Due to a rapid increase in infection, new national COVID measures have been introduced from 12 January, and the Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden now recommend that some teaching is conducted online and that distance between participants in lecture halls is increased again.
At a press conference on 11 January, Minister for Education Anna Ekström described how higher education institutions now need to find a new balance in teaching onsite and online:
"Students and universities have taken on a very great responsibility during the pandemic. It is still a priority that teaching at universities can be carried out onsite if possible. The Public Health Agency of Sweden is now recommending universities to use distance learning as a tool to thin out lecture halls. However, distance learning is not to be a full-time measure," says Anna Ekström.
One method of reducing crowding in premises is to consider the possibility of moving big lectures to online formats during this period of high infection.
It is also important to remind and simplify for students to maintain distance before and after lectures and similar.
Working from home applies to a majority
Similar to previously, staff who must work onsite can do so, but all others should work from home. This applies at least until 31 January.
Thinning out lecture hall crowding
In lecture halls, restrictions on distance are introduced again which means that every other chair must be vacant. Large lectures (over 50 students) should, if possible, be conducted online. This applies until 28 February.
Exams and written hall exams
Umeå University continues to enable written hall exams with risk-reducing measures in place, in accordance with national recommendations. The risk-reducing measures are based on the recommendations that the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten issue regarding, for instance, distances between seats and similar routines. Region Västerbotten and the University have continuous dialogue and when the situation and recommendations change, the University adapts its routines.
Students who cannot participate in a compulsory course component due to illness or symptoms are guaranteed a place at the next opportunity. Beside this, the university is encouraged to consider the possibility of offering extra examination sessions, even if this is no requirement.
- The decision to allow deviations from course syllabi is extended to apply also to spring semester 2022.
- Working from home applies at least until 31 January.
- All meetings are to be held online.
- Large lectures (over 50 students) should, if possible, be carried out online.
- Maintain distance to others and avoid crowding.
- Use a face mask when distances cannot be maintained and in public transport.
- Stay at home and get tested if you have symptoms.
- Get vaccinated for best protection.