The university has nurtured hopes to gradually be able to return to on-campus activities during the autumn semester. From the start of the autumn semester, beginner students on study programmes can already be offered on-site education.
Today, the Vice-Chancellor also decided to further open up campus from 30 September – and from this day, on-site education with physical attendance will be possible for all campus students. An English translation of the decision will be available shortly.
Hans Adolfsson, Vice-Chancellor
The decision has been reached in consultation with the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten and in dialogue with deans, student representatives and other representatives of the organisation, states Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson:
"When our medical advisors at Region Västerbotten now assess that campus can open up for more students, we are pleased to use that possibility as we know how important on-site education is to our students."
Each department sets the pace of the return to campus this autumn
Hans Adolfsson is careful to point out that the new decision, covering the middle period of the autumn semester, does not set any requirements on teachers to remold an already planned setup and go from online teaching to on-site teaching with such short notice.
To what extent the return to campus can be implemented at Umeå University from 30 September and onwards is hence completely up to the assessments made by the departments and the individual study programmes and courses. This makes it important that each education keeps its students updated on how the plan and schedule is updated.
Work from home until the national recommendations say otherwise
The university follows the recommendations issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Government stating that as many people as possible should work from home. This means that working from home still applies for work tasks that can be carried out from home until the national recommendations change.
At the same time, more activities and students on campus also mean that more staff need to be on-site. Hence, it is up to each manager to assess what work tasks need to be carried out at the workplace.
"When we are reopening campus, it would have been satisfying and fair to not just let students return to a more normal situation, but also ease the restrictions for employees. But so far, the national recommendations state that employees should work from home to the extent possible. If the Public Health Agency of Sweden removes this recommendation in their general advice prior to 1 November, and if the local spread of infection allows, Umeå University will take the chance to change this measure," says Hans Adolfsson.
The Vice-Chancellor hopes to see all employees back on campus this autumn
The decision regarding COVID-19 measures for the period of 30 September until 1 November means that several measures are removed or altered for the better.
The point on avoiding to visiting university premises is removed. The opportunity to carry out necessary business travel is opened up after 30 September, the same applies to the possibility of conducting some meetings in person with a few and the same participants if they can be carried out safely.
"It will still be very important that we follow the communicable disease control measures that apply. We must be aware that the pandemic is far from over. New clusters and new variants of the virus can make the autumn take new and unexpected turns," says Hans Adolfsson.
"But overall, the development is positive, and my hopes are still to be able to see all employees on campus this autumn. Eye-to-eye meetings are necessary to maintain the dynamic and warm culture that signifies this university," he concludes.
Plan remains for the start of the autumn semester
Due to the currently high spread of infection locally, the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten recommends the university to maintain its plan for the start of the autumn semester. This means that on-site education is limited to beginner students on study programmes, that work is primarily conducted from home and that meetings are held online until the end of September. No changes have been made to what was communicated earlier.
Remind yourself of what applies to the period of 30 August until 29 September