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Low tuition a good thing!

Nova Scotia should learn from Newfoundland's low fees

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Two weeks ago, Tim Bousquet wrote that reducing tuition fees "would be good for our young people, and good for our economy"("Lower tuition rates," September 3). We need only look to our neighbours in Newfoundland and Labrador to see how true this statement really is.

Students in Newfoundland pay half as much for a university education as students in Nova Scotia. This is because their government has something that ours does not: a long-term economic strategy that includes making post-secondary education accessible. Since 1999 Newfoundland has frozen and reduced tuition fees, increased funding to post-secondary education, expanded their grants program and eliminated the interest on all provincial student loans.

Since Newfoundland froze tuition fees Nova Scotia has been bleeding students to Newfoundland; the number of young Nova Scotians studying at that province's university has increased tenfold between 1999 and 2007. Keeping Newfoundland students in the province while they study and ensuring that they are not graduating with crippling student debt will only help boost that province's economy.

During their recent election campaign the NDP promised to prioritize Nova Scotia's youth. It's time for them to fulfill this promise and invest in post-secondary education and reduce fees for all students.

Rebecca Rose, Maritimes Organizer, Canadian Federation of Students

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