By Gagan Batra
“Applying for courses is the worst.”
“We’re paying so much tuition to the university; we should be able to choose from a number of courses.”
“Set timelines and deadlines.”
“They just want us to read all of the chapters, but half of the information is useless and left out anyway.”
“There are enough food options within the school.”
“I was deregistered out of all of my courses.”
“University could have provided more clubs and activities for us.”
“You’re forced to attend classes on specific days as they won’t be offered on any others.”
“Exams were necessarily fair either.”
Ontario is a major Canadian province with many different educational institutions. While all institutions provide the same basic things, education, degrees or diplomas, credentials, they have differing specialties.McMasterUniversityfor instance is acclaimed for its Health Sciences program, and Ryerson for its Architectural Sciences. When people decide on a specific institution they want to go to, they usually have underlying reasons. However, there are problems too that they may have with their schools of choice that they may not have anticipated.
Fourth year student fromMcMasterUniversity, Janki Kapadia expressed her disappointment with her institution’s problems associated with registering for courses. “Applying for courses is the worst. You spend five hours trying to do something that should take twenty minutes.” Kapadia explained that the process of choosing courses at McMaster is not only redundant, but extremely inefficient in that the students are consistently shut out of the system and there are unexpected lags they encounter.
Iman Khan, third year student from Queen’s University, expressed her dislike with the availability of courses at her institution. “I feel that we’re paying so much tuition to the university, we should be able to choose from a number of courses. I ended up taking courses this year not because I was interested in them, but because I had no choice.”
Second year student fromCarletonUniversity, Neil Khatri, had a different problem with his school. Khatri explained that the problem was not in the courses available to him, but it was in the course work. “My problem is that there aren’t any properly assigned readings at all. They just want us to read all of the chapters, but half of the information is useless and left out anyway. It’s not covered.” While Khatri acknowledges that there is a lot of knowledge to be gained from doing the extensive readings assigned to him, he believes that when they are to be completed in such a short time span, it takes away from his time to study testable material.
Marietta Mahendran has different problems with her institution. As a second year student at theUniversityofGuelph, she stresses her displeasure with the process by which tuition must be paid. “I went out of the country this summer and returned only a week before classes begun. Due to this I was late handing in papers related to the funding I was supposed to receive early September to pay my tuition. I was unable to pay tuition by the deadline because of this and was put in a tight situation where I was deregistered out of all of my courses.” Mahendran explained that the university did not take any of her extenuating circumstances into account before deregistering her from courses and that policies regarding late tuition payments are very strict.
Student from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Hardeek Vansia, expressed some of the annoyances he had experienced himself with the timings of his classes. “There aren’t enough sections for given courses so everyone is bunched into one class since they don’t offer any different slots. You’re forced to attend classes on specific days as they won’t be offered on any others. A lot of the time because of this your schedule won’t allow you to have a job. If you have a far commute or if you’re not a morning person, it’s the worst because the lack of time slots available make it difficult to attend courses at times you would find more convenient.”
Student fromSheridanCollege, Bindya Bhundia, claims that her college is in need of many changes. “I think we need to see more studying spaces, and more cubicles in our quiet rooms. It’d also be great if they could expand our computer lab. Also, I don’t think there are enough food options within the school. They definitely need to have more variety, especially in terms of vegetarian options.”
Recent graduate from theUniversityofToronto, Mohini Rangunwala, expressed her concerns about a variety of issues. “Tuition for my program was really high. I was doing a co-op program so my tuition was more than twice the regular amount for university programs. Textbooks were also expensive unless you bought them used which wasn’t fair because they usually had past notes in them. I don’t think exams were necessarily fair either, some professors taught differently than others and students were given advantages because of their styles of teaching and examination methods. I think students should collaborate with each other and their professors to get as much information as possible and to help each other out.”
Tanvi Patel, student from theUniversityofGuelph Humber, described her displeasure with her school in terms of the lack of school spirit. “The school in itself was in a great location, but I found that students would just come to class and then retreat back home. I think it definitely lacked school spirit as opposed to some other universities I’ve seen. There isn’t a lot of effort put into networking students from different programs and I think the university could have provided more clubs and activities for us.”
Graduate fromYorkUniversity, Neil Singh, gave some tips on how to be successful in university. “It was hard for me, juggling two undergraduate degrees at the same time while doing co-op placement and a part time job, meanwhile trying to maintain a healthy social life. I literally had to schedule my life, even time for playing video games. I’d say that the best thing anyone who wishes to attain higher education can do is to set timelines and deadlines for themselves. I use a whiteboard calendar where I write all of my assignments and can keep track of when my due dates are. I highly suggest others to do this so they can prioritize their time.”
From speaking with all of these different students from varying institutions, it becomes clear that while colleges and universities do provide people with valuable credentials and education, they are far from perfect. It is by no means easy getting around some of the institutional issues different schools pose, but the best thing to do is to stay focused on the tasks at hand and to try hard to achieve goals by prioritizing.