Message from the President: Fall 2020 semester

Dear members of the NSCAD community,

As the province cautiously begins to lift limits to social gatherings and universities are beginning to share their general approach for instruction for the rest of the year, I know you are all anxious to know what NSCAD’s plans are for September and beyond.

I first want to reiterate my utmost admiration for the incredible resilience everyone in our community has demonstrated over the past few months. You’ve completed the winter semester safely, and I especially want to congratulate our 2020 graduating class on achieving a wonderful milestone in unprecedented fashion and with enduring grace.

As always, the health and safety of students, staff and faculty, and the public at large remain our foremost priority as we find new ways to deliver meaningful, student-focused learning experiences. We are committed to ensuring that physical distancing does not mean social, emotional or creative disconnection as we all must develop  new ways of working, learning and making for our extended community, regardless of location or timing.

When the scope and scale of disruptions became evident in March, we moved quickly to develop a full slate of professionally designed, inspired online courses for the summer semester. Now we have reached another juncture, and so we must redouble our efforts.   NSCAD is directing its attention to supporting our faculty who are creating transformative, interactive digital learning content for our fall semester offerings.

After carefully considering public health guidelines and the distinct physical circumstances we have throughout our campuses, NSCAD University will be delivering courses through predominantly online modes that will be supplemented by distributed and other adaptive learning modes where possible for Fall 2020 semester. 

We have embraced the challenge of delivering education in a physically distanced but digitally connected world, and we are committed to engaging with our students as closely as we can to offer a rich educational experience, while working to ensure the health and safety of all members of our community.

Opportunities for face-to-face instruction in our facilities, shared studios or workshops will happen only once it is absolutely safe for everyone’s well-being to do so. We are pursing creative approaches, so that eventually we can return to campus in a manner that is measured, safe and meaningful. We expect to share more academic and operational details of our plan in June, so please continue to check your email and NSCAD’s COVID-19 web page

While it’s disappointing for our community of ‘makers’ to not be collaborating in studios and workshops, their adaptation and innovation is showing the world how making art and celebrating great art, design and craft creates public resilience when it’s needed most. We are proud of how all of you have stepped forward to be part of this. Together we are making a NSCAD that is more inclusive and more responsive to the pandemic’s global legacy.

Now more than ever, we can show everyone in the world that the world always seems brighter when you make something that wasn’t there before.

Thank you, please stay safe, and look after each other.







Dr. Aoife Mac Namara

President, NSCAD University