Degree-Granting Institution Authorizing Regulations

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Degree-Granting Institution Authorizing Regulations
made under Section 8 of the

Degree Granting Act

R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 123

N.S. Reg. 388/2008 (September 9, 2008)


1     These regulations may be cited as the Degree-Granting Institution AuthorizingRegulations.


2     These regulations apply to every institution that must be authorized by the Governor inCouncil under Section 4 of the Act to grant degrees.


3     In these regulations,


                (a)    “Act” means the Degree Granting Act;


                (b)    “applicant” means an institution applying for an authorization or a renewal ofan authorization, as the context requires;


                (c)    “authorization” means an authorization to grant degrees issued by theGovernor in Council under Section 4 of the Act;


                (d)    “authorized institution” means an institution authorized by the Governor inCouncil under Section 4 of the Act to grant degrees;


                (e)    “entry scores” means the final marks achieved by a student on graduation fromhigh school;


                (f)    “program” of an authorized institution means a program of post-secondaryinstruction offered by the authorized institution that leads to a degree.

Authorization terms and conditions

4     (1)    It is a term and condition of every authorization that the authorized institution


                (a)    must not initiate, modify or alter any program or portion of a program withoutwritten approval of the Minister;


                (b)    must maintain sufficient financial resources to support its programs;


                (c)    must comply with the Act and these regulations.


       (2)    If the Minister determines that an authorized institution has failed to comply with theterms and conditions of its authorization, the Minister must report the matterimmediately to the Governor in Council and may recommend revocation of itsauthorization.

Applying for authorization

5     An applicant for an authorization must submit the following to the Minister, in a formacceptable to the Minister:


                (a)    its mission statement and academic goals;


                (b)    the academic and administrative policies, and governance and organizationalstructure;


                (c)    the names, addresses, telephone numbers and resumés of the applicant’scorporate officers;


                (d)    the address of the applicant’s proposed business location, a description of thefacilities and written confirmation from the applicant certifying that for itsproposed use the facilities comply with the laws of Nova Scotia;


                (e)    proof that the applicant is a company in good standing and registered to dobusiness in Nova Scotia and registered with the Canada Revenue Agency;


                (f)    a 5-year business plan, marketing plan and growth strategy with cost andrevenue projections to cover a 5-year period, including the financial resourcesavailable to support the delivery of each program offered;


                (g)    copies of the applicant’s financial statements for up to 3 years before the dateof application, audited by an independent licensed chartered accountant who isa member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants or a charteredaccountant whose qualifications are equivalent;


                (h)    a statement of all of the applicant’s debts and liabilities;


                (i)     details of the administrative resources and faculty complement to support thedelivery of each program offered;


                (j)     details of the information services, physical infrastructure and technologicalinfrastructure to support the delivery of each program offered;


                (k)    details of the student services provided by the applicant, including counselling,residential accommodations and student aid;


                (l)     student records and transcript policies and standards;


                (m)   the objectives, learner outcomes and curricular structure for each programoffered;


                (n)    the degree credential to be awarded for each program offered;


                (o)    if programs relate to a particular industry, details of any advisory group ofemployers and practitioners from within the industry who have providedadvice on program design and marketplace requirements;


                (p)    details of each program’s development, including the involvement of peers andexperts external to the institution in the development of the program;


                (q)    demonstration of the need and the student demand for each program,including, if a similar program is currently offered in Nova Scotia, therationale for introducing the program;


                (r)    an application fee of $500 payable to the Minister of Finance and TreasuryBoard;

[Note: The reference to the Minister of Finance has been updated in accordance with Order in Council 2013-348 under the Public Service Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 376, effective October 22, 2013.]


                (s)    the review fees determined under subsection 6(3).

Program and institutional review

6     (1)    An applicant must undergo a program and institutional review conducted by theMinister or, at the request of the Minister, by the Maritime Provinces HigherEducation Commission or another body that the Minister approves.


       (2)    An applicant that achieves acceptable program and institutional reviews may berecommended by the Minister for an authorization.


