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U of T planning for return to in-person activities in fall 2021

In-person learning anticipated to return; in-person access to libraries will increase
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Simcoe Hall, where U of T’s Governing Council meets. TOSIN MAIYEGUN/THE VARSITY
Simcoe Hall, where U of T’s Governing Council meets. TOSIN MAIYEGUN/THE VARSITY

On March 4, U of T announced plans to return to in-person learning and activities in September 2021. The letter reads, “We are looking forward, with optimism, to fall 2021 when people can once more gather on our campuses, as permitted by public health guidelines.” However, U of T also noted that “we can return to existing practices should they be required.”

“We encourage everyone to continue planning towards this goal of in-person fall activities,” the letter reads. U of T plans to retain some of the technological innovations and work flexibility introduced during the 2020–2021 school year. The letter does not mention whether online options for courses will continue to be available for the fall semester if there is a widespread return to in-person learning.

Over this past year, most courses have been offered online, though the university initially intended to to pursue in-person and hybrid courses at the beginning of September 2020. Almost all courses will continue to be offered online for summer 2021.

Besides in-person courses, the three campuses will be open for on-campus research with measures in place to follow public health guidance. Libraries will also increase in-person services, such as appointments to use the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Map & Data Library, and other archives for research, as guidelines permit.

The university has updated its in-class instruction and general workplace guidelines to prepare for a safe gradual return to campus. Additionally, the university is hosting a vaccine clinic at UTM and has plans for hosting clinics at the other two campuses as well.

The Varsity has reached out to U of T Media Relations for comment.