What international students need to know about job action


author: john loeppky   | editor-in-chief 

For those ready to throw out their assignments because of possible job action/Haley Klassen

Campus and government weigh in

In interviews, both Provost Tom Chase and AVP UR International, Livia Castellanos, pointed towards Canadian government regulations that are in place to protect international students in cases of issues outside of their control, such as a job action. Castellanos also explained the process being undertaken with students on exchange at the University of Regina.

“The Government of Canada protects the student and they continue to hold their legal status until the classes resume.”

“So, the students that are here for one semester, or study abroad, we are going to be communicating with the students and also we are going to be communicating with the institutions where the students are being received from and we are going to try to provide them with the supports and the mechanisms that will allow the students, perhaps, to defer their exams and/or to defer their final grade so that they can obtain those marks and move on into their education in their home institution.”

Castellanos said that those affected count “around 131 students.”

Castellanos also laid out UR International’s view of international students who are obtaining a degree from the University of Regina.

“The students that are seeking a degree here, or they are seeking a certificate or a graduate degree will not be affected because we are assuming that those students are continuing their studies here with us. So, they will remain with their visa[s].”

She went on to speak about the rule forcing international graduate students to take summer classes and what would happen in the event of a prolonged job action.

“The regulation about the students taking courses in the summer is a regulation that each university in Canada has the right to put in place for international students. So, in that case, we will communicate with the Government of Canada about the situation at the university and they will also be protected from the legislation.”

Castellanos said that a meeting with affected students is planned for Mar. 29 with details to be released at a later date.

In an email the Saskatchewan Ministry of Advanced Education replied to questions about student loans and international students in light of possible job action.

“Any student in receipt of student loan funding for the current semester will not be impacted.  Funding will continue as is. Most students will have one more provincial loan disbursement in April.”

They said that students would not be spoken to if job action were to occur.

“We would not contact students in advance of any labour disruption. If there is any disruption, we would post information about funding eligibility on our website.”

On the topic of international students, the ministry also pointed to the federal government.

“Study permits are provided by the federal government. The Ministry does not have any personal information on international students so cannot contact them directly.”

“In the event of any labour disruption, we will work with our federal partners at Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada to minimize any impact on international students.”

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