Restrictions during the autumn
Linköping University will begin the transition to on-campus operations at the start of the autumn term, with certain restrictions to prevent the spread of infection of COVID-19. This means, among other things, that priorities must be set with respect to what can continue to take place remotely, and what can be carried out in a more normal manner. It is an expressed objective that new students will be welcomed in the best possible manner and that the start of their university studies will be successful.
The Swedish government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden recommended on 29 May that distance education at institutions of higher education should be rescinded with effect from 15 June. LiU, however, has decided to remain essentially in distance mode until the start of the autumn term. The possibilities for exemption that the university decision of 22 April allows may now, however, be used “with a more generous application” with start on 15 June, in accordance with the recommendations of the authorities.
“We move from distance mode to ‘campus mode’, but we must keep extensive restrictions on operations in place in order to prevent the spread of infection. These restrictions mean that we must set priorities for how teaching can be conducted and how examinations can be held. One aspect of this is that we have decided to hold the remaining exams for the spring term in digital form, and gradually start to open our campuses again from the start of the autumn term”, says University Director Kent Waltersson.
The provisions of the new decision, in brief, are that:
- The decision from 22 April that exams can take place in digital form remains in force until the start of the autumn term.
- From the autumn term, teaching for new students and students taking longer single-subject courses with a high proportion of new students is to be given priority to be conducted on campus.
- Priority is to be given to the use of premises for exams that it is not possible, or that it is unsuitable, to carry out remotely or using digital methods.
- Priority is also to be given for campus mode to operations that cannot be carried out remotely or using digital methods, such as components that are carried out in laboratories or in computer labs.
“With the restrictions that are currently in force, the biggest problem is that of access to premises for teaching, exams and other activity. It is, of course, a limitation that people must sit at a certain distance from each other, and that no more than 50 may be gathered in one place. On the other hand, during the spring we have gained good experience of using digital elements in, for example, teaching, and we will continue to benefit from this experience during the autumn. We will be trying out an increased amount of digital on-campus education”, says team leader Joakim Nejdeby.
The following restrictions apply:
- Social and physical distancing must be applied by all on LiU premises. This means that no more than half of the available area of the premises may be used, and that there must be a distance of two meters between people.
- Groups with more people than the recommendation of the Public Health Agency of Sweden (currently 50 people) may not gather. This means that meetings, events with overnight stays, conferences, seminars, trade fairs, and other events that gather more people than the limit must be cancelled, postponed or held using digital methods.
- Each co-worker is to gradually increase the physical presence at the workplace, following a decision made in consultation with the immediate manager. Co-workers who belong to a risk group or have a member of their household who belongs to a risk group, however, should be given the opportunity of distance work as far as possible.
- All international service-related travel is cancelled until further notice. In addition LiU advises against all service-related travel whose journey time exceeds the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden (currently two hours).
- For students who are not new at the start of the autumn term, on-campus teaching will be interweaved with digital elements or teaching will be conducted completely digitally.
- Students who belong to a risk group or have a member of their household who belongs to a risk group should consult their study guidance counsellor for more information on adapted education.
“We are fully aware that the spring has been demanding in many ways for both students and co-workers. Not only have many people experienced an increased workload, but we all also have a major need to be a part of a social context, to meet others, quite simply, and we have not been able to do this as we are accustomed. The university management would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the work that has been done and the patience that everybody has shown”, says Kent Waltersson.
The faculties now have the task of setting priorities for the return of operations to on-campus education, within the framework of the work of the process council for scheduling and room booking. A working group under the leadership of the deputy vice-chancellor on which students are represented is to analyse as quickly as possible the requirements for greater support and guidance for those organisational units that provide educational and technical support for the execution of teaching and the holding of exams remotely.
The restrictions that have been set for operations will remain in force until 31 October. They may, however, be fully or partially extended into the later part of the autumn term, if necessary.
The official text of the decision (in Swedish) (pdf)
Translated by George Farrants
Last updated: 2020-06-08