News Release: UCalgary refuses to meet, fails to support students after last-minute course changes

September 8, 2021  |   Found in News

Calgary – After pulling the rug out from under UCalgary students with hundreds of last-minute course changes affecting thousands of students, university administration has refused to meet with the SU and student leaders on the topic. Instead, the university has announced an inadequate bursary program that does not begin to make up for the stress, anxiety, hardship, and financial loss many students have been exposed to by this university decision.

Students learned in the last two weeks that many in-person classes they signed-up for were moved online. Some courses were moved online as recently as Monday, the day before classes started. Many students had made financial decisions based on in-person learning and had paid hundreds to thousands of dollars for flights, accommodation expenses, and even just parking passes that they now no longer need.

“The university made the decision to move courses online without any student consultation. It is disappointing to see that students are still an after-thought. The bursary the university announced does not come close to covering the sheer number of affected students, nor does it cover the dollar amount many students spent in anticipation of in-person classes.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

The university’s Fall 2021 Online Learning Relocation Grant will provide money to affected students but falls well short of reimbursing students for the full amount they may have spent prior to courses being moved online. In addition, only students forced entirely online by the university decision will be eligible. This overlooks students who may still have one in-person class but signed up for up to five and spent money under that assumption.

An unprecedented number of students have reached out to the SU saying they would have stayed in their home country or location and changed the one in-person class they still have to online delivery. The university denied them this opportunity by making changes so late.

The SU is calling on the university to ensure that every student affected by the university decision to move courses online at the last-minute can be fully reimbursed for the costs they have paid. The current bursary does not meet this standard.

“The SU has heard from students who have had courses moved online or even cancelled as recently as Monday, the day before classes start. This is unacceptable. The university has created this entire situation by moving courses online over the last three weeks. They must deal with the consequences of their decisions. Students deserve far better than what the university has put forward.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

Media inquiries may be directed to:
Mike Brown
External Communications Specialist
University of Calgary Students’ Union
Cell: 403-560-0577