British Columbia Colleges and Universities Planning to Return to Campus as Guidelines Announced

Source: CBC News, the Government of British Columbia

As more Canadians get vaccinated to receive increased protection against the coronavirus, higher education institutions across the province of British Columbia are planning to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to their campuses for the Fall 2021 semester.

The provincial government is on track to remove the majority of their COVID-19 restrictions by early September. This means that schools will no longer need to have specific plans for how to handle potential COVID outbreaks. They will also be able to host students in residency without any limits on occupancy. Classes will be taught in person and masks will not be mandated as campuses all expect to return to what they were like before the pandemic.

This is wonderful news to those looking to regain a sense of normalcy after the last year and a half. However it is understandable that some individuals may be hesitant about physically returning to class. President of Camosun College Sherri Bell stated, “While some people may be a little nervous as well as excited, the health, safety and well-being of employees, students and campus visitors remains the priority.”

Colleges and Universities in Manitoba Will Not Require COVID-19 Vaccinations

Source: CBC News

With a number of Ontario universities deciding to make COVID-19 vaccines a requirement for students planning to live on residence next semester, things are developing differently in the province to the west. Some universities and colleges in Manitoba are stating that vaccinations will not be mandatory for students or faculty returning to campus.

The institutions listed below say that while those coming to campus in the Fall are encouraged to get the necessary doses of their vaccine, they do not believe forcing people to do so is within their power.

  • Assiniboine Community College
  • Brandon University
  • Red River College
  • University College of the North

While reaction to this news has been mixed, other Canadian colleges and universities are taking a similar approach and not making vaccinations a requirement:

As regulations continue to take shape across different parts of Canada, we at Canada Campus Visits will continue to keep you updated on what both international and domestic students need to know before returning to in-person learning later this year.

Mandatory Vaccines a Possibility for Canadian Higher Education

Source: The PIE, Academica Group

While COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been deemed required by every designated learning institution in Canada, recent decisions may indicate that such a measure may be incoming.

Fanshawe College, Trent University, Western University, and Ryerson University have all declared that students living in residence must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before they are allowed entry. Meanwhile the University of Toronto will require students to be vaccinated within two weeks of moving in.

International students who have been unable to receive a vaccination in their home country will have access to vaccines approved by Health Canada and can receive one anywhere in the country at no cost.

With an increased infection rate among younger people, vaccines will help students have a more typical student residence experience. They deserve to feel safe as they interact and grow as a part of the campus community. We will continue to monitor what steps other higher learning institutions take in the weeks to come.

Universities in Ontario to Welcome Back Students for Fall 2021 Semester

Source: Ontario’s Universities

Through a statement released by the Presidents and Principals of Ontario’s universities, we are learning more about which institutions intend to offer in-person learning during the upcoming Fall 2021 semester. Twenty universities across the Canadian province of Ontario were highlighted in the message, including:

Each institution listed will be working in collaboration with regional and provincial public health units to make sure they are operating in strict accordance with up-to-date medical guidelines. They will also partner with different levels of government so vaccination programs can be expanded to campuses for students, staff, and faculty.

Higher learning institutions returning to on-campus learning will no doubt approach the return of students differently. Plans may vary between institutions and it is important that students know that the situation is subject to change depending on COVID-19 infection rates.

The cautious approach universities have taken to this point and adherence to the advice of experts leaves us feeling confident in their ability to succeed though. The time to study abroad again is almost here and Canada Campus Visits can’t wait to help you begin your journey!

Overseas Students Want International Experience When They Study Abroad

Source: IDP Connect

In spite of the obstacles that the coronavirus pandemic has thrown in the way of international students, their desire to study abroad remains strong. A survey of 6,000 students planning to travel internationally to further their studies has provided new insight on what their plans are going forward.

Most of the respondents still intend to study abroad as expected with the majority of them aspiring to gain international experience during their studies. Just 10% of students said that they were willing to complete courses that lacked an on-campus aspect. However if an online course eventually offered an in-person component, 43% would be interested in it.

Being able to travel internationally to experience a new country is such an important factor to future overseas students that 39% of them would choose a higher learning institution in a different country if their original destination was not ready to resume classes in-person. 30% would even decline a scholarship if it meant they would be on campus earlier somewhere else.

With COVID-19 still looming, 55% of students claimed they were happy to get vaccinated before the start of a semester abroad and only 6% hope to delay their plans until vaccinations are not mandatory for international travel.

When asked about their perceptions of popular study abroad destinations, the students surveyed mainly cited Canada as their destination of choice due to government policies that welcome immigrants and international students.

The study makes clear that students still have an appetite to study abroad but courses from overseas institutions that they complete from their home country are not what they are looking for. They want the experience of living and working in a new country, like Canada, that has a history of embracing newcomers. Vaccine hesitancy is a factor to some with a number of students wanting more information on any potential risks. International students largely do not mind getting vaccinated though as long as it keeps them safe and lets them travel sooner.

Study Abroad Decisions Being Shaped by International Vaccine Rollouts

Source: ICEF

As COVID-19 vaccines are administered around the world, the urge to study abroad has returned to aspiring international students. Research shows that 19% of students hoped to begin their studies sooner than anticipated because of vaccines. Most students would even be willing to quarantine in their host country if it meant an end to them studying online from home.

56% of prospective overseas students surveyed also said that the way governments approached the coronavirus pandemic would impact where they chose to study abroad. This is expected to bode well for Canada as vaccination programs gain momentum across the provinces and territories. While the number of vaccines in the country struggled to meet demand in the early stages, current data indicates Canada is on the right track again. It is the hope of many colleges and universities that students from overseas see this improvement as well.

Institutions Increase Financial Aid to Attract International Students After Pandemic

Source: ICEF Monitor, International Language Academy of Canada

A current trend among higher education institutions is to make tuition more affordable for the international students that they are so eager to bring to their campuses. One example of a Canadian institution trying to entice overseas students is the International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC).

Students enrolled in ILAC’s KISS virtual classes are able to earn KISS dollars for every Canadian dollar it costs. KISS dollars can then be used to offset the cost of future ILAC courses in Vancouver or Toronto.

ILAC also announced a partnership with Air Canada that will reduce the cost of international travel for students with a study permit. Once enrolled at ILAC or one of their partner institutions, students will be able to get 15% off the cost of their Air Canada flight.

Both deals from ILAC are available until the end of 2021 and additional details can be found on their website.

One on One Webinar: A Year Into COVID

The third session in our One on One webinar series featured a round-table discussion with representatives from higher education institutions across Canada:

After a year of lockdown measures and travel restrictions, the conversation revolved around how institutions in different parts of Canada have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and what their outlook is for the future. Moderated by Canada Campus Visits President Husain F. Neemuchwala, points mentioned include:

  • Challenges institutions should expect to face as students return
  • Changes that educators have made to maintain the student experience
  • Steps that must be taken before institutions re-open and students are back on campus

We and our partners, Agents.CARE and the Canada India Education Council, thank all of the attendees who made this webinar a success. Canada Campus Visits is proud to play a role in facilitating such engaging and insightful discussions.

people looking at laptop computer

International Students Discuss Studying Abroad During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The thought of studying abroad during a global pandemic may seem daunting to many. However international students in countries around the world are managing as best they can while they pursue their higher education overseas. In the above video, THE Student asked five overseas students about their university experiences in the age of COVID-19.

The students highlighted a rage of topics from what the visa application process was like to advice on making friends in online lectures. They also shared their most important tips for anyone who is thinking about their own study abroad experience in the future.