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Coronavirus

Overview: This is how Danish universities will reopen

Scientists can most likely return to their labs in June, and study programmes will most likely reopen in August.

Universities were not mentioned by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen when she presented the second phase of the reopening of Denmark on 7 May. The political agreement merely states that »teaching and examinations that require physical attendance« may resume on 18 May.

Party leaders subsequently negotiated phases three and four of a reopening, and here there were specific dates on universities reopening.

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Phase three, which is scheduled to begin on 8 June, will include »a full opening of public sector [university, ed.] research activities that require physical presence«. This means in all likelihood that researchers who urgently need to get back to the laboratories can resume projects in about one month’s time.

At the same time, the ban on gatherings has been relaxed, and will apply to over 30-50 people.

If trends go better than expected, phase three may also include more physical presence in public workplaces, including universities.

In phase four, which is scheduled to begin in early August, all education programmes are to reopen. In this way, students at the country’s universities are likely to avoid having to start off directly with online teaching after the summer holidays.

For the reopening to proceed according to plan, there is one requirement: The coronavirus can not, suddenly, spread explosively in Danish society.

Read the full agreement here.

Education institutions decide themselves

It is up to the educational institutions themselves to decide where physical attendance is necessary. This can be seen in the 8 May press release from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. It states here:

»It is the specific educational institution that assesses which study programmes, students, teachers and researchers need physical attendance. It could, for example, be:

  • nursing students’ access to facilities that simulate real-world processes
  • workshop training for machinists, plumbers and engineers
  • access to physics rooms for students of teacher training students
  • access to laboratories for science students
  • access to advanced technology for students on IT and technical education programmes.«

 

Translated by Mike Young

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