Aug 4, 2021
For Immediate Release
Challenges for International Students in Fall 2021
Edmonton—The University of Alberta International Students’ Association (UAISA) is concerned about the challenges that will be faced by international students in Fall 2021.
Due to the ongoing travel ban for flights from India and other countries, and the possibility of extension on the ban, it has become challenging for students from India and other countries to arrive in Canada prior to the Fall semester. Currently such students are travelling through indirect routes via third countries, which is causing them financial burden and safety concerns. Many students around the world are unable to obtain their visas on time, to travel prior to Fall 2021. The reality is that we will have many students from around the world who will be unable to attend in-person the University of Alberta in Fall 2021. The University thus needs to be better prepared to support all these students.
The University of Alberta is operating with a hybrid model by having 80 percent classes in-person and 20 percent classes online, but unfortunately, we have been informed by the students that only most lower-level courses are being offered online, making it extremely challenging for the higher year students to progress in their degree. The current allocation of online courses is insufficient and does not fully support students studying from abroad due to various aforementioned reasons.
International students have struggled a lot during the whole pandemic and the struggle seems to continue through Fall 2021. The International Students’ Association urges the University to consider the situations faced by international students and provide the required support. Students need to be allowed to defer or resequence their degree by the Office of the Registrar or Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Faculties need to provide clear instructions to academic advisors on helping students who would not be able to come to Canada this Fall and should offer course substitutions or exceptions wherever needed. The University must clearly communicate the plan for Fall 2021 to accommodate and support international students.
The University as a whole need to be better prepared for Fall 2021. We hope that this time at least our voices will be heard, and adequate actions will be taken by the administration to help international students.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
Vice President External,
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