From Iceland — University Rector Publishes Announcement For Autumn Semester

University Rector Publishes Announcement For Autumn Semester

Published August 21, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons / Titoine08

The rector of the University of Iceland, Jón Atli Benediktsson, has published an announcement to the staff and students of the campus concerning the autumn semester.

In the announcement he states that teaching for the new semester is underway with online teaching forming the foundation although “the University is also focusing on options for on-campus learning, particularly for new students, on the condition that it complies with the current instructions of the Chief Epidemiologist and the authorities.”

Discussion periods, teaching in artistic subjects, practical teaching and clinical training, tutorials and similar classes will have priority for on-campus learning.

The University of Iceland will be responsible for ensuring that current public health restrictions are enforced.

The announcement also lists a set of rules in terms of general infection prevention, physical distancing and gathering restrictions. The rules emphasise individual disease prevention, such as adhereing to quarantine, isolation (especially when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms) hand washing and minding proximity limits.

Particularly, the rules mandate that “In situations where it is not possible to maintain physical distancing, e.g. in practical classes, art classes and clinical training, people must use face masks that cover the mouth and nose. In such circumstances, both the instructor and the student should be wearing a mask. Face masks must be used correctly. […] Strict rules apply for groups of students undergoing clinical training in a healthcare institution, e.g. mandatory use of face masks in common spaces where people cannot stay 2 metres apart.”

The seventh rule also mandates “If the number of students, teaching staff and other staff in a building exceeds 100, the building will divided into sections and all efforts made to prevent mixing between sections. This is done, for example, to make contact tracing easier if an individual at the University is infected.”

The number of visitors to the University of Iceland will be limited as well as far as possible (e.g. no large meetings, open events etc.) and they must be reminded to be careful and always follow infection prevention rules.

Jón Atli concludes the statement reminding everyone “that the current situation is temporary and with a united effort, we can ensure that our work can continue and safeguard the quality of teaching and learning at the University of Iceland.”

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