University of Wisconsin-Madison and other campuses in the UW System announced a pre-pandemic level of in-person undergraduate classes in a UW press release.
Ninety-three percent of undergraduate classes are held in person this fall semester, with 85% of undergraduate classes returning to pre-pandemic levels of in-person instruction, according to the UW System website.
UW-Madison and UW-Platteville recorded the highest percentages of in-person classes, according to the website. UW-Superior was the only university that did not meet the goal due to classes that were already online pre-pandemic.
This exceeds UW System President Tommy Thompson’s previous goal of 75%, which he set in February. Twelve out of 13 UW System schools met this goal, Thompson said in the press release.
Despite reaching and exceeding the threshold, Thompson said the one school that did not was still prioritizing the campus community’s safety.
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Undergraduate Teaching Fellow and political science major at UW-Madison Olivia Brandt said she and her fellow students are all excited to be back to in-person instruction.
“I have seen many friendships blossom in our class alone, even in the short span of three weeks,” Brandt said. “I don’t feel it would be possible without in-person instruction.”
Despite in-person classes, the UW System’s initial estimates list a 1% decrease in total enrollment. According to the website, the number of transfer and freshman students has increased while the number of other undergraduates has decreased. The UW System will release more accurate numbers next week.
UW attributes this to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to UW News.
Brandt said she feels comfortable teaching in person because most of her students and peers are vaccinated.
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Over 90% of UW-Madison students are vaccinated, and those who are unvaccinated are required to participate in weekly testing, according to a UW-Madison press release.