Questions and answers from the U of A community - March 15, 5:00 p.m.

Updated March 15, 5:00 p.m. - Since announcing that the U of A is moving to remote delivery of all in-person classes and exams, there have been a number of questions from our community. The most pressing questions, and answers to those questions, are listed in this update.

15 March 2020

Posted: March 15, 1:00 p.m..

Updated: March 15, 5:00 p.m.

Updated: March 15, 9:00 p.m. clarification on exceptions

More information may be added to this page as it becomes available. Please check back for updates.

Why has the university moved to remote teaching and learning?

We’re moving to remote learning as a COVID-19 preventative measure to ensure that our students can complete their academic term. One of the key factors in our decision was the need to foster a degree of ‘social distancing’ as recommended by public health authorities.

What do you mean when you say the ‘University remains open’?

While classes are moving to remote delivery, public spaces on U of A campuses, such as libraries, residences and health centres, will be open tomorrow. 

Following the advice of public health authorities, some university services have been adapted in order to reduce the risk of possible spread. Adaptations could include:

  • modifying the number of people participating in events, programs or meetings
  • slightly reducing hours
  • restricting the number of occupants
  • social distancing for individuals
  • centralizing some services (e.g. some libraries or food outlets)

Check the Events and Cancellations and Facilities and Services sections of this site regularly so you are aware of changes before coming to one of our campuses.

Is campus safe? 

Yes, our campuses are safe. We are regularly and immediately implementing all appropriate health protocols and recommendations from Alberta Health Services and the Chief Medical Officer of Health -- such as increased cleaning measures and social distancing. By moving classes to remote delivery, the number of people on our campuses is greatly reduced -- greatly reducing any risks as well.

Are university staff expected on campus tomorrow?

Yes, our campuses are open and safe. Staff and administrative members of our university community should come to work on campus as usual tomorrow. 


Managers are encouraged to proactively assess alternative working arrangements with their staff, such as working remotely or rotating critical infrastructure and leadership staff on campus.

Is my course or class an exception in the move to remote delivery?

This section updated March 15, 9:00 p.m..

All in-person, online and alternative classes are suspended for Monday, March 16 for the preparation of remote delivery starting on Tuesday, March 17.

Please note: There is an important change to previous communications. As per the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, NO in-person classes of any size can occur. There is no longer any possibility of an exception to remote delivery. Contact your Dean for more information if you previously expected an exception.

Note to Instructors: Additional information was distributed yesterday to clarify expectations around online and other remote delivery teaching formats.

Updates below added March 15, 5:00 p.m..

 If classes and exams are delivered remotely, can I leave Edmonton?

If students are planning to leave Edmonton, it’s important to first confirm that all of their classes and exams will be delivered remotely and that they will have the appropriate technology (including internet connection) to participate fully in remote delivery. 

If students live in residence they must email regarding their housing contract before leaving Edmonton. 

What if I need academic accommodations for remote delivery?

Students who require academic accommodations and are impacted by changes in course and exam delivery should contact The assignment and modification of accommodations will continue to be coordinated through the Academic Success Centre.