Corona: Decision on teaching format in the spring semester

2020-11-05 

The Vice-chancellor has taken the decision that courses and programmes will be taught in the announced format, but with adaptations to the pandemic. Course modules that can’t be carried out safely will be taught remotely.

The decision means that basically the same guidelines used for the autumn semester will apply. Below, updated information regarding the ongoing autumn semester is provided.

“Predicting what the situation will be like in the spring is of course hard, but after consideration I take the view that we will be able to carry on in basically the same way as we have been doing now this autumn semester with a mix between campus and web-based teaching,” says Vice-Chancellor Ylva Fältholm.

The University follows decisions by and recommendations from the Swedish Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden, which means that this decision may need to be adapted during the semester.

Campus-based programmes will be taught on campus if possible

The decision means that campus-based programmes and courses will be taught on campus, if coronavirus-related restrictions allow them to be. However, campus-based course components may be taught remotely.

“Priority is given to degree programme students in their first year, to examinations and to obligatory course components when we plan campus teaching,” Ylva Fältholm says.

Some programmes and courses that normally are taught remotely contain campus-based course components, and some of these course components may be taught remotely, if they cannot be carried out safely due to the pandemic.

The decision on how to conduct teaching in the spring semester means that campus-based courses do not need to be offered in a web-based teaching format.

International exchanges can be offered

The University opens up for our international campus-based programmes again, but this decision depends on how the pandemic develops in Sweden and in other countries. Students required to pay fees may be reimbursed within 21 days from the first day without having to pay the administrative fee. This applies only to students admitted to a programme in the spring of 2021.

International exchanges (Erasmus, Linnaeus Palme and Minor Fields Studies) will be offered
in the spring semester of 2021. However, before a decision can be taken, we need to make sure that exchanges follow recommendation from MFA.

The decision for the spring semester applies from 18 January until 6 June 2021.

A decision regarding summer courses will be taken at the end of January

Teaching and examination will be carried out according to plan in the autumn semester

In the autumn semester, teaching in campus-based courses and programmes are taught in a special mix: both on campus and, in certain cases, remotely. The University’s teaching and examination will be carried out according to our earlier plan, even though the Public Health Agency of Sweden has issued stricter general recommendations for some regions: Uppsala, Stockholm, Västra Götaland and Skåne. Both Uppsala and Skåne state that the recommendations are not intended to prevent people from going to work or studies that require people to be on site.

Swedish authorities’ website for crisis information, krisinformation.se, states that people with no symptoms can travel in Sweden, but everyone should keep a distance to others and avoid congestion.

Students who are unable to participate in teaching for different reasons can try to make up for their absence by contacting fellow students or, if possible, the course coordinator. If a student cannot be present at an examination, the student will have to wait for the re-take.

University of Gävle is engaged in a dialogue with the county medical officer in Region Gävleborg regarding possible local restrictions.

Minister encourages students to take responsibility

Matilda Ernkrans, Minister for Higher Education and Research, visited University of Gävle last week, and she encourages students and the public to continue to take responsibility and to avoid exposing themselves or others to risk sin connection with the pandemic.

The minister notices that in some parts students have gone back to “normal”, and it has been established that students’ parties have increased the spread of the virus.

“Take full responsibility. You are grown-ups. You are exposing other people to risks,” the minister said.

Matilda Ernkrans praises Swedish higher education institutions and the students for having made the transition to adapted teaching and examination with such proficiency. However, she stressed that we can’t relax when it comes to taking responsibility for our behaviour and that is true for our free time as well.

Campus hosts to limit congestion

The University Coordination Committe for Pandemic-related Measures has decided to introduce so-called “campus hosts” next week. Their goal is to find out when and where there is crowding and then urge, remind and encourage students to keep a safe distance.

“We have noticed that there is some congestion during breaks and around entrances,” Maria Strand says. “We receive questions regarding this issue, and for this reason, we will try to introduce campus host for a few hours a couple of days a week.”

Primarily, campus hosts will be on site from just before 10 am until 1 pm, when many people are here on campus.

University of Gävle continues to follow the 50-person limit rule. A maximum number of 50 people are allowed to gather together in, for example, a lecture hall. Many lecture halls have floor markings and use rope barriers to show you where you may sit. The 50-person limit rule applies until the end of the autumn semester.

Here are some important points regarding the spread of virus and some recommendations that we would like to remind you about:

  • What happens if several students fall ill?
    If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual will be given medical advice by the health care centre. If the University learns that several students in the same group have contracted COVID-19, the University will contact the county medical officer at Region Gävleborg who will decide what measures that may need to be taken.
  • Stay at home if you are ill, even if you only have mild symptoms of an infection. Stay at home for two symptom-free days after your recovery. If you fall ill on campus, go home immediately.
  • On campus, there are posters and signs, hand sanitisers and markings. Please mind floor markings and physical barriers in common areas and in lecture halls. Seating in lecture halls and seminar rooms, dining halls and cafes and in other spaces should be organised in such a way to enable everyone to maintain a safe distance. It is important that we all follow recommendations and guidelines.
  • Be considerate – keep your distance at all times.
  • Avoid crowds in halls and around all entrances.
  • Mind the recommendation for maximal number of students in the student dining areas where you can heat up your own food. If the room is full, find another place to sit after you have heated your own food in the microwave oven.
  • Wash your hands often and carefully. There are hand sanitisers in many locations around campus. Please don’t move the bottles. Your friends would like to use them, too.
  • Cough and sneeze into the into your elbow.

More information

Information concerning which course components that will be taught on campus and which ones that will be taught online will be provided by your lecturer or your course coordinator. We try to prioritise our new students and give them as good a start as possible.

You can turn to studentcentrum@hig.se if you have more questions or if you belong to a risk group. The Swedish Government has defined the risk groups. (webpage in Swedish)

More information which concerns you as a new student can be found here: hig.se/newstudent

University of Gävle follows all recommendations issued by The Public Health Agency of Sweden:

TEXT: Tommy Löfgren

Published by: Anna-Carin Skytt Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2020-11-05
Högskolan i Gävle
www.hig.se
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)