Date: September 28, 2022
Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie
1. POLICY STATEMENTS AND PURPOSE
1.1 The University of Ottawa plays a vital role in defining the world of tomorrow and intends to offer an unparalleled university experience to its community and, through outstanding teaching and research.
1.2 The University recognizes the benefits of internationalization and is committed to enhancing its reputation as a world-class post-secondary teaching and research institution.
1.3 The University acknowledges the considerable international expertise of its academic and research community, as well as the desire of students and staff to pursue research, educational activities, and service around the world.
1.4 Given the global environment in which academic institutions operate, the University wishes to increase the scope and scale of its international presence and influence, but it must do so in a manner that promotes health, safety, and security responsibly.
1.5 The purposes of this policy are to:
a) Set out the basic responsibilities of those involved in international travel to enable the internationalization of University activities in a safe, secure, effective, and efficient manner;
b) Provide a framework to enhance the safety and security of students, faculty, and staff travelling outside of Canada and to support the expansion, in scope and scale, of international travel;
c) Engage those involved in international travel to be active participants in being informed about potential travel risks and managing such risks; and
d) Mitigate the unique risks related to international travel.
2.1. This policy applies to the following members of the University community travelling outside of Canada:
a) students, meaning individuals enrolled as students at the University, either full-time or part-time (including special students), at the undergraduate or graduate levels;
b) employees, including all unionized and non-unionized academic, postdoctoral, and support staff, as well as those who are paid through sources other than the University’s operating funds, such as grants, research grants, and external contracts;
c) award recipients, bursary holders, and affiliated postdoctoral fellows travelling outside of Canada in a capacity defined by their relationship to the University;
d) clinicians and physicians with an academic appointment; adjunct, visiting, and emeritus professors; postdoctoral or clinical fellows; medical residents; research trainees;
e) contractors, consultants, suppliers, or other persons or entities engaged by the University to provide services or goods to the University or to act on its behalf while travelling outside of their home country pursuant to the written engagement with the University;
f) members of the Board of Governors, of the Senate, and of any of their respective committees, as well as members of any advisory committee formed to help the University achieve its goals;
g) volunteers or persons who serve on advisory or other committees.
2.2. This policy does not apply to personal international travel or travel for reasons that are not related to University Business.
“Head of Unit” will depend on the traveller’s relationship to the University and is intended to mean the University employee holding a University position with the highest level of decision-making authority within a faculty, administrative office, service, or governing body, who is responsible for the oversight, charge, supervision, or direction of the traveller’s employment, appointment, engagement, or relationship with the University.
For example: the President, a Vice-President, an Associate Vice-President, a Vice-Provost, a Deputy Provost, the Dean, a Director or Executive Director, or such other similar University position of highest level of authority, regardless of the position title.
“International Trip” means travel outside of Canada required for, or in relation to, University Business, including but not limited to: exchanges, international internships, field research, international CO-OP placements, study through letter of permission, recruitment, administrative missions and site visits, research projects, international development projects, University-related community service, scholarly or administrative conferences or meetings, or sport or cultural activities.
“Trip Organizer” means a University employee who plans International Trips or determines who will participate in an International Trip, regardless of whether this person accompanies the traveller.
“University Business” means activities required for the University’s educational, research, or administrative activities, services, and functions, or activities required to meet or carry out a requirement of a University course, program, job, appointment, or engagement.
4.1. Working in consultation with the Office of the Chief Risk Officer, the Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie, is responsible for establishing and maintaining pre-departure requirements, procedures, and training relevant to, and depending on, the nature and scope of the International Trip, the University Business related to the International Trip, and the specific requirements of the relevant faculty, services, program, or unit.
a. The purpose of such pre-departure requirements, procedures, and training is to help the traveller, Trip Organizer, and Head of Unit to identify potential risks in travel and ways to mitigate these risks, and to identify safety abroad procedures.
b. All travellers and Trip Organizers must familiarize themselves with such pre-departure requirements, procedures, and training as may be established from time to time by the Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie.
4.2. Prior to the International Trip, the traveller, the Trip Organizer, and the Head of Unit are jointly responsible for informing themselves of potential risks by identifying and analyzing the potential risks associated with the International Trip and by establishing a mitigation plan to manage or reduce such potential risks.
