Saskatchewan’s two largest universities are pausing a return to in-class learning for the 2022 winter term.
Officials at both the universities of Regina and Saskatchewan said this is due to the accelerating spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
University of Regina
Classes at the University of Regina were scheduled to resume on Jan. 5.
Now, all classes are shifting to remote learning starting Jan. 10 and running until Jan. 22.
University officials said the delay in the resumption of classes is to allow faculty and students time to plan for the transition to remote learning.
“This is not how we envisioned starting the Winter 2022 term, but it is our hope that delaying in-person instruction for two weeks will help the University of Regina resume near-normal operations sooner rather than later, and allow us to return to campus in the safest environment possible,” said U of R president Jeff Keshen.
The university has set a target date of Jan. 24 for a resumption of in-class learning but officials said the situation will be re-evaluated mid-month.
University of Saskatchewan
There is a delay in the start of many classes and programs at the University of Saskatchewan.
Classes will resume on Jan. 10 at the following colleges and schools:
- agriculture and bioresources
- arts and science
- education (with exceptions for field placements)
- Edwards School of Business (except for the MBA program)
- Johnson Shoyoma Graduate School of Public Policy
- pharmacy and nutrition (except for Year 4 students)
- public health
All other colleges and schools will resume classes on Jan. 4 with some exceptions.
Classes resume on Jan. 5 at the Edwards School of Business MBA program, environment and sustainability, and law.
The other exception is nursing, which resumes on both Jan. 4 and Jan. 5.
University officials said many classes will be delivered remotely for the start of the term.
A target date to resume in-class learning is set for Jan. 24, however, officials said that will be reassessed over the coming weeks.
They added that efforts are in place to protect learning outcomes in labs and other experiential elements by using in-person delivery modes where possible.
USask COVID-19 measures
USask is also requiring anyone attending in-person learning or working at a campus location for the winter term to be fully vaccinated.
This includes accessing any facilities such as the PAC, libraries or dining facilities and attending Huskie games.
The vaccination requirement extends to all vendors and contractors on the USask campus and work locations.
A three-ply mask is also required at all times at all USask campuses and work locations. Cloth masks are not approved unless positioned over a three-ply mask.
The university is also requesting that all employees who are able to work from home do so until Jan. 24.