COVID-19 Update: May 19, 2020 | 6:00 pm

To our U of T Engineering community

Our virtual Convocation ceremony is right around the corner on June 2, and I look forward to celebrating this important milestone with our graduating students!

As I’ve shared in my updates, staff and faculty have been working to deliver excellent remote-learning summer courses. We have also begun preparations for the Fall Term, and several key principles are guiding these plans:

  • We continue to take direction from our public health authorities, as well as local, provincial and national governments.
  • We are, first and foremost, dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our whole community, including students, staff, faculty, alumni, industry partners, friends and family.
  • We are driven to deliver an excellent learning experience for everyone — from first-year undergraduates to our professional and research-stream graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.
  • We will continue to prioritize access to support services for both academic success and health and wellness.
  • In keeping with our core values of equity and inclusivity, we will ensure that all students can progress with their academic programs this Fall, regardless of their location or circumstances.

Currently, we are planning for multiple scenarios for September and beyond. With the information we have right now, we hope to have a Fall Term that mixes smaller, in-person seminars, tutorials, labs, and experiential learning opportunities with larger online and remote classes and lectures. Hybrid course models, combining both virtual and in-person components wherever possible, will provide the necessary flexibility and the exceptional education our faculty and students expect.

At the same time, we understand that not everyone in our community will be able to be back in Toronto starting in September. To enable every one of our students to carry out their Fall semester with stability and safety, we are promising a remote access guarantee. This means we will ensure that all academic requirements can be met remotely, including final exams.

We know the U of T Engineering experience extends beyond labs and classes, and will work to offer as many on-campus activities as governmental and public health guidelines permit, along with an array of online and remote co-curricular and extra-curricular programming.

We also expect to gradually ramp up our research activities to resume full function by the Fall, with work being carried out either on-campus or remotely, where possible or necessary. The University will be adapting on-campus laboratory and library spaces to accommodate physical distancing.

Watching other countries around the world, we are learning that the restart process may not be linear — that’s why flexibility is key. Our plans must strike a balance that lets us safely welcome our global community back to campus when possible, and ensures that each and every student can progress with their programs whether they are in Toronto or joining remotely.

I will continue to keep our community up to date with our plans and look forward to the day when we will see each other on campus again.


Christopher Yip
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto

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