In an effort to accommodate students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government announced today a moratorium on student loan repayments, while the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering will be following moves made by the Faculty of Arts & Science in expanding its Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR) application options.

Federal government’s COVID-19 response package

Earlier today, Justin Trudeau announced an $82 billion COVID-19 emergency response package that includes a six-month interest-free respite on student loan repayments. 

The emergency response package also includes an up to $900 bi-weekly benefit for workers who must stay home and don’t qualify for employment insurance or paid sick leave, for up to 15 weeks. 

In addition, wage subsidies will be given to small businesses, more money will be provided to support people who are homeless, an Indigenous support fund will be set up, and child care benefits will temporarily increase. 

The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) National Chairperson, Sofia Descalzi, wrote that students welcome this announcement; however, she added that more support is needed, especially for international students. 

“Students, and especially international students, are going to suffer as they are scrambling to finish their semester and find a summer job or full-time position amid a pandemic,” Descalzi wrote. 

The CFS is calling for governments and universities to relax study permits, include international students under provincial health plans, and keep university residences open for international students and those who cannot return home, among other measures. 

Engineering announces changes to grading policy

Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Christopher Yip, announced changes to the faculty’s CR/NCR policy earlier today.

Engineering students will be able to CR/NCR any course, including core courses. There will be no limit to the number of courses a student can CR/NCR, and the option to CR/NCR will continue to be available after students see their final grades. 

In addition, the course drop deadline will be extended to one week after students see their final grades. 

Details about final exams and graduate courses will be announced shortly.