Western University shifts to online classes, delays start of winter term

Mark Spowart / The Canadian Press

Western University has announced it will delay the start of the winter term, and switch to more online classes in January.

On Friday, the presidents of Western, Brescia, Huron, and King’s University colleges issued a joint statement announcing the start of the term will be pushed back until Jan. 10 , and most classes will stay online until the end of January.

However, officials noted some professional programs and clinical learning in health sciences and medicine will begin in person as of Jan. 4.

“We continue to make decisions as quickly as we can, based on the information that we have about the shifting nature of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the statement.

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“What we know right now is that Omicron will continue to impact our region, and January may prove to be difficult in our community and across the country.”

The university will remain closed over the holidays for an extra day until Tuesday, Jan. 4. Students who live in residence are being urged to delay their return, where possible, until in-person learning resumes.

Officials also urged students to keep their gatherings small over the winter break.

“We know this is hard. The shift back to online learning, if only for a few weeks, is not our ideal scenario, but we hope this preemptive measure sets us up for success in seeing out the academic year.”

Earlier this week, Western announced that it was moving exams online as a precautionary measure.

Click to play video: 'Ottawa, provinces ramp up restrictions in scramble to control Omicron'
Ottawa, provinces ramp up restrictions in scramble to control Omicron

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