This update is provided for archival purposes only.

Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

Update on fall 2021 term

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

This message was originally sent to graduate students by Feridun Hamdullahpur, present and vice-chancellor.

Our spring term is now well underway and today we are sharing communications to our university community as we look forward to beginning a transition back to more in person experiences for all of us. 

The growing distribution of vaccines across Canada is giving us reason for new hope. It is with that sense of hope that we are planning to deliver significantly more in-person learning, teaching assistantships, and research in the fall 2021 term. We are optimistic that in-person activities can happen safely and with a renewed sense of community through a staged and strategic return to campus. 

For those of you will be taking courses in the fall, Faculties have begun planning course delivery options determining which will be held in person, remotely, and possibly in a hybrid model.  While we are eager to welcome you back to campus, the University remains committed to ensuring that students have access to its outstanding academic programming from wherever you will be studying. It is our intention to keep expanding in-person experiences throughout this academic year, as public health conditions allow. More details on the courses will be available within the coming weeks, and subsequent communication will be sent to all graduate students – both current and incoming. 

Throughout the pandemic, our Teaching Assistants (TAs) have been exceptionally creative in finding new ways to help students achieve their learning outcomes in diverse environments.  With the expected increase in on-campus learning, we also anticipate more in-person activities for TAs, while retaining some lessons learned during the pandemic.  We also anticipate that some students who may have been unable to TA previously for immigration reasons will have arrived in Canada and will have access to TA positions this fall. TA appointments will be made as normal leading up to the start of the fall term.
The University remains committed to supporting your research work.  Access to on-campus research laboratories is available for those with approved safety plans.  Requests to conduct field research and activities with human participants continue to be vetted approved.  As public health restrictions are relaxed, Faculties will also be updating their plans for access to research spaces on campus. Information on how to access faculty research spaces, available on the campus access webpage, will continue to be updated throughout the spring and summer.  

You can expect to hear more by email in the coming weeks to help you prepare for the fall term. If you have further questions, please email or discuss with your supervisor.