Welcome back to campus this autumn

Linköping University will open this autumn, in stages. The Swedish government announced at a press conference on Friday afternoon, 29 May, that institutions of higher education will return to normal operation this autumn.

Charlotte Perhammar

This means that the previous recommendations from the government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden that upper secondary education, post-secondary education and higher education should be conducted as distance education will be rescinded on 15 June. Linköping University will base its operations on campus-based education this autumn, but the transition from distance mode to campus-based activities will take place in stages.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome our students back to our campuses, but it is at the same time important that we all continue to act responsibly. The government announcement today means that students who begin their education this autumn can move here, start to study, and receive the education they want”, says Vice-Chancellor Helen Dannetun.

The government announcement is fully in line with Linköping University’s planning for the start of the autumn term. Certain components of the teaching will be held as distance education also in the autumn. And the pandemic has not gone away: the regulations and recommendations issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden apply also in the autumn, which places requirements for social distancing and a maximum size of groups. This in turn leads to requirements on premises, and the way in which various arrangements can be carried out.

“We have been preparing to open our campuses in stages for some time, and the government’s announcement today means that we can now roll out the plan. It’s a nice feeling. And during the months we have spent in distance mode we have learnt a lot that we can take with us as we start work this autumn. Further, this transition would never have been possible without our co-workers and students, who have put in sterling efforts. Now it’s a case of continuing to hold out, and making a new transition. Together – we will succeed”, says Helen Dannetun.

Matilda Ernkrans, minister for higher education and research, emphasises that the return to campus-based activities places high demands on both the university and the students.

“The institutions of higher education have a responsibility to adapt their teaching methods and reduce the risk of the spread of infection. And the students also have a large personal responsibility. They must manage their studies successfully, but must also stay at home if they experience the slightest sign of disease. They must continue to observe social distancing and wash their hands often. Together, we can succeed”, says Matilda Ernkrans in a press release.

The provisions introduced by the announcement are valid until further notice, and if the situation changes the government is prepared to take any measures necessary. It is, therefore, not possible to rule out the possibility that distance education will again become the principal form of education.

Linköping University will continue its planning for the start of the autumn term, and more information will be published as it becomes available next week.

NB! This news report from 29 May will not be updated. Support and guidance for students and co-workers are continuously updated at insidan.liu.se/corona.

Translated by George Farrants

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