AUSTIN, Texas — Students and faculty have responded positively to The University of Texas at Austin’s online learning options this fall, selecting online courses as a preferred option in more than 75% of cases.
The resulting registration projections, combined with the number of faculty and staff members working remotely, will lead to significantly fewer people on campus daily throughout the semester.
“Given the current state of COVID-19 in Texas, and its future unpredictability, this broad reduction in population density will help us stay safe, maintain social distance and limit spread on the Forty Acres in the months to come,” interim President Jay Hartzell said in a letter to the campus Tuesday.
The university is tracking online attendance in several ways. Almost 50% of undergraduate students are attending classes fully online — with the remaining half electing to take a majority of online and hybrid courses.
Because so many students are splitting their time between online and in-person classes, more than 75% of the actual seats in classes this fall will be online and only 5% will be fully in person. The remaining 20% will be offered through hybrid courses that mix online and in-person elements.
Matching this student demand for online learning, over 60% of UT faculty members will teach online-only this semester. And the university will have a dramatically reduced number of staff members on campus, since staffers who can work remotely are encouraged to do so in coordination with their supervisors.
Further, there is a substantial reduction in the number of undergraduate students living in on-campus housing in the coming semester — about 4,500 students out of a capacity of 7,300.
Preliminary Course Registration Numbers as of Aug. 4 for Online vs. In-Person vs. Hybrid
Total Student Credit Hours by Instruction Mode
Online – 491,571 (76.5%)
Hybrid – 108,981 (17.0%)
In-Person – 41,472 (6.5%)
Seats Taken (unique registrations in a class)
Online – 172,689 (76.6%)
Hybrid – 40,739 (18.1%)
In-Person – 12,041 (5.3%)
Total Sections (classes) 11,586
Online – 7,035 (60.7%)
Hybrid – 2,733 (23.6%)
In-Person – 1,818 (15.7%)
These registration numbers will undergo minor changes during the university’s add/drop period, which begins Aug. 21, but they are not expected to change dramatically. For now, they reflect the general landscape of online vs. in-person education for the fall semester.
Final numbers will be available with full enrollment data some time after the 12th day of classes.