CREUP’s updates: Adapting universities to outbreaks
The resurgence of the second wave of COVID19 in Spain is wreaking havoc on Spanish universities. The different contingency plans designed by the universities are being put to the test as more than a dozen universities have had to go e-learning at least temporarily.
The universities that maintain their presential or semi-presential classes do so with strong preventive measures to try to guarantee health safety among students and professors. These measures include the rotation of subgroups between online and face-to-face teaching (alternating between weeks), the reduction of seating capacity, the installation of plastic security screens and in some universities even massive serological tests are being carried out.
On the other hand, a large part of the efforts is being devoted to raising awareness among students to prevent contagion in leisure activities, as this is an area that is beyond the control of universities. In this sense, the measures are being very strict, having reached the point of opening disciplinary procedures that lead to cautionary expulsions of the students involved.
Unfortunately, this tense situation is highlighting the well-known structural problems of Spanish universities: insufficient staff, very limited technological resources, scarce funds and outdated teaching programs that are difficult to adapt to the reality of online teaching.
We hope that the epidemiological situation will relax over the next few months so that at least evaluations can be carried out in person. In this way, this exceptional course will be able to maintain at least the minimum guarantees in the evaluation processes without the risk of returning to the online evaluation of the 2019-2020 course.