Information about education regarding corona
[Updated 2021-10-04] This information briefing to Karolinska Institutet’s staff is updated continually as reports come in on the spread of the virus.
- As of 29 September, the Swedish Public Health Agency's regulations that applied during major parts of the pandemic was lifted. KI has therefore removed restrictions for teaching facilities.
- However, it is still important to stay at home and avoid contact with others in the event of signs of illness, to test yourself for symptoms and to follow the advice and guidelines for tracing infection. Read more about what applies from 29 September on the Swedish Public Health Agency's website.
Information on the 2021 Autumn term
According to the previous decision by the President and request from the Ministry of Education and Research KI is to resume campus-based teaching on 30 August 2021. Theory classes can continue to be held digitally.
The President has decided to cancel exchange studies for incoming exchange students on clinical courses and clinical rotations during the autumn term of 2021. The background is the strained situation in health care due to COVID-19 with a care debt, as well as work-based training elements from previous semesters for regular program students. Educational dental care on Campus South has been in a similar situation. Kl has complied with Regionen's request and has not accepted incoming exchange students for VFU during the academic year 20/21. The Region has returned with the same request for the autumn term 2021, as the situation in healthcare is still very strained.
KI advises outgoing exchange students from exchange studies abroad during the spring semester of 2021.
With increased vaccination coverage and the consequent declining spread of infection, the expectation is that more countries will slowly be reopening, and travel restrictions may be lifted for many countries. Despite this, the situation is uncertain, and Kl advises students who plan to study abroad during the autumn term to closely follow the situation in the host country, to follow the Foreign Ministry's current travel restrictions, and to take into account in their planning that the situation may change at short notice. If the situation worsens, Kl can decide to immediately revoke the nomination decision for exchange studies, on the grounds of compelling security reasons.
More information about studies abroad can be found on the page Information regarding exchange studies and studies abroad, related to the coronavirus.
On-site training (VFU) and internships
Students who are currently doing an internship or are in on-site training (VFU) should follow the instructions they receive from their respective employers. This also applies to doctoral students within health care.
The Department should be prepared to handle cases where the internship or on-site training (VFU) cannot be carried out due to workplace closure. The following elements are useful to consider:
- How much of the internship/VFU has been completed, that is, can you grade it? If there is a sufficient basis of assessment to decide on a grade, a grade can be set even though the entire planned on-site training period has not been completed. The examiner decides whether the intended learning outcomes are considered to be met.
- If the internship/VFU has to be discontinued prematurely because the workplace closes down and there is an insufficient basis for grading, the ion-site training/VFU needs to be repeated and the institution has to be prepared to deal with this. The department must then arrange the VFU at another time as soon as possible when there is an available VFU site. The examiner decides whether the entire period needs to be repeated or only the remaining time in order to complete the internship or on-site training (VFU).
- Pregnant and breastfeeding students are entitled to an individual risk assessment of their study environment.
Study counselors and programmes should also be prepared to change the course of studies individually for students (make individual study plans). If a student is sent home from the workplace for any reason, it should be evaluated if there is a suitable course that he/she can attend instead, so the student does not lose his/her study funding.
Questions and answers
How should you approach learning outcomes and grading limits? Can students be approved even if parts of the course cannot be completed due to special events?
Answer: When adapting the examination, the content and learning outcomes, as well as the level of expected skills, knowledge and abilities for the course may not be changed, removed or lowered.
In other words, students should not be given a pass grade if they do not achieve the defined learning outcomes, even if they are not at fault. The examiner may decide on additional tasks so students can fulfill learning goals in other ways. However, it may be difficult to find alternatives for on-site training (VFU) and examinations of other educational forms with practical elements.
How do you handle on-site training (VFU) that is "interrupted" by caregivers / employers, if the student becomes ill, or when other examinations with practical educational elements cannot be carried out?
Answer: KI's Guidelines for examinationsstate, among other things: "[if] a student misses part of or is unable to complete a placement with valid reason,the student should, however, be given the opportunity to complete the on-site training (VFU) at a later date".
The above statement may be considered to apply to the VFU, degree projects with practical educational forms, and other practical training elements.
According to KI, "valid reason" includes situations where students' study situation is adversely affected without the student being able to influence this. E.g. that caregivers decide that educational activities can no longer be carried out in the care facility or that the student becomes ill / shows symptomsof the cold or flu.
The course must be planned accordingly to execute/complete the on-site training (VFU) as soon as possible. In the current circumstances, this can be very difficult and, at present, there isno clear solution to the problems that may arise.