KTH to open its campuses
KTH is going to open its campuses this autumn, but will bear the lessons learnt from the digitalisation of teaching and examinations in spring, very much in mind. Starting 1 August, buildings will gradually be opened to students.
“We are really looking forward to getting started again and welcoming our new, old and international students,” says Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH.
The President’s decision on the autumn semester, which was resolved on Thursday 4 June, sets the parameters for how education is to be organised - in line with the Public Health Agency of Sweden recommendations.
Welcoming activities for new students will look somewhat different to avoid too many people gathering together at the same time. One part will be digital and other parts of welcoming activities will take place on campus.
Educational programming normally held in lecture halls will be replaced by alternative formats.
Examinations will primarily be carried out through other methods than in-class examinations. Written examinations supervised over Zoom that were used in the spring, will be phased out from the autumn.
“We have taken giant steps in the development of our digital learning environment during the spring crisis and we will naturally carry this forward. But this cannot and should not replace a physical presence on campus. Our thinking is to further develop and use the best of both worlds in our study programmes such that they reinforce and complement each other.”
In the case of students who had planned on being outgoing exchange students, they can still do this, if the university receiving them is able to accept them. If this is not possible, the exchange can be postponed until the next semester and the student will be offered a place on their established programme at KTH this autumn.
International students who have planned to come to KTH as exchange students will be welcome to do so. Any tuition fee-paying international students can claim a full refund up until the start of the semester, as there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding travel, and they may therefore not be able to take up their place.
In the case of defences of doctoral theses, they will be held on campus. However, the opportunity to participate in a doctoral thesis defence remotely will remain.
“The defence of doctoral theses remotely has worked very well and there was an increase in the inflow of interesting views from external participants who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to be involved.”
This decision will affect certain members of KTH staff. What about the rest of the staff?
“This is something I will decide within the next few weeks to ensure that everyone knows what will apply this autumn. It is important that both employees and students feel secure in how things will be done and we are therefore adapting our operations in line with the prevailing situation. This also includes doing all we can to reduce the spread of infection in accordance with official recommendations which at the same time, also remains everyone’s individual responsibility,” says Karlsson.
If the government and Public Health Agency were to issue new decisions and recommendations this autumn, what would happen then?
“Show that, from our experiences this spring, we know that we can reconfigure very quickly and do what needs to be done,” says Karlsson.