Updated: UBC and SFU move to online classes as postsecondaries respond to COVID-19 recommendations

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      Update 2: Emily Carr of University of Art and Design announced that it will also shift classes to online instruction. It is also cancelling its convocation and other events.  

      Update 1: UBC announced today (March 13) that it is transitioning classes to online delivery as of Monday (March 16) for the rest of the term at all UBC campuses, including UBC Vancouver, UBC Robson Square, and UBC Okanagan.

      For classes that cannot be offered online, information will be distributed by faculties. 

      UBC campuses will remain open and all university operations will continue as normal.

      All inbound and outbound student study programs have been cancelled.

      Meanwhile, SFU also announced today that it will begin moving away from in-person instruction starting in the beginning of the week and continuing for the remainder of the term. 

      All SFU campuses will remain open.

      Original article:

      Various Vancouver-based postsecondary institutions are responding to the COVID-19 recommendations made by the province yesterday.

      B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry had stated at a news conference on March 12 that the provincial government is recommending all events with 250 or more people to be cancelled and to avoid travel outside Canada.   

      The University of British Columbia (UBC) announced today (March 13) that it will be cancelling all such on-campus and off-campus events, including sporting events, due to the recommendation to do so for events involving 250 or more attendees.

      Events at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts have also been cancelled.

      All UBC classes with 250 or more students are now suspended and UBC is working to determine how lecture components can be delivered online or through other forms of delivery.

      Updates are being provided at UBC's campus notifications webpage.

      Simon Fraser University (SFU) has not yet announced the cancellation of classes. SFU president and vice-chancellor Andrew Petter issued a statement on March 12 to explain that SFU’s emergency operations process is underway and will respond to the evolving situation.

      The university also stated that it is exploring remote options for students, faculty, and staff.

      SFU is not currently aware of any COVID-19 cases within their university community and is providing updated information on a dedicated COVID-19 webpage

      At the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), the school stated that all BCIT–related travel outside Canada, including to the U.S., is being cancelled or suspended. More information is avaialble at the BCIT campus updates webpage.

      Meanwhile, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECU) has cancelled a lecture by artist Stan Douglas while Mark Rutledge's talk on Indigenous design will continue on for students but will be closed to public attendance. ECU also has a dedicated COVID-19 updates and recommendations webpage.

      Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) announced on March 12 that it is cancelling all events with 250 or more people, including the spring convocation, and also cancelling all non-essential travel outside Canada.

      Vancouver Community College (VCC) is complying with the recommendations, including cancelling all work-related travel outside Canada and cancelling all large events until the end of April while Langara College is advising all students, faculty, and staff to follow the B.C. health recommendations.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook