Students attending the University of Toronto in September can expect to see some big changes. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the university has revealed a strategic plan, which includes smaller on-campus classes.
In a recent statement, U of T President Meric Gertler said there will also be a greater push toward virtual learning with larger online classes and lectures. Courses will be designed to be flexible and accommodating, whilst employing some of the latest technologies.
“The University of Toronto is preparing for a gradual, safe return to our campuses, with as much on-campus activity as is practicable, sensible and safe,” Gertler said. “As the University develops its plans, we are committed first and foremost to the health and safety of our entire community.”
According to Gertler, U of T is developing guidelines for certain areas of research, study and student life. These areas include laboratories, environmental health and safety, student experience, residences, libraries and athletics. Students have been told to keep an eye out for those guidelines in the coming days.
“We do not have all the answers yet, but in the face of a tremendously complex and constantly evolving situation, we will need to be agile and responsive,” Gertler said.
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In a press release on Tuesday, U of T’s vice-provost Susan McCahan said more than 100 staff have been tasked with creating engaging and stimulating course materials and assessments for the fall semester.
“Our faculty are applying their extraordinary creativity and energy to re-conceptualize their courses in this new world, and students can expect an exceptional and supportive learning experience as a result,” McCahan said.
In the meantime, faculty remain optimistic about the university’s ability to tackle the crisis and still deliver a “world-class academic experience.”
“There may be setbacks and surprises along the way. But in September, as we welcome new and returning students on campus or online, we look forward to resuming the rich, vibrant, and stimulating academic life for which the University of Toronto is so widely recognized,” Gertler said.