This is how the university is handling the pandemic at this time
The main rule means that the university's staff is making efforts to minimise the number of educational programme components held on campus. When the university deems it necessary, we still conduct written examinations on campus in order to maintain fairness and legal certainty. We have continuous contact with other universities and this is how the majority are working during the pandemic.
“It is equally important in all our educational programmes that we ensure that our students have the knowledge needed to be able to work in their chosen professions after graduation. Some knowledge requires that a written examination be held on campus. However, during the course of this year, we have become better and better at using digital tools and adjusting our examination forms to become more distance-based while simultaneously maintaining fairness and legal certainty,” said Mats Tinnsten, Vice-Chancellor.
In the case of written examinations that are on campus, the rules are clear as to how they are to be carried out in order to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. These rules have worked thus far as no infection has broken out that can be linked to such a written examination. However, these exams have caused concern among some students.
“We understand that some students are worried. The rules require everyone to take personal responsibility, even if we do have staff who help out. For example, no one may come to an on-campus written examination while experiencing illness symptoms and everyone must practice social distancing,” he explained.
The same applies to certain laboratory work and skills training components in the nursing and police educational programmes, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and VFU/student placements/internships. These cannot be done remotely.
“All these steps are carried out with very careful precautionary measures that we have developed together with Smittskydd Västra Götaland. In addition, we have a close dialogue with heads of the relevant organisations, such as schools and hospitals, where our teacher and nursing students are to complete their VFU/student placements/internships. If the organisations’ heads judge that it is not possible to implement these VFU/student placements/internships, we will redirect the students to other places to the extent possible.”
“Cancelling VFU/student placements/internships for large groups of students can have complex consequences and risks extending the lengths of students’ educations. VFU/student placements/internships also cannot be replaced with other components. The students must practice their theoretical knowledge at, for example, a school or a healthcare centre.”
The university has a project group which works with the university activities that are affected by the pandemic. This can mean everything from information within the university's premises to how the guidelines from the government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden are to be interpreted and implemented at the university.
“We have truly increased our competencies during this year. We have also worked together and helped each other a great deal. There is a lot we have learned that will be relevant even when the pandemic is over. One thing I have learned, and which I think we should take with us going forward, is that we do not have to travel to participate in a meeting or give a lecture; rather, we can help to save our planet by connecting more digitally,” he said.