Winter 2021 will be delayed by a week to help students cope with the unpredictability of the pandemic.
The University of Alberta announced the majority of Winter 2021 classes will now begin on January 11. Classes were originally set to start on January 4, but the university decided to delay classes by a week to “continue to adapt and support the university community.” Some classes may be exempt from this suspension.
The suspension means classes will also end at a later date. Originally courses were scheduled to end April 9, but will now also be pushed back by a week, instead ending on April 16.
The exam period will also be extended by a week, now occurring from April 19 to 30.
Reading week will remain on the same dates February 16 to 19 for North Campus and March 3 to 5 for Augustana.
Despite the holiday extension for students, the university will resume its operations on January 4.
The university said Beartracks will update to reflect these changes by mid-December.
In an email to students, U of A president Bill Flanagan said the holiday extension is a result of the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic and online learning.
“I’d like to acknowledge that this has been a very challenging term for all of us, faculty, staff and students alike as we navigate the uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in the email. “In order to continue to adapt and support the university community, we have made an important decision to delay by one week the start date for the Winter 2021 term.”
Flanagan said this isn’t the only way the university is planning to support students during this time, and encouraged students to seek help the from university if needed.
“Although this extension will bring relief for some, it is by no means the only way for us to support one another. If you or someone you know may be struggling, please know the university’s community of support is available; never hesitate to reach out.”
Correction: At 10:33 a.m. the article was corrected to say classes were originally set to start on January 4. The Gateway regrets the error.