New decision by the Vice-Chancellor. Online teaching in the first half of the spring semester, 2021

2020-12-15 

Teaching should primarily be conducted online in the first half of the spring semester. Our Vice-Chancellor Ylva Fältholm has taken a new decision.

At the beginning of November, the Vice-Chancellor decided that teaching in the spring should be conducted in the previously announced format; campus-based teaching should primarily be conducted on campus, like in the autumn semester.

A few weeks later, at the end of November, the spread of the virus had increased and the Government, the Public Health Agency of Sweden and local authorities announced new stricter regulations. The University switched back to online teaching again on 19 November and will continue with online teaching in study period three in the spring semester, that is between 18 January and 28 March.

“We can now see that there is an increase in the spread of the virus in our region and in the nation, and this means that we need to do everything in our power to reduce the number of new COVID-19 cases,” Ylva Fältholm says. “We have a grave obligation to follow regulations and recommendations issued by the authorities. “

New decisions no later than 1 March

This decision applies to teaching during the first half of the spring term, for what is called study period three. A decision for study period four, running between 29 March until 6 June, will be taken no later than 1 March. Hopefully, more course components can be conducted on campus during the latter half of the spring term, provided that the spread of the virus has decreased.

”When I have been in contact with different units, I have understood that most of them had already made plans on the basis of these conditions. Everyone who follows daily updates in media from the Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden has been able to draw the conclusion that there are no other choices than to operate online as far as possible right now,” Ylva Fältholm says.

Certain course components may have to be conducted on campus

From January until March, the same regulations as today will apply. Face-to-face meetings may need to be conducted on campus for the quality assurance of an examination or other components; a certain type of room or equipment may be required for an examination. A limited number of written hall examinations can be carried out on campus, but a decision by a head of faculty is required and current restrictions and recommendations to limit transmission of the infection must be followed.

No international exchanges

A decision regarding international exchanges based on agreements with partner higher education institutions has been taken. There will be no international exchanges during the spring semester. The decision concerns around 30 students from abroad who should have begun studying at University of Gävle and a handful of students who were supposed to go abroad to other higher education institutions.

Students who wanted an international exchange opportunity may have one later one, when more travelling is possible again.

International study programmes at University of Gävle, for example MBA programmes and the programme International social work, follow general recommendations stating that all teaching should be primarily online. This means that students required to pay fees, so-called “free movers,” will also have to prepare for online teaching.

University entrances will continue to be locked, but students can enter by using their HiG card and study on campus.

Below you will find a list of current decisions taken by the Vice-Chancellor. All apply until no later than 28 March, 2021

  • All teaching should primarily be conducted online.
  • Necessary face-to-face meetings on campus can be conducted, for example if a certain type of room or equipment is required, or for quality assurance of an examination. Heads of faculty make the decision.
    - If a course component needs to be carried out on campus, everyone must follow recommendations about keeping a safe distance and other pieces of advice to ensure that we limit the spread of the virus
    - A limited number of written hall examinations can be carried out on campus, if current restrictions and recommendations are followed. A decision by the head of faculty is required.
  • After consultation with the head of faculty, examiners can decide to change examination formats to heed coronavirus-related restrictions.
  • Central coordination of campus-based course components, aimed to avoid crowds on campus to limit the spread of COVID-19, will be carried out in consultation with heads of faculty.
  • The Division of Educational Support can decide that a student belonging to a risk group requires an individual room for a written examination.
  • International exchanges based on agreements with partner higher education institutions will not be conducted.

More information

  • What happens if a student has symptoms or falls ill?
    If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual will be given medical advice by the health care centre. If the University learns that a student who has participated in teaching or examination on campus has contracted COVID-19, the University Coordination Committee will contact students and teachers who may have been in close contact with that student via e-mail. This e-mail will provide information about what to do next.

    If several students in the same group have contracted COVID-19 (a cluster), the University will contact the region medical officer at Region Gävleborg who will decide what measures that need to be taken.

    If you as a lecturer/course coordinator are asked questions by students who consider themselves to belong to a risk group, you can refer them the Student Centre, studentcentrum@hig.se. The Division of Educational Support will take decisions, arrange practical matters and respond to the students’ questions. We follow the National Board of Health and Welfare’s definition of “risk group.”

    As always, students and staff must stay at home if they have symptoms of an infection and maintain a safe distance on campus.
  • What is the infection rate on campus?
    The University Coordination Committe for COVID-19 will be informed if individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 decide to inform us or if they are encouraged to inform us by the health care services. We are informed by the individual who has contracted COVID-19, by managers or by student associations. So far, a few students and members of staff have contracted the virus, according to our information. In the cases known to us, the transmission of COVID-19 has not been related to contacts here on campus.

    The University is in contact with the regional medical officer in Region Gävleborg to receive advice regarding virus transmission issues.
  • What are the current University opening hours?
    All entrances at the University campus will be locked as of Monday 23 November. Staff and students use their HiG cards to enter. Regular opening hours apply.
    University opening hours
    It-support and Learning center
    Library

Text: Tommy Löfgren

Published by: Anna-Carin Skytt Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2020-12-15
Högskolan i Gävle
www.hig.se
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)