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Housing, jobs top list of students’ concerns at Cape Breton University


There were signs all over campus welcoming students back to Cape Breton University on Thursday, but some of the same concerns remain as another academic year gets underway.

“There are always concerns about housing and jobs. We are trying to work with the university, so that we can get the best possible outcome,” said Sahilpreet Singh Chatha, CBU Students’ Union president.

More than 7,000 students were enrolled at CBU last year, with international students comprising 70 per cent of the population.

Thanks to a W5 investigation in 2022, housing concerns for the university's international students grabbed national headlines.

The university has recently added 111 new beds on-campus and spent $1.4 million to renovate the MacDonald Residence.

“What we did was convert communal space into kitchens. International students have noted the ability to cook for themselves was a key factor on living on campus,” said Doug Connors, director of housing at CBU.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has also taken steps to address the increasing population by adding new bus routes to and from the university.

Connors says students are told to secure accommodations before coming to Canada.

“It is in all of our communications that housing is very scarce across the country and jobs are hard to come by as well. But the important message is not to travel if you haven't secured those accommodations,” he added.

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