COVID-19 Updates for First-Year Students
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Huron still processing applications?
Yes. We continue to process applications based on the information we have. You can check your application status on your Huron Portal. If you have any questions about the status of your application, please contact your dedicated Admission Advisor.
I am an Ontario High School student, will the OUAC still send my grades?The OUAC is still processing grade information and the schedule of grades has not been delayed. May 5, 2020 is the target date for Ontario universities to receive second-semester midterm grades and interim grades for full-year courses from the OUAC. Grades the OUAC receives earlier than the deadline will be sent to Ontario universities when received.
My final exams have been cancelled. Will Huron cancel my Offer of Admission?
If your final examinations have been cancelled, we will accept the alternative methods of assessment used by your school or examination board. Final admission and scholarships will be awarded based on the final grade information available. If the cancellation of exams and disruption in your studies have negatively impacted your final grades, please complete the Special Consideration form.
- GCSE Students: Boards are investigating other assessment tools and will communicate with schools once final decisions have been made. The grades and qualifications that are awarded for this June series will carry the same value as grades and qualifications for any other series.
- IB Students: IBO has announced that scores will be awarded using a revised assessment and scores will be released on schedule in July. Huron will not change the process of evaluation of transfer credits.
- AP Exams: The College Board will be offering Advanced Placement exams online. Huron will accept the final exam result and award transfer credit based the score awarded.
In India, the final CBSE/ISC board examinations have been delayed. How will this impact my offer of admission?
Conditional offers of admission are provided based on previous academic history and predicted grades. If the final CBSE/ISC exams are cancelled, Huron will confirm final admission based on exam results available and previous academic history.
My English Language Proficiency Test was cancelled and I am unsure if tests will be available in the near future, what can I do?
Students affected by the suspension of language testing are now able to submit the DuoLingo English Test (DET) as a means to demonstrate competency. Students who meet the requirement for direct admission will be retested by Western English Language Centre upon arrival on campus if they are not able to provide another approved language test before September. Students who do not meet direct admission will be offered conditional admission based on the successful completion of our language program.
TOFEL iBT offers a Special Home Edition test that is available to students in select countries. Students who meet the criteria for this test, should complete this assessment rather than DuoLingo.
I am worried about meeting the final grade requirement for admission and scholarship. The interruption to my school year, cancelled exams and the change to online learning is affecting my academics, is there a way I can express how COVID-19 has affected my final grades?Huron’s Special Consideration form provides an opportunity for you to share extenuating circumstances that have adversely affected your grades.
My school has decided to grade the second term as P/F. Will this affect my admission and scholarship?
A change in your school’s grading process will not negatively impact your offer of admission. If your school provides a pass/fail assessment method, we will accept such grades and confirm admission and scholarship based on the grade information available.
Campus tours are currently not being offered. Does Huron have a virtual tour?Yes! Please visit huronatwestern.ca/tours to see Huron’s campus.
Is the start of term in September going to be affected?
At this time, we are planning to start the fall term as scheduled. If students are not able to attend in September as a result of delays in visa processing or other circumstances, please contact Huron to discuss deferring your start date to January 2021. Currently, no extended school year plans have been announced for any high school or post-secondary students.
Huron is Closed for September 2020 – Does This Mean It Will Open In January 2021?
Huron decided to keep our residence buildings closed for all students in September 2020 to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our campus community. Our hope is to welcome students who wish to live in Huron’s residences in January 2021 and will continue to work towards this goal. In May, we outlined the decision to limit the number of students in residence to only those who absolutely needed accommodation to access learning equitably. We radically reduced the capacity of all our residences to only accommodate, with appropriate social distancing, students who could not access online education equitably from their homes. We believed, and still do today, that this guaranteed equal access for our students, something that demonstrated our commitment to our principles of accessible education. With that, the number of students who indicated they would need to be in residence was below the threshold necessary for us to offer proper on-campus student support and food service, which ultimately does not enable us to operate safely.
Will there be any changes to the Offer Response deadline?If you are not able to make a decision by the deadline stated in your Offer of Admission, please contact your Admission Advisor to request an extension.
Will there be any changes to payment deadlines?
The first installment for international students is due August 1, 2020 and the first installment for domestic students is due on August 15, 2020. If you are not able to pay your tuition and fees by the deadline, please contact Alycia Armstrong, Coordinator, Student Accounts at email@example.com
Am I Still Able To Apply For A Study Permit To Study In Canada?
