FAQs Brescia's integration with Western University 

On Sept. 21, 2023 Western and Brescia announced the institutions had entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding to explore the potential integration. 

The move was initiated by Brescia’s president, Lauretta Frederking, with endorsement from Brescia’s Board of Trustees, who saw an opportunity to extend Brescia’s legacy while responding to an increasingly diverse undergraduate student body. The agreement is focused on meeting the needs of today’s students and finding new ways to realize the vision of Brescia’s founders. 

Following the approval of a memorandum of agreement by the governing boards at the two institutions on Jan. 10, 2024, Brescia will fully integrate with Western University as of May 1, 2024. 

Western shares in Brescia’s commitment to support a smooth transition for all faculty, staff and students. Please see below for some frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not addresssed below, please submit one here. 

Q. Why is this happening now? 

We’ve spoken about responding to changing realities for many years. Entering the renegotiation period for our affiliation agreement, we recognized that it was the right time to talk through the next chapter of our relationship. 

Through Brescia’s integration with Western University, we will be better positioned to enhance educational outcomes for the students with the greatest needs as we look towards the future. 

Like all academic institutions in Ontario, both large and small, Brescia faces real cost pressures as a result of gaps in funding and tuition policy, and in our case, changes in enrollment. But we want to make clear the integration goes far beyond financial considerations for both Brescia, and Western.  

As we look to the future, Brescia has the opportunity to continue meeting the needs of society in the spirit of the Ursuline tradition. We’re excited to have the chance to open our doors to a wider group of young people, including equity-deserving groups, to meet their educational needs and facilitate greater access to postsecondary education. 

Q. Did any consultations take place? 

During the fall, Western consulted Brescia students, faculty, staff and alumnae through forums, committees and information sessions to identify the priorities and resources that would ensure a smooth transition.

Q. What does this mean for current Brescia students? 

As part of the integration, current Brescia students can choose to complete their program of study at Western and remain in their current residence. 

Q. Are there options for students who choose not to attend Western?

Students always have options about what they'd like to do with their academic career. We have offered a number of information sessions to help students choose the right path for them.  

If students choose to fully withdraw from their courses, they can do so before August 31, 2024 to receive a full refund of their tuition and fees. Withdrawing after this date will result in financial penalties. Students are encouraged to use westernchat.uwo.ca for assistance.   

If you are a resident of Clare Hall and decide to withdraw, a full refund including any portion of the meal plan that is not yet spent will be processed. Please note that any scholarships or program awards will be rescinded. 

Q. How will this affect Brescia faculty and staff? 

Western’s goal is to create as many opportunities as possible for Brescia employees.  

Brescia’s full-time faculty, current contract faculty with sessional teaching appointments, permanent full-time and permanent part-time staff can choose to continue their employment with Western. Active contract staff received an offer of employment if a position was available for which they were qualified, and contract faculty will be considered for available positions as outlined in agreements with The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association and the Brescia Faculty Association. 

Program & Course Information  

 

Q. I have questions about how this will affect my specific program or course of study. Who should I contact? 
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Brescia Advisors and Western Academic Counsellors are available to support students navigate their academics. 

Students can continue their studies by selecting "Brescia Programs" in their Intent to Register.

Throughout March, drop-in registration information sessions will be offered to support students in the Mercato: Monday March 11 from 1pm-3pm, Tuesday March 12 from 10am-12pm, Wednesday March 13 from 1pm-3pm, Thursday March 14 from 10am-12pm.

Q. Do I have to be accepted back into my program if I move over to Western’s campus?
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Brescia students will remain in their existing Brescia modules as they continue their studies. 

Q. If I am in undeclared status or a general first year program, can I still complete my Intent to Register in March 2024 to continue in a Brescia module?
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Yes, even though you will be considered a Western student as of May 1, 2024, you will be able to select "Brescia Programs" through the Intent to Register process in March 2024. 

Q. Where will the Foods and Nutrition and Family Studies and Human Development programs be hosted once the integration is complete?
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Both Foods and Nutrition and Family Studies and Human Development will be hosted by the Faculty of Health Sciences once the integration is complete.

