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Research and International Student Advocacy Wins

January 12th, 2021 Ottawa - Last week, two advocacy wins for undergraduate students in Canada were announced.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) announced that the value of the NSERC portion of the Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) will be increased from $4,500 to $6,000. When combined with the 25 percent minimum contribution from the university required from the awards, students who receive the opportunity will have a minimum value of $7,500 for the student. UCRU is excited to see this investment in research opportunities for undergraduate research students. This change to the program will begin in Summer 2021.

Additionally, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco Mendicino, announced a new program for international students that would allow greater flexibility for those impacted by COVID-19.

Many international students lost work opportunities during COVID that made them eligible for permanent residency. These work opportunities contributed to the work experience requirements needed to become permanent residents in Canada.

International students with an expired or expiring post-graduate work permit will now be able to apply for a new permit that will be valid for 18 months. According to Minister Mendicino, the policy is aimed to help more graduates fill pressing needs in sectors such as health care and technology and will give graduates more time to fulfill the work requirements for permanent residency.

The Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities is a pragmatic, evidence-driven advocacy alliance of nine student associations dedicated to high-quality, affordable and accessible education, and represents over 250,000 undergraduate university students across Canada.

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