University College of the North delays start of winter term, moves most courses online

The University College of the North is joining other Manitoba post-secondary schools in making changes to its upcoming winter term as COVID-19 case numbers climb in the province.

Manitoba university may consider return to in-person learning after Jan. 10 for some courses, programs

University College of the North announced it is delaying the start of winter-term classes by one week and moving most classes to remote learning. (University College of the North/Facebook)

Another Manitoba post-secondary institution is making changes to winter term classes as COVID-19 case numbers soar in the province.

The University College of the North will delay the start of its winter term by one week, starting Jan. 10 instead of Jan. 3, the school said in a news release Friday.

Like several other Manitoba post-secondary institutions, UCN — which has its main campuses in The Pas and Thompson, along with regional centres around northern Manitoba — also announced that the majority of its classes will be conducted via remote learning to begin the next semester.

"We know that remote learning is not the best for our students' academic success or mental health. However, remote learning is the responsible option we have before us given the circumstances," Dan Smith, UCN's vice-president academic and research, said in a news release.

The university will aim to "maximize stability and predictability for students," but "may consider a return to in-person learning for selected courses and programs" as circumstances warrant, he said.

Some classes in Thompson and The Pas will, however, continue with in-person learning.

The decision stems from concerns amid rising COVID-19 case counts throughout the province, as the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant spreads rapidly.

Manitoba reported a pandemic-high 742 cases on Friday, including 23 in the Northern Health Region.

However, case counts are likely underreported currently due to testing backlogs, provincial officials have said.