Nova Scotia

Dalhousie University moving most courses online this fall amid COVID-19

Dalhousie University will be moving most of its fall courses online as physical distancing restrictions remain in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In-person classes will not resume before January 2021, with some exceptions

In-person classes at Dalhousie University will not resume until at least January 2021. (Eric Woolliscroft/CBC)

Dalhousie University will be moving most of its fall courses online as physical distancing restrictions remain in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Halifax university closed its campus in March and moved its courses online until its fall semester amid rising COVID-19 concerns.

Lindsay Dowling-Savelle, a spokesperson for the university, said in an email to CBC News that in-person classes will not resume before January 2021, with some exceptions.

In a memo to students, faculty and staff, university president Deep Saini said programs requiring experiential learning, like medicine, dentistry and agriculture, will be completed offline but in a safe environment that abides by Nova Scotia's public health protocols.

"It is vital that we ensure all students — new and returning, domestic and international — are able to pursue their studies and progress towards their goals, while ensuring the continued health and well-being of everyone," he said.

Deep Saini, the president of Dalhousie, said the university is investing more than $1 million into technology to help make the transition easier for faculty and students. (Dalhousie University)

Saini said the university is investing more than $1 million on "technology development, additional online instruction training and increased online supports for students" to make the transition easier for students and faculty.

The university is also working on a plan to safely reopen its campus.

University of King's College

In an effort to align with Dalhousie, the University of King's College — which neighbours Dalhousie — will also be moving classes online in September.

"As has been the case since the beginning of this pandemic, King's fundamental and overarching concerns are the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff, and that of the broader Halifax community," the university said in a press release.

The university said some in-person teaching may resume during its winter term based on public health directives, but students will still have the option to continue their courses online.

King's said it is also working on a plan to reopen. It will first allow faculty and staff to return, but physical distancing and limited gatherings will remain in effect per provincial guidelines.

And when the campus reopens to students, residence rooms may be limited.

Both universities will be offering more bursaries and financial aid to help students who are facing financial challenges during the pandemic.

Dalhousie is expected to share more details about its plan in June.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cassidy Chisholm is a web writer from New Brunswick who is now sharing stories at CBC Nova Scotia. She can be reached at cassidy.chisholm@cbc.ca.

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