The government stated on their press conference on Thursday, May 7 that there will be several, small steps towards normalization. At the same time, it is still a prerequisite to maintain all infection control measures in the time to come.
Changes from 18 May
Work is underway to prepare specific guides for how VID will implement a gradual opening of the campus from 18 May, including the use of a home office, classes, the completion of exams and the use of libraries and learning centers.
The library plans to have opening hours from. 10-14, starting Monday, May 18th. We still expect that all classes will be done digitally for the rest of the spring semester, and regional solutions are being prepared for employees' opportunities to have office hours on campus part of the time.
At the same time, work is underway on how to prepare for the semester start in the fall. By May 18, there will be a general guide available for the fall semester, which will provide teachers with instructions on how to plan their teaching.
Below are some of the key points that the government presented to universities and colleges at the press conference on May 7, which VID uses as guides in its further work on a gradual opening of the campus.
Home office, public transportation and social distancing
- Managers should ensure that all staff can keep a distance of at least 1 meter throughout working hours. In areas of the country where employees rely on public transportation, employers are encouraged to facilitate home office and electronic meeting activities as much as possible, with physical presence in the workplace only when needed. This is especially true for the Oslo area and other cities with pressure on public transport during rush hour.
Digital teaching as a general rule
- Universities, colleges and vocational schools must continue with digitally based education. Students and participants who must be on campus to maintain study progression can be granted access. They must adhere to the requirements for the prevention and control of safe operation.
The travel quarantines upon arrival in the country can last over the summer.
- Continuous assessments of the need for quarantine exemptions must be made. This must also be seen in the context of border regulations
Seamester start this fall
- It is a goal that the semester start in the fall should be possible with open universities, colleges and vocational schools, etc. in accordance with the general provisions and advice on infection control. The learning places must plan for this and make the necessary steps to maintain the study program, while at the same time planning must take into account that there will probably not be room for as many people on campus at the same time as in a normal situation.
We are looking ahead
Rector Bård Mæland thinks it is good that our campus can now be opened a bit more, although it is done gradually and controlled:
- It has been a test of patience for both students and staff not being able to be on our campuses. At the same time, we are now seeing the results of following the government's advice, and we can therefore open something more to those in need. For example, this will mean a lot for the completion of certain exams and skills training so that students do not get delays in their studies. In addition, those who have had a demanding home situation will now be able to work to a greater extent in our study sites.
The most important thing we, as employees, should otherwise do, is to prepare well for the fall semester. We are to welcome new students and at the same time carry out the teaching in a slightly different way, with a mixture of activity on campus and digital teaching, and in slightly different groups than we normally would. It will certainly take some time for us to return to something similar to what we are used to, but I am now very much looking forward to meeting some more students and colleagues on campus!
Published by Vidar Brundtland Steder. Date: 8. May 2020.