       (3)    The fee for each program review and institutional review under this Section iscalculated at the rate of $55 per hour for each hour required in conducting thereviews and is payable to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

[Note: The reference to the Minister of Finance has been updated in accordance with Order in Council 2013-348 under the Public Service Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 376, effective October 22, 2013.]

Authorization expiry date

7     An authorization expires 5 years after the date it is issued, unless earlier revoked by theGovernor in Council.

Authorization is non-transferable

8     An authorized institution may not assign or transfer its authorization.

Change in control deemed to be assignment or transfer

9     (1)    In this Section, “change in control” of an authorized institution means


                (a)    a sale or other disposition of more than 50% of the voting shares in the capitalstock of the authorized institution;


                (b)    if the authorized institution is a partnership, any change of partners.


       (2)    A change in control of an authorized institution is deemed to be an assignment ortransfer of the authorized institution’s authorization.

Renewal of authorization

10   (1)    An application for renewal of an authorization by an authorized institution must besubmitted to the Minister at least 180 days before the expiry date of itsauthorization, in the form prescribed by the Minister, and must be accompanied byall of the following:


                (a)    the authorized institution’s current mission statement and academic goals;


                (b)    the names, addresses, telephone numbers and resumés of the authorizedinstitution’s current corporate officers;


                (c)    the authorized institution’s current governance and organizational structure;


                (d)    a 5-year business plan, marketing plan and growth strategy with cost andrevenue projections to cover a 5-year period, including the financial resourcesavailable to support the delivery of each program offered by the authorizedinstitution;


                (e)    a copy of the most recent quality assurance review conducted under Section 13for each program offered by the applicant;


                (f)    a summary of all of the following information for the period since the lastauthorization was granted or last renewed:


                         (i)     the entry scores for students in all programs,


                         (ii)    the annual student enrolment numbers for all programs,


                         (iii)   the academic averages of students in all programs,


                         (iv)   a list of the permanent residences of all students;


                (g)    any outstanding information specified in Sections 20, 21, 22 and 23;


                (h)    the application fee prescribed in clause 5(r);


                (i)     any additional information the Minister requests.

Revoked authorization

10   An institution whose authorization is revoked may not apply for another authorization forat least 1 year after the revocation date and the application must be made in accordancewith the requirements in Section 5.

[Note: Numbering as in original.]


11   (1)    No later than 90 days after the date an authorization or a renewal of an authorizationis granted, and before the authorized institution collects any fees from students, theauthorized institution must deposit with the Minister a surety bond in a form and onterms acceptable to the Minister.


       (2)    A surety bond deposited under subsection (1) must be in an amount equal to thegreater of $200 000 and


                (a)    the product of the number of students enrolled in the institution multiplied bythe tuition and other fees per student for the current academic year; or


                (b)    for an institution that has not previously been authorized, the product of thenumber of student places multiplied by the tuition and other fees per studentfor the current academic year.


       (3)    If, in the Minister’s opinion, an authorized institution has failed to fully deliver aprogram for which a student contract has been entered into, the Minister may requirethe institution to


                (a)    refund tuition and other fees paid by a student;


                (b)    make up the deficiency in the program; or


                (c)    forfeit its surety bond.


       (4)    A student who has a claim against an authorized institution for its failure to fullydeliver a program as described in subsection (3) may make a claim by notifying theMinister in writing no later than 60 days after the failure.


       (5)    If the aggregate of all claims made against the security accessed under subsection (3)exceeds the amount recovered under the security, the claimants must be paid on aproportional basis.


       (6)    An authorized institution’s surety bond must continue in force and remain ondeposit for at least 1 year following the expiry or revocation of the institution’sauthorization.


       (7)    An authorized institution must give the Minister at least 90 days’ notice before itterminates its surety bond.


       (8)    If an authorized institution’s surety bond is terminated and the surety bond has notbeen forfeited, the Minister must, no earlier than 1 year after the date theauthorization expires or is revoked, deliver the surety bond to the principal of thesurety bond.


