Student updates

Academic guidelines for end of term

The Academic Sub-committee of UNB’s Bi-Campus COVID-19 Response Steering Committee has developed academic guidelines for you to be aware of as we resume classes using alternative delivery methods on March 23.

These guidelines include information around updated academic dates, syllabus changes, exam information and other accommodations.

Academic update    Academic clarification

COVID-19 Student Relief Fund

If you are a UNB student with urgent and immediate financial needs related to the COVID-19 crisis, you may be eligible for relief through the new UNB COVID-19 Student Relief Fund. 

Requirements

  1. Any UNB student registered for the Winter 2020 semester may apply. 
  2. Bursaries, up to a maximum value of $1,000 per student, will be awarded to assist with travel and living costs (e.g. rent, utilities or groceries) according to available funds and student's demonstrated financial need.

Start your application

You will either be contacted by email directly by a Financial Aid staff member or you will be offered a telephone appointment with as little delay as possible.

Spring graduation ceremonies postponed

UNB is postponing both Fredericton and Saint John Spring graduation ceremonies to Fall 2020. We recognize that delaying the ceremonies may cause some concern for graduating students.

We are actively exploring options to select a new date. Updates will be communicated as they become available. Review the graduation frequently asked questions for more information.

Office of the Registrar

The UNB Registrar's Office is offering virtual service to support student needs as course instruction moves to alternative methods of delivery. Contact specific units/services to find out how you can virtually get in touch with us for assistance.

Fredericton    Saint John

Student Services

While all in-person appointments, groups, workshops, drop-in sessions and other events are suspended for the time being since the university is closed, Student Services groups on the UNB Fredericton and Saint John campuses are still supporting urgent student needs as courses move to alternate methods of delivery.

Fredericton Student Services    Saint John Student Services

Student loans

To support student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has announced its plan to pause the repayment of Canada Student Loans until Sept. 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest. Pending parliamentary approval, these measures will become effective March 30, 2020. This will include pre-authorized debits.

International students

We understand that it’s an uncertain time, and we are here to support you.

Graduate Studies

In alignment with the most recent notice concerning UNB operations going forward, the guidelines concerning graduate student activities are updated effective immediately.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has advised that courses of study being delivered by alternative methods on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect eligibility for a post-graduation work permit.

International visiting graduate students: Please be advised all travelers arriving in Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Learn more about travel, immigration and other resources available at UNB.

Library

UNB Libraries has shifted operations to online delivery of services and resources. All libraries are closed to in-person access and will be focused on delivering online services to students, instructors and researchers.

Late fees will be automatically suspended for items due from March 14, 2020 ‒ May 1, 2020. You can still return items in book drops. Please do not return items while you are self-isolating. Items can be renewed online.  

Additional details:

You can use the UNB Libraries’ AskUs function if you need any help.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Some transmit easily from person to person while others do not. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Those with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Symptoms have included:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • pneumonia in both lungs

What are the risks of getting COVID-19?

Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. Please refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada for the most up-to-date risk assessment.

Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact.


How does COVID-19 spread?

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets that are spread when you cough or sneeze
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

The best defence against any type of communicable disease is following routine prevention measures to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections by:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
  • coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and not your hands; and
  • staying home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.

Should I wear a mask if I am healthy?

If you are a healthy individual, the use of a mask is not necessary. It is not recommended that healthy people or people who have not travelled to a COVID-19-affected area or people not at high risk for developing symptoms to wear masks. Wearing a mask may give a false sense of security.

Masks can easily become contaminated and need to be changed frequently and fitted properly for them to provide adequate protection.

You can stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections by:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and not your hands
  • staying home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others

Is there a risk of contracting COVID-19 if I touch a surface that was potentially contaminated?

In general, coronaviruses have poor survivability on surfaces, and are generally thought to be spread by respiratory droplets left behind after someone coughs or sneezes.

For COVID-19, researchers are actively investigating to learn more about the ways that COVID-19 is transmitted.

