Navigating SFU

The navigating SFU key action areas will provide effective and easy-to-use online and print tools for seamless access and interaction with SFU systems; supporting student-centred policies and processes for all three campuses.

Impact on Student Experience

Initiative Highlights

As is typical of large institutions, policies and procedures at SFU have developed organically over time rather than comprehensively.

As a result, from the macro-level, the policy landscape is populated with “institution-centric,” outdated and, often contradictory language. Indeed, a “student-centred” approach is still a relatively new concept in policy, where language often fails to mention the word “students” at all. Students have regularly raised these concerns (for example through the Undergraduate Student Survey, or through contact with front-line staff members), and the SEI Policy Review working group is now well-positioned to gather and analyze further input and to propose meaningful change.

  • To ensure future success, the working group has been integrated with the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies (SCUS), developing overlapping membership and a consolidated list of agreed topics to review
  • The working group was able to quickly support the policy initiatives necessary to support students in the shift to remote learning during the pandemic.
    • This included extending the course withdrawal deadline and adapting the academic standing and continuance policy
  • Exam hardship has long been a key concern raised by the Simon Fraser Student Society representatives on the Navigating SFU working group.
    • To address this the VPA Office provided financial support for new exam scheduling software and SCUS fast-tracked changes to exam scheduling policies.
    • With these improvements, zero students reported a demonstrable hardship with the Fall 2020 final exam schedule. There was a 50 to 60 per cent reduction in back-to-back exams and a similar reduction in two exams held within 24 hours.


In October 2020, as a result of the impact of the pandemic, remaining project funds were reallocated to other projects. This was done at the committee’s recommendation, as they believed they are positioned to complete the project with existing resources.