Canada continues to accept and process Study Permit applications. Even if your local Visa Application Centre (VAC) is closed or you are unable to submit select documents, you can still submit your application online. Canada has introduced a temporary 2-stage approval process for international students who cannot yet submit a completed study permit application and who want to begin their Canadian educational program online. This temporary process is available to students who want to begin their program this fall.
All students are encouraged to apply for a Study Permit online as soon as possible. For the latest information and full details of how Canada is processing Study Permit applications at this time, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/students.html
Am I still able to apply for a Study Permit to Study in Canada? Or is Canada no longer accepting visa applications for international students?Study permit applications are still being accepted and reviewed by the Government of Canada. Please visit Canada’s Immigration website for information on how to apply.
Why did Huron decide to fully go online?
This decision was made to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff.
Why would I still study? Why shouldn’t I defer for the year, what incentive is there to enrol?
Why would you let a year of your life go by without pursuing your dreams? Right now, you have the opportunity to invest yourself and make progress towards the completion of your degree and build towards the attainment of an education that will prepare you to lead, regardless of what the global landscape looks like. Keeping the bigger picture in mind, this temporary virtual environment will be a small part of your full four year university experience. By enrolling this year, you will keep your admission and scholarships secure, and easily transition to life back on campus when the situation permits it - at which point, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the Huron experience in-person. Huron is doing everything possible to ensure you have the best possible undergraduate experience. Although we are not able to host students on campus this fall, our dedication to students and culture of care will not change. Students will still have direct access to professors, counsellors and any additional supports that are needed. As mentioned by Dr. Craig in Huron’s announcement, when it’s safe to return to campus, we will be ready for you!
So, does this mean there is a possibility Huron will return to normal once safe?Yes - we intend to keep a close watch on Public Health recommendations and make informed decisions on an ongoing basis.
Why is Huron moving to an online model when many universities are choosing to move to a hybrid model?
As soon as it’s safe to welcome our students back into our classrooms, we will. The decision to offer classes online is to ensure our community is safe, and no risks are taken. As a result of COVID-19, the classroom experience we want to provide is not possible. Rather than offer some in-class experience, wearing protection and practicing social distancing, while offering the majority of classes online, we decided it’s in our students’ best interest to provide all courses online until we are safe to return to campus. You have already experienced many disruptions in your school year, and with the uncertainty of future outbreaks, we do not want to risk putting our students through this again.
Will Huron change their decision if the Ontario Government allows universities to re-open in person? What if a vaccine is found? Will students be able to come back to campus for the second semester?
As soon as it is safe to welcome everyone back into our classrooms, we will. That could be later this Fall, this Winter, or next Spring. We will be ready to do so as soon as we can. What we want to avoid is having everyone return to campus, only to have another wave of COVID-19 cause another social shut down or, even worse, someone in our community being lost to this pandemic.
What about those of us who don’t learn properly when everything is online. Our grades will drop, what are you going to do then?
Huron’s educational experience is unmatched – inclusive of online learning and our student support. Our size enables us, whether in person or over a computer, to facilitate and work 1:1 with our students to ensure they succeed. That means, if you are struggling in any aspect, we are able to cater to your needs to enable you to succeed – this is our ultimate goal.
I was looking forward to Huron’s interactive classroom environment. Will Huron’s online classes just be a series of recorded lectures that I watch?
No. When you applied to Huron, you were promised a personalized, interactive undergraduate classroom environment completely unique in Canada, especially compared to the typical format of large, non-interactive lecture hall style learning commonly seen at the undergraduate level.
We will still deliver our promise to you, even in these temporary circumstances. Our faculty, with support of online curriculum specialists, will be designing online courses in a format to maximize their interaction with students. This will include synchronous (live) lectures and recorded lectures and course material (asynchronous) available to students. This will ensure flexibility for all students in the event they are unable to attend live.
The online classes experience at Huron will be completely different than the online classroom environment at larger universities, or even your past semester experience at high school. Since our classes are significantly smaller, it will be much easier for our professors to deliver the highly academic curriculum we are known for.
