Protesting students get chance to take competency exam at Algoma University in Brampton


Published January 9, 2024 at 12:16 pm

Students at Algoma University in Brampton say they were intentionally given failing grades. (Photo: Naujawan Support Network via X)

More than two dozen students who failed a computer science course at Brampton’s Algoma University campus are being allowed to take a competency exam following days of protests.

Students have been camped out at Algoma University’s Brampton campus since last week claiming some 130 students were intentionally given failing grades by one professor.

But Algoma now says that out of 230 students, only 32 have a failing grade. A group supporting the protestors says 100 of the failed students were found to have passed the course after a reassessment.

Those students have been offered to write “an aptitude competency exam…composed and graded by a different faculty member” free of charge, the school says.

“The University will also continue its review, which will include reviewing students’ previous tests and assignments,” Algoma said in a statement. “We will continue to communicate with the impacted students.”

Naujawan Support Network, a group supporting the students, says the protest isn’t about trying to get “an easy pass.”

“It is about getting what students deserve: the fruits of their academic labour after paying tens of thousands in tuition,” the “And it is about stopping the exploitation of international students by colleges and universities,” the group said in a statement.

The university says it has contacted every student protesting the grades and has launched an investigation led by Algoma’s dean of science.

Algoma says the course in question is COSC 3707, which is listed on the school’s website as “Techniques of Systems Analysis,” which is offered in the Graduate Certificate in Information Technology program.

“Designed for students with a bachelor’s degree or college diploma outside of the field, our graduate Graduate Certificate in Information Technology will provide you with the specialist skills you need to ignite your career in ICT,” the program description reads.

But Algoma also says it is conducting “academic integrity violation investigations” related to the course, saying those incidents are “a separate matter.”

Algoma did not respond to questions regarding how many of the impacted students are under Canada’s international student program which saw significant changes going into 2024, including the federal government more than doubling cost-of-living requirements for study permit applicants.

Algoma University signed onto the City of Brampton’s international student charter last month, outlining a plan to make a positive difference in the lives of students in Brampton including upholding ethical recruitment standards and practices, creating academic and wrap-around supports for learners and providing opportunities for legal and reliable work.

Editor’s note: Algoma University told that 32 students had been given a failing grade in the course, while the Naujawan Support Network says 132 were failed and 100 were later passed following a reassessment.

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