Senate Recentred: Here's what you need to know about the January Senate meeting

The Senate meets monthly to discuss and vote on UBC academic matters. But, Senate can often be hard to understand for the average student and the agenda docket can be super long and dull to read.

Senate Recentred is written by members of the Student Senate Caucus to demystify Senate by giving students a snapshot of what Senate is doing this month.

Here’s what to expect at the January 18 Senate meeting.

Unclassified program policy revisions

UBC’s unclassified students program (UNCL) allows people with previous degrees to take UBC undergraduate and graduate level courses without the intention of applying the credit toward a degree program.

The proposed revisions will require UNCL students to maintain a sessional average of 50 per cent per winter session to be eligible to continue and will take effect for 2023 winter session.

These revisions are to keep consistency with faculty requirements of being eligible to continue taking classes, since UNCL has no failed year policy.

Revised master of surgical care grading system

Revisions have been made to the grading system for the branch of global surgical care, housed within the department of surgery. This program offers the Graduate Certificate and Master in Global Surgical Care (MGSC).

These changes will implement a flexible grading system (pass/fail grading system) with a 74 per cent average being required to continue the program and for new students entering the program in 2023 winter session or later.

Revised enrolment targets for MD programs

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) Undergraduate Program will expand the enrolment limit from 288 to 306 in the 2023 winter session, and from 306 to 328 in the 2024 winter session and onwards due to its revised enrolment targets.

UBC Vancouver will add 16 new positions, rolled out over 2 years as follows:

  • 2023–2024 winter session: 6 positions (with a total of 198)
  • 2024 winter session onwards: 10 additional positions (with a total of 1 208)

Senate set to approve academic term dates

Academic Term dates are being approved at Senate today. Save these dates!

  • Winter 2023/2024 Term 1:
    • September 5–December 7, 2023
    • Reading Break: November 11–15
    • Exam Period: December 11–22
  • Winter 2023/2024 Term 2:
    • January 8–April 12, 2024
    • Reading Break: February 19–23
    • Exam Period: April 16–27
  • Summer 2024 Term 1:
    • May 13–June 20, 2024
    • Exam Period: June 24–28
  • Summer 2024 Term 2:
    • July 2–August 9, 2024
    • Exam Period: August 13–17

Shpeller is a fifth-year biomedical engineering student and the Faculty of Applied Science student senator and Student Senate Caucus co-chair. Cantiller is a fifth-year political science and law and society student and in his second term as a Faculty of Arts student senator. If you have questions for him, you can reach him at

If you have questions for the Student Senate Caucus, you can email co-chairs Laia Shpeller at and Romina Hajizadeh at

Senate Recentred is a column written by members of the Student Senate Caucus to demystify senate from the inside, out.