Q. Will the Direct Pathways through the Faculty of Education at Western University still be an option for students following a Brescia module?
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Yes, we have confirmed with the Faculty of Education that these pathway opportunities will continue for both French and Family Studies and Human Development students.

Scholarships & Financial Support  

 

Q. What is happening with Brescia’s Continuing Scholarships?
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Your scholarships will not be affected once you become a Western student.

Q. Will the BOLDWorks Work Study program continue?
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Yes, the BOLDWorks Work Study program will continue to be offered for the current academic year until April 2024. 

Clare Hall Residence 

 

Q. What will happen to the Clare Hall residence? 
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Clare Hall will remain an all-women student residence (subject to demand). Current Brescia students who live in Clare Hall may remain in residence for the duration of their enrolment at Western main campus, up to a maximum of four years. These four years include time already spent in residence.  

Brescia students also have the option to live in a main campus residence for 2024-25 school year. Limited spaces are available for upper-year students in selected residences and offers will be made on a first-come-first-serve basis. Interested students can apply via myhousing.uwo.ca. 

Students with residence accessibility requests will be considered for priority placements in residences that meet their needs. 

Q. Will Clare Hall become co-ed once Western assumes it? 
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Clare Hall Residence will remain an all-women residence with a Clare Hall Soph team (subject to demand).  
Q. Will the Mercato remain open along with Clare Hall? 
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The Mercato will remain open, as it serves as the dining hall for Clare Hall Residence. 

Studying at Western

 

Q. Will class sizes be larger at Western? 
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This will depend on the faculty and year you are in. Some class sizes will be larger and some will be comparable to Brescia’s existing class sizes 

Q. Does tuition cost more at Western than Brescia? 
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Brescia’s tuition is set by Western and tuition rates are therefore comparable between the campuses

Q. Will Brescia’s current exchange programs remain an option after May 2024?
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Western remains committed to providing students with global learning opportunities and updates regarding existing international exchange agreements will be communicated shortly. 

Q. I am interested in applying to Foods and Nutrition and/or the Family Studies and Human Development program for September 2024 intake. How do I do that? 
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Students interested in applying to study Foods and Nutrition and/or Family Studies and Human Development at Western can apply to the program through OUAC sometime in March.

Graduation

 

Q. How will Brescia’s integration with Western affect convocation for current Brescia students?
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On the date of Brescia’s June 2024 convocation graduates will walk from Ursuline Hall to Alumni Hall before the ceremony. A reception will take place on Brescia's campus for graduates and families following the ceremony.

Campus Safety 

 

Q. Western has experienced claims of violence against women in recent years – what do you say to women, or parents of Brescia students, who might be worried about a move to Western?
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Both Western and Brescia are committed to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for all students. In recent years, Western has been actively adding new services and supports to ensure everyone feels safe on our campus. We pay a lot of attention to what we can do proactively to prevent gender-based sexual violence – from the way we train our orientation week leaders to more special constables and security patrols, to diverse programming so that our students can enjoy campus life in a way that feels right to them, to health and safety advisors embedded in our residences. 

Other

 

Q. Will there be any dedicated spaces on Western's campus for Brescia students?
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Western will identify a dedicated Brescia Student Lounge for Brescia students to stay connected outside of the classroom.

Q. Will there be any special measures taken to integrate Brescia students into the Western community?
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Western will create transition packages for all Brescia students with information on available on- and off-campus supports.

Western will work to develop Brescia-specific student supports within the Student Experience portfolio to connect students to the assistance they need.

 

Supports for Students     

 

Q. What health & wellness support do I have available to me? 
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  1. CMHA After Hours Crisis Counselling (is also open to affiliate students). Appointments are available every Thursday virtually from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. until the end of April. Email campus@cmhatv.ca to schedule an appointment.

  2. REACH OUT 24/5 - call/text 519-433-2023
  3. 20-minute Crisis VIRTUAL Appointments with a clinically-trained therapist at Brescia - 
  4. Togetherall - https://account.v2.togetherall.com/log-in
  5. Brescia Student Wellness - email buc.studentwellness@uwo.ca
  6. In-person peer to peer support in MSJ 157. 
  7. Find out about compassionate consideration