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Coronavirus: McGill University plans to return to in-person classes for fall semester

McGill University campus, June 21, 2016 . Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

McGill University plans to return to in-person classes for the upcoming fall semester amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

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The Montreal-based post-secondary institution confirmed the decision in a public statement issued Tuesday morning.

“While some components of courses will harness the pedagogical benefits of online teaching, students and teaching staff should plan for a return to more regular rhythms of on-campus academic activity by September,” the statement says.

The move comes as Quebec universities and CEGEPs have shifted to mostly online classes and remote learning options for nearly a year due to the pandemic. The province, which has been a hot spot for the virus, has been hard hit by the health crisis.

As of last week, some students have been slowly returning to class after the provincial government gave the green light. However, most post-secondary schools are still in the planning phases of returning to class in any large-scale way.

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Under the latest plan, McGill says its residences will be available for all first-year students who request accommodation for fall.

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The university is also looking at bringing back administrative and support staff to its campuses, with the goal of having a “regular presence” of workers by September.

“The health and wellbeing of our community will of course remain a top priority, and all necessary health and safety measures will continue to be implemented to ensure that our campuses remain safe places to learn and to work in the coming year,” the statement reads.

It goes on to say that “while the evolution of the public health situation in Quebec cannot be known with certainty,” it is confident in its ability to “deliver academic programs and university services in a way that meets the standards of excellence expected of McGill University.”

McGill says it plans on providing more updates in the coming weeks as it prepares for in-person classes to resume.

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A spokesperson for Concordia University said in a statement to Global News that it is aiming for May to make an announcement about the fall term.

Concordia is considering a mix of remote and in-person learning depending on public health conditions.


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