The uncertainty factors linked to the spread of the infection and the vaccination rate were important considerations when the Vice-Chancellor’s made the decision regarding teaching in the beginning of the autumn. The decision that the University will continue with primarily online teaching applies to the first study period: 30 August to 7 November.
“This decision is based on what we know today,” says Vice-Chancellor Ylva Fältholm. “Should the situation change, we may be able to open up a little more, but we can’t say today.”
Continued high rate of spread in Gävleborg
“The decision is made partly because we still see a high rate of spread both nationally and in Gävleborg County, and partly since it is uncertain how long it will take before most of Sweden’s adult population will be fully vaccinated,” says Maria Strand, head of the Division of Educational Support and chair of the University’s coordination committee regarding the pandemic. “We have been in contact with the infection control unit in Gävleborg region prior to this decision.”
“We must continue to take responsibility as a university to counteract the effects of the pandemic and to create as safe environments as possible on campus. Reducing the spread of infection is everyone’s responsibility,” Maria Strand continues.
Each faculty management group decides if teaching activities are to be campus-based
The decision to continue to adapt teaching to COVID-19 by offering primarily online teaching does open for certain teaching activities to be conducted on campus. Obligatory components in teaching and examination that cannot be carried out online can be conducted on campus. It may, for example, be the case that special equipment or special premises are required. In certain cases, written examinations can be carried out on campus. Teaching or examinations that are to be carried out on campus require a decision by the dean of faculty.
“It remains important that we follow all recommendations from the authorities about physical distance and hand hygiene. Moreover, you mustn’t visit campus if you have the slightest symptoms of illness” Maria Strand says.
International exchanges can be resumed
Exchanges for students at University of Gävle can be carried out provided that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not advise against travel to the intended country. Moreover, an agreement with the receiving partner university is required. Exchange activities for students from partner universities can be carried out; the decision on primarily online teaching applies to these students, as well as to so-called "free movers".
The Vice-Chancellor thanks everyone for their excellent work
“I would like thank everyone for their excellent work so far during the pandemic,” Ylva Fältholm says. “We have now been living with this situation for more than a year and, unfortunately, we don’t see the end yet. Of course, I long for the day when we ourselves fully decide how we will conduct our teaching and all other activities. Hopefully, that day will come sometime in the autumn and then we can benefit from the lessons we have learned during this pandemic. Until then, we must continue to be patient and do our best to maintain job satisfaction and motivation.”
Campus is open to students
Previous decisions stating that teaching will primarily be conducted online, and that staff should work from home, until the end of the re-examination period in August still apply.
Campus, including the Library, is only open to staff and students studying at University of Gävle.
Decisions on teaching in study period two, during the latter part of the autumn semester, will be made no later than August.