OTTAWA, October 7, 2020 -- Students in Canada continue to face numerous challenges to their mental well-being amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is excited to see the launch of the National Standard Of Canada For Mental Health And Well-being For Post-secondary Students (the Student Standard). CASA has long advocated for holistic mental wellness services for all post secondary students, and therefore we are hopeful the Student Standard will provide institutions with the framework they need to best support all students. As post-secondary across Canada rapidly shifted to online learning it created a lot of uncertainty for students, while heightening their feelings of stress and anxiety over concerns about health and safety, isolation, finances, and the future.
OTTAWA, October 1, 2020 -- With the shift to online learning, millions of students need better digital infrastructure to succeed in their classes. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is hopeful that the Government of Canada’s $2 billion investment to connect 750,000 homes to high-speed broadband in underserved communities will significantly benefit post-secondary learners. Without this immediate investment, significant challenges will persist for many students, especially those in rural and remote communities, as they attempt to access their online education. The transition to digital learning requires robust internet connection for both instructors and students, and we are hopeful today’s announcement is the first step to increased rural broadband access throughout Canada.
OTTAWA, Sept 23, 2020 -- Over 2-million students are currently enrolled in post-secondary education across Canada, and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) knows that each one will play a significant role in Canada’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Therefore, we are disappointed to see that neither students, nor making post-secondary education more affordable, innovative, or accessible, were explicitly mentioned in today’s Speech from the Throne. We appreciate the government’s acknowledgement that job losses, the transition to remote learning, and increased debt loads have disproportionately impacted young people from coast to coast to coast. At CASA, we know that students are still worried about the long-term financial and social impacts of the pandemic.
During this unprecedented time, supporting students and recent graduates is more important than ever. At a uniquely vulnerable point in their lives, students have been blindsided by lost income, online classes, a summer of isolation, and bleak job prospects following graduation. While the Canadian post-secondary system is strong, students in Canada remain worried about their studies and financial stability moving forward. In light of this, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations has sought to bring forward a suite of recommendations that aim to alleviate student anxiety through additional financial support and enhanced access to technology and broadband necessary for online learning.
OTTAWA, July 22, 2020 -- The summer is nearing completion, and students are gearing up to return to their institutions for an unprecedented school year. The Canada Student Service Grant was initially launched on June 25th, 2020, with the goal of providing students grant-based financial assistance in return for summer volunteer work. The program has had a delayed implementation leaving thousands of students in the dark with little time remaining. It is now clear that the Canada Student Service Grant will be unable to fulfill its original purpose of providing financial aid to students over the summer. CASA is now calling on the Government of Canada to relocate these funds into stronger financial supports for post-secondary students returning to school.
OTTAWA, July 9, 2020 -- Canada’s Auditor General has released the 2020 Spring Report on Student Financial Assistance. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) welcomes the recommendations in the report, and applauds the Auditor General's call to make additional financial literacy tools available for student borrowers. Broadly speaking, CASA found the results in the report to validate much of what post-secondary students say about their experiences with the loan system.