VICE-CHANCELLOR DECISION. Yesterday, Thursday, the Vice-chancellor announced a policy decision regarding the summer and autumn semesters. It has two scenarios. If the restrictions are eased, the policy will be for students and staff to gradually return to campus. But if the spread of infection continues on a large scale, work will remain largely digital for the upcoming two semesters.
“So far, our staff and students alike have made outstanding contributions, and with the current spread of infection we’ve all got to keep following the present restrictions for now,” says Agneta Holmäng, Dean of Sahlgrenska Academy.
“Today,” she continues, “it’s hard to predict the COVID situation and what national and regional restrictions will apply when the fall semester starts. Much depends on how the vaccination program goes and how much pressure the health care services are under. Since we want to be able to start returning to campus whenever possible, we need to prepare for two different scenarios.”
Return in stages is the aim
Since 22 December 2020, the University has applied stricter restrictions. This has meant that all teaching and examinations must take place digitally and people have to work from home. Exceptions may be made only if there are special reasons, or for work-critical tasks that require staff to be physically present at the workplace.
Two scenarios in new decision
When the restrictions are eased, the University’s objective is to return, in stages, to campus-based activities and staff’s physical presence in the workplace. But as long as most of the restrictions are still in place, the guidelines for the summer and autumn semesters of 2021 are as follows:
- The University will continue to conduct much of its work digitally and at a distance.
- The University will maintain the temporary rule of working at home and current travel restriction.
- In all activities that take place on the University’s premises, everyone — staff, students and members of the public — must keep a distance and avoid crowding.
- All get-togethers and activities must be carried out in such a way as to reduce the spread of infection.
Guidelines for activities
Vice-Chancellor Eva Wiberg made the policy decision Thursday, April 22nd:
“Many are longing for a lifting of the restrictions but please bear in mind, stricter restrictions still apply. However, I think it is important to emphasize that when the circumstances allow it, a gradual return to campus-based activities is the University’s ambition,” says Vice-chancellor Eva Wiberg.
As in previous policy decisions, there are guidelines on which activities should be given priority for spending time on campus.
Martin Lagging, Professor of Clinical Virology, raises some issues regarding vaccination that makes it difficult to predict the situation in the autumn:
“Hopefully the autumn will be calm and we can start to return to a more normal life, but right now there is a lot of uncertainty. Once the basic vaccination has been completed, it is likely that we will need a third dose to cover the new virus variants, especially those originating in South Africa and Brazil. It is also unclear when the planned vaccination of students will be completed.”
- The Staff Portal: Policy decision for the summer and autumn semester 2021
- The Staff Portal: Stricter restrictions at University of Gothenburg
- Region Västra Götaland (Swedish only): Stricter restrictons in Västra Götaland
- Public Health Agency Sweden: Recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19
AV: ULRIKA LUNDIN / ELIN LINDSTRÖM
FOTO: THOMAS JOHANSON / EMELIE ASPLUND / JOHAN WINGBORG