VICE-CHANCELLOR’S DECISION. The Vice-Chancellor has announced the new policy decision that most of the University’s activities will continue online and remotely next semester. The decision was expected and applies until further notice, but it can change depending on how the spread of the virus develops. The Vice-Chancellor will announce a new policy decision no later than April 2021.
The new policy decision from the Vice-Chancellor has been discussed with the deans in the University Management Council.
“The decision means that, in principle, we will continue to adhere to the previous policies, but that we need to be prepared to adjust to changes in official guidelines, depending on how the pandemic develops. Staff will continue working from home whenever possible and most teaching will be done online. We must avoid unnecessary travel and ensure that we always maintain social distancing,” says Dean Agneta Holmäng.
“We are in an extended situation where everyone, staff and students, are tired and frustrated. Still, we know that we must make the best of the situation and continue acting responsibly, even when not at work, to reduce the spread of the infection.”
Stricter general guidelines
The new policy decision applies from the 2021 spring semester. During the autumn semester, the previous policy decision from the Vice-Chancellor remains in effect, as do the adjustments made after the stricter general guidelines were announced for Västra Götaland County.
More information about current guidelines and advice is available in Swedish:
- The Public Health Agency of Sweden: https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/nyheter-och-press/nyhetsarkiv/2020/oktober/beslut-om-skarpta-allmanna-rad-i-stockholms-lan-vastra-gotalands-lan-och-ostergotlands-lan/
- Region Västra Götaland: https://www.vgregion.se/covid-19-corona/
Martin Lagging, professor of clinical virology, has provided regular updates on developments to Sahlgrenska Academy’s management, and he has now been tasked with doing the same for the University Management. Given that the COVID-19 situation has deteriorated sharply in recent weeks, he approves of the new policy decision.
“We are now in a serious situation where both the number of tests, of positive tests and of hospitalizations are increasing. It is increasingly clear that we are entering a second wave though it is unclear how long it will last or how difficult it will be.”
Lagging concludes that developments are dependent on everyone acting responsibly and trying to minimize the risk of becoming infected. Infected individuals also need to minimize the risk of passing the infection on to others. Still, he points out that hope is in sight.
The educational organization at Sahlgrenska Academy had already assumed that most teaching will continue online next semester.
“We had not expected any other decision than the one we have now received. We are prepared to continue with the current teaching situation in the spring. Now, we need to consider how we can prepare to rapidly adjust to new developments, if necessary,” says Silvana Naredi, vice dean of education.
Channel for two-way communication
The REDO Group network, led by Axel Wolf, will continue supporting digitization efforts for the faculty’s teachers during the spring. The group ensures that teachers have the digital tools they need and will be given an expanded assignment to develop digital teaching and learning.
“We need to find a way to increase our two-way communication with students, and this will also be a topic of discussion for the REDO Group. During this last period, the Council for Education has put a lot of time into reaching both teachers and students, and we must all take responsibility for both taking in and sharing the correct information,” says Silvana Naredi.
- Read the Vice-Chancellor’s new policy decision: https://medarbetarportalen.gu.se/News/nyheter-detalj//digitalt-och-distans-aven-under-varterminen.cid1704972
- Read more on the Staff Portal: https://medarbetarportalen.gu.se/aktuellt/coronaviruset/varterminen-2021/
TEXT: ELIN LINDSTRÖM