UCN students sue institution over midwifery program

March 26, 2012

4 former University College of the North midwifery students are suing the institution, alleging that UCN failed to hire sufficient instructors and provide adequate supervision, and neglected to ensure students attended the required number of births to complete their courses. The plaintiffs also claim they were not allowed to continue their studies after UCN relocated the midwifery degree program to Winnipeg in 2010. UCN states that "it was a term of the contracts" between the students and the institution that "the courses scheduled to be delivered in each term of the program were subject to change" without notice. The statement of defence also notes that UCN provided financial aid to the students to accommodate changes in the location of certain portions of the program. Although the program will have operated for 6 years by the fall, it has yet to see a student graduate, which is unlikely to occur until 2013. The program's director says UCN may not be in a position to admit new midwifery students until as late as 2014, in large part due to a shortage of midwives able to help students with practicums. Winnipeg Free Press