After a year of mostly online learning, Vancouver Island University students will literally be back to school in the fall.
In a message posted on the university website, Deborah Saucier, VIU president, said following advice from Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. provincial health officer, and endorsed by Anne Kang, B.C. minister of advanced education, students will again attend classes on campus in September, with safety protocols in place.
“I want to reassure you that our first priority is a healthy and safe learning environment,” Saucier said. “As we begin our planning for a safe return to campus, ongoing consultations with the B.C. Public Health Office, B.C. Centre for Disease Control, WorkSafe B.C. and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training will allow us to develop safety plans that will allow a successful return to campus.”
Saucier said university staff are in the midst of planning courses for the fall semester, with the timetable set to be released April 26.
In addition, the university will host a public Q&A session for students subsequent to release of the fall timetable, although those details will be forthcoming.
In a press release, Kang said she empathized with the anxiety of students due to the pandemic and said safety is paramount.
“Last year, my ministry worked closely with health and safety experts, student groups, labour, Indigenous partners and post-secondary institutions to develop the ‘go forward’ guidelines that enabled the current hybrid model of post-secondary education,” Kang said. “In the coming weeks, we will use that same successful process … to plan for a safe return to in-person learning this fall.”
Any students with questions can connect with the university through e-mail at email@example.com.