Fredericton, NB – Post-secondary students in New Brunswick are urging government not to forget about them, following recent commitments to invest heavily in education and early childhood development.
The New Brunswick government has budgeted sizable amounts for education and early childhood development. Speaking at events across the province last week, Premier Brian Gallant committed his government to budgeting the most ever in the area over four years.
“We commend government for its commitment to invest in the public school system,” said Lindsay Handren, NBSA Executive Director. “However, for a growing number of New Brunswick’s youth, the pursuit of their education does not end with high school – and neither should government’s investment in them.”
New Brunswick ranks eighth out of the ten Canadian provinces in terms of public funding to universities. The 2015-16 provincial budget put a freeze on that funding.
Low levels of government support have contributed to post-secondary students in New Brunswick graduating with debt facing the highest average debt at $35,200, well above the national average of $22,300.
Upwards of 70% of jobs created in the next seven years are expected to be in occupations requiring a post-secondary degree.
“Education is a continuum, and it extends from early childhood development to graduation from a post-secondary program,” said Annie Sherry, NBSA Board Chair. “In order to ensure that New Brunswick’s youth are properly educated and prepared for the workforce, government must be willing to pay its share at every stage.“
“The accessibility, affordability, and quality of post-secondary education in New Brunswick are paramount to student success and to the success of our provincial economy. We strongly urge government to invest in that education.”