Université Laval is hopeful that by March 30, almost all courses will be available online and that graduation will not be jeopardized.
The rector Sophie D’Amours gave an update on the coronavirus crisis on Thursday morning in a room which serves precisely as a virtual classroom. Journalists attended this presentation and posed their questions via the web.
The university, which has 45,000 students, had a first case of a student with COVID-19. This student had attended a course in law school.
Like all schools, the UL is closed at least until March 27 and perhaps longer, said the rector.
For the past few days, teachers and lecturers have been busy transforming their courses so that they can give themselves virtually. Before the crisis, 27% of credits could be acquired online at Laval University. We are aiming for this to be the case for almost 100% of the appropriations, said the Rector. “It’s quite a work in progress, but to date, we have very few courses that cannot be given online in one way or another,” says Ms. D’Amours.
Students will receive information about virtual courses over the next few days.
The Rector believes that graduation can be done normally for the vast majority of graduates.
For the moment, Laval University does not intend to close its residences. Currently, residences are less than 50% occupied. “Yes, we tell everyone who can to go home, but it is not possible for some students because countries have closed their borders at entry and exit,” noted Ms. D’Amours. We will not put anyone on the street. ”
Disinfection measures have been increased in residences as elsewhere, ensures, the rector, and studios can allow isolation.
Université Laval has already announced that students who wish to do so will have until April 26 rather than March 23 to abandon their courses without mention of failure. Their tuition fees will not be reimbursed, however, since the courses will be given online.
The UL is setting up a fund of last resort, in collaboration with its foundation, to help students who would have financial difficulties related to the crisis. Many have lost their jobs in the restaurant business, noted the Rector.
Laval University staff have been working for several days to help their students who were currently in session abroad to return to Quebec
The president indicated that 300 students were en route or returned to the province. Some have chosen to stay abroad.
More details to come …