October 2020: start again! Guidelines for the start of the 2020/2021 Academic year
On October 5, 2020, the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross will hopefully begin lessons for the new academic year in presential mode. This reopening will respect and follow the indications of the Health Authorities.
The level of normality will depend on the evolution of COVID 19 and - in an institution with a strong international presence - on the situation in the students' countries of origin.
At the moment, with the data currently available, the University is preparing some measures and investments to start the 2020/2021 courses without delays or uncertainties.
These measures include:
1. The maintenance of the entire academic courses and the general distribution of timetables;
2. The University will try to ensure that any delays in the ability to attend courses (for reasons related to the pandemic) do not have a negative academic impact on the student;
3. To protect people's health and in accordance with the indications of the Health Authorities the following will be carried out:
- The University will reduce the capacity of classrooms and some work areas;
- If it is convenient, a system of staggered timetables for entry, exit and intervals will be established in order to minimize contact between the various groups;
- The cleaning service will apply a hygiene protocol for common and private areas. Ventilation levels and the cleaning frequency of air filters in ventilation systems have also been increased.
- Personal implementation of other hygiene measures will be encouraged and facilitated: interpersonal distance, use of masks (when interpersonal distance cannot be maintained), hand washing and personal hygiene (with dispensers available in every area of the buildings);
- Protective screens will be installed in public service areas. It is recommended, in any case, to use the online Secretariat services for administrative procedures;
- The COVID-19 Unit of the University will be updated on any symptoms of the disease or people who have been tested positive for it.
4. To improve the teaching activity:
- The quality and functions of the Learning Platform, the virtual area that has accompanied the University's teaching for 10 years, will be implemented;
- Audiovisual facilities will be completed in some classrooms so that lessons can be given at a distance if necessary;
- The courses will have the same teaching hours. However, each teacher, depending on the situation, will be able to combine the "master classes" with other forms of teaching;
- The University has proposed to strengthen the role of the "tutor" to emphasize the importance of personalized teaching.
5. In the present circumstances, students are invited to:
- Choose their academic courses available by September 1, 2020, in order to facilitate the organization of classrooms;
- Have a PC (personal computer), webcam and Internet connection to follow the possible event of online teaching.
These measures refer to the first semester of the academic year 2020/2021. Evidently, we will adapt to the indications that will be provided by the Health Authorities in the coming months.
Further updates will always be provided through the university’s web page.