       (9)    If a surety bond has been forfeited and the Minister has not received notice inwriting of any claim against the proceeds of the surety bond or any part that remainsin the Minister’s hands within 3 years of the forfeiture, the Minister may pay theproceeds of the surety bond, or any part remaining, to the principal of the suretybond, after first deducting the amount of any expenses that have been incurred inconnection with any claims or otherwise relating to the expiration or revocation ofthe authorization for the authorized institution in respect of whose actions the bondwas conditioned.

Authorization and security required before collecting fees

12   An institution must not collect any tuition or other fees for a program offered by theinstitution unless


                (a)    an authorization has been granted to the institution that will be in effect for theduration of the program; and


                (b)    the security required by Section 11 is in place.

Academic quality assurance review

13   Annually, within 90 days of its fiscal year end, an authorized institution must conduct aninternal quality assurance review to ensure the academic quality of its programs,consisting of


                (a)    a program review using criteria determined by the Minister and in a formacceptable to the Minister; and


                (b)    an institutional review using criteria determined by the Minister and in a formacceptable to the Minister.

Prerequisites for entering program

14   Subject to Section 15, an authorized institution must not admit a person to any of itsprograms unless the person has done at least 1 of the following:


                (a)    successfully completed grade 12;


                (b)    passed the grade 12 equivalency GED tests;


                (c)    achieved academic upgrading level 4;


                (d)    completed a standardized test verifying grade 12 level.

Student contracts

15   (1)    An authorized institution must not permit a person to begin a course of study in anyof its programs until the person enters into a student contract with the authorizedinstitution.


       (2)    Before a person enters into a student contract, the authorized institution must givethe person all of the following information and documents:


                (a)    the total cost to the person, indicating separately the tuition fee for the currentacademic session and other fees associated with the program;

                (b)    a copy of the institution’s policies, rules and regulations, including the tuitionrefund policy, the complaint resolution policy, and the payment schedule.


       (3)    A student contract must contain at least the following information:


                (a)    the name, address, telephone number and fax number of the authorizedinstitution;


                (b)    the name, address and telephone number of the student;


                (c)    the name of the program;


                (d)    a statement that the student has received the information and documentsrequired by subsection (2);


                (e)    the start date and anticipated end date of the program;


                (f)    a payment schedule for tuition and other related fees for the current academicsession;


                (g)    a statement that the student has been advised of the prerequisites for admissionto the program and that the student meets those prerequisites;


                (h)    a statement that the student contract is subject to the Act and these regulations;


                (i)     the date the student contract is entered into;


                (j)     the signature of the student;


                (k)    a statement that the institution will issue a degree to the student on successfulcompletion of the program;


                (l)     the tuition refund policy.


       (4)    An authorized institution must ensure that a student is given a fully executedoriginal of their student contract before the start date of the program.

When student contract cancelled

16   (1)    A student contract is deemed to be cancelled when


                (a)    the authorized institution dismisses the student pursuant to its policies; or


                (b)    the student withdraws from the program contracted for.


       (2)    For the purposes of clause (1)(b), a student is considered to have withdrawn from aprogram


                (a)    if the student has not attended any classes or submitted any assignments for 4consecutive weeks, or


                (b)    the student has notified the authorized institution in writing of theirwithdrawal.


       (3)    A refund by an authorized institution of a tuition or other fee may be made only inaccordance with these regulations and the authorized institution’s tuition refundpolicy contained in the student contract.

Student registration fee

17   (1)    Subject to subsection (2), an authorized institution may charge a non-refundableregistration fee for each program in an amount of no more than 5% of the tuition, toa maximum of $250.


       (2)    A registration fee paid by a person accepted into a program must be credited to thetuition fee for the program in which the person is enrolled.

Tuition fees payment

18   (1)    No authorized institution may require payment of tuition fees for programs during anacademic year in fewer than 2 reasonably equal instalments.


       (2)    For each academic year, the dates on which the tuition instalments become due mustbe fixed so that they fall approximately at the beginning of each equal portion of theduration of the academic year.

