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Vice-Chancellor's blog: Campus education from the autumn

Published: 29 May 2020

The Government has today, May 29, informed that the activities at Swedish universities can return to a more normal situation from this autumn. The requirement for distance education will be lifted in two weeks.

This means that we can now plan for a study start and campus teaching for study period 1 (lp1) which strictly follows the general recommendations of The Public Health Agency of Sweden. The Government is very clear that the general recommendations continue to apply and must be followed. This means that the ban on open gatherings for more than 50 people still has to be taken into account, that we should keep social distance, stay home at the slightest signs of illness and wash our hands carefully and frequently.

We are many who have been waiting for a decision from the government and it is therefore very gratifying that we now know what applies for the autumn, and that the decision is in line with the ones we have already taken at the University. This means that previous information that our study start and lp1 are planned for a mix of campus and digital activities applies. Our students who attend a campus-based education should be prepared to be in place when the semester starts this autumn. The same applies to the decision that employees are expected to be back at work from 15 August.

Challenges for international students

When it comes to international students, the corona pandemic has brought great challenges both for those who are already in Sweden, but also for newly admitted students who have been accepted and plan to start studying in Sweden this autumn. One reason is that The Swedish Migration Agency's practice requires physical presence (campus studies) in order for foreign students to be granted a residence permit. The message from The Public Health Agency of Sweden is therefore very important for our foreign students to be able to come to Sweden and study as planned.

However, we must still be prepared to be able to quickly switch to digital work and studies from home if the situation deteriorates and new directives come. It is also important to remember that great caution should prevail.

Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology

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