Published: 05-06-2021 11:01 | Updated: 06-10-2021 07:28

Gradual return to campus-based teaching this autumn to prevent virus transmission

Bookable premises 4U at KI Campus Flemingsberg
KI will switch to a combination of physical and digital teaching this autumn. Photo: Samuel Lundberg

On 29 May, the government announced that as of 15 June, higher education institutions may return to campus-based teaching. The recommendations issued by the Swedish Public Health Agency for containing the spread of the virus apply as much to HEIs as they do to general society, and require a responsible approach to the planning of a return to campus-based teaching.

KI will now start to plan a return to campus-based teaching in compliance with the Public Health Agency’s recommendations. In practice, this means that some theoretical topics will continue to be taught remotely to enable campus-based teaching for priority groups and activities.

All activities done on campus are to comply with the official recommendations to help contain the transmission of the virus. With respect to the government’s decision and the prevailing recommendations, Karolinska Institutet has therefore decided that the following groups and activities are to be given priority on the KI campuses:

  • Practical modules/skills training or practical examinations
  • New first or second-cycle students
  • Examinations not deemed possible at a distance and the examination of courses in the final year of a programme
  • Study programmes at first and second-cycle level held in English
  • Thesis defences – premises are to enable attendees to follow both physical and digital procedures.
Portrait of Annika Östman Wernerson.
“We need to keep persevering to reduce the spread of the virus into the autumn,” says Annika Östman Wernerson, academic vice president for education at KI. Photo: Erik Flyg.

“KI’s teachers and students have done their utmost this spring to adapt to distance teaching,” says Annika Östman Wernerson, academic vice president for education. “We’ll now be making fresh efforts to switch to a combination of physical and digital teaching. We look forward to being able to welcome the new students on our campuses and giving them a good start to their studies at KI. We also need to prioritise examinations for students reaching the end of their studies so that they can graduate and pass quickly on to a job in healthcare.”

Teaching has been done at a distance since 18 March, and KI’s general goal for all courses and programmes has been to comply with government’s recommendations to HEIs in order that we may fulfil our responsibilities in helping to contain the virus. The health, wellbeing and safety of our staff and students are paramount.

“We need to keep persevering to reduce the spread of the virus into the autumn,” continues Östman Wernerson, “and we’re incorporating important lessons from this spring into the planning of this autumn’s teaching. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all students, teachers, administrators and hospital-based supervisors, who have done and continue to do amazing work in these transitional efforts.”

Conditions and official recommendations can change quickly, which means that Karolinska Institutet might need to make new decisions and issue new guidelines.

Updated information will follow.