24 April 2020

The Canadian Historical Association supports graduate students across the country who are petitioning their institutions to grant academic extensions and suspend summer tuition. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an overwhelming negative impact on many segments of the population but it has a particularly harsh impact on the welfare, finances, academic and research programs of graduate students across Canada.

Governments shutdowns of universities has prevented most students from pursuing their graduate programs. Students no longer have access to university services and resources, including libraries, archives, laboratories, and their workspaces on campuses. Many students are unable to continue fieldwork and data collection as a result of government policies and closures. Some students do not have the technical amenities to pursue their studies while many also have additional caring responsibilities and financial difficulties at home during the COVID-19 crisis.  The federal government has recently announced support targeted for students and new graduates which is very welcome and appreciated but will not fully replace what students have counted on for income between semesters and many have incurred unexpected moving expenses.

The Canadian Historical Association supports graduate students and joins with student organizations to ask universities to:

1) Suspend summer tuition and fee payments for graduate students normally due in May;
2) Extend funding for all current and incoming graduate students for each semester that is disrupted by the COVID-19 Crisis;
3) Extend deadlines for thesis submission, degree completion and provide automatic program extensions for all students continuing in Canadian graduate programs.

Dr. Penny Bryden
Canadian Historical Association

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