Fall 2021 Updates
September 10, 2021
Dear KPU students, faculty and staff,
I am sharing more details of the new Public Health Office guidance, but before that, I want to emphasize a couple of items from the KPU Guidelines for Mask Wearing that we shared in our last update.
Masks do not need to be worn:
- By instructors while delivering a lecture or presentation if there is a distance of two metres separating individuals from each other, and
- while communicating with a person for whom visual cues, facial expressions, lip-reading or lip-movement are essential.
- Whilst seated in the cafeteria or lounge when actively eating or drinking
We are aware that there has been discussion about whether masks should be worn in shared areas to which the students do not have access, such as office areas with cubicles. The public health guidance states the mask order will apply in all indoor public, common areas on campus, including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms, labs, and washrooms (but, as I said, not while delivering a class or actively eating).
Now, a public or common area is essentially a space shared by both students or the general public and employees.
The guidance doesn’t mandate mask wearing in open office areas that are absent of students and the public but, as a best practice, masks are always recommended in spaces where you cannot maintain social distancing, and based on personal preference.
Another reminder. It is quite possible that someone in your circle outside of KPU becomes infected with COVID and you, correctly, go for a test yourself. While you are waiting for the result of that test, do not come on campus for the 24 or 48 hours that it takes. Depending on the result, you’ll know what to do next I am sure.
The PHO just updated the list of non-essential events that would require proof of vaccination. The list now excludes non-essential, indoor events with less than 50 people, except adult sports. These might include students and/or employees attending an indoor social event on campus, for instance. Not much of an issue right now while it is still warm, but could be helpful as the rain and cold weather arrive.
By the way, our legal and IT teams have been working out how we can actually safely and securely check the status of people participating in non-essential activities that still do require proof of vaccination, which as KPU mainly means Sports and Recreation.
Our Communicable Disease Prevention Plan, which Occupational Health and Safety prepared for our return to more on campus activity has been posted to Sharepoint and a summary is available on the COVID page on the website too.
It is still rather fraught, isn’t it? I appreciate very much everyone’s patience during these first few weeks as we optimise the student experience while minimising risk.
And a big and friendly shout out to our 2 employee unions. The GEU and the KFA have been very supportive and helpful and there has been lots of good exchange of ideas and issues which have helped everyone better figure out what to do and how.
Thank you again all for your patience and perseverance as we continue to work together to navigate the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and to chart a path towards a new future for KPU.
Alan Davis Ph.D
President and Vice Chancellor
Fall 2021 FAQs
Student Masks FAQs
Do I have to wear a face covering while on campus?
In accordance with the B.C. Government's mandate, effective August 25th, 2021, it is once again mandatory to wear a non-medical face covering in indoor public spaces on all campuses, in accordance with KPU Guidelines for Mask Wearing. This applies to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. As per KPU’s Student Conduct policy (ST7) “Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with KPU’s values. These standards of conduct require that Students obey the law, be aware of and abide by University policies, behave in a safe and civil manner, demonstrate respect for members of the University’s community, and demonstrate respect for the University’s and its community members’ property and resources.”
Does this also apply to visitors and contractors?
Yes. Visitors and contractors are expected to adhere to this requirement.
What if I cannot wear a face covering due to medical reasons?
Please refer to Accessibility Services about a mask exemption.
What counts as a face covering?
A face covering is a medical or non-medical mask or other covering, including a bandana, scarf or other fabric that covers the nose, mouth and chin to create a barrier to limit the transmission of respiratory droplets. Face coverings should have at least 2 to 3 layers of tightly woven material.
*A face shield is not a substitute for a mask as it has an opening below the mouth.
Will KPU provide face coverings?
Students are expected to bring and use their own face covering. Disposable non-medical face masks are available at the Security offices.
Am I allowed to eat while on campus?
Yes. Students and employees are able to remove their mask to eat and drink on campus while actively consuming food or drink when seated (including in a classroom). Once finished, please kindly wear your face covering again.
What should I do if I see someone not wearing a face covering on campus?
