Universities collaborate to make transferring easy

Commission hopes to make transitions between schools easy for students

Ian Kenny transferred to the University of King’s College from Saint Mary’s University at the start of this academic year — a process he calls frustrating.

SMU student Harrison Newman Jardine thinks a collaboration between universities gives students more options for their education. (Photo: Vanessa Ratjen)

“If you aren’t on top of your game and if you aren’t a solid planner, then you could easily fall way behind,” he says. “Things that you took for granted before, like being finished all of your basic requirements, are things that generally come back to haunt you.”

Kenny had no problems transferring his credits, but says Dalhousie limits the number of credits it accepts. He will need to do intersession classes this summer to complete several introductory courses for his combined honours degree in Early Modern Studies and Classics.

A study released on Monday by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission reveals that just 20 per cent of students transferring to Maritime schools receive credits for coursework completed at other universities or colleges.

The commission hopes the collaboration between universities will make it easier for students “to transfer credits for courses taken elsewhere,” says commission CEO Mireille Duguay. The aim is that by having credits transfer, both students and the government will save time and money.

Under the new and developing agreements between universities, students will be able to transfer up to two years of college or university credits. The study will also allow the commission to track the number of students transferring and the credits granted.

Harrison Newman Jardine is another student the commission hopes will be helped.

Jardine, who transferred between SMU and Montreal’s Concordia University, says transferring his credits only took a few phone calls. He says this might have been because he was transferring into a similar program that didn’t require specific pre-requisites.

Although Kenny faced frustration with his decision to transfer, he’s happy he made the move.

“At the end of the day, I feel very at home at King’s,” Kenny says about his decision to switch schools.

But he says it helps to be proactive and ask questions before transferring.

“It is the job of the registrar to sell you an experience,” he says. “And while you may be sold on the lifestyle you would gain, you may need to consider any academic cutbacks you may suffer, too.”