In-person learning will resume at the University of Regina next month, but many will continue to get their post-secondary education online for the fall semester.
U of R spokesperson Paul Dederick says it will look what it did prior to the pandemic, but that will happen more in January as they use the fall semester as a transitional period.
“We will be gradually reopening to more in-person learning, more campus activities, sporting events and other events on campus. We are looking at having 650 out of around 3000 courses that will be offered in person which translates to 22 percent. “Dederick said. ” We won’t gradually ramp that up in the semester. While we have some wiggle room, we set our plan out early so students and parents know what we are up to. We don’t want to go from a remote learning to an in-person class with little warning for a variety of reasons.”
Masks were not going to be mandatory throughout the campus, but a decision has recently been made to change that.
In a letter to students and staff, the University has decided to maintain a mandatory mask policy due to concerns with the slight increase in COVID-19 cases in the province and the spread of the new Delta variant which is more transmissible. This could change depending on the situation as the first day of classes gets closer.
When it comes to vaccinations, Dederick says they certainly can’t say you need to be vaccinated to attend classes, but he is hoping a large majority of students, faculty and staff will be vaccinated.
“We are a science-based institution and a fact-based institution.:” Dederick says. “We not only strongly encourage the University community to be fully vaccinated before they return, but we expect that they should be and serve as role models for the rest of the community. For those that don’t, we won’t be taking any action. We have offered a number of vaccine clinics for our campus community and we will continue to do so hoping that those who are hesitant will decide to take the shot.”
Dederick says while things won’t change a lot in the fall semester, the expectation is that when the winter semester begins in January that it will be the way things looked before the pandemic. That being said, Dederick says there was a lot of success with remote learning and that the plan is to continue that for the benefit of all.