SAIT hopes to welcome more students on campus this fall

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). SIMRANDEEP KAUR / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

SAIT students are excited about a return to in-person classes and looking forward to the fall 2021 term.

In mid-March, the Alberta government said the expectation was that post secondary schools would return to in-person classes.

“Alberta’s COVID-19 immunization program continues to move forward. As per recent announcements by the Minister of Health, we anticipate that we will offer every adult Albertan their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June,” Advanced Education Minister, Demetrios Nicolaides said at the time.

“With that in mind, I encourage all post-secondary institutions, students and families to prepare for a full return to on-campus learning this September.”

Dr. Brad Donaldson, vice president of academics at SAIT, sent an email near the end of March to provide a COVID-19 update for students continuing their studies in fall 2021.

“It is our hope, subject to ongoing positive shifts in community health indicators, that we will see an increase in on-campus activities,” Donaldson wrote in his email.

“We are finding new ways for you to learn and grow — ensuring all our students are career-ready.”

The spectre of rising COVID-19 cases, including the highly virulent variants, could force the government to backtrack.

Students prefer in-person classes

“It is a great idea to have in-person classes because I could not understand a lot of things online,” said Onyinyechukwuka Ekene-Obi, a first-year journalism student at SAIT.

Ekene-Obi said she is still in Nigeria due to a delay in her study permit. Still, she can’t wait to be on the SAIT campus and having the feel of education in person.

As an international student, Ekene-Obi pays high tuition fees. Right now, she feels she’s not getting the value of her money through virtual learning.

Ekene-Obi said tuition should have been discounted because she’s not on campus using the facilities.

Students can get more information in the next few weeks and months

“In the following weeks, the library, as well as the outdoor recreation areas, will be open in alignment with new regulations,” Donaldson wrote.

He wrote that their decisions for the fall term would be shared in regular communications.

SAIT is preparing for the fall semester and focuses on in-person course delivery.

In Donaldson’s email, he said the working group prioritizes in-person course delivery as aligned with public health guidelines.

“Whether you are continuing your studies or starting them, coming from Calgary or joining us from anywhere in the world — we look forward to seeing you in September.”

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