How will I be graded in exams? Will I be given credits for my courses?Examination assessment will be conducted in a format that allows you to complete the required exam or assignment remotely from home. Yes, you will be awarded credits for courses that count towards the progression of your degree in the same way you would if you were taking the course in-person.
Will the class size and student to faculty ratio remain the same?Yes. Our uniquely small class sizes of 30 students per class on average and our 13:1 student to faculty ratio will remain.
How will the personalised interaction with the professor be affected? Will it be easy to contact and get support from my professor?
All the Huron advantages of a close-knit relationship with your professors and easy access to 1-on-1 conversations with your professor will continue virtually. We will not compromise on the highly personalized level of professor support Huron students enjoy – it will simply just be done through a screen instead of face-to-face.
How do I gain access to library collections and learning materials during my online education?
The Library at Huron is prioritizing digital-first access to its research and learning collections for students and faculty. Visit: https://huronatwestern.ca/library to access the Library’s rich research collections to support your coursework at Huron.
Will any class attendance policies change with online learning, especially for out-of-province students with time-zone differences?Our classes will be delivered in an asynchronous manner. This means, while you can attend classes live, you can also review the class recording. As each student’s situation is different, our attendance policies will be reflective of this ever-changing situation.
How will this impact me taking courses in other western campuses or faculties?If you would like to take a course not offered at Huron at another Western campus, you are welcome to do so. When the timetable goes live at the end of the month, students can view available courses and what the learning format is.
Would the o-week be rescheduled once the university reopens for face-to-face instructions?Plans are underway to allow you to experience the warm welcome and orientation week programming we are famous for, whenever it is safe for you to come to campus in-person. We are committed to providing our students with this future experience and all the exciting events that happen throughout the year at Huron.
What are the socialising opportunities that will be available? How will i know my cohort?For September 2020, we are going to make it as easy as possible for you to meet as many of your future classmates, professors and support people as we can. Keep your eye on your email for invites to Meet and Greets, Game Nights and Wholesome Happy Hours where we will put our academic hats aside, have a ton of fun and ensure, together, we’ll conquer any stress you may be coping with and enable a space to make lifelong friends.
How will orientation week and the ability to make friends be affected?Orientation Week and Welcome Week (international student orientation) will be revised for a virtual environment, but the primary focus and purpose will still be in supporting students to make friends and build a community. Our soph team and student engagement staff are well aware of the importance of students making connections and “finding their people”. We will do everything we can to facilitate that outcome for all students.
Will I still have access to mentorship opportunities?Yes. You will have a dedicated mentorship Lead who will be actively working to connect you with senior Huron students and our wildly impressive alumni who are eager to support your career.
How will internship opportunities be affected?
Our entire Career Advising team will remain personally available to you for individual virtual appointments and you can look forward to a comprehensive series of career-related webinars too. Due to the current situation, it’s still widely unknown how internships and volunteering will be affected within other organizations, but we’re going to work with you throughout this year to help you build a future plan for paid internships and volunteer experiences tailored to your interests.
What support services will be provided by the university during the online semester?
We are expanding our student service hours to ensure our Leaders with Heart, from around-the-world, get to speak to our staff members – face to face.
During these online conversations, you will get to know the people who are personally invested in your short- and long-term success.
That includes your very own:
- Academic Advisor who will help you choose, change and register for your courses
- Career Coordinator who can keep you up-to-date about all the opportunities we offer to build your most impressive portfolio possible
- Student Engagement staff member who is going to tell you about the virtual events, activities and connections you can take advantage of
- Mentorship Lead who is actively working to connect you with senior Huron students and our wildly impressive alumni who are eager to support your career
Will I still have access to tutoring services provided by Huron?Yes. All the unique and individualized support services that make Huron so special will continue to be available for you virtually, until we are able to return to campus and experience these supports in-person.
What will I need in order to effectively study at home?You will need a computer and internet access. All materials required for your courses will be accessible digitally.
What if I start at Huron and decide that the online learning model isn’t for me - will I be refunded my tuition? Can I defer my offer after September?
Refunds to students who wish to withdraw from their studies will continue to be available. All students are eligible for refunds based on their withdrawal date at the refund level identified in Huron’s refund policy
Will any part of the fees be waived/reduced?Your student fees will be reduced to reflect the change in learning format. We are currently reviewing details regarding fees and will be in touch in the future with next steps. Huron is dedicated to supporting our students, and students will still be eligible for scholarships, bursaries and financial aid.
