No change of plans for the autumn semester at Umeå University
The Public Health Agency of Sweden has lifted its recommendation that higher education should be conducted online. At the same time, it will still be important to maintain distance, meet in small groups and not mix groups this autumn. The plan the university decided on in April – involving a gradual return to campus during the autumn semester – still follows the guidelines and is hence still valid.
Text: Anna Lawrence
The Public Health Agency of Sweden has changed its national guidelines aimed to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and in doing so, universities can again conduct on-campus teaching. This is positive news signalling that the pandemic is heading in the right direction.
At the same time, the Public Health Agency of Sweden has announced that it will still be important to maintain distance and to meet in small groups in summer and beginning of the autumn. Consequently, the university has been told that the return to on-campus teaching must take place gradually and with consideration for the regional rate of infection and vaccination.
Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson says that Umeå University appreciates the opportunity to teach onsite, but that health and safety must come first.
Hans Adolfsson, Vice Chancellor of Umeå University
“The new announcement shows that the authorities understand how important university operations are in society. And as a university, we want nothing more than to see our campuses full of students again. Simultaneously, we safeguard the health of our students and staff. That is why we will welcome all our students back to university premises when the regional rate of infection and vaccination allows,” says Hans Adolfsson.
In April, Umeå University decided on a gradual return to campus during the autumn semester starting off by offering on-campus teaching for beginner students on study programmes, while other students primarily carry on with online teaching until 29 September.
This plan is well in accordance with the information provided by the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Ministry of Education and Research and hence no revision of that decision will take place just yet. A new assessment about teaching during the autumn semester and other measures for visiting campus, events and similar will be made in mid to late August.
How the gradual return to campus will take place has not yet been established, and no decision has been made regarding how education will take place after 29 September.
Consequences on students
This means that students still need to plan to be present at their study destination this autumn semester, and that students need to be prepared for rapid transitions in the teaching format based on what the situation will allow and what teachers deem possible.
Students taking summer courses at Umeå University can count on continued online teaching to the extent that has been planned. No changes will be made this summer based on the announcement made by the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
If you have questions or comments about the university’s information or handling of COVID-19, please contact the Crisis Management Team on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions regarding your studies, please contact your teacher or department. Please note, you will receive more information from your teachers as soon as it is possible.