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Rector's statement on the suspension of 2nd semester face-to-face activities of the academic year 2019/2020 due to COVID-19





Considering the uncertainty of the evolution of this pandemic and the measures to be taken in order to face it, and regarding the high probability of not being able to resume the regular academic activities for the rest of the academic year 2019/2020, together with the President of the Catalan Government and the Minister for Business and Knowledge and with the rectors of the Catalan universities, I decide to suspend the face-to-face academic activities corresponding to the second semester until the end of the academic year. All teaching activities will be carried out online.

Therefore, I state what follows:

- The scheduled final examinations are maintained as presential while waiting to see how the pandemic evolves and the measures to be taken, announced by the competent authorities. In any case, the UB works for the possibility of two situations: taking the tests in person and the need to take these online; this is why several action plans are being worked on for each of the scenarios.

- We have reached an agreement with the centers to increase the flexibility of deadlines so that students can opt for single assessment.

- On April 22, there will be a Governing Council held to work on the approval of the adaptation of the academic calendar to increase flexibility to the centers, so that they can plan all the teaching activities that cannot be carried out online, as well as the document on the guidelines and general directions for the functioning of teaching tasks during this period ranging from now to the end of the academic year -previously written by the Academic Committee.

- In this frame of exceptionality, we are also working to respond to the different economic situations of the students and urge the competent authorities to adopt exceptional measures in the Decree of fees of the Catalan Government and the conditions of the General grant of the Ministry.

Moreover, today the Economic Committee of the Board of Trustees ratified the rector’s resolution from March 19, which considers that the enrolment receipts that have been not done during the closure period of the University will not be charged and while this alert continues, the procedures related to the temporary suspension of students’ rights due the enrolment non-payment will still be called off. Moreover, the BkUB program is reinforced so as to help students with economic difficulties. Regarding this issue, the dateline for the applications, which was April 30, will be suspended during the state of alarm announced by the Spanish Government in the Royal Decree 463/2020, March 14. Depending on the amount of received applications, the available credit will increase according to the budget availability of the University.

The UB is willing to continue working in coordination with the other Catalan universities on the decision-taking that affects the teaching and evaluation of students, to improve and adjust, in this general context, the whole series of processes and strategies on learning and teaching as well as the diverse range of supporting and technological tools and resources.

I want to continue expressing a message of tranquillity to the university community. Nobody will lose this university year and the last year students will be able to graduate.

The governing team of the UB and the faculty executive team will continue working with responsibility and coordination to guarantee the minimum impact of these circumstances on the students’ learning, to guarantee the acquisition of all corresponding competences and the academic year, within the corresponding legal frame providing legal security to the degrees.


Joan Elias

Barcelona, April 3, 2020.

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