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Published: 03 Jun, 2020

Gradual return to campus this autumn

NEWS Swedish universities have been given the Government go-ahead to return to campus-based education, with some disease preventative measures. For Umeå University, this means that we are now better able to plan for courses and activities this autumn semester, and that our campuses will open again for students in August. The new information also means that students from other places are allowed to travel to Umeå for their studies and that retake exams can be adapted to the new situation.

Text: Camilla Bergvall

Umeå University’s premises have been closed to students since 18 March and teaching has been carried out remotely. Last week, Swedish universities got the go-ahead from the Swedish Government to conduct campus-based teaching from 15 June. This means that Umeå University’s premises will be open to students from 10 August, and that this autumn’s teaching will be able to follow a more normal routine on campus. The new guidelines also mean that students are allowed to travel to Umeå to study.

Umeå University is taking precautions to follow the recommendations and prohibitions by the Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden related to COVID-19. This means that a maximum group size of 50 people needs to be respected. And to abide by the social distancing rules, seating in lecture halls and group study rooms will be spaced out. Furthermore, no public events will be carried out for the rest of the year.

To reduce the number of people on campus, the University Management urges staff to continue working remotely this autumn semester to the extent possible and with tasks that can be carried out remotely. Also, physical meetings should be replaced with other alternatives as far as possible.

The announcement from the Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden is valid until further notice, and if the recommendations change, Umeå University will need to adjust the guidelines.

Guidelines for Umeå University

Summer courses will be taught online
The decision to conduct online teaching for the 2020 summer courses remains. However, a new instruction is that parts of a course may be held on campus if needed and if practically feasible.

Campus doors open in August
Most of the university doors will be opened again from 10 August. This goes for public buildings, group study rooms and study areas. Nevertheless, these spaces will be adapted to social distancing to the extent possible. The University Library and the Medical Library will return to normal summer opening hours. Please note that certain buildings may need to be locked for longer. Students who need to access buildings sooner can contact Infocenter or their course coordinator.

Travels within Sweden
Students who study at another location than their normal place of residence are allowed to travel to their place of study. For staff, a restrictive approach to domestic travels still needs to be adhered to. This includes workplace planning days and conferences.

Autumn lectures and retake exams
Lectures for large groups of students should as far as possible be held online. Until the end of the autumn semester it is possible to switch between campus-based and online teaching formats. For this autumn semester, students taking their first and final semesters will be prioritised for campus-based teaching. This means that staff are urged to book their halls, labs and similar as early as possible. (Link: Book this autumn’s premises focusing on students on their first and final semesters)

Retake exams in August should primarily be conducted remotely. If this is not possible, the retake can be carried out according to the examination format stated in the syllabus. For instance in the form of written examinations in the Eastern Pavilions Examination Halls or other suitable premises. The examination halls open on 15 August.

Work from home when possible
For staff, the recommendation to partially or fully work from home remains when it comes to work tasks that can be performed remotely. This is to reduce the number of people on campus. Being restrictive in having physical meeting also includes workplace meetings and planning days, conferences and public events. Naturally however, when campus opens again in August, some members of staff will be required to return to their workplace.

More detailed information can be found on:
Information regarding COVID-19