Coronavirus: Decisions and updates (2.4.2020)

Coronavirus - photo

This is how USN is affected by the coronavirus pandemic.


Access to the university’s buildings is now restricted due to the decisions adopted by the government on Thursday. The measures aim to limit the spread of COVID-19 infection.

The university is not closed, and all administrative services are still maintained. This includes switchboard services, IT support service and more. The administration department is available by email and telephone.

Students and employees of USN are advised to follow the guidelines given by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, in addition to practicing good hygiene.

Contents

Information to students and staff:

Information to staff:

Information to students and staff:

Postponement of deadlines for assignments and exams

Due to the circumstances we may have some students who cannot complete the submissions/examinations on time. USN has granted the «corona affected» students extended rights.

Campuses are closed to students

Teaching and supervision will be conducted digitally. Wherever this is not possible, lessons must be cancelled. This also applies to all laboratory and workshop activities for students.

Our campuses are now physically closed to students. USN is making arrangements to ensure that students with special needs will be given limited access.

This applies to the following groups:

  • students living in student dorms on campus.
     
  • students who do not have internet access at home.
     
  • students from abroad who choose not to return home but remain in Norway.

These students will be able to access a restricted area of the campus where they will be able to follow online lectures or do other school work. They must follow the guidelines in force to limit the spread of infection. Among other things, they are not allowed to gather in groups, and everyone must keep a safe distance from one another. Personnel will be present on campus, and cleaning will be done in the areas that are accessible.

USN will set up posters with information about campus regulations, and the accessible area will be highlighted.

Examination and study progression

All exams at USN in spring 2020 will be digital home exams. Read more about it on this info-page.

USN will take care of our students' study progression. Students shall be provided with an assessment that is impartial and professionally reassuring, although the form of examination will be different from what is stated in the course syllabus.

How to manage your studies outside of campus

For the moment our everyday life is set on hold, and we must all try to adapt to a slightly different routine. As a student you must try to find a way to go on with your studies outside campus, says USN's advisors and student pastor. Read on for their advice.

New and important supplement to the study and exam regulations

To make sure that USN-students are not unnecessarily delayed in the studies due to the coronavirus, the USN-board has adopted a temporary regulation that complements the study and exam regulations.

Students taking part in supervised professional training/workplace placements

Students enrolled in the Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Sciences (HIU) who missed up to 10% of the study program's total number of supervised professional training when the practice period was interrupted, shall not have more regular training in the spring of 2020, and will not have to catch up on the days that they missed.

The faculty has created alternative learning activities for the students who have experienced a reduction in their supervised professional training. The learning outcomes included in the training period that was canceled, will be taken care of in other learning activities and future training periods.

 

Students in the health and social sciences programmes continue in their supervised professional training throughout the planned period, and must follow the guidelines of the workplace. Training periods at the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (HS) that started on Monday 16 March are postponed.

Students and staff in emergency work

Students can be asked for voluntary emergency work in both the education sector and the health sector. In dialogue with the sectors, USN is working to facilitate this. Healthcare students are regarded as health professionals, and can be ordered and enrolled as health care personnel in accordance with the Health Personnel Act. This also applies to employees with a health professional background.
 
Teacher training students were released in the period up to 26 March in order to possibly be able to participate in the schools' preparedness work, for example with the development of digital teaching methods. This was part of USN's preparedness and support for the local community, but not as a standard practice. These students are now back, participating in regular digital classes.
 
Students in the health and social sciences programmes who should have participated on practical courses are exempted from taking part, in order to contribute to the relevant emergency preparedness in the health and care sector locally. Municipalities and health agencies decide whether there is a need for USN students for emergency work.

On March 18, USN delivered it's overview to the Norwegian Directorate of Health. USN has around 560 final-year students in the undergraduate programs, 300 students in the master's and further education programs, as well as 200 employees with a health background. There are a total of 1060 people who can be ordered to participate in emergency work

USN has been given the necessary room for maneuver from national authorities, to facilitate the emergency response service as a training course. USN is responsible for ensuring overall learning outcomes on the program, and will find compensatory learning activities for practices where needed. The Faculty of Health and Social Sciences has three main categories in the follow-up of students who should have had their practice period in the spring of 2020:

- For students who are now working full time in emergency preparedness, full exemption from practice is granted.

