COVID-19. The government has announced new measures for higher education institutions to slow down the spread of covid-19. Teaching and examination can take place on campus if risk-reducing measures are taken. Distance education will increase to sparse on campus, but is not a full-time measure.
Gunnar Tobin, Vice Dean of Education at the Sahlgrenska Academy, states that the core activities will still take place on site, but that distance education will be used as a complement to avoid crowding if necessary.
“We have probably all experienced that the balance between infection control measures, maintained teaching and examination quality, and a good work and study environment, has been difficult. I have noticed that there is an increasingly pronounced impatience with regard to the latter, and we were probably many who hoped that we would have approached a normal situation now in the new year. But unfortunately, the spread of infection has had a steep development”, comments Gunnar Tobin.
He notes that the new directives also focus on the core business taking place on site:
“Distance education is not a full-time solution, but a means of thinning out. What we should do, however, is to increase the opportunities for exams, ie give more exams. I know that people in the business have been differently drastic when it comes to sparse. But with the clarifications that come from the rector and from the faculty, I hope that we can get a greater consensus.”
Principal’s decision from 12 January
Due to the high contagion of the omikron variant, the government has notified the higher education institutions of new measures to stop the spread. Rector Eva Wiberg has today, 11 January 2022, made a decision in accordance with the Government’s announcement. This applies from 12 January.
Teaching and examination
- Teaching can take place on site if risk reduction measures are taken. Larger lectures that are not conducted at a distance can be given on several occasions.
- Distance education can be used as a tool to sparse on campus if the quality of education can be maintained, but should not be considered a full-time measure.
- Where possible and appropriate, the person in charge of education can offer hybrid teaching to make it easier for students with symptoms.
Examination and other compulsory parts
- Examinations and other compulsory parts can be carried out on site if risk reduction measures are taken.
- Examinations and compulsory parts can, if possible and appropriate, be carried out on several occasions as a measure to reduce the number of people in a collection. The institutions are encouraged to, where possible and appropriate, add extra opportunities for re-examination.
- In the writing rooms, special risk-reducing measures must be taken. Students must keep their distance in the writing rooms and on their way in and out.
- Dissertations can take place on site with appropriate risk reduction measures.
- Everyone who can should work from home as long as the government’s assignment to authorities for temporary homework remains. The relevant manager decides on the basis of the company’s needs and conditions which employees should be at the workplace.
Larger staff gatherings
- The starting point is that larger staff meetings, meetings and the like should be digital and not on site.
- Risk assessments made for teaching, examination and on-site work must be updated.
- Public gatherings shall only be conducted as long as infection control measures can be taken in accordance with the Public Health Agency’s general advice and recommendations and with the number restrictions specified by the Public Health Agency.
- The university encourages staff and students to accept the offers of vaccination they receive. For employees, it is possible to get vaccinated during working hours.
Keep your distance, stay home in case of symptoms
- It is important that everyone takes their personal responsibility to stop the spread of infection. Students and staff should stay home for symptoms. The university urges employees and students to avoid congestion. This applies to everyone, but especially unvaccinated.
Read further (in Swedish)
- The Public Health Agency of Sweden: Information for organizers of education for adults
- Government: Current measures in the higher education area
- Staff portal: Risk assessment template for risk of infection during teaching and meetings