Vice-Chancellor: Get yourself vaccinated
In an email distributed to LiU students on Thursday, Vice-Chancellor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson urges all students to get themselves vaccinated, such that it will be possible to meet on campus for the autumn term.
A return in stages to on-campus teaching and exams is planned for the autumn term.
On 1 June, we decided that we can start to return to campus-based activities when the autumn term starts. It is, of course, marvellous that we are approaching the end of a long pandemic. All of us want to return to campus. But we can’t open our campuses completely from the first day of term. The return will take place in stages, in order to avoid a setback in the form of an increased rate of infection, and to ensure that we maintain the quality of teaching and exams.
The decision means that we take into consideration the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the plan that has been drawn up for a return to more normal conditions in Sweden. Thus, for example, the advice that institutions of higher education use remote teaching methods has been withdrawn.
LiU will activate pandemic level 2 on 1 August. This means that we will continue to use a remote methods to a certain degree, and that we must continue to avoid congestion, wash our hands, and stay at home if we feel at all sick. Vaccinations are being carried out at a reasonably high rate, but it is unlikely that all young people in Sweden will have received theirs at the beginning of term.
It is now the responsibility of the management team for each course to determine the correct forms for the stagewise return to campus-based activity. The past year has taught us that the realignment of teaching, setting up the timetable, and switching teaching methods between those used for distance teaching and those used on campus all take time. For this reason, each course management team has the possibility to continue to use remote methods for teaching, fully or partially, until all restrictions have been withdrawn. What is most important is to ensure that the quality of our teaching is maintained.
This means that your teacher may “attend” using digital methods, even if you will be able to come to campus to a greater degree. LiU will equip all our group rooms with video conferencing equipment during the autumn, to make it easier for students to meet other students.Teaching for larger groups, such as large-scale lectures, will take place using remote methods.
Exams will also return in stages to on-campus mode. This will be determined by the teacher and examiner. Thus, many exams during the initial phase of the autumn term will take place using remote methods. Examiners will also decide whether resits will be carried out remotely or not. When exams are carried out as written exams in an exam hall, they will be held in a manner that is as safe as possible with respect to the spread of infection.
Many of us are delighted that our campuses can open to an increasing degree. Some students and teachers, however, feel anxious about the possibility of infection spreading. If you feel anxious and would like to discuss your study situation, contact your study adviser.
Finally, a few words about the reception activities for new students in the autumn term. These will follow guidelines drawn up by a working group with members from the student unions and representatives for LiU as a whole. In brief, the guidelines say that we will be able to have physical meetings in somewhat more open reception activities than last autumn, but it is still important to avoid congestion and the risk of spreading infection.
We will continue our wonderful tradition of giving a warm welcome to campus where the sections and student unions help to create a great atmosphere and a good start for all new students – we just have to adapt the reception activities to the current situation again this year. It’s great that we can welcome students and co-workers back to campus – even if we can’t return to full campus activity with everyone at the same time, yet. But we’ll soon be able to! In the meantime, we must follow the recommendations from official bodies and keep it up and keep going. And we should all get vaccinated: take the first shot already this summer (if you have the opportunity, no matter where you are), and Region Östergötland will look after the second shot for you when you get back.
Have a wonderful summer, and we’ll see you in the autumn term!
Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, Vice-Chancellor
Last updated: 2021-07-02