SMUSA and anssa 2012-13

Report
NBCAT Symposium Panel
October 20, 2014
Who are we?
• Advocacy organization
• Seven member-student associations
• 37,794 students, 86% of all university students in Nova
Scotia
• Local, out-of-province and international, young and mature,
undergraduate, graduate, professional and community
college students!
What do we do?
• We represent Nova Scotia’s students by:
• Researching the challenges they face
• Finding solutions to those challenges
• Creating the space for solutions to happen
• We do this through:
• Communicating with students
• Advocating to the Provincial Government
• Policy position papers
• Campaigns
Our values
• Accessibility: Every qualified Nova Scotia student who wishes to pursue postsecondary education should be able to do so, irrespective of their financial
situation, socioeconomic or ethnic background, physical, psychological or
mental ability, age, sexual orientation, geographic location, or any other factor
exogenous to qualification.
• Affordability: The cost of post-secondary education in Nova Scotia should not
cause undue hardship upon any student, restrict their ability to pursue the
career path they choose, or make them financially unable to live in the
community of their choice.
• Quality: Policies, programs, and services in post-secondary education should
meet student expectations to help prepare them for lifelong success, including
in their citizenship, careers, and personal wellbeing.
• Student Voice: Nova Scotia students must be empowered to actively
participate in setting their post-secondary system’s direction via engagement
through their representative student bodies, within the post-secondary
institutions themselves, and through the broader democratic process.
Context
• Whether we like it or not, the funding situation for universities
and colleges looks to be tight for the foreseeable future
• Universities are going to become much more international,
colleges will also be forced to change
• Nova Scotians expect more from their PSE institutions,
especially universities
• Better quality of education
• More services in a range of different areas
• More economic, social and cultural impact
Three statements
• Intentionally challenging and controversial
• Will frame conversation on credit transfer and prior learning
assessment and recognition
• Recognize that progress is being made in many of these areas by
many different institutions
Universities principally pursue
their own objectives and those of
their employees, students’ and the
public interest secondly.
Post-secondary system is an
imperfect market, notably because
almost no one has enough
information to assess quality
Universities are completely
outdated in their fundamental
viewpoint on how, and even why,
people learn
So, what?
• Resistance to PLAR and credit transfer for financial reasons
• Inability to conduct PLAR and credit transfer because it’s not
entirely clear what students in the courses are even supposed to
learn
• Resistance to recognizing different ways in which people learn,
either in different classrooms (even of the same type) or in
entirely different environments
Student experiences
• No credit transfer or PLAR
• Fees for assessment for credit transfer with no guarantee that
credits will be recognized (Acadia and CBU)
• At times, lengthy and frustrating process (as long as eight weeks)
• Variable recognition of credits between different departments
• Major interest in credit transfer especially among NSCC students
• Importance of credit recognition from university to college,
increasingly
Recommendations
• Focus on Learning Outcomes
• Strengthen Quality Assurance, notably through the MPHEC
• Create a database for courses and equivalences across the
Maritimes

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