Dear International Graduate Student Colleagues,
I know that this is an incredibly difficult time for all of you. Even in the best of times, you are physically separated from your family. I also realize that the recent travel restrictions imposed by the government in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 has caused many of you additional stress at this already challenging time. McMaster along with other Canadian Universities lobbied the government to clarify this policy in relation to international students who already hold a study permit. I am glad to report that the federal government has clarified on Friday that international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020 are included under the exemptions to the air travel restrictions.
The University is working through how it will deal with all of the changes that combatting COVID-19 have created, including interruptions to certain requirements for degree completion such as placements, fieldwork, labwork, and in-person tests and exams. I will ensure that you receive information on these decisions as they are made.
I am meeting (electronically) this week with the IGSA to provide more direct two-way communication. Nonetheless, if you would like to e-mail me directly about your greatest concerns, I will read every message. Where I see gaps that we are able to fill, I will make sure that you receive timely feedback.
Please stay healthy and safe. We will get through this together.
Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies