The Ontario government today announced a plan for the gradual and safe resumption of in-person instruction at post-secondary institutions across the province for the summer term.
Starting in July 2020, limited in-person education and training may restart for students who were not able to graduate due to COVID-19 closures.
This first phase will allow institutions to reopen to provide in-person instruction to students in essential, frontline, and high labour market demand areas, such as nursing, personal support workers, engineering, and other critical professions.
Thousands of students across the province could benefit from this summer's reopening.
In September, all students will have the opportunity to attend postsecondary education through virtual learning, in-class instruction, or hybrid formats.
The limited summer reopening will help individual institutions prepare for the fall term by ensuring proper health and safety protocols are in place.
The province is developing a framework to be released to the sector in the coming days, which will provide guidance on the summer reopening and on health and safety measures.
Publicly assisted colleges and universities, Indigenous Institutes, private career colleges and other postsecondary education institutions may participate in this voluntary reopening. Institutions that choose to participate will be responsible for establishing their own plans for this limited reopening in accordance with public health advice and any ministry guidance.
The government will also begin working on a digital and academic modernization framework this summer.
Through this exercise, it will look at unlocking the potential of virtual learning, adapting postsecondary education and training to meet the needs of a rapidly changing job market and economy, increasing the accountability of postsecondary education, developing the necessary physical and digital infrastructure, and fully realizing the value of research, innovation, and intellectual property licensing in the domestic and global marketplace.