UNYP prepares a high-tech flexible learning environment and other anti-COVID 19 measures to welcome back students in September.

This week, UNYP will be welcoming our new and returning students to the campus. We are looking forward to the Fall semester, no matter how challenging and unpredictable it may be. As ever, the health and safety of all who study and work here is our highest priority. Over the summer, we have been working on detailed plans forthe measures that we will put in place to minimize the risks to staff and students. We care deeply about our community’s comfort and safety, their confidence in us, and also, we care about the quality of education we offer to our students. 

We have taken many factors into consideration to create a comprehensive health and hygiene regime that will operate across all UNYP buildings and facilities, in which the safety and well-being of all staff and students will be paramount. Protective measures will be in place from the beginning of this academic year. We will closely monitor the situation as we did during the spring outbreak, and we will keep the community informed of any potential changes. Where necessary due to official guidance or concerns for the health of students and staff, we will review our approach and adapt accordingly. 

As a sophisticated higher education institution with many international students and a strong, personalized learning approach, please rest assured that the University of New York in Prague is doing its utmost to offer maximum flexibility and choice to our students in terms of whether they would prefer face-to-face classes, synchronous online attendance, or a synchronous online learning. 

Your learning: 

All UNYP schools have worked hard to think through how each of their academic programs might be delivered to ensure the best possible experience. We anticipate introducing a hybrid learning model that will provide the best student experience while accounting for appropriate social distancing and hygiene regimes. 

  • New high-tech Logitech MeetUp Conference Cameras and sound equipment have been installed in classrooms, giving students the option to choose whether they wish to attend the class in person, or synchronously online. All classes will be recorded and made available to students for at least five days following the class. We are currently holding training sessions for professors with the new classroom equipment to make sure the classroom experience is as optimal as possible. 
  • The use of masks for everyone, everywhere in the building, is mandatory, including in classes. A high-quality, washable UNYP mask will be available free for every student, faculty member, and staff member, and available to pick up at reception from September 1st onwards. Single-use masks will also be available at reception in cases of necessity.
  • Face shields can be used instead of masks upon the presentation of medical proof (e.g. a doctor’s letter) evidencing the need for an exception. This applies to both students and faculty. The medical proof must be filed with the Rector's office.
  • Online services from the Counselling Centre, Writing Lab, and Statistics Tutoring will be available for students who choose to use them.
  • Class breaks will be staggered in order to ensure classes finish in due course, and therefore minimize congestion in public spaces between classes.
  •  Windows will be opened during class where possible. Students are advised to stay in class during breaks.
  • To maximize the distance between students choosing to attend classes in person, full use will be made of the auditorium and larger classrooms.
  • Each classroom will have several portable plexiglass separators available for optional, individual protection. 
  • Video conferencing and other applications will be used to minimize internal and external face-to-face meetings.

Campus measures: 

In preparation for the beginning of this semester and academic year, we have gone above and beyond to make sure our campus remains a safe and welcoming place to work and study. UNYP has been at the forefront of national efforts to respond to the pandemic, and we are well-placed to use our expertise and facilities to implement innovative measures to help protect our staff and student community, including (but not limited to):

  • A security guard will be present at the building entrance to help and support efforts to keep everyone safe at UNYP.
  •  Any person who demonstrates Covid-19 symptoms will be politely asked to temporarily leave the premises as a precaution.
  • Two digital infrared thermometers will be available at reception to allow body temperature to be measured in the event of concerns. Students who wish to proactively check their temperature can do so upon request.
  • Single-use gloves will be available for free at reception (in addition to single-use masks).
  • A new online textbook library has been purchased from Perlego to decrease congestion in the library and allow students flexibility.
  •  Plexiglas barriers have been installed in some high-traffic locations and offices to help students and staff feel safe.
  • Additional cleaning staff have been hired, and will rotate throughout the building all day to disinfect classrooms, handles, and other surfaces. 
  • Plastic cups have been removed from water fountains. Students and faculty are asked to bring their own cups or water bottle. Packaged, single-use cups will be available at reception for free upon request. UNYP-branded recycled plastic and glass water bottles will also be available at the Café.
  • New touchless hygiene (disinfection) stations have been placed throughout the premises.
  • Hand sanitizing gels can be found in all classes and restrooms.
  • Single-use surface sanitizers are available in all classes to wipe down desks or furniture before and after use.
  • All permanent staff will be rotated in order to prevent the potential shutdown of key UNYP departments in the event of positive Covid-19 cases among the UNYP community. 
  • Access to the Café will only be permitted from the outside of the building. This will avoid external visitors in the building and ensure that all Café customers are monitored when entering the premises. 
  • Usage of the elevator will be restricted to a total of 3 people. We recommend using the elevator only to go up, and to take the stairs going down.
  • Informational posters around the university with information on symptoms, preventative measures, and mask maintenance. 

For a safe and effective academic year, we will need everyone attending classes or working at UNYP to follow our safety guidelines closely. This is a testing time for all of us, and as we move forward in the academic year, we need to continue to cooperate, to keep everything under review and make further changes where we need to. Each of us has a responsibility to minimize the spread of Covid-19. As members of a wider community, we have a responsibility to others in UNYP, Prague and beyond.

 

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