It’s back to school at the University of Ottawa

Posted on Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Tabaret Hall

Tuesday, September 7 marks the start of the new academic year for thousands of students, faculty and staff at the University of Ottawa. After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, the campus will be energized. The distance learning format adopted in March 2020 has now given way to the gradual resumption of some teaching and research activities on campus. Now, some 21,000 students will be able to mingle in the labs and classrooms of the main campus knowing that the University has mandated mandatory immunization to protect its community as best it can.

A safe return to campus

Following the University's announcement last month, COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for anyone (student body, faculty or staff, visitors) who wishes to visit campus beginning September 7, 2021. The University requires proof of vaccination for all people on campus or participating in University activities. Masking will also be required in classrooms. Professors will also be masked and may choose to have a Plexiglas in front of their podium. Finally, they will be able to make themselves heard through a small microphone and the classrooms will be disinfected three times a day.

Life in residence

This weekend marked move-in time at the University of Ottawa. Some 2,794 young academics will make their new home on campus. For those who will be studying at a distance this year (just over half of the 46,719 students enrolled this semester), the University has created "virtual residences" that will promote interaction between members of a residence community, provide access to community advisors and allow students to join activities based on their level of study. This service is offered free of charge and will allow all students to develop their social network, despite the challenges associated with the pandemic.

Once again this year, many events are being organized for Welcome Week, and they are offered in both face-to-face and virtual modes when possible.

  • Movie nights
  • Bingo Nights
  • Carnival
  • Free popcorn, ice cream and cotton candy
  • Picnics on the Tabaret pavilion lawn
  • Free access to BIRD scooters.

These activities will be held within the guidelines of local health authorities and will offer hand sanitizing stations, masks, plexiglass sheets (when needed), and contact tracing forms (QR code).

Community Health Ambassadors

Finally, Community Health Ambassadors will be walking around campus, wearing yellow t-shirts so they can be seen. They will answer questions from our university community and explain the health measures in place on campus.

A few fast facts*:

  • 10% increase in enrolment for both Canadian and international students
  • Significant increase in student interest in health-related fields
  • Enrolment at the start of the 2021 academic year: 46,719
  • Number of students with an on-campus component (courses or labs): +/- 21,000
  • Number of students in residence: 2794

*Information as of September 2, 2021

The University, its staff and faculty are committed to providing students with a learning environment conducive to success by supporting them in their academic development and overall wellbeing. To this end, various services are in place (mentoring, support for academic success, academic GPS, health and wellness services, sports activities) to provide students with the tools they need.  The University wishes everyone a great semester.

*Media – Are you thinking of coming on to campus? Please communicate with the Media Relations team:

For more information:
Isabelle Mailloux
Manager, Media Relations
University of Ottawa

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