Visa Crunch

Universities in Canada struggle with the vaccination policies

David Agnew, president of Seneca College, says “It was one of the simplest choices he’s made in his 12 years on the job.” With 97,500 students, the institution has declared that all students and employees must be properly vaccinated in order to come to campus. He said in the Toronto Star newspaper,” COVID-19 is unpleasant, it is lethal and it mutates. It will not go away until vaccines are used to combat it. Seneca is pleased to be contributing.”

Moreover, 5,000 foreign students attend Seneca, although the number has decreased since the pandemic began in spring 2020.

Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario, has likewise said that all students and workers on campus would be completely vaccinated by September 7. Kathleen Lynch, the president of the institution, has now indicated that this is not required. 

Other post-secondary schools are having a harder time. Vaccination is required for students living in residence at around 23 Canadian schools, but it is not mandatory on campus. Before moving into dorms at McMaster University in Hamilton, students are advised to get vaccinated.

In a statement, Sean Van Koughnett, assistant vice president of students and learners, and dean of students stated, “We are trying to ensure that students have as many opportunities as possible to have a complete residential experience.”

“According to a poll of new residential students, 97% indicated they planned to be vaccinated before the start of the semester. This is an excellent answer because requiring vaccines corresponds to what our students have told us.”

Western University, Trent University, and Fanshawe College have all previously said that in order to be admitted to the residence, students must have received at least a first dosage.

Vaccines are provided free of charge to international students, permanent residents, and Canadian citizens in Canada. Currently, more than 51.5% of Canadians are completely vaccinated, with thousands more being vaccinated every day.

Some programs provide newly arriving students a 14-day grace period after moving into the residence to obtain their second shot; this may help foreign students from countries where vaccine supplies are restricted and they have not been able to get double immunizations. 

Other colleges, such as Acadia University in Nova Scotia, encourage but do not require immunizations. “While vaccination is not required, it is definitely encouraged, and we are working towards achieving a completely immunized campus community,” stated president Peter Ricketts.

Meanwhile, a private company in Canada, the Constitutional Rights Centre, has threatened both Western University and Seneca College with legal action until vaccine mandates are removed. Mandatory vaccinations, according to the organizations, “have no place in a constitutional democracy.”

For students planning to go to Canada, here’s how to get their financial affairs in order:

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