The University of British Columbia announced Wednesday that it’s pushing back the return to in-person learning until February 7.
The majority of programs will continue to be delivered online until then as Omicron COVID-19 case counts stay high and many international students make their way back to Vancouver.
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“We recommend that all students plan to be on campus early in February so they can be ready for the start of in-person teaching and learning,” the university said.
Previously, in-person teaching was scheduled to resume on January 24.
— University of British Columbia (@UBC) January 12, 2022
The pivot to a longer stretch of online learning follows controversy at the end of last semester when UBC resisted student demands to move all exams online. At the time, sick students were writing tests in rooms with hundreds of their peers right before everyone dispersed to go home for the holidays.
Another major Metro Vancouver school, Simon Fraser University, is sticking with its January 24 return to classes despite pushback from the student union.
“This is reckless and unnecessarily puts students at risk,” Simon Fraser Student Society president Babe Liosis said in a tweet.
The SFSS is calling on SFU to adopt a hybrid learning model, giving students a choice about whether they attend in-person.
“I would support going back online for as long as its needed to ensure that when we do come back to in-person, it can be done with a near guarantee that we’ve done everything we could to ensure that the virus isn’t transmitting rapidly among our community,” he said.
With files from Daily Hive’s Amir Ali