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A different autumn for staff and students at UiB

Employees at the University of Bergen must prepare for an autumn where they may have to work from the home office or avoid traveling by public transport during rush hour.

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As a new semester starts on Monday 10 August, people may wonder how the workday will be like. For the employees at the University of Bergen, most things will be as they were before the summer.

“The University of Bergen wants the start of the semester to be as normal as possible for students and staff. The university uses flexible working hours and home offices to contribute to unnecessary strain on public transport”, says assistant university director Tore Tungodden.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health strongly recommends that those who can uses their home office some of the time. Health director Bjørn Guldvog says it is likely that we will be dependent on home offices for the rest of the year, perhaps even beyond that.

“We do not say that one should only work from home office, but part of the time, so that we reduce the load on public transport in suburban areas where there is a lot of rush hour traffic”, says Guldvog.

He also points out that more flexible working hours can relieve public transport.

“For our part, this means that one makes an agreement with the nearest leader to work from home office or change of working hours. Then we get solutions that are suitable for both parties, says Tungodden.

All students have access to campus, but still so that infection control is taken care of. There is reduced capacity in classrooms and reading rooms according to current distance rules. Extensive measures have been initiated with marking and extra cleaning. All employees and students who are to have access to the campus must complete and pass an e-learning course in infection control.

“In addition, we have engaged infection control supervisors and extra guard capacity to ensure that the infection control rules are held. All students will receive updated information about infection control at UiB”, says Tungodden.

The teaching this autumn will be a combination of digital and physical arrangements. The academic and administrative staff at the University of Bergen have made an extraordinary effort to facilitate this. At the start of the semester, 100 teaching rooms are prepared for digital teaching.

“The first-year students are given priority for physical education, but arrangements must be made for all students to receive an offer on campus this autumn. The students who are in risk groups must also be taken care of and receive a satisfying educational offer”, says Tungodden.

The authorities have decided to shut down bars from midnight to prevent the spread of infection. The university management has therefore informed the students that UiB's buildings will also be closed and emptied at 24 during “Fadderuken”.

In case of symptoms of respiratory diseases or if you are ill, it is important that you stay at home until you are healthy or free of symptoms. If you have been to UiB's buildings and have been diagnosed with covid-19, you must notify the University here.