Fredericton, NB – New Brunswick post-secondary students are concerned at the procedural tactics being employed in the Legislature and their potentially devastating impacts on accessibility to public universities and colleges.
The implementation legislation for the Tuition Access Bursary, a government program announced in April to alleviate some of the financial burden of post-secondary education for New Brunswick’s lower-income families, is on the order paper for the current legislative sitting.
“The successful passage of this bill will pave the way for unprecedented access to our post-secondary sector by members of our community who might otherwise have not considered university or college,” said Robert Burroughs, NBSA Executive Director.
The NBSA has long advocated for the reinvestment of public funds into up-front, needs-based grants for post-secondary students. It has been working with the government to ensure that the expected expansion of the Tuition Access Bursary program addresses previously-identified problems and increases accessibility to the post-secondary sector for as many New Brunswick citizens as possible.
“However, what we are seeing in the Legislature this week is indeed troubling for students. The actions of our political leaders on all sides suggest that they are comfortable playing games with the fates of young people across this province, particularly those who would benefit most from financial support,” Burroughs lamented.
“This is part of a larger discussion that we will need to have in this province this year on the sustainability of the post-secondary sector,” said Travis Daley, NBSA Board Chair.
“That politicians of all parties are already so willing to employ these kinds of tactics on such important post-secondary legislation concerns us. We expect that they will, over the course of the coming year, have serious debates about the financial future of post-secondary education in New Brunswick. The consequences of these debates will likely be wide-reaching in their impact.”
“This is hardly acceptable behaviour from our elected officials.”
The Tuition Access Bursary is expected to take effect this September, in time for the start of the new academic year.