KPU is required to follow the Provincial Health Officer's Orders, which indicate that face coverings are mandatory at this stage of the pandemic. For your safety and the safety of those around you, please wear a face covering while on campus. KPU is a caring and respectful community. If you see someone not wearing a face covering and you are concerned, let the Security office know and they will follow-up.
Students are reminded that the Student Conduct Policy continues to apply.
Where can I find more information on how to properly wear and care for a face covering?
Please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control's website for more information on the different types of coverings, how to properly wear one, and how to properly clean and dispose of them.
Will classes be online, blended/hybrid or in-person?
Our fall course offerings will include a variety of in-person and online classes, as well as classes being offered in a blended or partially online format.
How do I know if a course is being offered online, blended/hybrid or in-person?
Course delivery format is noted in the timetable which will be released on June 25 so that you are able to view the various options when you browse classes and register.
Will any classes be offered both online and in-person?
Yes. KPU will offer a number of courses in a blended, or partially online format that include both on-campus, in-person and online delivery of the curriculum. Courses requiring students to be on-campus for in-person delivery will be noted in the timetable so you are aware of this requirement when you register.
Can I use a KPU classroom for my remote class?
If you are in a class that was scheduled to take place in a classroom this fall but has now moved to being remote, you are welcome to use the scheduled classroom at the time of the class and join the class online from there.
Do I need to be vaccinated to attend campus?
While not requiring proof of vaccination to attend campus and classes, vaccination will be required for accessing non-essential campus activities in line with the recent order from the Public Health Officer (PHO). Anyone wishing to access non-essential activities on campus should have had at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine by September 13, when the provincial proof of vaccination requirements come into effect, and two approved vaccine doses at least seven days prior to October 24.
This approach to proof of vaccination for non-essential activities will last until January 31, 2022, unless further extended by the PHO.
What is considered a non-essential activity?
Non-essential activities include:
- Indoor sporting events
- Indoor concerts/theatre/dance/symphony events
- Cafeterias and restaurants, but on-campus cafeterias at universities and colleges are excluded
- Fitness centres/gyms
- Indoor high-intensity group exercise activities
- Organized indoor events (e.g., conferences, meetings, workshops)
Can I get a vaccine at KPU?
Yes! KPU has worked with the Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to provide vaccination clinics at our Richmond, Surrey and Langley campuses.
Will in-person class sizes decrease? If so, will this impact the number of sections available for course registration?
If British Columbia’s restart plan proceeds as scheduled, KPU anticipates returning to class sizes similar to those seen prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. The university does not expect to see an impact on the number of sections available.
If I have an in-person class, when will classes start?
The first day of classes is September 7. On-campus requirements are noted in the timetable and vary depending on the section(s) you register in. You may not hear from your instructor until the first day of class as faculty continue to finalize their course design. You will receive greater details from your instructors about your course delivery format – but please note this may not be until the first day of classes. For courses with on campus requirements, your instructor will confirm for you the specific times during the term when you will be expected to be on campus.
I want to start planning my fall schedule. When will the course timetable be released? When will I be able to register for courses?
The timetable which will be released on June 25. Registration opens July 12. Students will be notified by email with the date and time on which they will be eligible to register and should ensure they are checking their KPU email often.
Is it too late to pay my confirmation deposit for Fall 2021?
It’s not too late! Applicants are encouraged to pay their confirmation deposit as soon as possible to be assigned the best possible registration time.
How do I pay my tuition fee? Can I pay on campus? How much do I need to pay before starting my classes at KPU?
Please note we are unable to process mailed payments, including cheques. Students can confirm successful receipt of payment in their Online Self-Service (OSS) account under: Student Menu → Student Accounts → View Tuition Fees.
The fee payment deadline is published on the Dates & Deadlines webpage for each term. Please ensure your tuition and fees for the term (including Session 2 courses) are paid by the posted deadline to avoid being assessed late payment fees.
For additional information visit our Fee Deadlines and Refunds webpage.
If I have to self-isolate/quarantine during the semester, will I be able to switch from in-person to online? Once I'm well, can I switch back to in-person?
The requirements and format for each class may differ. Be sure to speak to your instructor if you find yourself in a situation that may impact your ability to meet the requirements of the course.
