By Thomas Bergeron, Blake Lee-Whiting & Peter Loewen

Governments, universities, and students are confronting challenges associated with a return to in-person classes for the 2021 academic year. Thus far, the debate on a safe return to classes has either focused on government, in relation to ongoing political conversations already occurring, or at the university-level, between university staff, faculty, and administration; surprisingly little attention has been paid to what students prefer when they return to school. An evolving area of policy change at the post-secondary level relates to vaccine mandates. In Canada, some universities have decided to mandate vaccinations after indicating that they would not mandate vaccines, some schools are relying on an ‘honour system’ approach, while other institutions are opting to merely follow sub-national governmental policy. Globally, the response to vaccine mandates is even more diverse. What is even less clear, is what students favour; do students want their schools to implement vaccine mandates?

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