Genevieve Bonomi's blog

Lack of Support for Parenting Students

Many students who attend universities across Canada have either faced the dilemma themselves or watched friends struggle with the choice between attaining a university education and having children. Since university students are mature individuals in their child-bearing years, it would make sense that Canadian university campuses would assist young people in their struggle by allowing them to have both an education and a family. Although many universities in Canada offer some resources, most do not offer all that is necessary. The University of Toronto greatly surpasses every other Canadian university, both through the resources available and through the general awareness of these resources amongst the student body. The majority of universities in Canada offer distance education, evening classes, on-campus daycare and rarely even one baby change table on campus. However, no university in the country offers the number of resources that the University of Toronto provides.

Distance Education = Flexibility for Parenting Students

Athabasca University, in Athabasca, Alberta provides a very unique university experience. It offers unparalleled distance education opportunities. Distance education and flexible class times have been labelled as the most helpful resource available to pregnant and parenting students. Athabasca offers flexible class times as well as classes via internet, cable television, and correspondence for undergraduate, graduate and even doctorate programs. For parenting or pregnant students who are unable to physically attend a university due to geographical, social or financial barriers, this school allows students anywhere in Canada to study long distance in any program that is offered.

Since many parenting students or pregnant students cannot afford child care and need to work daytime hours, distance education is a good opportunity for those who do not want to choose between an education and a family.

Genevieve Bonomi
Student at the University of Western Ontario

University of Toronto Leader in Campus Pregnancy Resources

Throughout Canada, thousands of young people attend University who are aged 19 to 24. This group is also the largest age cohort of women having abortions. The deVeber Institute is researching the resources available to pregnant and parenting students on university campuses in order to better understand some of the reasons that may be behind this statistical flux. 

Preliminary results reveal that the majority of schools in our country are lacking services. Often the resources are not available, or are not made known to students who need them. Of all Canadian universities, the University of Toronto was the only university to offer all of the following: