Dear Dalarna University Students

We find ourselves today in an extraordinary situation, and extraordinary situations demand extraordinary efforts. In recent weeks, we, the University, have dealt with current events in a number of ways.

Martin Norsell

Our task is not only to do everything we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus, but also to adapt our entire organisation to online teaching and learning. We had no more than 24 hours to make this happen, which presented a real challenge. I am pleased to say that this process of change was incredibly smooth. Together – 800 colleagues and 15 000 students – we have successfully managed this. It was a fantastic effort on the part of you all. THANK YOU!

I feel privileged to be Vice-Chancellor of a university that was able to make the transition with such pride and such problem-solving, forward-thinking determination. We are now doing all that we can to ensure the continuity of education and research. 

It is important for me to say that as things stand right now, university premises remain open, not least so that you, our students, have somewhere for individual study in well-ventilated areas with internet connection and computer access.

I, along with others in university management, will remain informed about the situation. We make our decisions based on the recommendations and advice provided by Swedish authorities. 

Our main means of communicating with you is by way of our Covid-19 information webpage, which is updated as soon as new information is made available. Try to visit this webpage on a regular basis to ensure you keep yourself up-to-date.

As a result of this extraordinary situation, we have had to make a number of decisions in a very short space of time. One such decision concerns the large events we were to hold in the next few months. In accordance with official recommendations, events with more than 500* attendees are not permitted. As such, we have cancelled several of the events planned for this spring.

In line with the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, we no longer permit work-related trips abroad; furthermore, no exchanges with other countries have been permitted since March 15. This decision remains in place. Where possible, you should also avoid work-related trips within Sweden. There are no restrictions on regional travel for now. 

We must all work to ensure that teaching and learning continue. Therefore, as Vice-Chancellor I have made a formal decision allowing for changes to forms of education and examination so that they can take place online if need be.

Individual responsibility is an important factor for success. The same recommendations apply to all government authorities; however, internal circumstances may differ, such as between departments (for example, between the care sciences and our language subjects) and consequently decisions may also differ.

With all that is happening, it is important that we establish a sense of normality as quickly as possible. This situation is not going away any time soon, so be prepared to work under the current circumstances into the foreseeable future. The situation is going to present challenges, with official decisions and recommendations being made at short notice, depending on developments.

At Dalarna University, we are doing what we can to assist society at large. For example, we have provided online education for healthcare staff, especially suited for those newly employed within our healthcare services because of the coronavirus crisis. Furthermore, we have offered our support to others within the surrounding community in the development of online teaching.

We understand that many of you are worried. Let us therefore look after one another. Talk to one another. Let us help each other deal with the situation in which we currently find ourselves. Together, we will get through this. In the meantime, we will continue to do all that we can to work for the good of Dalarna University and for the good of our students.

Keep a cool head, a warm heart and clean hands. 

Thank you.

Martin Norsell

*On March 27, 2020, the Government made the decision that public gatherings of more than 50 people must be cancelled.

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