Government vows to make school transfers simple

Moving to a new school can be very stressful. Phil Belanger, Director of the New Brunswick Council of Articulations and Transfer (NBCAT), says having more information at hand will relieve some of that stress.

The  has signed a memorandum with the intent to ease the transfer process for students. New Brunswick joins British Colombia, Ontario and Alberta in the agreement.

“The final goal is to see more info available to students who want to transfer,” said Belanger. “We want to enhance collaboration to improve and facilitate more credit transfers within our provinces.”

Student Ana Maria Meija transferred from St. Thomas University in New Brunswick to Simon Fraser University in British Colombia before New Brunswick signed the memorandum.

“I got 60 credits transferred, so technically I lost some. None of my communications classes transferred and that sucks,” said Meija. “It could have made it easier if the credits would have transferred.”

Fourth-year STU student Dylan Sealy once considered leaving STU, but it was uncertainty over loan and credit transfers that brought him back to the university. Beginning at STU in the 2010-2011, he spent two years in Fredericton before moving to Montreal for a year-and-a-half. He considered attending Concordia University.

“It’s not like you say, ‘I went to university.’ It’s, ‘I went to university here,’ and depending on how well known their school is, it it can help them with their job hunt,” he Sealy said.

He said easier transfers could be a beacon for students to STU, which is renowned for its political science and international relations departments, along with relatively low tuition. He can’t understand the move for the province as a whole.

“New Brunswick is a lumbering behemoth of a province with a disdain for change, and it’s probably not going to help stem the flow out of young people. But it would be shitty of them if they didn’t get involved in it for the students.”

The new Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Francine Landry said this new initiative will attract the skilled workers needed to move New Brunswick forward.

NBCAT is one of the four existing Councils of Articulations and Transfer in Canada. Belanger said that’s three doors open for incoming students to the province, and only one for outgoing students.

“Even thought there might be students benefiting from the opportunity of going to other provinces, it’s vice versa for the other province’s student to come to New Brunswick,” said Belanger. “Let’s say I do a program that doesn’t exist in New Brunswick in Ottawa or Toronto, but then I come back to do my Bachelor’s in New Brunswick, I can get my credits recognized at UNB or STU.”

Belanger says that the memorandum will encourage students to seek the education they want.

“Instead of stalling me from going where I want or getting what I want, it’s actually encouraging me and giving me the pathways I need,” said Belanger. “Ideally, if every province had a CAT it would make it much easier.”

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