Education News – New Brunswick hoping to keep students in province after graduation

WOLFVILLE (CUP) — The New Brunswick government is again hoping to convince students to stay in the province after completing their post-secondary degrees.

Under the Tuition Rebate program, post-secondary graduates of New Brunswick institutions who work and live in New Brunswick will be able to apply for up to $10,000 cash back on their tuition costs.

?The New Brunswick Tuition Rebate is a major plus for our province,? said Finance Minister Victor Boudreau.

?We believe it helps convince people who have pursued higher education to choose New Brunswick to live and work and to participate in our self-sufficiency project.?

The initiative hopes to combat out-migration from the province, a trend that has been emptying many Atlantic Provinces of their work force and productivity.

Under the program, anyone who has graduated from a post-secondary institution in New Brunswick and either stays in the province after graduation, or returns within 20 years, may apply for the rebate when they file their taxes.

The program follows the government’s announcement in the 2008-2009 Budget that tuition fees will be frozen for all universities in the province.

The New Brunswick Student Alliance, a provincial student lobby group, is looking for more for students, though.

Justin Robichaud, President of the NBSA, said that ?back-door help is not what is needed in New Brunswick right now.?

?This is not up-front money helping access to post-secondary education,? he said.

The NBSA has been lobbying the government to create targeted initiatives that will improve access to post-secondary education for specific groups, such as low-income families.

They are asking the government to commit to recommendations made by a Commission on post-secondary education earlier this year that endorsed a cap on student debt.

The Commission’s recommendations are currently being considered by a working group made of university and community college presidents and government representatives. They are expected to announce their conclusions in late April or May.

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