Colleagues and students at JU,
A very unusual spring semester has come to an end. I am proud of how professionally JU has handled the challenging situation with off campus education and working from home. Last Friday, when the Swedish Government announced that the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendation on off campus education will be lifted, meaning a return to on-campus teaching, I drew a sigh of relief. JU is usually a dynamic and vibrant campus, and we are many who long to see both students and staff on campus again.
The decision of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Government is in line with the directional decision recently made at JU, and similarly at most other higher education institutions in Sweden. However, the coronavirus pandemic is not over and it will continue to put great demands on us to adapt our operations in order to comply with the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, such as the limit of 50 people at public gatherings and social distancing. A great personal responsibility also lies on students and staff.
We are now planning for an autumn semester with teaching on campus, in combination with some digital elements. A working group within JU is developing guidelines for how JU should best implement the introduction week and conduct teaching during the autumn. The foundation of these guidelines is to ensure that JU complies with the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Government’s directives, while the ambition is that most students will be offered as much teaching on campus as possible. The working group has identified prioritised groups where the need for on campus teaching is greatest, for example courses that include practical elements.
On Tuesday 9 June, the JU Executive Team will discuss the working group’s proposals for guidelines and after the guidelines have been decided upon, we will continue to work on a more detailed plan for how the JU premises will be used in a responsible and efficient way.
During the most part of the spring, we have worked from home, which often meant finding creative solutions for teaching and meetings, but also finding ways to keep the social togetherness going. I am grateful and humbled when I see how everyone has made an effort to make the best out of the situation. When we return to teaching on campus this autumn, it also means that the staff will largely return to work on campus. The return must be done responsibly, and adjustments continue to be necessary to comply with recommendations and directives.
We have already entered the month of June and for most of us a well-deserved break is approaching. But some of us will continue to work for JU and teach during the summer. The extra educational places that JU was granted for summer courses are divided into six courses, all of which will be held remotely. There is great interest in our summer courses and we already have more than 1,000 first-hand applicants!
Thank you to all our students. You have shown great responsibility and motivation, and you have adapted to the conditions that have required both sacrifice and innovation.
Thank you to all our staff. You have enabled the continuation of our operations and made changes according to the demands placed on us.
President Jönköping University