If I have to self-isolate/quarantine during the semester how will this impact my assignments, test, and grade for that course?
The requirements for each class differ. Be sure to speak to your instructor if you find yourself in a situation that may impact your ability to meet the requirements of the course.
I am moving to British Columbia from another Canadian province or territory. What should I be doing for the upcoming Fall 2021 semester? Do I have to quarantine?
If you are traveling to B.C. from another province or territory for essential reasons you do not need to self-quarantine, however, you must follow all the province-wide restrictions.
Convocation and Orientation
Will Convocation be in person if we are back on campus? When will convocation be in person again?
Due to the ongoing restrictions on large gatherings as part of British Columbia’s COVID-19 response, KPU is arranging for virtual Spring and Fall 2021 Convocation ceremonies. These are unprecedented times and as we continue to heed the advice of our public health officials, we do not know when we will once again be gathering together indoors in large numbers. Further Convocation details and FAQs are available at kpu.ca/convocation
Will orientation be in-person or online?
Due to the ongoing restrictions on large gatherings as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 response, KPU is planning for Fall 2021 orientation activities to be primarily online.
What can I expect from an online orientation?
Online orientation will consist of two weeks of online events and activities to set students up for success. For Fall 2021, there will be:
- A virtual orientation livestream on August 31 from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. or 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. PT.
- An online orientation module that students can complete at their own pace. Every student who completes the module by 11:59 p.m. PT on September 24 will be entered to win up to $500 in tuition.
- First-Year Festival, two weeks of flexible programming featuring workshops and activities that go beyond the basics. We will cover academic and study skills, student life and campus activities, and strategies for getting the most out of your university experience.
KPU will be offering welcome boxes to our newest students for Fall 2021. Welcome boxes will be available for on-campus pick-up and mailed to those who are continuing to study remotely for the fall. Find out more at kpu.ca/orientation.
Bookstores, Libraries and Learning Centres
Can I visit a KPU bookstore to get my textbooks?
KPU is planning to maintain online purchasing options while reopening bookstores for the Fall semester.
The Surrey and Tech campus bookstores are currently open daily, with curbside book collection available at Surrey.
From August 16, the Surrey bookstore will be open Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Tech bookstore will be open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the Richmond and Langley stores will be open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where do I find the booklist for my classes?
For remote learning classes, do I have to buy hard copies of my textbooks, or can I purchase e-texts?
Any specific questions regarding textbooks should be directed to your instructor. They are the ones assigning you the books and determine what is needed.
What library resources are going to be available? Will I be able to study on campus in the library?
On July 12, the library will re-open with in-person access to its bookshelves, common area study tables, and appointments will no longer be needed for service at library service desks. The library is now accepting requests to book equipment and course reserves for the fall semester, and librarians will be available for in-person reference assistance for the Fall 2021 semester. Study rooms remain unavailable until the further notice.
Visit the library web page for more information.
Can I get my KPU Card at the library?
Creating your KPU Card begins online using the KPU Card Submission Form. Once your request is processed, you will be notified by email when your card is ready to be picked up. Government-issued photo ID is required to pick up your KPU Card.
Will the Learning Centre be open? Will I be able to book in-person tutoring appointments?
Learning Centres will be open with in-person tutoring available starting September 1. We will still have online options available for those learning remotely. Learning Strategists will also be able to help you to organize your online and face-to-face learning.
Will I have to pay for parking for Fall 2021?
Yes. KPU paid parking returns September 1, 2021.
How do I pay for parking? Or buy a monthly, semester or annual parking permit?
Update August 20, 2021: KPU paid parking returns September 1, as the temporary suspension of parking charges implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end. We will not be using hangTag as originally planned.
For the Fall 2021 return to campus, we will continue to use the campus payment kiosks, Pay by Phone and PayByPhone app for student and visitors to purchase hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and semester parking. You can also purchase weekly, monthly, or semester epermit through our Permit Parking page. Semester passes will be available for purchase between the 25th and 30th of August.
International Students FAQs
Visit KPU International for more information for international students travelling to Canada and additional international student FAQs that look beyond returning to campus.
