News release

Financial Relief for Nova Scotia Universities

Nova Scotia’s post-secondary sector plays a key role in our cultural, social and economic well-being as a province, and like other sectors, it has faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19.

That is why the province is investing $25 million to help Nova Scotia universities manage the impact of the pandemic.

All 10 universities faced unexpected financial challenges for 2020-21, including loss in revenues related to tuition and residence fees. Institutions have also incurred additional COVID-19 related costs around information technology, curriculum development and additional supports for faculty, as well as increased cleaning and other costs associated with public health directives.

“We’ve heard from our universities and we know they are facing new challenges as their operations pivot due to COVID-19,” said Lena Metlege Diab, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “This funding will address some of those challenges and help meet their immediate needs.”

Since last March, Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions have been working closely with the province to ensure all necessary public health protocols are in place, allowing students to continue receiving quality education in ways that keeps both students and communities safe.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, universities across Nova Scotia have been working hard to ensure students can continue to learn in safe and positive ways,” said Bill Lahey, chair, Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents. “These changes have presented unexpected financial costs and necessary investments, and this funding will help universities address the impact of those."

The funding is expected to flow to universities in the coming weeks and is based on information provided by the universities on expenses incurred in responding to the pandemic. Funding amounts are:

  • Acadia University $2,187,700
  • Atlantic School of Theology $218,800
  • Cape Breton University $2,187,700
  • Dalhousie University $9,479,700
  • Mount Saint Vincent University $1,458,400
  • NSCAD University $1,215,400
  • St. FX University $3,646,100
  • Saint Mary’s University $2,916,900
  • University of King’s College $1,324,700
  • Université Sainte-Anne $364,600

Quick Facts:

  • in December 2020, Nova Scotia announced a one-time $750 COVID-19 Response Grant to all recipients of Nova Scotia Student Assistance in 2020-21
  • about 13,000 post-secondary students will receive that grant to help cover unexpected costs associated with their studies

Additional Resources:

Find accurate, up-to-date information on Nova Scotia’s response to COVID-19 at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus

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Media Contact:

Shannon Kerr
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