The University of California plans to welcome students back to campus for in-person instruction in Fall 2021, the University of California Office of the President said in a press release on Monday.
“As the University continues to monitor the evolution of the pandemic, we are also carefully planning a safe return to in-person classes,” UC President Michael V. Drake — who made the decision alongside all 10 UC Chancellors — said in the press release. “Current forecasts give us hope that in the fall our students can enjoy a more normal on-campus experience.”
UC Santa Barbara made the switch to online learning at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and classes have remained online in the interest of public safety, barring exemptions for some lab and studio classes. The UC’s statement on Monday marks the first systemwide announcement of a return to in-person instruction.
The press release cited “robust research advancements” and the advent of “COVID-19 vaccines soon becoming available to students, staff and faculty” as developments that will make on-campus learning safe for students, although prioritizing critical prevention efforts and community safety will remain a priority.
While the press release issued no specific plans to roll out in-person instruction for the fall, future announcements regarding starting dates and safety measures will be announced by individual campuses.