4.3. During and throughout the International Trip, travellers will:
a. continue to be governed by, and subject to, University policies and procedures, their respective collective agreements, employment contracts, or terms of their engagement with the University and must conduct themselves in a manner that respects the rights of other members of the University community and the host community at the destination.
b. be responsible for taking measures to ensure their own personal safety and health, and for reporting any serious incident and near incident related to health, safety, and security abroad to the University by using the reporting means and mechanisms as may be established by the Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie, and the Office of the Chief Risk Officer to ensure proper follow-up of the incident.
4.4. The Head of Unit and Trip Organizers are responsible for ensuring that travellers are informed of, and abide by, this policy, its related procedures, and other University policies and procedures relevant to the traveller and the International Trip.
5. ASSESSMENT OF LOCATION RISK LEVELS AND ADVISORIES
5.1. The University follows the risk levels and travel advisories issued by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) as part of the assessment of the risk associated with International Trips. In certain circumstances, the Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie, may consult additional sources for advice on the risk associated with an International Trip.
a. Locations listed by GAC as “exercise normal precautions” and “exercise a high degree of caution” are generally suitable for International Trips.
b. Undergraduate students are not permitted to travel to locations listed by GAC as “avoid non-essential travel”.
c. No students are permitted to travel to locations listed by GAC as “avoid all travel”.
d. A change in the GAC risk level prior to departure or while a traveller is abroad may result in suspension of the International Trip or in the University requiring the traveller to return to Canada.
e. Travellers and Trip Organizers are responsible for monitoring GAC travel advisories and risk levels before and during their International Trip.
5.2. The Office of the Vice-President International and Francophonie, in consultation with the Office of the Chief Risk Officer and the traveller’s Head of Unit, is responsible for:
a. making a final determination on whether an International Trip to a location whose GAC advisory meets the criteria specified in 5.1 (b) and 5.1 (c) of this policy, or that presents health and safety risks that are too high, can proceed on an exceptional basis;
b. making a final determination on whether a traveller should be required to leave a location or cancel an International Trip while abroad when the health or safety risks have become too high; and
c. establishing and managing a process to assess the level of location-related risks, or other risks associated with the International Trip, and for making a final determination.
6.1. The Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie, shall maintain a central registry of active International Trips for the purpose of allowing the Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie, to contact and support travellers as needed or in the event of an emergency.
6.2. All student travellers referred to in 2.1 (a) of this policy must register their International Trip prior to departure and update the registry when there are changes to the details of the International Trip dates or destinations.
6.3. Other travellers identified in 2.1 are highly encouraged to register their International Trip prior to departure and update the registry when there are changes to the details of the International Trip dates or destinations.
6.4. Eligible travellers should register their International Trip with Global Affairs Canada to receive the latest travel information from the Government of Canada. Non-Canadian travellers are also encouraged to register with their home countries, if possible, to receive travel guidance and relevant information from their home country’s governing authorities.
7. APPROVAL AND AMENDMENT
7.1. The Vice-President, International and Francophonie, is responsible for periodic reviews of this Policy and for proposing any amendments to it.
7.2. The Vice-President, International and Francophonie, is responsible for implementing and interpreting this Policy.
7.3. Amendments to this Policy require the approval of the Administration Committee.
7.4. The Vice-President, International and Francophonie, may establish, amend, or abrogate procedures for purposes of the effective implementation of this Policy, provided that such procedures are consistent with the provisions of this Policy.
7.5. Notwithstanding Section 7.2, the Secretary General may amend this Policy without the need to submit such amendment to the Administration Committee for approval if such amendment is required to:
a. update or correct the name or title of a position, unit, law, by-law, policy, procedure, or authority; or
b. correct punctuation, grammar, typographical errors, revisions to format, and other technical revisions, where appropriate, if the correction does not change the meaning of a provision, or make such other corrections if it is patent both that an error has been made and what the correction should be; or
c. correct the form of expression of a provision in French or in English to be more compatible with its form of expression in the other language; or
d. make consequential amendments to conform with, or arising from, another University by-law, resolution, policy, or procedure.