The best way to prevent respiratory and other illnesses is to:

  • avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth
  • consistently use good hand hygiene measures, which include frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • maintain good respiratory etiquette, such as covering your mouth and nose with your arm or sleeve when coughing and sneezing, disposing of any used tissues as soon as possible, and following with handwashing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers where soap and water are not available
  • regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch frequently such as toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water).

What action is UNB taking to address COVID-19?

Our top priority is the safety and well-being of the UNB community. With the outbreak of COVID-19 evolving rapidly, UNB has formed a COVID-19 Response Team to prepare for all scenarios. The COVID-19 Response Team includes bi-campus representation and representation from groups that share our campuses. The group meets regularly to ensure an integrated and comprehensive response to the impact of COVID-19 on the UNB community.

The UNB COVID-19 Response Team will coordinate efforts with New Brunswick Public Health and will act on the direction and advice of our public health officials when potential risks occur to ensure we are protecting the health and safety of the UNB community.


Does UNB have a pandemic response plan?

Yes, UNB has Health Emergency Response Plan in place. The COVID-19 Response Team is currently reviewing and amending our active policies and procedures to reflect the potential requirements needed should the COVID-19 threat level escalates.


My question is not listed here. Where can I find additional information on COVID-19?

Please refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada for a complete list of COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

For the latest and most up-to-date information, see the Public Health Agency of Canada. You can also follow Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, on Twitter at @CPHO_Canada.

Canadians travelling abroad are encouraged to consult the travel health notices on travel.gc.ca.

We encourage you to obtain COVID-19 information from trusted sources such as the UNB Coronavirus website or public health authorities:

 


Where do I find questions and answers specific to UNB?

UNB is continuing to draft responses to university-specific questions. Please direct any questions or concerns to talktous@unb.ca.


Will students need to return to campus?

On March 19, the Government of New Brunswick declared a state of emergency to enhance measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19. All public schools, universities and colleges will remain closed until further notice.

ALL in-person classes are suspended for the remainder of the academic year. There will be no exemptions to this suspension. The decision to suspend in-person classes was made carefully to support the health and safety of faculty and students. All campus in-person classes and labs are suspended and will be delivered using alternative methods. Students are not expected to come to campus to complete any aspect of course requirements.

Examinations and final assessments will be administered online or using alternate assessment strategies.


How will students prepare for remote instruction using alternative delivery methods?

All course instruction was suspended from March 14 to March 22, 2020 to allow students to travel home if desired or necessary, adapt to the many changes in their environment and prepare to complete their course work in a different format. Students were not be required to complete any course work, including scheduled or deferred tests or mid-terms, during this period. Instruction using alternate delivery methods resumed March 23, 2020.


Will students be able to complete the term?

All students will have a pathway to complete each course and gain full academic credit. In preparation of resuming classes using alternative delivery methods, UNB distributed the academic guidelines for students.

These guidelines include information around updated academic dates, syllabus changes, exam information and other accommodations. Responding effectively as a University requires us to be creative and flexible in constructive ways to prioritize student success with the operative principle that students are not disadvantaged by the modifications while ensuring the health and safety of all.

If students are having difficulty adjusting for any reason, we ask for students to contact their instructors to reach an agreement on finishing term work.


How will I know if there are changes to university operations?

We will provide the latest information on COVID-19 developments at unb.ca/coronavirus. We will reassess and evaluate the situation continuously and issue regular communication updates as they become available.

Changes to university operations will be communicated in several ways, including email and UNB’s social media accounts. As the situation is changing rapidly, we ask that you check your UNB email regularly and enable pop-up notifications on your mobile device. Please keep a close eye on your UNB email for updates.


I am experiencing anxiety or have other concerns related to COVID-19. What should I do?

We understand that evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 can create anxiety or concern. We encourage you to direct any COVID-19 related questions or concerns to support and resources available at UNB. Contact us at talktous@unb.ca and we will work with others across UNB to help find the answers and ease your concerns.

