A return to on-campus lectures will be slow. Even though the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted on the 9th of February, educational activities at Lund University will not be without restrictions until the 21st of March. But the wait could have been longer.
On the 7th of February, Erik Renström, vice-chancellor of Lund University, decided on implementing a university-wide adaptation towards activities without Covid-19 restrictions. This means that activities such as teaching, and assessment will commence in lecture halls and classrooms. The process was initiated on the 9th, two days after the decision was made and the same day as the public restrictions were lifted.
According to the decision published on the University website, each faculty is to return to on-campus lectures at their own pace. The deans are to carry out the process, with relevant student unions as consults.
As for travel, educational components carried out abroad have received an “OK”, if it is safe based on travel restrictions. The University’s reception of international students is to follow the same guidelines.
The set deadline for a full return to on-campus education is the 21st of March. According to an interview with Erik Renström in Sydsvenskan, the wait could have been longer.
“We from the University would have been prepared to go back earlier, but we compromised with what we wanted and what Smittskydd Skåne [Disease Control Scania, editors’ note] wanted.”*
Smittskydd Skåne works to hamper the spread of diseases such as Covid-19 at a county level. In discussions with the University, they deemed the latter’s agenda of an earlier return as a risk.
“They pointed out that when the government and Folkhälsomyndigheten [Public Health Agency of Sweden, editors’ note] lifted all restrictions it was in a situation where the infectivity was higher than ever, even if it is of the omicron-variant which seems less serious.” says Erik Renström to Sydsvenskan. He explains that the Swedish February break is what aided the spread of the virus back in 2020 and 2021. He adds that he has witnessed a high infection rate among both students and employees.
Despite this, the process to return to a “regular” curriculum continues.
*Quotes have been translated from English.