This fall will mark an exciting time for students, as they continue or begin their studies at an Ontario university. But this year will feel different due to the challenges and uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
While COVID-19 may have changed how the university experience will look, Ontario’s universities’ remain committed to our students. Our institutions look forward to welcoming a new cohort of students this fall – whether it be online, in-person, or through a hybrid model.
We understand that many students and their families are concerned about health and safety come September. Ensuring the safety of our students, faculty and staff remains a top priority. Our institutions will continue to work with public health provide the safest options for the fall, while ensuring students can access a high quality postsecondary education.
A university degree is not solely made up of courses and curriculum. While we know students care a great deal about the quality of their education, they also care about the university services, activities and spaces that foster connections, encourage personal growth and enable them to become well-rounded global citizens.
Ontario’s students and universities have swiftly adapted in recent months, pivoting towards technology-enhanced course delivery models, virtual academic supports and mental health services to ensure students continue their studies.
Creating an enriching virtual learning environment helps ensure students continue to receive the life-long, adaptable skills that will prepare them for a rapidly-changing world. Whether its delivering co-op education experiences online, virtual student mentoring or adapting and developing courses, Ontario’s universities will continue to provide students with access to the high quality programs and services they need to thrive.
Our institutions are developing programming that not only integrates initiatives that are vital to a student’s academic success, such as virtual labs, practicums, work-integrated learning and seminars, but also includes the social and cultural activities that are critical to the university experience that students value. A few examples include virtual wellness supports for students, online initiatives that encourage connecting with the local community and virtual student transition and orientation programs designed to help first year-students connect with each other and keep them engaged beyond their first day of class.
As we continue to face the uncertainties brought about by COVID-19, know that Ontario’s universities will continue to support our students – the province’s future makers. Their impact and commitment to local communities is undeniable, as students volunteer to help health-care workers, support small businesses and work with professors to create new tools, testing methods and treatments.
By supporting students’ academic success, ensuring their health and safety and delivering an enriching university experience, they will continue to make an impact as our communities recover – bringing the new ideas and fresh approaches needed to help reimagine industries, strengthen community resilience and rebuild Ontario.
President & CEO
Council of Ontario Universities
For more examples of how Ontario’s universities are Partnering to Provide an Enriching Experience for Ontario’s Students.