Ryerson follows suit as U of T and York cancel in-person classes due to coronavirus
In a move that will surely come as a relief to many post-secondary students in Toronto, U of T, York University and Ryerson University have all cancelled in-person classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The University of Toronto posted a COVID-19 update to their website Friday morning announcing that they've decided to cancel all in-person undergraduate and research-stream Masters and Doctoral courses across U of T’s three campuses effective March 16 and continuing until the end of classes on April 3.
Classes will instead be taught "by other means," which may include existing online platforms.
For professional programs, which all have particular circumstances and different accreditation requirements, "consultation is ongoing today to determine the appropriate course of action."
"One of the key factors in these decisions is the need to foster a degree of 'social distancing,' as recommended by public health authorities," reads the statement from U of T President Meric Gertler.
"On that front, our goal is to help interrupt the chain of transmission in the wider community, thereby protecting vulnerable individuals and ensuring that our health care system will not become overburdened."
York University posted a similar statement to their website Friday morning, indicating that they'll be suspending all face-to-face instruction and moving courses to online formats as of March 16.
Beginning Monday, March 16 all #YorkU classes will move to online formats in response to COVID-19. As of midnight tonight all non-essential events will be cancelled or postponed. Read the full statement from President Rhonda Lenton: https://t.co/VELCkNdEGd pic.twitter.com/anqoFiaqC8— York University (@yorkuniversity) March 13, 2020
"We are committed to completing the term and will deploy all of our resources to support faculty and students through this transition. Further information will be forthcoming from the Provost and Deans regarding courses with lab and studio requirements, and arrangements for examinations. Where possible, work and clinical placements will continue," the statement reads.
York also said they'll be be cancelling or postponing all non-essential events that are not required as part of an academic program as of midnight tonight.
"I know this is an anxious and upsetting time for everyone. Let me say, without reservation, that York will be there to support every member of the community as we face this pandemic together," York President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton said in the statement.
"For students, my commitment is that you will have the academic and wellness supports you need to thrive in and beyond the current situation. For faculty and staff, know that the University recognizes your dedication and is, in turn, committed to your health and wellbeing."
Later Friday morning, Ryerson University made a similar announcement.
As of today, March 13, Ryerson classes will begin to move to online formats in response to COVID-19. https://t.co/Hwr2WINTEr— Ryerson University (@RyersonU) March 13, 2020
"Effective today, March 13, the university will be shifting all in-person classes to virtual and other alternative forms of delivery," their statement says.
"As of today, all exams will also be conducted by alternate methods."
Students across the city and the province have been hoping for this news since Laurentian University first announced plans to implement online-only classes, and they're likely relieved that they won't have to pack into crowded classrooms amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
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