Fredericton, NB – Students at New Brunswick’s public postsecondary (PSE) institutions are calling on the Government of New Brunswick and the Minister of Postsecondary Education, Training, and Labour (PETL) to avoid including private colleges and universities in the Tuition Access Bursary (TAB).

Students attending private institutions already receive on average 20 percent more government financial support per student than students attending public institutions. Additionally, students attending private institutions receive almost three times as much funding through the New Brunswick Bursary than students at public universities.

“It is shocking that the minister would even consider including these institutions in the TAB funding package. The premier has refused to publicly commit to students that he will guarantee the implementation of a sliding scale, yet the government is toying with the idea of masking business subsidies as education policy. Even with a much-needed significant overhaul of the legislation that governs these institutions, we reject the notion that they should be included if they do not meet the same standards as our public schools,” said Tina Oh, vice-chair of the New Brunswick Student Alliance.

Since the TAB program was announced this April, the NBSA has been working with PETL to improve information flow to students and has been adamant in its call for the implementation of a sliding scale before the 2017-2018 academic year.

“Our sector is chronically underfunded as it is and we have not received any commitment to increase PSE funding. Spreading the existing monies to institutions that do not meet the same quality standards and government accountability would limit, not boost, access to our sector,” said Robert Burroughs, the NBSA’s executive director.

“The government has a duty to hold educational institutions accountable to standards that serve students well. The idea that they might be willing to compromise that in order to appease political criticism is concerning. The public PSE sector is working hard to help develop an educated and healthy population here in New Brunswick, but the government needs to be committed to that idea also.”

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