New government decision makes on-site teaching possible

The government announced on May 29th that the University can open for on-site teaching from 15 June.

“Today’s decision means that we can prepare for a measured return to on-campus teaching. That does not, unfortunately, mean that it is possible to do so with immediate effect, which the Prime Minister also pointed out,” says Vice-Chancellor Eva Wiberg.

Since March 18, the University has, in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, much of the teaching activity has been conducted remotely. On Friday afternoon, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced among other things that students may be able to return to their higher education institutions from 15 June.

“This is a positive decision which gives us clearer conditions for planning the autumn term,” says Eva Wiberg.

It is not possible to say yet what the decision means for the University of Gothenburg, but the University will provide information about this as soon as possible.

“We are now looking at how this will affect different courses and study programmes and what we need to change. My initial guess is that in the autumn we will still partly conduct remote teaching . This is in order to follow the guidelines in place to reduce the spread of the virus, including that we still need to maintain distance and observe the rule against gatherings larger than 50 people,” says Eva Wiberg.

What will happen to summer courses?

“It is clear that the courses will happen, but we need to come back with information about how the decision affects the ways in which these courses will be held.”

Despite today’s decision, the autumn semester will not be back to normal

Matilda Ernkrans, Minister for Higher Education and Research, also participated in the press conference on May 29. She believes the government announced an important decision, but wanted to make clear that not everything will be back to normal come autumn.

“Higher education institutions have a responsibility to adapt their teaching and reduce the spread of the virus. Students also must exercise great personal responsibility. To succeed in their studies but also to stay at home at the slightest indication of illness, maintaining distance and washing their hands. Together we can get through this.”

Today’s decision is in effect until further notice, and if the situation changes, the government can make a new decision affecting how teaching is to be carried out. The government does not rule out a return to remote education as the main rule, should that become necessary.

“We have made an enormous transition, one which has been made possible thanks to significant effort from students and staff. We are now looking into reversing this transition for parts of the organization. At the same time we need to be mentally prepared for the possibility that the situation can change again. This pandemic demands enormous flexibility from us all,” says Eva Wiberg.


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