Umeå University is planning on conducting campus-based education
from 31 August, i.e. from the start of the autumn semester. Still,
the University continues to follow the recommendations issued by
the Swedish Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden. If
these authorities extend their recommendation for university
educations to be conducted remotely to reduce the spread of disease
in society, we need to be prepared to carry on with alternative
methods of instruction and assessment also into the autumn. Please
consider the following in your preparation for the autumn
Plan for campus-based education - be prepared for
Given the current situation, teaching staff is recommended to
prepare for both distance and campus-based education for courses
for the autumn semester as well as for retake exams and equivalent
in August. If restrictions should remain regarding campus-based
education, the validity of related decisions will also be extended.
This concerns, for instance, postponing courses, deviations from
course and programme syllabi, and dispensations for practical
If, this autumn semester, we find ourselves in a situation where
campus-based education is allowed, but with restrictions regarding
group size or total number of students on campus, it may be
beneficial to plan for prioritising providing places on our
campuses primarily to students on their first or final semesters.
Also, even if restrictions on campus-based education are lifted,
all education does not need to be reinstated immediately to campus.
It is desirable to plan for flexible teaching and learning methods.
Thus, course components that are suited for online tools may
continue to be carried out remotely initially even once the
restrictions have been lifted.
Teaching staff are recommended to book their lecture halls and
equivalent well in advance and be prepared for restrictions in, for
instance, group size and recommendations for social distancing to
avoid the spread of disease for this autumn semester.
Students are recommended to plan for being on site to start
their studies on our campuses when the autumn semester starts.
Incoming international students
Even if the situation is highly uncertain for this autumn,
particularly when it comes to international travels, incoming
international students are still recommended to apply for a
residence permit to be prepared to participate in campus-based
education this autumn.
Depending on what form education will take at the start of this
autumn semester, and what the prognosis for COVID-19 is at that
time, individual considerations will need to be made for various
Outgoing exchange students
As a safety precaution, staff responsible for students with
planned exchange studies for autumn semester 2020 is recommended
to, in consultation with the students, investigate the
opportunities to postpone these exchange studies.
For outgoing students on institution-wide exchange agreements,
north2north or Nordlys, the International Office will assist. Other
outgoing students are requested to please contact the international
contact person at their department.
Welcoming new students
The introduction and welcoming of new students is very important
and the student unions' efforts are of great importance for
students to feel welcome and motivated to go forth on the chosen
track. It will be a challenge to carry out the welcoming of new
students and also take social distancing into account, when the
sole purpose is the opposite of social distancing. How to best deal
with this dilemma is something both the unions and the university
administration are now working to solve. It has also been decided
that the Welcome Fair will be cancelled in early September, and it
will instead be implemented in some other form.
Since 23 March 2020, Umeå University has urged all members of
staff to fully or partially work from home, in agreement with their
supervisor and with tasks that can be carried out remotely. It is
currently difficult to assess for how long these recommendations
will be valid.
The directives and recommendations by the Public Health Agency
of Sweden state that we must abstain from non-essential travels and
this is valid until 31 December 2020. The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs' recommendation against non-essential international travels
to all countries is valid until 15 June (UPDATE 14 May: now
extended until 15 July), after which the Ministry will reach a new
decision. As a consequence, the Vice-Chancellor has decided to
extend the validity of the decision to cancel all international
business travel until 30 August. The University also recommends a
very restrictive approach regarding national travels until 30
The Swedish Government has issued a restriction of public social
gatherings of 50 people. This is valid until further notice. As a
consequence, the Vice-Chancellor has decided to extend the validity
of the decision to cancel all public events until 30 August.
Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University