- For students who work part-time in emergency preparedness, exemptions are granted hour by hour, lack of practice is compensated by theoretical teaching and assignments.

- For students who for various reasons do not have the opportunity to contribute i emergency work, learning outcomes are ensured through theoretical teaching and assignments.

It is important to note that the students in the bachelor's and master's programs have more than one practice period during the course of study, and it is possible to distribute the learning outcomes to several types of learning activities and practices later in the program.

This is how the USN libraries work during the corona shutdown

The libraries' physical premises are now closed - but all digital services are still available.

International students

USN-students who are on an exchange-stay abroad, are being requested to return home as soon as possible. USN will cover the extra expenses. International students on exchange at USN are being requested to return home. Those who wish to stay in Norway will be followed up. Our international office maintains contact with international students and Norwegian students on exchange.

More information: «Covid-19 –International degree students and international exchange students».

Guidelines for holding digital public defences at the USN

These apply for the duration of the restrictions on physical attendance on campus due to the corona virus outbreak.

Information to  staff:

Employees will work from home

In order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, USN want to limit the number of staff that stay in the university's buildings. Many people present in one place increase the risk of the virus spreading. Limited access means that employees, in consultation with their immediate manager, work from home, if this is possible based on the nature of the work.

Some academic work (eg some equipment-requiring research activities) and administrative work require presence. Some operating and service functions also require physical presence. However the university buildings are locked, and employees need to access the buildings using the key cards. We trust that the individual employees assess their own work situation to the best of their discretion. By presence, we assume that the infection prevention recommendations are followed.

Staff who care for children

Working from home can be difficult for employees who are caring for young children. USN encourages them to use flexitime and, wherever possible, reschedule their work to more suitable times of the day or week. If necessary, the most important tasks must be given priority.

From Monday, March 30, employees who cannot work full days due to caregiving tasks must use the right to care days. This can be done whole days or parts of days. Care days are the same as “Sick Child” in the DFØ ID / app. Employees with care tasks must therefore submit an absentee application for the current day / hours. It is possible to divide a day of care into hours.

Research work

Employees must work from home, unless their presence is required to do perform their duties. Presence on campus may be necessary for employees, including research fellows conducting research activities which requires them to have physical access to the university’s facilities. External partners with agreement-based access to the research facilities at USN will continue to have access. This is contingent on said partners complying with the recommendations to limit the risk of infection.

Operation and maintenance on campus

Maintenance work, rebuilding projects, service and repairs of buildings and equipment will be carried out as ordered, unless new restrictions are introduced. The management of the Property and IT department will coordinate this with the limitations that otherwise apply

The goods receiving department will run as normal for the delivery of goods to USN.

The infrastructure department will carry out ongoing cleaning as needed. Special cleaning will also be done in keeping with the authorities’ requirements for this in areas that give cause to suspect infection. Therefore, we kindly request staff and students to respect any barriers that are set up.

Travel activities

All business trips and study trips both nationally and internationally are postponed for the time being. USN does for the present time not welcome guests.
 

Employees must contact Egencia customer service on +45 23 15 04 30 for assistance with cancellation / change of booked trips.

You can still contact USN

USN staff are at work, (mostly from home-office), and you can reach us by phone and email, even though the campuses are closed.

For students:

USN has stopped all teaching on campus until after Easter, April 13.Teaching and guidance will be conducted digitally. All exams at USN in spring 2020 will be digital home exams.

If you have questions, contact your study advisor or lecturer.

For employees:

If you have any questions concerning the treatment of illness or suspicion of infection, please contact your superior. You may also contact USN at korona@usn.no

For media:

All media inquiries: Reidun Mangrud, Director of Communications, +47 910 05 037