Yes, we can welcome international students and maintain public health

The new school year has started, and our province is again welcoming students from across Canada and around the globe.

These students come to Nova Scotia to study at our world-class universities, colleges and schools. Our longstanding national and international reputation is that we warmly welcome students and newcomers.

They arrived this year to find institutions, communities and their fellow students all doing their part to ensure that health and safety on campus and in the greater community remain a paramount priority for everyone. We have risen to the new challenges presented by the pandemic, and we are showing the world how it can be done safely.

Institutions have supported student and community safety by quickly adapting campus operations and course delivery to provide flexible, best-in-class learning opportunities (whether online or in-person). They continue to work closely with Nova Scotia’s Public Health authorities to achieve maximum compliance with all public health directives.

The government of Nova Scotia put in place a very rigorous testing program for post-secondary students coming to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic bubble. International students receive three COVID-19 tests during their mandated 14-day isolation period and complete daily digital check-ins.

Nova Scotians have long invested their time, money, and personal effort into growing healthy, educated and skillfully employed communities that value diversity and inclusion for all people. International students remain a key part of this growth. Last year, we welcomed more than 12,000 international students, who are vital to our province’s economy. Contributing approximately $400 million each year, their importance to our institutions— and to our province as a whole — should not be underestimated.

Now it is time to welcome and reintegrate our international students, knowing we have strong public health and safety measures to share alongside our world-class education and hospitality. By pairing a warm welcome with responsible action, we are proving that we can continue to safeguard against COVID-19 as well as work toward a brighter day that will still include the opportunities that international students bring.

EduNova and its members are excited to extend a warm welcome to the international and domestic students who study and live in our vibrant communities. We are all in this together.

Read the original article published in The Chronicle Herald here.