UW System returns to pre-pandemic levels of in-person instruction for Fall 2021

Published: September 21, 2021

MADISON, Wis.—University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson announced today that the System has returned to pre-pandemic levels of in-person undergraduate instruction for Fall 2021 while prioritizing the health and safety of the campus community.

Systemwide, 85 percent of undergraduate courses are being delivered in person, he said. That exceeds the goal of 75 percent that Thompson set in February amid a 2020-21 academic year in which more classes than usual were delivered remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thompson also announced that several universities far exceeded the 75 percent threshold, and that 12 of the System’s 13 universities hit the threshold.

“Every student I talk to wants to be back in class, and that’s where they belong,” Thompson said. “There is so much enthusiasm on the campuses I’ve visited this fall. I thank the staff, faculty, and administrators for making that happen and meeting this goal while also prioritizing student and employee health and safety.”

The percentage of undergraduate classes held in person in Fall 2021 according to university:

  • UW-Eau Claire, 87 percent
  • UW-Green Bay, 78 percent
  • UW-La Crosse, 94 percent
  • UW-Madison, 93 percent
  • UW-Milwaukee, 79 percent
  • UW Oshkosh, 82 percent
  • UW-Parkside, 79 percent
  • UW-Platteville, 93 percent
  • UW-River Falls, 83 percent
  • UW-Stevens Point, 82 percent
  • UW-Stout, 75 percent
  • UW-Superior, 65 percent
  • UW-Whitewater, 83 percent

A large portion of UW-Superior courses were online by design prior to the pandemic and remain so in Fall 2021. Every UW-Superior course that went remote in Fall 2020 has been returned to fully in-person for Fall 2021.

Universities routinely provide fully online course offerings in addition to in-person courses. A university’s exact percentage of in-person courses corresponds to its programs, missions, and goals.
Of the 85 percent of undergraduate classes held in person, 80 percent are being delivered fully in person and five percent are hybrids having a substantial and required face-to-face component with some portion online.

The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Mark Pitsch, UW System

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