Last December, the Vice-Chancellor took a policy decision that campus-based courses and programmes would mainly be taught on campus during the spring semester. However, due to an increase in the spread of infection in late December and early January, the Public Health Agency and the government issued new recommendations. These opened up for online teaching alternatives and staff at the University were also encouraged to work from home whenever possible, if the activities allowed and if quality could be maintained.
However, the Prime Minister has now announced that it is "time to open up Sweden again." Higher education institutions should thus gradually return to campus teaching and employers should plan for a return to the workplace for their employees.
Courses and programmes will be taught as originally announced
For the University, this means that programmes, courses, and examinations will be carried out in the form of distribution stated in the syllabus.
Accordingly, teaching and examinations will be carried out as originally planned. For example, this applies to written examinations. In distance learning courses, planned "on-campus days" and written examinations on campus will be carried out on campus.
“This is very pleasing news from the authorities,” says Vice-Chancellor Ylva Fältholm. “Now, we can begin a gradual return to ‘normal’ operations at the University after two years of pandemic. At the same time, it is important to point out that the spread of infection is not over. It is still important to be vaccinated and to stay at home if you have symptoms of an infection.”
The return must be completed no later than 28 March
A gradual return to on-campus teaching means that teachers and course coordinators must have time to plan for this return if online alternatives have been implemented. While a return to on-campus teaching is possible now, it may, for planning reasons, take some time. By 28 March at the latest, when study period four will begin, teaching must be carried out in the way originally announced for each programme or course.
“Now, we can stop making pandemic-related adjustments to teaching, which have characterised activities at the start of the spring semester,” Ylva Fältholm says.
The University will open up for public gatherings and conferences on campus
When study period four begins on 28 March, it will also be possible to hold public gatherings and conferences on campus, without any restrictions, for example the Open House for secondary schools and student labour market days.
"Of course, we hope that this will mean the end of restrictions, recommendations, and adaptions of our working methods due to the pandemic," says Maria Strand, chair of the coordination committee for pandemic-related measures at University of Gävle. “Now, we can start planning for a return to teaching and working on campus. However, we should be proud and pleased with the development of our digital working methods. These are lessons that we can benefit from even after the pandemic.”
Staff back on campus by 1 March
For staff at the University, the line manager is responsible for how the work should be carried out in each department/division and will make detailed plans for the return to working on campus. Until 14 February, there is a special mandate for government agencies to allow employees to work from home as far as possible, if the activities allow and quality can be maintained. After 14 February, staff should be back at their regular workplace. On 1 March, the return to working on campus should be completed.
The most important recommendations for individuals in Sweden remain
- Get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Stay at home and avoid close contact with others when you suspect that you have COVID-19.
- Unvaccinated people should still keep a safe distance from others and avoid crowds indoors
Employees can ask questions to the University Coordination Committee via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Students who have questions should contact their teacher or course coordinator or email@example.com
More information from the Public Health Agency
De flesta åtgärder mot covid-19 upphör den 9 februari