Covid-19: Advice for Christmas holidays and semester start 2021

Tekst: Per Straume

- Oppdatert

Quarantine hotel for new international students, Covid-19 testing upon return to Volda, digital block-teaching and digital exams, are some of the measures put in place to make the semester start and spring semester as safe as possible.

Furthermore, the VUC Crisis Management Board urges all students and staff to read up on national and local advice for the area they plan to spend Christmas.

A new semester starts January 4th at Volda University College (VUC), and a main focus in our planning  is the goal to prevent a local outbreak of Covid-19. A number of measures have been put in place, both for existing students and staff, and for new incoming exchange students.

National and regional advice for the Christmas holidays

In addition to national guidelines for the Christmas season, the municipality of Volda has announced their own advice for all who travel to Volda for Christmas or return here after spending the holidays somewhere else. The local authorities recommend those traveling to Volda to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival here. To schedule a test, you can either call the local Covid-19 help line (700 58 906) or book an appointment online (if you have BankID or equivalent):
The testing station for Covid-19 is by the local airport in Hovdebygda, but students who cannot drive to the test centre, can call the help line to be tested at another location.

Remember quarantine and the Guide for infection control after taking a Covid-19 test

The VUC Crisis Management Board reminds all students and staff to pay attention to the Covid-19 regulations and advice. The VUC Guide for infection control can be found on our website with Coronavirus information. The Coronavirus information website also include a list of measures put in place by VUC, as well as, contact information to VUC’s psychology and counsellor services.

– Remember that you are in quarantine while waiting for a test result. If you miss obligatory course activity as a result of this or other Coronavirus-related matters, you can apply for dispensation, says VUC Director Karen Lomeland Jacobsen.   

VUC has implemented a temporary amendment to its academic regulation which increases students’ rights with regards to Coronavirus-related absence from class, exams or obligatory activities. Students who are absent due to Covid-19 related events, for examples experiencing symptoms, staying in quarantine, or awaiting a test result, can be given dispensation from mandatory attendance by filing an application to the Dean of the Faculty. Such applications can be submitted when the total absence for the given semester is known.

Digital start to 2021 for block-based teaching

At the end of 2020, all written school exams were made digital and block-taught programmes were largely moved online. The VUC Crisis Management Board has decided to keep these digital alternatives for 2021. All written school exams will be digital also for the spring semester of 2021 and study programmes with block-based teaching will have their intensive lecture periods online, at least for the start of the spring semester. 

– As a main rule we will continue with digital lectures for the block-based teaching courses in January and February. But there may be some exceptions, for example block-based courses in the Professional Study Programmes (such as Education etc.) and we will review what to do with lecture blocks after February at a later stage – says Lomeland Jacobsen.
The VUC Crisis Management Board decided on this matter already before Christmas so that affected students and staff know what to plan for. 

Read more on this topic on VUC’s website on Coronavirus information related to exams, lectures and attendance.  

Quarantine hotel and Covid-19 testing for international students

There will be fewer than normal incoming exchange students in 2021. Approximately 40 new incoming students from EU/EEA-countries will start their studies at VUC in January. The students will follow the national regulations for travel to Norway and will have to go through both Covid-19 testing and a 10 day quarantine period at designated Quarantine Hotels (reimbursed by VUC). 

Current students at VUC who decide to travel internationally during the Christmas holiday will have to comply with the same regulations as new incoming students. Upon return to Norway from a red country, students must quarantine for 10 days at a designated Quarantine Hotel at the point of entry of Norway, unless the student can document having an appropriate home for quarantine in Volda. Note that VUC will not reimburse the cost of the Quarantine Hotel for students active at VUC in the autumn semester of 2020.

The VUC International Office are in close contact with the incoming students and follow up on both existing and new international students at VUC.

Read more on the website regarding Coronavirus information on travel, exchange and quarantine

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