The University of British Columbia (UBC) is urging its international and domestic students to return home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement was released on Monday afternoon by the university’s president and vice-chancellor, as well as the provosts of UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.
“In light of the growing national response to COVID-19, all UBC students planning to travel home may now do so,” writes Santa J Ono, in a social media post. “This includes all undergraduate international and domestic students.”
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Ono says that students in post-baccalaureate and professional graduate programs are to verify any adjustments to programs with an academic advisor before making travel plans.
Online instruction is scheduled to continue as planned and final exams will not take place in person. More details regarding final exams for courses are expected to be provided shortly by faculties and course instructors.
Ono also notes that residences in both Vancouver and the Okanagan will remain open for any students who wish to remain there, as well as most student services.
So far, there are no known cases of coronavirus at any UBC campuses.
“UBC is not aware of any presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty, or staff,” says Ono.
“We appreciate these are extremely challenging times for our students, and our faculty are working exceptionally hard to adjust courses that will allow you to continue and complete your studies this term,” he writes. “This series of events in unprecedented and rest assured we will provide you with information as we receive it.”
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Last Friday, UBC, as well as SFU announced that they would be cancelling all of their face-to-face class time and were moving to online instruction until the end of the term.
UBC also announced earlier this morning that they would begin a “three-week pilot” of remote working arrangements for faculty, staff, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.
With coronavirus on the rise, BC public health authorities are reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.