Fredericton, N.B. – This week students in New Brunswick are proposing comprehensive reforms aimed at addressing systemic barriers in the postsecondary sector in the Alliance’s latest advocacy document, “Building Access, Building New Brunswick.”
The document, released today, outlines the Alliance’s priorities for the 2018-2019 year which will set the direction for this week’s advocacy meetings.
Student leaders from the NBSA’s four-member campuses, representing over 12,000 students, look forward to meeting with MLAs, university administrations, senior civil servants, and stakeholders between February 11-15 as part of the Alliance’s sixth annual Advocacy Week.
“We are encouraged by the Speech from the Throne and government’s central goal to cultivate a world-class education system here in New Brunswick. Enacting our recommendations would achieve this exact goal by creating an accessible, affordable, and high-quality postsecondary education sector,” said Brianna Workman, chair of the NBSA’s Board. “Because of this, we anticipate government being receptive to and adopting our recommendations.”
One of the Alliance’s key priorities this year is funding to introduce a suite of evidence-driven, technology-based mental health intervention programs across the province.
“As our Alliance has indicated for years, waiting times to receive mental health support on our campuses averages from two to six weeks, rendering these services inaccessible to the many students in need of support,” said Emma Miller, vice-chair of the NBSA’s Board. “We look forward to government’s support and investment into the mental health of New Brunswick students.”
The document also recommends investment in other key areas such as trauma-informed support services for sexual violence survivors, bettering the physical accessibility of campuses, improving student financial aid and debt relief programs, and providing international students with a non-drivers license, photo identification cards.
In addition, the Alliance continues to urge government and universities to acknowledge and respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by actively participating in the decolonization the province’s postsecondary education system.
“Students are asking for these various strategic investments which are certain to better the postsecondary sector in the province at every level,” said Emily Blue, executive director of the NBSA. “Students are the future of New Brunswick. If we can build a stronger postsecondary education sector, then we can build a better New Brunswick.”
Translation by Heather Blakely
Design by Emily Blue