U of O announces winter term to be 'primarily' online

The University of Ottawa has notified its students and faculty that its 2021 winter semester will be composed “primarily of remote learning, with only a few exceptions.”

Students, faculty notified in memo late Monday afternoon

A University of Ottawa student walks through campus on Sept. 1, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The school's students and staff were notified in a memo on Monday afternoon that the 2021 winter semester would be composed "primarily of remote learning." (Andrew Lee/CBC)

The University of Ottawa has notified students and faculty that its 2021 winter semester will be composed "primarily of remote learning, with only a few exceptions."

The school has been adapting to teaching remotely, according to Jill Scott, the provost and vice-president of academic affairs, but the university also needs to look ahead as the public health risk COVID-19 poses persists.

"Due to the ongoing pandemic, it is now clear that there will be no large-scale return to campus soon," wrote Scott in a memo sent to students and staff late Monday afternoon.

"... This is not a decision that has been taken lightly. Nonetheless, after extensive research consultations with faculty and staff, and with public health officials, I am confident that this is the responsible choice for uOttawa."

According to an emailed statement from university spokesperson Isabelle Mailloux-Pulkinghorn, the school will provide updates as it prepares for the next term. 

"We are working hard to continue to provide a world-class teaching and research experience, without neglecting our number one priority: the health and safety of our greater community," Mailloux-Pulkinghorn wrote.

Carleton University and Algonquin College have also taken steps toward a mostly online winter term. Queen's University's statements so far have put the focus on faculties to craft their own plans.

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