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!

Microsoft Adds New Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions to Digital Skills Program

Source: Microsoft News Centre Canada

Microsoft Canada launched their Canada Skills Program in Fall 2020 to help college and university students develop in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Data, and Cloud software. They recently announced that the program will extend its reach to eight additional higher education institutions, bringing the total to 20 across the country.

Due to the growth of the innovation economy, 149 million new jobs are expected to be created in Canada by 2025. The Canada Skills Program aims to help learners develop their digital expertise and in six months has begun to do just that. 20,000 students have participated in the program so far with thousands more to come with certifications now available at:

man sitting on a green grass field

Relief for International Students As Canada Extends Work Permits Due to COVID-19

Beginning January 27, foreign nationals in Canada with an expired or soon-to-be-expired post-graduation work permit can apply for an 18-month extension

In a recent media release for the University of Toronto, author Yanan Wang interviewed Nana Sakyi, an international student from Ghana who recently completed a master’s degree in Canada. The article, dated January 27 2021, shed light on the apprehensions and nervousness of several International students like Sakyi, following a global pandemic that brought the world to a halt. 

In addition to health risks posed by the novel coronavirus, for international students the last several months were particularly uncertain because of the possibility that their work permits would run out before they find employment, putting their immigration status at risk.

Luckily, in an effort to ease the strain on international students who are graduating from post-secondary institutions amid the pandemic, the federal government recently announced a plan that will give them more time to find work. Foreign nationals in Canada with an expired or soon-to-be-expired post-graduation work permit can currently apply for an 18-month extension.

The policy seeks to help foreign nationals who are currently in Canada meet the requisite work hours to be eligible to apply for permanent residence.

“The work permit extension gives international graduates another year and a half to contribute to the Canadian workforce. That’s a huge benefit to Canada and the individual students who wish to take it up,” said Katherine Beaumont, senior director of global learning opportunities and international student success at U of T’s Centre for International Experience (CIE).

Beaumont added that the centre plans to make more international students aware of the new policy through alumni newsletters and the university’s career development resources. In response to a growing international student population and an increased need for guidance and advice on the documentation required to be an international student in Canada, U of T has increased the number of certificated international student immigration advisers based at CIE.  As a result, CIE has been able to increase immigration advising to students by a factor of four since the pandemic began – all while adding new ways to serve students, including online and phone appointments, webinars and drop-ins.

 “A lot of international students were very, very happy about this policy because this gives them the time to work towards starting the permanent residence process,” said Pooja Gupta, who earned her engineering master’s degree last year from U of T’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering and serves as president of the school’s International Students’ Council.

“Canada’s immigration policies are what gives the country an edge in terms of attracting talent.”

Source: University of Toronto

Using Digital Communications to Get Students to Study

Source: Inside Higher Ed | Image Credit: Smarty Mobile

Research conducted at the University of Toronto suggests that mobile apps built to send study reminders to students failed to have much impact on how much time they actually spent studying. A group of students that received the notifications studied longer than a group without them but, according to researchers, not by a meaningful amount. While researchers remain confident that this type of technology can help students to a greater extent than what was indicated, they admit that many students would need to see positive results before changing their study habits.