By Olivia Robinson
Published Dec. 19 2017
Haliburton School of Art and Design has confirmed that over one-third of its students have withdrawn from the college since the start of the fall semester.
The spike in withdrawals follows a five-week-long strike caused by a labour dispute between Ontario college instructors and the colleges. The strike was the longest in Ontario college history affecting 24 colleges and more than 500000 students.
“Students have been working hard to refocus and they are doing a good job on this front” said Sandra Dupret in an email to the Haliburton Echo. Dupret is the dean and principal of HSAD.
Laura Copeland communications officer at Fleming College confirmed that in total 743 students withdrew from Fleming College. At the start of the semester HSAD’s enrolment sat at 106 but by Dec. 15 38 students had withdrawn from their studies.
Since classes resumed on Nov. 21 HSAD students are starting to adjust to life back at school.
“There was initially some anxiety about catching up which seems to have lessened” said Dupret.
Because of the unique nature of Fleming College’s programs Dupret said that it’s difficult to gauge how many students will re-enroll.
“A few students left our one-year diploma programs but are coming this winter to take a certificate program instead” she said.
All students who withdrew from the program received a refund for their tuition fees however the fees vary by program.
Dec. 16 marked HSAD’s annual end-of-semester student show featuring art ranging from painting and drawing to blacksmithing and ceramics.
The show allowed students to showcase their work from when the semester was in session as well as other pieces that were crafted while the strike was ongoing.
HSAD classes will run until Dec. 22 and resume on Jan. 2 until Jan. 8. The winter semester will begin on Jan. 15 and end one week later than usual on April 27.