Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 1 July 2020)

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Degree projects, exams and public defences

(Updated: 17 June 2020, 15:15).

Degree projects

Degree projects and independent projects is project work that, with the exception of one-to-one tutor sessions and supervision, is conducted individually. These are therefore regarded in the corresponding manner as the research work conducted by doctoral students at Umeå University. The same goes for project work carried out by exchange students within, for instance, Erasmus+.

With regards to contamination, the individual work carried out in projects do not cause any significantly increased risk of spreading disease between a large number of individuals. The Vice-Chancellor has decided that considerations must be made regarding if alternative forms of carrying out work that does not include physical presence in the university can take place, to allow such project work that requires presence in university premises.

Read the entire decision COVID-19 and its effects on university degree projects, independent projects and project work within Erasmus+

Examination

In general, the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s guidelines about social distancing must be taken into consideration and the Government’s prohibition of public gatherings of more than 50 people must be respected also in terms of examinations. This means that the opportunity of carrying out written examinations in halls or other examinations involving physical presence can be affected.

The Vice-Chancellor has decided to extend the validity of the decision Deviations from course syllabus to prevent further spreading of COVID-19 (FS 3.1.4-667-20) until 17 January 2021. This means that deviations may be made from established formats of teaching and examination in course syllabi to the extent necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The person who normally makes decision on course syllabi and examination also makes decisions of necessary deviations and ensures that the decision is well-documented and archived.

In those cases where an examination requires access to a computer or internet connection, students must be offered such aids that allow them to participate from a technical perspective.

Learn more about the retake exams this August below.

Rescheduling examinations

If it is necessary, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it can be allowed to schedule an examination session outside of the time frame of the course. Such a decision must be used considerably restrictively, and the examination session must be scheduled for a time as close to the original session as possible. First and foremost, the time frame within which the course is offered must be adhered to, which can mean that the examination session may be scheduled earlier than normal.

If an examination session is rescheduled, the course coordinating department must ensure that the examination session does not coincide with teaching on following courses. The person who makes decisions on necessary rescheduling of examinations is responsible for ensuring that the decision is documented, registered in the registry and that students concerned are informed. A student representative must, whenever practically possible, be consulted before a decision is reached.

Retake exams in August 2020

As a result of the University being allowed to return to campus-based education from 15 June 2020, Umeå University has new guidelines regarding retakes in August 2020.

  • Departments must, if possible, adapt their retakes so they can be carried out remotely to prevent the spread of disease.
  • If it is not possible to carry out the retake remotely, departments can hold the retake according to the examination format stated in the syllabus.

The following applies to examination halls with the intention of preventing the spread of disease

  • To the extent possible, large crowds of students in the examination hall must be avoided, and the maximum number of 50 people in each hall must not be exceeded.
  • The distance between seats in examination halls must be increased where necessary.
  • If possible, activities and examination formats including close contact between people must be avoided, in for instance practical examinations.

Departments are urged to report the need for hall exams both prior to the retake exams and for the autumn semester as early as possible so that the Exam Services can plan for staffing and spreading out the exams.

Departments also need to be prepared that retakes may need to take place at another time or through another examination format if the Government or the Public Health Agency of Sweden would again recommend online teaching.

The study administrative group is currently working on compiling a list of decisions that need to be revised and extended.

Adapted examinations

All written examinations or other types of examinations that include physical meetings are cancelled, postponed or replaced with other forms of assessment that do not include physical meetings.

If the course syllabus states that a course must be assessed through a campus-based or other form of written examination that cannot be conducted under these new circumstances, the Vice-Chancellor has decided that deviations from the forms of assessment stated in the syllabus can be made to reduce the risk of further spreading COVID-19. Read the decision.

The Vice-Chancellor has decided that deans can grant dispensation from the Decision regarding the development of the spread of COVID-19 (FS 1.1-677-20) to carry out single practical teaching components for certain educations, if these practical components cannot be replaced with other methods, and if the number of participants is limited to handle the risk of spreading the disease. Such granted dispensations must be reported in writing to the Deputy University Director Per Ragnarsson. Read the decision.

 

Adapting examinations

If the course syllabus states that a course must be assessed through a campus-based or other form of written examination that cannot be conducted under these new circumstances, the Vice-Chancellor has decided that deviations from the examination format stated in the syllabus can be made to reduce the risk of further spreading COVID-19.

Recommendations have been compiled to help those who need to adapt examinations due to COVID-19.

Recommendations on adapting examinations

Read the Decision to make deviations from course syllabus

Possibility to grant dispensation for practical course components

The Vice-Chancellor has decided that deans can grant dispensation from the Decision regarding the development of the spread of COVID-19 (FS 1.1-677-20) to carry out single practical teaching components for certain educations, if these practical components cannot be replaced with other methods, and if the number of participants is limited to handle the risk of spreading the disease. Granted exceptions must be reported in writing to the Deputy University Director Per Ragnarsson. This decision is valid until 30 June.

Read Possibility to grant dispensation for practical course components

Documenting deviations from a course and programme syllabi and postponing a course instance

The Student Services Office has established a guide and a template describing how to document decisions to deviate from course and programme syllabi. All guides and templates are available in both Swedish and English.

Guide and template for deviations from course syllabi

Guide and template for deviations from a programme syllabus and postponing a course instance

Read Deviations from course syllabus to prevent further spreading of COVID-19

Read Deviations from programme syllabi and postponement of courses to prevent further spreading of COVID-19

Communication of examination results

Students concerned must be notified of their examination results being considerably delayed in the case that the examiner, under the current circumstances due to COVID-19, cannot announce the results within the given time frame. The Vice-Chancellor has decided to allow these deviations from the current rules for spring semester 2020.

Read Deviation from the rule of communicating examination results

Live monitoring but no recording allowed via Zoom for examination purposes

When Zoom is used in education and for examination of students, the University has legal support for personal data processing. The personal data processed in Zoom are Umu-id, name, role and email address. There is an existing data processor agreement with Sunet for Zoom.

Hence, the only thing you need to consider when using Zoom is to not process sensitive personal data or confidential information (for instance in video chat forums). GDPR, however, is no hindrance for using Zoom, but students ought to be informed about the processing of personal data.

When it comes to recording students (in their homes or other non-campus locations) via Zoom, this goes against the General Data Protection Regulation and is not allowed. But monitoring students during an examination through a streamed virtual meeting that does not record is allowed.

Learn more

Read the recommendations for adapted examinations

Personal data processing when teaching and examining remotely

Read more about the principles for university processing of personal data

Contact the university data protection officer

Public defences of doctoral theses

Faculties have decided on the details for how to hold public defences of doctoral theses. Those concerned will receive information from the respective faculty. If you have any questions, please contact your faculty.

Posting ceremonies have previously been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, the Umeå University Library is now allowing bookings for posting ceremonies again. Ceremonies must have no more than 50 participants and social distancing must be respected. The electronic posting through DiVA must still take place at least three weeks before the public defence of the doctoral thesis.

Find out more about doctoral studies on the page Doctoral studies.