FILE – People walk past large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., on November 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Many B.C. post-secondary institutions say fall classes will be offered mostly online

Most campuses closed in March due to COVID-19

Many B.C. post-secondary institutions will lean towards online classes for the fall semester in an attempt to keep up with physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Post-secondary institutions throughout the country had largely closed their campuses and shifted online in March once COVID-19 made in-person classes impossible.

In a statement released Monday, the University of B.C. said it will offer “larger classes online with selected smaller classes conducted in-person” for the fall semester. The smaller in-person classes will adhere to physical distancing guidelines, president Santa J. Ono said, while online classes will allow for international students who cannot get into Canada in time for the term to begin.

In a message from Simon Fraser University, vice-president of academics Jonathan Driver said that “most classes will continue to be delivered through remote methods.” Some laboratory-based classes, field trips, and graduate student classes will be offered in person.

In a statement, Kwantlen Polytechnic University said it is planning for the fall semester but “it is too early to talk about those plans.”

University of Victoria president Jamie Cassels said classes will be offered “predominantly online” in the fall, although some services and necessary classes will return to campus with physical distancing measures. Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University said it will go to a “hybrid program delivery model” for the fall semester, combining both face-to-face and online classes.

Langara College said classes that can be offered remotely will remain online for fall, while course that necessitate face-to-face instruction will be offered on campus.

In a statement, Thompson Rivers University said it would hold on-campus classes “responsibly with face-to-face course delivery where possible,” and remote learning will continue for the rest of the curriculum.

The University of the Fraser Valley said more updates are to come but that “alternate forms of delivery” will continue for many classes during the fall semester.

Up north, the University of Northern B.C. said most classes will be offered remotely. In the Kootenays, Selkirk College said fall course delivery will depend on multiple factors.

“Each will have specific exposure control plans in place to achieve physical distancing, hygiene, new requirements for personal protective equipment and cleaning regimes,” a statement on the college website said.

READ MORE: B.C. universities opt out of in-person spring graduation ceremonies


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