UW to return to ‘normal’ in-person learning for winter 2022

Graphic from uwaterloo.ca

The University of Waterloo will be returning to pre-pandemic levels of in-person instruction beginning in the winter 2022 term, according to a memo sent to the campus community on Sept. 20.

In the memo, UW president Vivek Goel and provost James Rush wrote that they are confident the university can prepare for a return to in-person academic activities in the next term.

“Though none of us can predict exactly how the pandemic will change over the months to January, we know that vaccination is the key to getting to a post-pandemic experience of teaching and learning,” they wrote.

The memo also stated that more than 30,000 UW community members have disclosed their vaccination status — of these folks, more than 95 per cent are fully vaccinated. Most of the remaining individuals have told the school they will be fully vaccinated in the coming weeks.

“As we plan to deliver a more normal level of winter term classes in person, we will continue to work with our local public health team to make sure our plans protect your physical and mental health,” the memo continued. “This means we will largely return to our pre-pandemic approaches to academic life at Waterloo.”

The memo also states that all undergraduate students will be able to start planning their in-person courses for the winter term — an option that hasn’t been available to students in almost two years. 

Since there are still many barriers for international students looking to come back to Canada, Goel and Rush said the university is “committed to working with these students and our government partners to address these problems before the winter term begins.”

UW community members are encouraged to provide their proof of vaccination status as soon as possible even if they don’t plan on returning to campus until January. The deadline for students, staff, faculty and guests to submit their proof of vaccination status or start the process for accommodation or exemption is Oct. 17 and can be done through Campus Check-In.