Increased classroom lectures from April 26


Institutional Communication Service

16 April 2021

On April 14, 2021, the Federal Council has decided to allow universities in Switzerland to provide for classroom lectures, subject to certain restrictions: attendance is limited to 50 people and one-third of room capacity, and mask wearing and maintaining a distance is required. On April 15, the USI Management Committee has decided to increase the number of courses on campus and in attendance from Monday, April 26, at the earliest, according to the procedures that shall be communicated by the respective Faculty Deans' offices by April 21.

USI is very much committed to classroom lectures and in attendance learning and therefore, despite the challenge of reopening in such a short time frame, has decided that the Spring semester will be concluded as far as possible in attendance on the campuses, with the appropriate digital solutions which will be defined on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, the adoption of blended teaching methods will ensure that everyone – including those who will be temporarily unable to join us on the campuses – will benefit from the highest quality of teaching and the possibility of completing the semester.

In general: courses attended by fewer than 50 students will be held in attendance and recorded, for distance learning purposes, on a weekly or fortnight basis, as already provided for in the course schedule (a method similar to the one used at the beginning of the past Fall semester); courses with more than 50 students will be held at a distance, for which USI will figure out ways for classroom attendance to increase the quality of the learning experience; project ateliers will continue under the current conditions.

The list of courses held in attendance will be published by April 21:

The examination session will be held according to the previously communicated arrangements, with no changes.

The campuses will remain accessible to the academic community, as they currently are, with one’s own personal badge. The libraries and study areas listed in the Covid-19 Protection Provisions will also remain accessible. Working from home will continue to be the norm: according to the federal provisions, "employers must provide for teleworking in cases where, due to the nature of the activity, it is possible and feasible without a disproportionate burden". Since many of the activities of the University can be performed digitally, staff members are expected to work from home as much as possible. It is, however, up to the individual managers (both administrative and academic) to define with their staff the precise methods with which this provision is to be implemented in a timely manner: the aim being not to interrupt or compromise the quality of the activities themselves.

These decisions stem from the application of the four principles that have guided USI throughout this pandemic year: keeping the academic community safe; seeking solutions that give continuity to the institution, contributing to the maintenance of the community; ensuring training activities even in such a difficult and volatile context; complying with the decisions of the competent public authorities.  

We would like to remind you that protective facemasks must be worn in all indoor common areas, including classrooms, shared offices, study areas and open spaces! The mask requirement also applies outdoors when it is not possible to maintain a safe distance of 1,5 m from other people.