New academic policy to accommodate students’ religious and cultural observances

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UBC has introduced a new academic policy to support students who are absent from classes and scheduled examinations in order to participate in observances of religious significance, or observances of cultural importance to students who are First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

The policy, J-136: Academic Accommodation for all Students’ Religious Observances and for the Cultural Observances of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Students, took effect on September 1. It replaces UBC Policy 65: Religious Holidays.

This policy recognizes the diversity of our students and the religious and cultural traditions that guide them. It also recognizes the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples’ right to self-determination in spiritual matters, including the right to practice, develop, and teach their own spiritual and religious traditions, customs, and ceremonies, as set out in the Calls to Action resulting from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

For more information, visit:

The participation in non-religious cultural observances for students who are not First Nations, Métis or Inuit is outside the scope of this policy. However, students who are not First Nations, Métis or Inuit may request academic concessions to participate in such observances. More information is available below:

UBC Vancouver
V-135: Academic Concession:

UBC Okanagan
Senate Policy on Academic Concession:

If you have questions, please email (UBC Vancouver) or (UBC Okanagan).

Kate Ross
Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar

This message was sent to faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

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