University of Regina welcomes back students for in-person classes

The University of Regina’s fall term is already underway as they look to start a transition back to a pre-pandemic normal.

Despite a proof of vaccine or negative COVID-19 test program, roughly 22 percent of classes will be held in-person and on-campus, but in-person services such as the Student Wellness Centre, the Archer Library and the Campus Store will be open for student and public use.

President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen says the reason so many classes remain virtual is because the class schedule is released in May.

“You advertise that decision, your students are making their decisions — whether they’re going to stay at home, whether they’re come on campus, what they’re going to take — all of that is put into place quite early,” Keshen said. “I will say that we are looking at changing that going forward to make the decisions on classes later.”

Keshen says it’s important that the university continues to move towards more in-person classes in time for the winter semester.

“By that I mean where we are right now with scheduling is that nearly 80 percent of classes in the winter at this point in time are scheduled to be in-person,” Keshen said. “I think some of those will have hybrid options, we want to take advantage of learning from what the pandemic shown that a number of people do want that flexibility in their schedule.”

Overall, preliminary numbers show enrollment is actually down two-point-six percent. Keshen says he’s not surprised by the drop, adding some students are facing remote learning fatigue.

“They’ve taken classes online for quite a period of time, including our two kids,” Keshen said. “I’ve traveled out — for example — to Swift Current a couple weeks ago and students were saying they do want to be on campus, they do want the university experience, they don’t want to be in their room or crowded in a household doing their course online, so I think that there’s that aspect which we’re seeing.”

This will be Dr. Keshen’s first full year as President and Vice-Chancellor, and he says he’s looking forward to seeing the U of R’s Cougars and Rams returning to Canada West action as well.

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