Kelowna likely won’t see its usual influx of university students returning to class in September.
UBC Okanagan confirmed that the majority of its classes are going to be offered online in the fall due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Where classes can be held remotely, that is the prudent choice to ensure the health and safety of the students, faculty and staff,” said director of university affairs Matthew Ramsey.
The university had previously said “selected smaller classes” would be offered in-person, and now students are getting a better look at what that will mean in practice.
Each faculty is taking its own approach, but, for some students, the vast majority of courses in their field will be virtual.
For example, bachelor of arts and bachelor of science students in the campus’ largest faculty, the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, were told in an email only three classes for those degree program will “require on-campus participation.”
Arts and science students were assured they can participate in online classes from outside of the Okanagan.
While on-campus housing will be available in the fall at UBC Okanagan, the school said it won’t be clear till September how many students choose to live locally while many classes remain online.
Last year, the school said 76 per cent of new students hailed from outside the Okanagan.
While the number of on campus service available will be reduced, the school said student support services like counselling will still be open.