Several Nova Scotia universities have made final decisions to move all fall term courses online as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Joining Cape Breton University and Mount Saint Vincent University, Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College announced Friday that all in-person classes are shifted to online until January 2021.
“Our top priorities are the safety of our entire community and our continuing high-quality academic experience,” said Dalhousie president Deep Saini in a press release.
This decision comes with limited exceptions for programs involving extensive experiential learning, such as medicine, dentistry and agriculture.
Dalhousie also announced it is investing over $1 million on additional online classes and increased virtual support for students.
According to the press release, more details about the university’s reopening plan will come in June.
In the meantime, international students at Dalhousie have started an appeal on Change, a petition website, asking the university to reduce or waive its international tuition fee for the upcoming fall and winter term.
The appeal, which now has over 900 signatures, is being addressed to Dalhousie president Deep Saini, Provost and Vice-President Dr. Teresa Balser and the International Centre.
University of King’s College releases its plan
On Wednesday, the University of King’s College released its plans for teaching and learning in the coming fall term.
The university said it will be offering its courses online in September. However, some in-person teaching may be delivered in the winter term in ways that comply with public health directives on physical distancing and the size of gatherings.
Should this happen, students will be able to continue taking any course at King’s they want to take through online learning.
“In other words, if a student’s preference is to continue their studies on-line throughout both semesters in the coming year, they will be able to do that at King’s,” said the university in a statement.
King’s also announced that it is working on a plan to reopen its campus to first allow staff and faculty, and then students, to be once again physically on-site if they so choose.
“This plan is being developed to ensure compliance with the public health requirements on physical distancing and limiting the size of gatherings that are likely to remain in effect over the coming year in Nova Scotia and across Canada,” stated the university.
The university hopes to have the plan in effect before Sept. 1.
King’s also noted that during this challenging economic time, in addition to the bursaries they always offer, the university will be offering supplementary funding to help students facing financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.
“These bursaries are meant to supplement the support being provided through the governmental responses to student need in the form of both student employment and student loans,” ukings said.