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Fanshawe drop out rates reaches over 2,000 students after province-wide college strike


Over 25,000 college students from across the province chose to withdraw from their semester of studies and receive a tuition refund due to the strike. Of that number, over 2,000 are Fanshawe students.

Jen Doede | Interrobang | News | January 8th, 2018

Over 2,000 Fanshawe students chose to withdraw from their semester of studies due to the fiveweek- long, province-wide college faculty strike.

On Nov. 20, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development announced in a press release that students who chose to withdraw from their studies due to the impact of the strike would receive a full tuition refund (ancillary fees from the fall semester not included).

According to CBC News Toronto, nearly 25,700 of college students in Ontario, roughly 10 per cent, chose to withdraw and receive tuition refunds.

“We were very happy that this was at least an option for students, because it has never been done in the past where students were able to get a full tuition refund based on a faculty strike that has happened,” Joel Willett, president of the College Student Alliance said.

Students who chose to withdraw were not eligible to receive up to $500 from the Student Support Fund.

Students were given two weeks from the first day of classes following the strike (Nov. 21) to fill out a withdraw application and receive the tuition refund.

Due to the absence of classes during the strike, students will lose 11 days from their fall semester and five days from the winter semester this academic year. In addition, the winter semester will end on April 27 in order for students to begin employment at summer jobs in early May and not have to pay for an extra month of rent.

Both Willett and Morganna Sampson, president of the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU), explained that some of the top concerns they heard from students who chose to drop out revolved around the semesters becoming too compressed as well as various mental health concerns.

“I think the biggest reason was student being out of class for five weeks gave them a lot of anxiety about how they could be successful moving forward when classes did resume. [Also], the animosity that was potentially going to be held between faculty and administration after the strike,” Willett said. “While the majority of students felt they could continue, there was a 10 per cent gap that felt they would not be successful.”

Janice Lamoureux, Registrar at Fanshawe College, explained that statistics show that 2188 students (1860 full-time students with the total 2188 also including continuing education (CE), apprenticeship and part-time students), chose to withdraw from the fall semester due to the strike. In regards to the total number of semester withdraw applications, about 75 per cent were from first-year full-time students at the College.

However, Lamoureux explained that a large number of students, almost half, are choosing to return to their post-secondary studies either during the upcoming winter term or next fall. “The office of the registrar is not pleased with the volume of withdrawals, but we are very optimistic about the number of students who are choosing to return,” Lamoureux said.

In regards to students who chose to drop out due to the events of the strike, Sampson said, “Don’t lose sight of your goals just because of this event that happened that was totally out of your control. If you want to go to school, don’t let this hinder you and [do] go back.”
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