Responsible changes – with constant adjustments
When the news of off-campus education due to the pandemic came from the Swedish government in the spring of 2020, Jönköping University (JU) quickly transferred to digital operations. Since then, we have worked to improve and refine the changes, with the safety of students and staff in focus. During the autumn term 2020, JU conducted a so-called corona-adapted campus education where the majority of teaching was digital, and the physical meetings were minimized. During the autumn, we planned to continue operations in this way if the pandemic situation persisted during the spring of 2021.
In the following text, JU Executive Team describes how they view the change and why some parts are still on campus. The text has also been published in Jönköpings-Posten. Original language: Swedish.
Jönköping University believes that it is important for society that we, despite the current situation, continues to educate and examine students on time, in a legally secure manner, and with maintained quality. It is important for both society and the students who have chosen to study here that we can guarantee that they acquire the skills and knowledge they need in their future professional life. For example:
- We want the teachers and preschool teachers who graduate from JU to have practical experience of working in school and preschool to make sure children develop in a safe environment.
- We want to examine civil engineers who can construct bridges and buildings that do not collapse.
- We must ensure that our nursing students can perform a drug calculation in order to give the right dose of medicine to their patients when they have finished their education.
To ensure this in all our educations, it is required that certain teaching and examination activities are conducted on campus.
During the exams, we have implemented rules when entering and exiting the exam room, routines for cleaning benches and keyboards, and we provide hand sanitation. The distance between the tables is at least two meters and the rooms are large and airy, and normally adapted for much larger groups. We have also made some more recent adjustments, among other things by further reducing the number of people at each exam occasion and an extra review to see if there are more examinations that can take place off campus.
It is vital for Jönköping University to ensure that we contribute to reducing the risk of the spread of infection by minimizing the number of people on campus and adapting all parts of our activities. Before each decision and throughout the process, there have been discussions in Jönköping University's Executive team (in which Deans, presidents and the Student Union participate) and a dialogue with those responsible for operations regarding the consequences of various measures. Expert functions within the organisation have given their views to find solutions both reduce the risk of infection and are legally secure.
Jönköping University follows the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations and has a constant dialogue with the infection control unit at Ryhov hospital. We also have a close dialogue with other higher education institutions and contacts with the Ministry of Education. Lectures, meetings, events, conferences, visits, and the like, are conducted digitally, postponed, or cancelled. The information is cohesive, and we have, since February 2020, communicated through a clear channel on our website, which has been supplemented with direct information to staff and students.
Jönköping University has a great variety of educations – engineering, business and economics, health care, teacher education, to name a few – and the conditions and challenges vary within each programme. The current situation is difficult for all of us, and it continues to demand our commitment and personal responsibility. We welcome and encourage the great will that exists at Jönköping University to act correctly and take responsibility, and we are grateful for all the viewpoints we receive which enable a good dialogue.
Agneta Marell, President of Jönköping University
Marie Ernsth Bravell, Dean, School of Health and Welfare
Marie Öhman, Dean, School of Education and Communication
Hanna Ståhl, Managing Director of University Services
Jerker Moodysson, Dean, Jönköping International Business School
Johan Palsgård, Managing Director of Jönköping University Enterprise
Ingrid Wadskog, Dean, School of Engineering