Halifax, Nova Scotia is looking hard at its seven post-secondary institutions in a possible blueprint for other parts of the country.
Earlier this month Nova Scotia's education minister, John Mac-Eachren, unveiled a plan, devised by the province's 13 universities, for five of the universities to centralise some of their facilities with all of the others admitting each other's students.
The province expects to save about 4.5 per cent from the Halifax-area schools' combined budgets in a plan that also sees Dalhousie University acquiring the Technical University of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Teachers College had already been scheduled to close.
Some see mergers, such as the one taking place in Halifax, as merely an attractive short-term solution. Policy critic David Cameron, author of More Than An Academic Question, says that smaller universities are vulnerable and amalgamation is difficult outside a metropolitan area.