Following the introduction of new national and local advice on infection control in recent weeks, the USN has made adjustments to its operations. The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research has decided that universities and colleges should remain open. This decision is based on considerations relating to the learning environment, study progression and the life situation of students.
"We understand that several students are struggling to maintain their motivation and study progression, and that some are unhappy with the current situation which applies to their studies. This is causing us concern. We believe that it is important for students to attend the campus and meet their lecturers and each other in order to work on their studies together, and that this can be done in a way that is justifiable in terms of infection control," says Rector Petter Aasen.
Activities on our campuses have been adjusted to comply with the infection control rules. This includes using only half of the capacity available in our classrooms and auditoriums so that social distancing can be observed. Adjustments have also been made in our food outlets and other common areas.
"As far as we know, noone has been infected while they have been on campus," says Petter Aasen.
The USN has excellent contact with the health authorities in the host municipalities, and is assisting with infection tracking.
"The situation varies in those local communities where our eight campuses are located and we are making adjustments in cooperation with the municipalities," says Professor Aasen.
Throughout the autumn semester the USN has been conducting around half of its tuition online and half on campus, making adjustments to its various study programmes. Many exams have been planned as online exams. Following the developments of the last few weeks, the university has made further changes.
Changes at the USN
The following changes have been made and apply throughout the USN:
- Tuition and supervision in respect of all sessionbased tuition will take place online until the end of the year. This is being done in order to limit the need for students to travel.
- Virtually all exams this autumn will be held online at home. A few exams that cannot be held at home will be held on campus. Arrangements have been made to ensure good infection control measures.
- All campuses are open to students and employees, e.g. for working in workshops and laboratories. Some employees are working from home, but services on our campuses are open and accessible.
During the past week, there have been several cases of infection among students at our Kongsberg Campus. The USN is working closely with the municipal health service in order to track and prevent the spread of infection, but the outbreak is not under control. Students on several study programmes in different years and have been infected. Tuition and supervision is taking place online whenever possible throughout the autumn semester.
During the last few weeks there has been an increase in cases of infection in the municipality of Drammen. This outbreak is not related to the student community. In accordance with municipal regulations, the USN has switched over to online tuition where possible. Employees at our Drammen campus are working from home, provided that their work enables them to do so. The campus is still open. Online tuition will continue until the end of the autumn semester.