Nova Scotia Backgrounder

Education and health --
growing together

One of Nova Scotia s greatest assets is its educational base. Several religious denominations established institutions of higher learning soon after major waves of settlement. All are now non-denominational. Nova Scotia today has more universities per capita than any other province in Canada, and a higher-than-average percentage of the population with post-secondary education. Many students from other parts of Canada and overseas choose Nova Scotia for their university education. Fourteen universities and colleges offer degrees in many disciplines, including medicine, dentistry, law, engineering, music, theatre, journalism, business, the arts and sciences. The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, the Nova Scotia Fisheries Training Centre and the Coast Guard College offer specialized training curricula. There is also a robotics training course under way at the Nova Scotia Institute for Technology. The 16 institutions of the Nova Scotia Community College System provide education and training programs in the trades, technical, technological and applied arts fields. The provincial government is responsible for education, which is free to the end of the secondary level.

Nova Scotia is an important centre for research and development in a wide range of scientific and intellectual areas. Many of Nova Scotia s universities are involved in research, both basic and in applied fields as a cornerstone of industrial growth. Biotechnology, aerospace manufacturing, software development and artificial intelligence are key local interests. The province also has special expertise in offshore and ocean-related research, and one of the largest concentrations of marine scientists in the world. (Other backgrounders cover specific research applications.)

With a medical school at Dalhousie University, the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (a recently amalgamated major tertiary care centre), and specialized maternity and pediatric hospitals, Halifax is also a centre for medical research and innovation. Its high concentration of research and teaching facilities are widely acknowledged for their work in fields such as AIDS, cardiology, multi-organ transplant, and cancer research.

The provincial Department of Health administers the health system, and operates it in conjunction with Maritime Medical Care Inc. A provincial retail sales tax on most goods (except most food for home consumption, clothing and footwear) provides funds for free hospital in-patient care up to ward level and free medically-required physician services. Prescription service is available to those over 65 for a minimum fee, and most dental care is provided free for children.

Institutions of Higher Learning

Dalhousie University, Halifax
Saint Mary s University, Halifax
Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax
University of King s College, Halifax
Technical University of Nova Scotia, Halifax
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax
Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax
Acadia University, Wolfville
Université Ste. Anne, Pointe de l Eglise
St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish
University College of Cape Breton, Sydney
Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro
Nova Scotia Teachers College, Truro
Coast Guard College, Point Edward