million from 2018-19
  • the province is providing additional annual funding over the next five years of $600,000 to support e-mental health and $1.685 million, through the Post-Secondary Innovation Team, to promote innovation
  • the province is also providing annual funding of $470,000 over the five years of this MOU to support sexual violence prevention
  • the Nova Scotia University Student Bursary Program will continue to provide a tuition reduction of at least $1,283 for Nova Scotia students studying in Nova Scotia, based on a full course load

Media Contacts:

Carley Sampson
Labour and Advanced Education Cell: 902-478-9203 Email:
Peter Halpin
Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents 902-425-4238 Cell: 902-497-4419 Email: