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jvand93

Fall 2021 Online?

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U of A posted this update on their website yesterday 

https://www.ualberta.ca/the-quad/2021/02/fall-2021-planning-update.html

Although vaguely worded (most likely intentionally so) the implication I read from it is that they will try to keep the Fall 2021 semester in person as much as possible, while still offering online options for those not able to make it. I could be wrong in my analysis though. What are everyone else's thoughts?

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Sounds like they aren't quite committing to in-person like McGill. I personally would prefer that they play it safe and stick to online where they can, at least until vaccine distributions look more promising. I wouldn't mind one semester of online law school, but I understand people that would disagree, particularly the current 1Ls. 

I just hope they provide clarity sooner than later. I'm from out of province, so this will have huge implications on my plans (providing that I get an offer). 

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1 minute ago, dalpaengi said:

I just hope they provide clarity sooner than later. I'm from out of province, so this will have huge implications on my plans (providing that I get an offer). 

Same boat. I actually would prefer an online option for at least the first semester, if only so I can save 4 months of rent and food living at home

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Most of the Universities in BC seem to be either giving a May-June deadline based on vaccination rates, or already declaring Fall 2021 will be online. 

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I would not be able to handle online school. I need to have that ability to see my profs in person and physically go to a space dedicated to learning. I hope so desperately well have in person lecture 

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19 minutes ago, LFCJD said:

Most of the Universities in BC seem to be either giving a May-June deadline based on vaccination rates, or already declaring Fall 2021 will be online. 

Do you happen to know if UBC is included in this (though I presume it is)?

Edited by jvand93

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Just now, jvand93 said:

Do you happen to know if UBC is included in this (though I presume it is)?

The most recent February Senate meeting said they’d reassess for the Fall semester in May based on BCs vaccination rate.

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I totally understand why the school is being vague. It all depends on when and how hard the 3rd wave hits. And the age group of most law students won't be eligible to be vaccinated until "Fall 2021" in Alberta, based on the current vaccination plan. 

Edited by mars2mercury

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It is going to be online for sure. We aren't going to vaccinate enough people by then and the threat of variants is too high. There is no way universities will be in person for fall 2021. 

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I really want it to be in person. I have faith in the government's timeline to vaccinate everyone who wants it by September.

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20 minutes ago, Maxsteel18 said:

I really want it to be in person. I have faith in the government's timeline to vaccinate everyone who wants it by September.

That’s the federal timeline. The vaccines will be available, problem is the provinces actually need to organize vaccination. 

In AB, the provincial government plan shows they will start vaccinating people under 50 in September. 
 

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i think alberta has the mechanisms in place to vaccinate as soon as doses are available. i'm 95% sure the timeline to have everyone vaccinated by september, or in Alberta's case having it available to people under 50, is an incredibly under-promise/ over-deliver estimate. there's reason to think we could be vaccinated by the summer. but i still think fall 2021 will be online at most schools to facilitate transition/ make sure herd immunity is achieved before it's fully back to normal, which could be winter 2022

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From what I've heard second-hand, some courses will likely only be offered in-person even in the fall. I can only tell you that this applies to upper-year courses; I have no idea about 1L. It makes sense since most upper year courses can be distanced more easily due to smaller class sizes.

I'm sure some courses will remain online for fall but not all courses will be available online.

CAVEAT: this could obviously change if the University dictates it but unofficially this is the plan.

Edited by KJR

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I just read about the budget cuts (as an outsider, Alberta politics looks pretty spicy). This might factor into the decision as well, since I'm guessing keeping students/staff home saves them money. 

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49 minutes ago, dalpaengi said:

I just read about the budget cuts (as an outsider, Alberta politics looks pretty spicy). This might factor into the decision as well, since I'm guessing keeping students/staff home saves them money. 

I think it’s the opposite actually, they still have to keep the facilities open and heated but can’t generate nearly as much revenue from their use via vendors, and academic staff are still being paid full time wages. Residency fees will also be down massively and this is a significant revenue generator for U of A, as well as the sale of parking passes and other paid facilities usage like the campus gym. 
 

In addition, the school now needs to invest significantly more money in IT and spend far more on software licensing. I think at the end of the day online learning is costing them money, not lowering costs.  

Edited by splittinrocks
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24 minutes ago, splittinrocks said:

I think it’s the opposite actually, they still have to keep the facilities open and heated but can’t generate nearly as much revenue from their use via vendors, and academic staff are still being paid full time wages. Residency fees will also be down massively and this is a significant revenue generator for U of A, as well as the sale of parking passes and other paid facilities usage like the campus gym. 

Makes sense. They won't see anything near their pre-covid revenues until international students come back, so they need to squeeze what they can out of domestic students in the meanwhile I guess. 

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2 minutes ago, dalpaengi said:

Makes sense. They won't see anything near their pre-covid revenues until international students come back, so they need to squeeze what they can out of domestic students in the meanwhile I guess. 

Another relevant point, hadn’t even considered that. They make a ton of money from them 

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Another thing that people have to keep in mind is that this does not just end the moment we vaccinate everyone. We still need to give it some time and keep social distancing until we confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine. 

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I work within the circles of people who would have a better idea than most, I can ask my boss what their predictions are currently and post a thread about it if people want to hear (second hand)?

I did ask the same question a few weeks ago to my mum who is a prof in the medical field (things change quickly though) and she guessed school will be mostly online (with the exception of medicine and other degrees which require in person). She was doubtful that law-school will be in person, but this is more of an informed guess. I will ask my boss next week and post if people are interested.

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Current UofA Law student here. The Vice-Dean sent an email out last week that they are  "planning for a return to a greater amount of in person teaching for the Fall 2021 Term at the Faculty of Law."

Course registration has been pushed back until May so that they can decide just how in-person next year will be. 

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