The vaccination of Canadians is slated to take place by the end of September 2021. This promise by the Canadian government has given confidence to Canada’s post-secondary institutions to plan for a safe return to conducting in-person classes for the fall semester. This will also be a huge relief for international students keen to study in Canada on the campus.
Canada’s public health authority and the administration of educational institutions will together be taking steps to resume in-person learning activities. The universities that have already announced this have taken the responsibility to properly monitor the COVID-19 threat and ensure that students and staff are safe in the institutions.
Currently, international students can arrive in Canada on a Canada student visa if they have joined DLIs that have a COVID-19 readiness plan. The travel restrictions imposed on US residents will possibly be updated by the end of March 2021. For the rest of the world, this will be done in mid-April.
Here’s how some of the Canadian universities have planned to welcome students back to campus
British Columbia’s Health Minister has advised post-secondary institutions in the province to get ready to resume on-campus activities. This advisory was taken well and many universities in the province have prepared themselves to return to in-person classes ensuring that the staff and students will stay safe and healthy.
An example of this is the University of British Columbia that has planned to return to in-person classes in the fall of 2021. On-site immunization and quarantine arrangements for international students are all part of the plan.
Other institutions in BC that have plans to go back to in-person classes include:
- University of Victoria
- Thompson Rivers University
- Vancouver Island University
- Simon Fraser University
- Capilano University
- University of Northern British Columbia
- Trinity Western University
In the fall of 2021, the University of Alberta is planning to rope in more staff and students back on campus. The university will implement a blended model of remote and in-person learning. This plan will include face-to-face online classes as decided in April 2021.
The University of Saskatchewan has plans to resume in-person instructions to a certain level in the fall of 2021. The President of the university, Peter Stoicheff, has said that the uncertainty around the roll-out of vaccines is making it uncertain about when it can be started. Nevertheless, he expects the full return of in-person classes in the semester of winter 2022.
The University of Toronto is planning to permit in-person classes in the fall of 2021. Students will be able to do research on campus with safety precautions implemented without fail.
Brock University has plans to offer the maximum number of courses on-campus. There will be labs and other facilities for experiential learning. Also active will be undergraduate classes and graduate seminars.
The University of Ottawa has plans to provide a complete on-campus experience. To this end, it will offer more courses delivered in the in-person format or in “hybrid formats.” Equipping classrooms with technology is also planned to be implemented. This will bring about simultaneous in-person and video conferencing sessions.
Western University is another university that has plans to resume face-to-face instruction. The university will offer more activities on-campus too.
In Quebec, it has already been announced that CEGEPs and universities will return to the in-person format in time with such format practiced one day of a week. All precautionary measures for COVID-19 will be followed on the campus by students and instructors.
McGill University may get back to in-person classes in September 2021. Select courses will continue to practice online teaching for a while until the students and staff are completely ready for on-campus classes.
Concordia University may announce starting in-person classes in the fall term in May 2021. However, it’s considering the prospect of offering a combination of online and in-person classes.
St. Thomas University has plans to return to in-person format for classes for the fall of 2021. A final announcement in this regard will be made between May and June 2021.
Acadia University expects to fully resume classes on campus for the fall of 2021. Instructions to prepare for this have been given to students and staff. Few courses may commence the term in a virtual or hybrid format. But eventually, it will go fully into the in-person mode later in the term.
Dalhousie University may keep larger lecture classes online owing to the restriction in class size. The university has stated to the media that it could conduct in-person study activities for under 100 people. These activities include labs, tutorials, and classes that are small to medium-sized.
The University of Prince Edward Island is planning to go back to a “more normal” academic environment in the fall of 2021.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Memorial University has started with resuming research work in the in-person format. This was after making a reversal of its decision to fully get back to in-person work in February 2021. The university is yet to decide whether it will return to in-person classes or not in the fall of 2021.
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