At the beginning of November, the Vice-Chancellor decided that teaching in the spring should be conducted in the previously announced format; campus-based teaching should primarily be conducted on campus, like in the autumn semester.
A few weeks later, at the end of November, the spread of the virus had increased and the Government, the Public Health Agency of Sweden and local authorities announced new stricter regulations. The University switched back to online teaching again on 19 November and will continue with online teaching in study period three in the spring semester, that is between 18 January and 28 March.
“We can now see that there is an increase in the spread of the virus in our region and in the nation, and this means that we need to do everything in our power to reduce the number of new COVID-19 cases,” Ylva Fältholm says. “We have a grave obligation to follow regulations and recommendations issued by the authorities. “
New decisions no later than 1 March
This decision applies to teaching during the first half of the spring term, for what is called study period three. A decision for study period four, running between 29 March until 6 June, will be taken no later than 1 March. Hopefully, more course components can be taught on campus during the latter half of the spring term, provided that the spread of the virus has decreased.
”When I have been in contact with different units, I have understood that most of them had already made plans on the basis of these conditions. Everyone who follows daily updates in media from the Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden has been able to draw the conclusion that there are no other choices than to operate online as far as possible right now,” Ylva Fältholm says.
Certain course components may have to be conducted on campus
From January until March, the same regulations as today will apply. Face-to-face conducted may need to be conducted on campus for the quality assurance of an examination or other course components; a certain type of room or equipment may be required for an examination for example. A limited number of written hall examinations can be carried out on campus, but a decision by a head of faculty is required and current restrictions and recommendations to limit transmission of the infection must be followed.
No international exchanges
A decision regarding international exchanges based on agreements with partner higher education institutions has been taken. There will be no international exchanges during the spring semester. The decision concerns around 30 students from abroad who intended to study here at University of Gävle and a handful of students who were supposed to go abroad to other higher education institutions.
“Taking into account the current situation regarding the spread of the virus in Sweden and internationally, regional and national recommendations as well as recommendations issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we draw the conclusion that no exchanges are possible in the spring. Let’s hope that the situation has changed for the better when the autumn semester comes, so that we can reopen international exchanges,” says Maria Strand, head of the Division of Educational Support.
International study programmes at University of Gävle, for example MBA programmes and the programme International social work, follow general recommendations stating that teaching should be primarily online. This means that students required to pay fees, so-called “free movers,” will also have to prepare for online teaching.
“These students may have arrived in Sweden earlier, and if laboratory work and examinations can be conducted on campus later in the spring, they can be on site and participate,” Maria Strand comments.
Members of staff should continue to work from home
Staff are to work from home as much as possible, as we follow to recommendations issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden. Each head of department/division plans the work for the unit and in a dialogue with members of staff decides which work tasks that can be conducted from home and when it is appropriate or necessary to work at one’s regular workplace on campus.
University entrances will continue to be locked and only students and members of staff can enter by using their HiG card.
Here are more information for students