The University of Gothenburg starts the autumn 2020 term remotely
In order to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, the University of Gothenburg will start the autumn term with the same general restrictions that are already in place. This means that remote studies will continue at least until 31 October, at the earliest. This was decided by the Vice-Chancellor on Monday.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic's development and what restrictions from the government and other authorities will be in effect in mid-August, students and staff need the best possible conditions to be able to plan for the autumn term. On Monday, 11 May, Vice-Chancellor Eva Wiberg therefore made the policy decision that the autumn semester will start with continued, but adapted, restrictions.
“The University’s internal recommendations are based on responsible authorities’, as well as governmental and parliamentary, decisions. This means that we have to plan ahead based on the current situation. It also means that staff and students must plan and be prepared to adapt quickly to new decisions. This, regardless of whether those decisions mean returning to a more normal situation or needing to do even more,” says Eva Wiberg.
Remote studies and no studies abroad
The autumn semester will start with continued, but adapted, restrictions. Regular education at the University of Gothenburg will, as a general rule, be conducted as remote studies, at least until 31 October.
In order to ensure education quality, exceptions can be made for teaching and examination elements that require physical presence. The course components that are to be prioritised are examinations that cannot be conducted remotely, teaching elements with aesthetic, practical and laboratory elements that cannot be conducted in an alternative fashion, as well as job placement training and field studies that cannot be carried out in any other way.
In these exceptions, precautions to reduce the spread of infection shall be taken. When prioritising exemptions, precedence should be given to introductory course components for new students as well as to students who are studying in their final academic year.
Furthermore, as a general rule, the University does not permit studies and internships abroad during the autumn semester 2020.
Newly-admitted international students should be offered temporary remote studies for the entirety of the autumn semester, as an alternative to campus studies. This means that coursework may need to be prepared and provided in different and parallel forms during the latter half of the autumn term.
Continued remote work for staff
Since the middle of March, the majority of the University’s staff have been working from home. In order to help fight the spread of the contagion, staff shall continue to do so after the summer, to the extent possible. When the national restrictions are eased, an adjusted return to the regular workplace should be conducted as soon as possible.
As a general rule, current restrictions and recommendations for foreign and domestic travel, conferences, meetings and visits remain in place.
“The transition to remote studies and temporary remote work went impressively fast and we did it well. But it is tiring to readjust. It takes time to find new forms of study and work,” says Eva Wiberg.
“Remote lectures and meetings work, but I don’t think I’m the only one who looks forward to a time when we can meet “for real” again. In order to keep our spirits up we must remember why we do this. The contagion must be slowed, and by studying and working digitally we contribute to this.”
New standpoint by 1 September, at the latest
The spread of the pandemic causes conditions to change rapidly, and restrictions and recommendations can be added or removed. Therefore, the Vice-Chancellor will present a new standpoint for the rest of the autumn term by 1 September. Regarding the spring term 2021, a new standpoint is planned for 1 November.