Will tuition fees be reduced because we are online?
Tuition fees will not be reduced in the upcoming academic year. This is for a few reasons. We are making further investments in ensuring students have top quality support during their online learning, this includes student support, faculty support and new technology investments. Yes, there will be some ancillary fees that will not be included as the services related to these fees would not be utilized while online, but it is our promise to our students that we ensure success is not only achievable during an online academic year, but also that our students continue to thrive in this success, regardless of being in person or online. We will do this by making these further investments to ensure the Huron experience, that Huron is proudly known for, is upheld to the highest of standards. If you have further questions, please email Huron’s admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the residence deposit has already been paid, how will that be compensated?
Your residence deposit can be fully refunded to you upon request. Please email email@example.com to arrange this.
If I defer my admission to Huron to sept 2021, will my admission and scholarship still remain valid? What are the conditions of deferral?
Requests to defer your Offer of Admission will be considered on a case-by-case basis after your final grades are received. To request a deferral application form, please contact your Admissions Officer at Huron.
The conditions of deferral are as follows:
- You must have been given an offer of admission to Huron at Western
- You must have formally accepted your offer of admission on OUAC (or internally)
- You must have met all conditions of your offer of admission and submitted all supporting documentation
Once we receive your completed form, we will review your request and inform you of any additional conditions. Your admission and automatic scholarship will remain valid in Sept 2021 only if your request for a deferral is approved and you meet all the conditions stated. Remember, there are many benefits to continuing your education come September 2020. If you want to discuss why not deferring may be the best option, we are happy to talk with you.
What is the latest date by which I have to make the decision on whether I want to remain enrolled in September 2020 or defer my admission to September 2021?
July 31, 2020. Please speak to your Admissions Advisor at Huron if you have any questions or concerns about this decision.
Will you assist the incoming class with second year accommodations / housing arrangements? Picking roommates for off-campus housing in year 2 will be difficult having not met our classmates in person yet / lived with them already in residence.We are eager to develop programming that encourages students to make friends and get to know one another through the virtual environment with the activities and events we are planning for next year. In addition to the social aspect of university, students will also get to know their classmates thanks to the smaller class sizes at Huron. Even though our classes will not be held in person, the smaller numbers and individualized support and attention provided by faculty and staff will help students make connections and develop friendships. Our Residence Managers, Student Engagement Coordinators, and Wellness staff can also help connect individual students as they consider housing options for their second year.
What services and activities on campus will still be available in-person?Though this could change in the coming months, we plan to offer in-person academic advising and career services support with physical distancing and barriers in place.
What has been the impact of COVID-19 in the city of London, Ontario?
The total confirmed case count of COVID-19 in the Middlesex-London region is 466 of which, 324 cases have been resolved.
For the latest figures and updates, please visit the Middlesex-London Health Unit website at: https://www.healthunit.com/novel-coronavirus
As a city, London has coped better then most in responding to COVID-19:
Rate per 100,000 population:
93.8 London, Ontario
144.6 Toronto, Ontario
231.2 Total Ontario
Source: Public Health Ontario, as of May 14, 2020 https://www.ontario.ca/
Will Taking My Courses Online From My Home Country Affect My Eligibility For Canada's Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)?
No. You will still be eligible for a PGWP if
- - you have a study permit or have applied for one or have been approved for one
- - you can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions
If you’re in this situation, you may
- - begin your classes while outside Canada, and
- - complete up to 50% of your program while outside Canada, if you can’t travel to Canada sooner
After you apply for your study permit, any time spent studying online from outside Canada now counts toward the length of a PGWP. (Before, only the time spent studying online after you were approved for a study permit counted.)
For this time to count, you must
- - complete at least 50% of your program in Canada
- - apply for a study permit by September 15, 2020, and
- - start, or have started, your program in spring, summer or fall 2020
For the latest information and further details, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/students.html#eligibility
Register for an upcoming webinar!
We will be hosting sessions that focus on Admissions, Careers & Internships, Residence and Student Life. Visit our Facebook page for dates and more information on how to register.
Schedule an appointment with your dedicated Admissions Advisor.
Book your appointment today at the Calendy links directly below. We look forward to answering any questions you may have!
Anjali Anand Seth
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Meagan Vande Vooren, MEd
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday