canada university fall

University students in Canada say they may not attend the fall semester

University in Canada is going to look very different this fall — and with the worldwide pandemic that's going on, many students are starting to question whether it's even worth attending.

According to a new survey commissioned by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), 30 per cent of students may "change their plans about enrolling at a post-secondary institution in the fall."

That number includes both graduating high-school students and returning post-secondary students.

According to the 1,100 Canadian students surveyed, one of the main factors behind that decision is financial difficulty.

A staggering 50 per cent of students say that the global pandemic has made it more difficult to afford tuition and living costs, and two-thirds say their personal finances and those of their parents have been affected.

CFS National Chairperson Sofia Descalzi pointed out that some groups are more affected by the lack of affordability than others.

"It is clear that already marginalized populations are being affected disproportionately by the situation, with a larger number of women and those identifying as visible minorities saying it will be harder to afford post-secondary," she said.

She added that even with government programs such as the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) in place, many students simply won't be able to afford to return to post-secondary institutions.

But finances aren't the only concern; students are also worried about the quality of remote learning.

With an increasing number of universities in Canada officially gearing up to move most of their courses online for the fall semester, students are wondering whether they'll still be getting the bang for their buck.

"Among those students who say they will still be able to afford their tuition fees and living costs, a large number — about 75 per cent — are worried that distance learning will create a poor learning experience," says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson.

Fortunately, with the fall semester still a few months away, Canadian university students have more time to consider whether they plan to return to class in September.

Lead photo by

University of Victoria

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