BY KAYLEEN SAWATZKY AND THOMAS PILLER GLOBAL NEWS Posted April 20, 2020 6:16pm
The University of Regina’s spring/summer semester will be solely delivered via remote learning, using online resources due to policies enacted to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Even though this is a big change from learning in the classroom, registration for the upcoming semester has actually increased eight per cent from this time last year.
In 2019, 7,579 students registered for classes in the spring/summer semester. That number jumped to 8,255 students this year.
Gregory said that although the university is encouraged by this increase, enrolment isn’t locked in just yet.
“Because sometimes students, they’ll decide to register, and then they won’t make up their mind until closer to the start date,” Gregory said.
After taking only four days to transition from classroom to remote learning this past semester, the university is working on a contingency plan that could push remote learning into the fall if needed.
“Behind the scenes, we are planning and working towards that goal, and if we need to teach remote and learn remote, we’ll be ready,” Gregory said.
The decision as to whether or not the U of R’s fall semester will be delivered remotely is expected in May.
University of Saskatchewan (USask) president Peter Stoicheff said because of social distancing policies put into place, they’ve had to deliver courses in a different way — remotely — and this continues during final exams being written.
“All the exams are being done online now for absolutely everything that we offer. That’s been an enormous undertaking. Students have been incredibly patient, flexible, understanding, and our faculty and all of our staff involved have done an amazing job,” Stoicheff said.
“We’ve never seen anything like that at this university and universities all across the country are doing something similar. It’s been quite extraordinary.”
Stoicheff said planning is currently underway to see what the fall term will look like for an estimated 26,000 students at USask.
“‘What are we going to do in the fall?’ And mapping out the different scenarios there — from, ideally, if there’s a possibility of students coming back, but also planning for the possibility that everything will be delivered remotely for that term as well,” Stoicheff said.
Global News did not hear back from USask on its enrolment numbers at the time of this article’s publication.