When authorized institution must refund amounts paid

19   An authorized institution must refund to a student all amounts paid to the institution by oron behalf of the student if, at the time the student contract was entered into,


                (a)    the institution did not have an authorization;


                (b)    the program contracted for had not been reviewed and found acceptable underSection 6.


Academic records and reporting

20   (1)    An authorized institution must keep a record of each of the following:


                (a)    the number of student enrolments and withdrawals for all programs;


                (b)    the transcript of each student;


                (c)    the permanent residence of each student;


                (d)    the results of each annual quality assurance review required by Section 13.


       (2)    Annually, and no later than 90 days after the end of its fiscal year, an authorizedinstitution must give the Minister a summary of the records kept under subsection(1).

Student records

21   (1)    An authorized institution must keep a file for each of its students that includes all ofthe following:


                (a)    the student’s application forms and entry scores;


                (b)    the student’s transcripts;


                (c)    the student’s contact information, including permanent and local address,telephone number and emergency contacts;


                (d)    records of complaints;


                (e)    the student’s payment records;


                (f)    correspondence to and from the student;


                (g)    copies of degrees granted by the authorized institution to the student;


                (h)    a copy of the student’s contract for each program.


       (2)    An authorized institution must keep a student file for at least 5 years after the studenthas completed or left the program in which the student was enrolled, except thattranscripts and copies of degrees granted must be kept for 25 years after the studenthas completed or left the program.


       (3)    On closure of an authorized institution, the authorized institution must immediatelyforward to the Minister the remaining original student files and any otherinformation that the Minister requests.

Participation in surveys

22   At the Minister’s request, an authorized institution must participate in any survey orsimilar information-gathering exercise that the Minister considers appropriate.

Financial reporting

23   (1)    Annually, and no later than 90 days after the end of its fiscal year, an authorizedinstitution must give the Minister a copy of its audited financial statements for theprevious fiscal year, prepared by an independent auditor who is a licensed charteredaccountant or a chartered accountant whose qualifications are considered to beequivalent by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.


       (2)    In addition to annual financial statements, an authorized institution must give theMinister any financial information that the Minister requests, in a form satisfactory tothe Minister.

Complaint resolution policy

24   (1)    An authorized institution must have a complaint resolution policy to ensure theproper and efficient resolution of all student complaints.


       (2)    A copy of the complaint resolution policy must be forwarded to the Minister onrequest.


       (3)    A complaint resolution policy must set out all of the following:


                (a)    the procedure for making and receiving a complaint;


                (b)    the official to whom a complaint must be given;


                (c)    the process to be followed when a complaint is received;


                (d)    the manner in which a complaint and the resolution of the complaint must berecorded.


       (4)    An institution must maintain a record of all complaints received and the resolution ofthose complaints, and must make the record available to the Minister for inspectionon request.


25   (1)    If a student and an authorized institution have been unable to resolve a dispute ontheir own, the student or the institution may, with the consent of the other party,apply to the Minister to appoint a mediator by filing written notice setting out thedetails of the dispute with both the Minister and the other party.


       (2)    If the Minister appoints a mediator, the mediator must try to assist the parties tosettle the dispute that is the subject of the mediation.


       (3)    Evidence arising from anything said, evidence of anything said or evidence of anadmission or communication made in the course of mediation under this Section isnot admissible in any action or proceeding, except with the consent of the mediator,the student and the institution.


       (4)    The costs associated with appointing and retaining a mediator will be split evenlybetween the Minister, the authorized institution and the student.

No limits on rights

26   Nothing in these regulations may be construed as limiting in any way the rights andremedies that a student otherwise has with respect to an institution’s breach of a studentcontract.

Access to Act and regulations

27   An authorized institution must place a copy of the Act and these regulations in aprominent place at the entrance of the institution.

Display of information

28   An authorized institution must display the authorization of the institution at the entrance tothe institution and, if the authorized institution has an Internet site, on the Internet sitehome page, where it can be readily observed by its students and the public.