UBC to split between online and in-person instruction this fall

UBC will be offering a mixture of online and in-person instruction for the fall term.

President Santa Ono made the announcement in a May 11 broadcast email as the province recently revealed its plan to phase out of social distancing measures.

“We are pleased to see positive signs of ‘flattening of the curve’ in BC, but we know that we must take care and proceed in keeping with provincial public health directives and guidelines,” said Ono in the email. “Our planning for fall 2020 is intended to be both robust and nimble.”

This fall, the university will “primarily” keep large classes online, while certain small classes will be held in person, but it’s unclear how UBC will decide which classes meet the criteria. Faculties will deliver their own updates in the next few weeks.

“As part of our planning, we are working closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and with other post-secondary institutions within BC to ensure our plans are aligned with health and safety guidelines and WorkSafeBC,” Ono said.

Ono noted that travel restrictions may cause challenges for international students in obtaining study permits and travelling. He said that the university will be planning for these challenges.

Plans for residences and extracurricular activities have yet to be confirmed.

“While we are keen to facilitate more people on campus, it is important to stress that health and safety remains our first priority as we continue to ensure that our plans are consistent with provincial public health requirements,” Ono said.