The coronavirus management team of the University of Turku has decided on the main outlines according to which the faculties will plan their teaching arrangements for autumn 2021. The most important theme of the autumn is restoring social contacts and a sense of a safe physical community among students.
The policy contains different scenarios in accordance with the stages of the University’s traffic light model for the coronavirus situation, one of which will be in force at the beginning of the autumn semester. The traffic light model for the coronavirus situation defines the safety measures at the University and the stage is defined on the basis of the authorities’ restrictions in force at the time. The assumption is that the stage of the traffic light model is green or possible yellow in the autumn.
– The goal is a controlled reopening of activities. The teaching arrangements will be planned so that they are as safe as possible for students, teachers, and other personnel involved in the realisation of teaching. In reopening the activities, we will need flexibility, adaptability and application of the good practices developed during the exceptional circumstances. In practice, teaching arrangements will have to be adapted according to the situation, which will only be known at the beginning of the academic year and can change during the semester, says Rector Jukka Kola.
The coronavirus management team decided that an orientation period for the first- and second-year students has to be organised at the very beginning of the first teaching period.
If the coronavirus situation allows, small group teaching will be organised on campus in the autumn. Mass lectures are still carried out remotely or as a hybrid model. Internships, laboratory work, and exams as well as teaching in arts and skills education are organised on campus.
– Strengthening students’ social contacts and community after the long period of exceptional circumstances is essential. We will particularly consider the new students beginning their studies in the autumn 2021 and students who began their studies in the autumn 2020 in the implementation of contact teaching, but small group teaching for all students is organised primarily on campus, says Piia Björn, the Vice Rector responsible for education.
If the coronavirus situation allows, the group work spaces and study areas on campus will be in full use from the beginning of the autumn semester.
A more extensive exit plan for the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus is being prepared at the University. It will outline, for example, the remote work policy for autumn. The exit plan will be discussed in the coronavirus management team and the University community will be informed about its contents at the beginning of June.
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