Simon Fraser University says it won't be relying on Grade 11 grades for early admissions

Universities adjust admissions for ungraded students

UBC, SFU respond to lack of report cards from work-to-rule teachers

B.C.’s two biggest universities are taking different approaches in deciding how to admit Grade 12 students who have no official grades yet for this school year because of the ongoing teacher job action.

The University of B.C. Vancouver campus decided Wednesday to make some use of students’ Grade 11 marks in its early admission process, for students who don’t want to wait and use Grade 12 marks expected to come from the education ministry in May.

Teachers have so far refused to issue formal report cards this year as part of their union’s work-to-rule campaign, although they have told students their grades.

Simon Fraser University, meanwhile, will instead rely on students to self-report their grades and verify them later.

“We make conditional offers on that, then we confirm those offers in May based on interim grades we receive from the Ministry of Education,” registrar Kate Ross said.

She said SFU considered but rejected UBC’s method of using some Grade 11 marks in addition to any available for Grade 12.

“We didn’t feel it warranted it,” Ross said, adding SFU routinely follows an honour system for its preliminary admission decisions.

“Our self-reported grade process is working well,” she said. “Students don’t falsify this information because they know it’s going to be verified.”

Students seeking entry to UBC intending to use Grade 12 marks that were better than the ones they got last year will still be able to do so in May, officials there said, predicting courses will not fill up in the meantime.

“No one will be penalized for Grade 11 marks,” said Michael Bluhm, UBC’s associate director of undergraduate admissions.

He said UBC will make more admission offers in May once spring grades are in for students who weren’t admitted early based on Grade 11 marks.

“We expect no changes as a result of this approach in the number of students coming to UBC from B.C. public schools.”

Concerns had been raised that students from private schools or outside B.C. may get course seats at UBC ahead of B.C. students waiting for report cards, leaving some out in the cold.

“No one will be disadvantaged in the admission process with this approach, it is simply a way to get offers out earlier,” Bluhm said.

UBC’s Okanagan campus has also approved the same approach.

Some students remain concerned seats in their UBC courses may run out and wonder whether if they should accept an admission offer from a different university  rather than gamble on an uncertain outcome at UBC.