Are international students allowed into Canada? If so, should I start to book flight tickets? Are there restrictions on how early I can arrive?
International students are permitted to travel to Canada. However, it is important to check the latest travel restrictions for your region prior to booking any flights or accommodations.
To be eligible to enter Canada, international students must meet both of the following requirements:
- You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit.
- You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.
- As a student at KPU, you meet this requirement. Kwantlen Polytechnic University is on the list of DLIs with approved COVID-19 readiness plans
When planning your arrival date, you should give yourself enough time before school starts, to complete the mandatory COVID-19 requirements of Canada and the province of British Columbia, as well as meeting the requirements in KPU’s COVID-19 readiness plan. However, if you arrive earlier than 21 days prior to course start, you may be refused entry by the Border Services Officer. Please make sure you contact authorities in the country you are leaving for any departure restrictions.
I live in a region currently facing a travel ban to Canada because of variants of concern. What should I be doing for the upcoming Fall 2021 semester if some/all of my classes are in-person (ex. lecture, lab)?
KPU fall course offerings will include a variety of in-person and online classes, as well as classes being offered in a blended or partially online format. Course delivery format is noted in the timetable, which will be released on June 25, so that you are able to view the various options when you browse classes and register. If you are unable to travel to Canada for the upcoming semester, we recommend working with a KPU International Advisor to ensure you are taking courses that are offered online only.
I am moving to BC from outside of Canada for Fall 2021. What do I need to know about travel and quarantine?
Visit the Information for International Students Travelling to Canada webpage for a step-by-step process on how to prepare for your travel and quarantine (if needed) to Canada. You may or may not need to quarantine depending on your vaccination status.
If you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19
Starting July 5, there are quarantine exemptions for fully vaccinated travellers who meet specific conditions and are eligible to enter Canada. Current travel restrictions still apply. Learn more.
Please note: To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country, and must provide documentation supporting their vaccination in English, French or with a certified translation.
If you are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (or you are fully vaccinated but with a vaccine not approved by Health Canada)
You will need to quarantine for 14 days. As a traveller, you must demonstrate that you have an adequate plan for quarantine. You are expected to make plans, within your own means, before travelling to Canada. Foreign nationals who do not have an adequate plan may be denied entry into Canada. Upon arrival, you will need to stay in the government-authorized accommodation for three nights while awaiting the results of the COVID-19 molecular test taken at the port of entry. Once you have received a negative test, you will then be able to relocate to your planned place of quarantine to complete the remainder of your 14-day quarantine.
Does KPU offer support for students for quarantine planning?
KPU offers many supports that can be found on the Information for International Students Travelling to Canada webpage.
If I am studying from outside of Canada, should I apply for a study permit?
Yes. We highly recommend you apply for a study permit as soon as possible, even if you are studying from outside of Canada. Learn more about applying for your study permit.
What if I do not get a visa approval or/and study permit to come and study in Canada? How will that impact all the studies I have done as a KPU student, in my home country so far OR how will that impact my admission to KPU?
International students without a valid study permit cannot study within Canada if their studies are longer than six months. However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is currently allowing students who have applied for a study permit to study from their home country and have the time counted toward their post graduate work permit (PGWP) eligibility (applicable until Dec 31, 2021). Please note that if you choose to begin your studies without a study permit approval and your study permit is later denied, tuition fees are non-refundable.
Will there be an online orientation for international students?
In addition to the virtual orientation livestream (August 31, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. or 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. PT), international students are requested to attend the live virtual international orientation (August 30 from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. PT or August 31 from 8 p.m. – 9:30 a.m. PT). This event will provide additional information specific to supports and services related to transitioning and studying as an international student.
KPU will provide further updates here as more details become available.
Vaccines and Other Preventative Measures
If you have any of the symptoms or potential exposures listed on the poster, do not come to campus. Please consider calling 8-1-1 or contacting your health-care provider for advice. Any employee or contractor who refuses to take part in the health check will not be allowed to enter the workplace.
Now British Columbia has moved to Step 3 of the B.C. Restart Plan, KPU recommends anyone working, studying or visiting campus to wear a mask through the Summer semester.