McMaster University moves its entire school year online

Looks like it won’t just be the fall semester after all. McMaster University has announced that it is officially extending virtual classes into the winter semester as well, effectively putting the entire 2020-21 academic year online.

An announcement posted to university’s website on Monday explains that, despite the fall semester only being in its second week, the school’s campus committee has nonetheless been deliberating on plans for the winter term and has ultimately decided that the safest course of action is to extend online learning for the duration of the academic year.

“I realize that this will be disappointing to many. For those of you who are used to being on campus and interacting with colleagues, peers and students in person, the virtual environment presents additional challenges,” says McMaster Provost Susan Tighe in her open letter.

“For those of you who, like me, are new to McMaster, I understand the difficulties with building relationships and negotiating through our University virtually.”

The complete move to virtual learning means that the entirety of classes and courses, with a few exceptions, will take place online amid the ongoing safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.

McMaster goes on to explain that they feel an early decision on the winter semester was ultimately the best course of action for staff, faculty, and students.

“We recognize that COVID-19 has added an additional level of stress for many students, faculty and staff,” explains Tighe.

“By making the decision about the winter 2021 term as early as possible, we hope to provide as much stability as we can in what is a dynamic and unpredictable pandemic. We will continue to work closely with public health officials to monitor the pandemic and make the most informed decisions possible for the university.”

To read the university’s full statement, visit the McMaster website.

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