The increased spread of covid in society has led to new recommendations affecting higher education. At a press conference between the Minister of Higher Education and UKÄ (the Swedish Higher Education Authority) it was communicated that studies on location still are prompted, but that distance learning may be used to avoid crowding in university facilities. It is positive that Linnaeus University and national authorities have suggested additional possibilities for exams for students who cannot take ordinary exams due to covid. Such additional possibilities are necessary for student performance and also allow students to take responsibility and stay home when sick. CSN (The Swedish Board of Student Finance) are also open to show consideration to students that fall behind in their studies due to the pandemic.
Linnaeus University states on their updated corona webpage (https://lnu.se/en/meet-linnaeus-university/contact-and-visit-us/crisis-and-security/corona/) that studies on location is still the norm, but that distance education can be offered to avoid crowding. Protective masks will be made available at physical examinations, and students wanting masks during lecture will be able to get them at the InfoDesk in Växjö and house Stella in Kalmar. No vaccine certificate will be required during regular teaching or examination. It is important to note that extra re-examination opportunities might offered for those who are unable to participate at regular exams due to symptoms, illness or quarantine.
In accordance with Swedish infection control laws, students that are sick or have symptoms must stay home and are not allowed to participate during exams or on-site studies. This, however, requires flexibility from the university so that students can continue their studies without unnecessary negative consequences. The Linnaeus Union sees a similar need regarding compulsory course elements, since they are not covered by the same rights as exams, but are still compulsory in order to complete the course.
The Linnaeus Union aims to protect students’ well-being and we therefore support all opportunities that allow students to take responsibility, follow general guidelines and continue their studies at the same time. t is regrettable the new recommendations coincide with end of semester exams, but since all teaching requires planning ahead of time, departments will need some time to adjust courses and schedules to the new recommendations.How teaching is adjusted and what actions are taken will vary from course to course, so course convenors and programme managers will have to provide further information regarding specific courses. The Linnaeus Union will continue to monitor current development.
Our goal is for all students to feel safe while in university buildings and urge those with symptoms to stay at home. We encourage students to stay updated with and follow the new recommendations, and to support our student associations for doing the same
We are aware that students have a life outside the classroom and that the new recommendations affect more than just studies.
Many students´ well-being has been negatively affected by the pandemic and we encourage anyone who needs help to seek professional counseling, such as offered by the Student Welfare Office.
Linnaeus Union Board.