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For over 150 years, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has fostered educational experiences and pioneered innovations with one very clear and simple goal: To change the world for the better. The university continues to provide opportunities and experiences to deliver on our educational goals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Growing student enrollment

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s 2020 enrollment is 52,331, surpassing last year’s record of 51,196. New enrollment of populations underrepresented in graduate education increased by 36%. Additionally, there was an increase in African American and Latinx undergraduate and graduate students.

Additionally, Illinois remained a top destination for international students in 2019. According to data from the 2020 Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education (IIE), Illinois ranks No. 1 among public universities and No. 5 in the country for the most international students.

Enhancing arts and virtual performances

The performing arts departments at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign continue to reinvent teaching and learning. The dance, music and theatre departments are providing live classes in safe ways, consulting consortiums of university arts educators, professional organizations and alumni as resources for best practices. Some of their ideas have included incorporating masks into costume design, socially distanced set designs, reimagining rehearsals and rehearsal spaces, pop-up performances in outside spaces and more filmed or live streamed performances.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts continues to connect patrons with artists, artistry and one another despite the cancellation of in-person performances due to COVID-19. The center engages the community and beyond through public engagement, teaching, educational support and online programming.

Providing valuable internships and experiences

Career services and resources are available to assist students no matter where they are. During Fall 2020, virtual career fairs and forums continued to connect students with companies. Additionally, The Career Center continued to offer career coaching and health professions advising, mock-interview practice, resume reviews and more through virtual meetings. They also delivered programs to help students navigate the impact of COVID on employment and internship opportunities.

Assisting students in need

The university is committed to ensuring educational technology access for all students, faculty, and staff. Technology Services works directly with the Student Assistance Center and the campus IT community to provide access to technology equipment to the university community. The Technology Loaner Program offers various types of technology to faculty, staff, and students, primarily to continue online learning and teaching while off campus. This includes smartphones, webcams, laptops, cellular internet devices for those without access to internet connectivity and other computer accessories including keyboards.

Enabling students to attain licensure and certifications

Earning licensure and professional certification is a crucial part of student success and workforce development. The Testing Center diligently responded to COVID-19 by implementing all State, University and testing company COVID-19 mitigation polices and guidelines to remain open throughout much of the pandemic. It innovated test delivery methods and procedures to create a safe in-person environment to meet the needs of students, staff, and the community. By creating a safe testing environment, it has become a hub for testing as the region was closed due to the pandemic.

Learn more about academics at Illinois.