Western University will refund tuition payments for students forced to withdraw from the upcoming semester because of the school’s vaccine mandate, True North has learned.
On Monday, the London, Ont. university announced all students, staff and visitors will be required to have three doses of a Covid vaccine by October 1. The policy was announced one week after the first tuition installment was due, and two weeks before classes begin.
The policy applies even to students taking online courses if the courses have an in-person component such as a final exam.
Western’s announcement made no reference to tuition refunds, prompting questions from students and parents forced to make alternate arrangements for the coming year.
Western’s media relations department did not respond to multiple inquiries from True North about whether it would be refunding tuition for students unable or unwilling to adhere to the updated vaccination policy.
However, according to an email sent by the university provost’s office to the parent of a Western student, which was later shared with True North, Western will honour refund requests.
“I’ve confirmed with our Office of the Registrar that for those that choose to withdraw due to the announcement regarding vaccination, they will receive a full refund if requested prior to Sep. 1st of this year,” the email says.
Enough is Enough, a group of students opposed to Western’s vaccine mandate, tweeted that “a lot” of students will be requesting refunds.
Western’s vaccine mandate has come under fire by three Conservative leadership candidates: Roman Baber, Leslyn Lewis and Pierre Poilievre have all criticized the university.