How we will return to campus in the fall

May 26, 2021

This message is sent on behalf of: Catherine Dauvergne, vice-president academic and provost; Wade Parkhouse, vice-provost and associate vice-president, academic; and, Rummana Khan Hemani, vice-provost and associate vice-president, students and international.


Dear students,

In recent months, we’ve been evaluating different scenarios with respect to the upcoming fall term, and the extent to which we can safely provide in-person instruction and activities.

As we watch vaccinations in BC ramp up to include everyone 12 years of age or older, and as transmission rates continue to drop across the province, we are now confident in our ability to announce a substantial return to our campuses in the fall, which means approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes will be in-person, with safety plans in place.

You may welcome a return to campus, or you may feel anxious or uncertain – or even a combination of these emotions. We also understand the complex factors that may impact your individual ability and decision-making around resuming on-campus studies. The fall will be a transitional term; not all courses will be delivered in person, and details about which courses or course sections will be taught remotely or in person will be available online in late June, prior to the start of Fall 2021 enrollment on July 5, 2021.

Throughout this pandemic, we have balanced our commitment to providing a high-quality education with the health and safety of the SFU community. All of us—faculty, staff and students—have fulfilled this delicate balance for more than a year, and we’ve proven we can teach safely in person. In the fall, we will have the added benefit of a highly vaccinated community; public health officials predict that most adults in B.C. will have a second vaccination by September.

We can assure you that our first priority remains a safe return to campus, and we will continue to follow public health guidelines and implement safety precautions recommended by the BC Centre for Disease Control, WorkSafeBC, the provincial health officer, and BC’s Restart plan.

Specifically, for the fall we will:

  • Make safety standards consistent across the university;
  • Work with TransLink to ensure safe transit service to campuses;
  • Ensure enhanced cleaning practices remain in place;
  • Open up campus amenities including food services, the Bookstore and Spirit Shop, computer labs, recreation services, and library services. (See Return to Campus/Campus Services for the most current information.)
  • Increase student programs and activities that will contribute to a vibrant on-campus experience for our new and returning students.

COVID-19 will continue to circulate in our communities for years to come but with advances in treatment and vaccinations, it will become less of a health risk. For now, the most important thing we can all do is get vaccinated.  

As we move forward, we will continue to update you on our planning for a return to campus, and we remain ready to support you. Check out our COVID-19 support site to access information on services for students or send us your questions at And, if you’re an international student, support and guidance are available regarding study permits and entering Canada.


Yours truly

Dr. Catherine Dauvergne, QC
Vice-President Academic and Provost

Dr. Wade Parkhouse
Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic

Rummana Khan Hemani
Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Students and International

Simon Fraser University