The New Brunswick Public Health provides advice for coping with the stress during COVID-19:

  • Connect with others while maintaining safe social distancing. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Check-in regularly with loved ones, especially those affected by the virus.
  • Take breaks. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Maintain a sense of hope and think positively.
  • Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.

I live in residence and think I may have flu-like symptoms, what should I do?

Stay in your room as much as possible and notify the residence staff. Please use the self-assessment tool. If you have symptoms, call 811 and follow their directions. If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms and travel history.

All travellers returning to Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. Notify residence staff prior or immediately upon your return for further directions and support.


Are the Encaenia/Spring Convocation ceremonies taking place as scheduled?

No. UNB graduation ceremonies will no longer be held on May 27-29, 2020. The ceremonies will be postponed to a later date and graduands, faculty and staff will be updated via unb.ca/graduation and email as more information becomes available.


How was this decision made?

With the Government of New Brunswick having declared a state of emergency on March 19 to enhance measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19, all public schools, universities and colleges are closed until further notice. UNB continues to follow the advice of New Brunswick Public Health and will determine the next steps relating to graduation in accordance with its recommendations.


Who made this decision?

The President’s Executive Team, Bi-Campus COVID-19 Response Steering Committee and the Graduation Working Group put a great deal of thought into the decision to postpone UNB’s graduation ceremonies and acted on recommendations made by New Brunswick Public Health and the Government of New Brunswick.


When will we know the new graduation dates?

Currently, we are unable to provide firm graduation dates. UNB continues to follow the advice and recommendations of New Brunswick Public Health and the Government of New Brunswick. The health and safety of UNB students, faculty and staff and our community’s general duty to practice social distancing is currently our top priority. As new developments unfold, we will continue to communicate graduation-related information to graduands, faculty and staff.


If the ceremony isn’t held in May, will I still graduate?

Yes. Your graduation date is still May 2020. This will be noted on your transcript and diploma.


Will I receive a copy of my diploma?

Yes, each graduate will receive a diploma, however, due to the ever-changing circumstances, we do not yet have a timeframe.


Can I receive confirmation of program completion as I need it for employment or continuing studies?

Yes. Letters can be requested through the academic tab in your personal eServices.

Confirmation of program completion letters can only be issued by the Registrar's Office once your final grades are released and your completion status has been confirmed by your Faculty.


I already paid the $50 fee for my academic regalia. Will I be refunded this cost?

Yes. To receive a refund of your cap and gown, please contact Gaspard at alphaomega@gaspard.ca and provide your order number. If you do not contact Gaspard for a refund, your $50 deposit will be applied to the rescheduled ceremony.


Can I attend a future graduation ceremony?

The Graduation Working Group, President’s Executive Team, and Bi-Campus COVID-19 Response Steering Committee are working to develop an Encaenia/Convocation postponement plan that takes into account both the health and safety of the public, as well as UNB graduands. We will continue to update graduating students via unb.ca/graduation and email as more information becomes available.


When can I get tickets for the rescheduled ceremonies?

UNB Fredericton: Once new dates for the rescheduled ceremonies have been selected, students will have the option to select tickets as they would have before, by logging onto UNB’s online graduation portal. If you have already ordered tickets for the original dates, you will need to reserve new tickets for the rescheduled dates. Continue to check unb.ca/graduation and your email for updates.

UNB Saint John: Once new dates for the rescheduled ceremonies have been selected, students will again automatically receive tickets to the event. At that time, if additional tickets are required, requests can be made to the Registrar’s Office. Continue to check unb.ca/graduation and your email for updates.


How will I receive updates?

UNB continues to closely follow the advice of New Brunswick Public Health and will determine next steps relating to graduation in accordance with its recommendations. Continue to check unb.ca/graduation and your email for updates.


Who can I contact if I have a question not on this list?

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, comments or concerns not listed here. For inquiries, contact talktous@unb.ca.