Designated Learning Institute (DLI) is a title given to schools across Canada, which enables them to permit chosen applicants to apply for study permits. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the DLI list has become a metric in assessing whether international residents are to be given permission to enter Canada. This means that students who attend non-DLI schools and are currently outside Canada are likely to face problems when trying to return to the country.
I find it strange how UW has not yet been added to the DLI list, considering it is a highly reputed school in Canada and a popular one among international students. What adds to the strangeness is the fact that Wilfrid Laurier University, the epicentre of the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Waterloo, is already on the DLI list.
At this time, it would be impossible for any UW student outside Canada to return to the country. This could be an issue for many co-op students who are required to be in Canada to successfully complete their work term. I believe that UW should be on the DLI as soon as possible. The fall term is nearing its end and many students outside the country will need to re-enter to begin work terms. Furthermore, the undergraduate and postgraduate admission cycle is coming to an end, and accepted international students will have to apply for study and work permits. For this to be possible, UW needs to be on the DLI list.
The COVID-19 plan submitted by UW in early September has not yet been approved by the provincial government. It is unlikely that UW’s COVID-19 plan will not be approved eventually. However, if the plan is rejected, the provincial government should inform UW immediately, because it will take time to edit and update the plan. Delay in approval of the plan will inconvenience both UW and its students.