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.

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.