As we slowly progress to a new scholastic year, many have eagerly awaited the news of how lectures will be delivered. It seems as if the University of Malta is playing it as safe as it can, adopting a remote first mentality, where lectures will be streamed online. This was announced by the Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU) following a discussion with the senate of the university.
In certain cases, lectures can be delivered on campus. With that said, lectures containing large numbers of students, believed to be in the region of seventy will have to be organised online. Those lectures which have a smaller number of students can be organised with students attending physically.
The guidelines related to COVID-19 for universities are expected to be released soon and once these are made available to the public, the University faculties can proceed to establish which study units can take place physically versus those that need to be held online.
In view of this unprecedented situation, a request has been made by student representatives, leading to a 22nd October deadline for all methods of assessments for the upcoming semester to be established.
So, what happens to graduation ceremonies?
The KSU, also highlighted that discussions are taking place surrounding graduations. Feasible options are being evaluated which maintain the importance and dignity of such an occasion, whilst also bearing in mind the health and safety of graduates and their families.
It has been communicated that by the 20th November, all those finishing their respective courses will be considered as graduates, even though the ceremony may take place at a later date. This option is indeed practical, as students will be allowed to hold certificates to pursue further academic learning.
The University of Malta Academic Staff Association (UMASA) has indicated that no agreement has yet been reached with unions in relation to the opening protocols for the upcoming academic year. With that said, although an agreement has not yet been reached, discussions are indeed taking place. The association has made it clear that it will not accept a situation where health concerns are put on the side.
What are your views on the measures being taken for universities? Do you think that it is prepared to mitigate and ensure lectures take place? Let us know in the comments section below.