COMENIUS UNIVERSITY IS EASING RESTRICTIONS AND PREPARING FOR ITS SUMMER ACTIVITIES
Bratislava, 10 June 2020: Comenius University is easing several restrictions which had been put in place due to the spread of COVID-19 as a result of the lifting of measures nationwide.
By: Oddelenie pre vonkajšie vzťahy RUK
From 1 June 2020, the Rector of Comenius University, Marek Števček, authorized educational activities in person, including examinations and the meetings of academic bodies. A condition of this, however, remains the adherence to the recommended hygiene and safety rules. At some faculties, state examinations will take place in person, whereas at others they will remain with the remote examination model at the discretion of faculty management.
The university dormitories are also slowly returning to normal. The rector cancelled the directive that had closed the accommodation facilities of Comenius University in March (the Ľudovít Štúr Campus–Mlyny, the Družba Halls of Residence, the Lafranconi Student Dormitory, and the University Dormitory and Canteen at the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin). Until 30 June 2020, final-year and doctoral students will have a preferential entitlement to accommodation provided they meet the set conditions. The aim is to meet the needs of those students who are taking the state examinations in person. Those who had received an exemption for accommodation shall remain at the dormitories. Students who had not formally left the dormitories can return to use them for accommodation purposes. At present, the Družba Halls of Residence are still housing people who are in state quarantine after having returned from abroad. Currently preparations are underway to allow the dormitories to be used by students during the summer.
Comenius University allowed the faculty deans to grant students an exemption from the assessment stages of their studies in special cases relating to the spread of COVID-19. This applies in particular to students who objectively were not able to fulfil their obligations, for example, in the case of subjects which could not be completed remotely.
The difficult financial situation for many parts of the university has led to organizational changes. The Centre for Continuing Education, which provides education for senior citizens in the University of the Third Age programme, as well as education for foreigners and expatriate Slovaks and continuing education, shall be disbanded as a self-governing part of the university with effect from 1 January 2021. Its activities will then be under the governance of the Rectorate of Comenius University. The university believes that this change will bring about a higher degree of interconnection of continuing education with the other activities of the university. The university is aware of the importance of continuing education and will try to preserve all the good things that have been built in this area during the existence of the centre as an independent body.
Comenius University is moving the dates of summer graduations in the historic auditorium of the university to the autumn. "In the case of interest from faculties and a favourable epidemiological situation, graduations can take place in the alternative dates in autumn," said Zuzana Kovačičová, the Vice-Rector for Education and Social Affairs.
In the university building on Šafárik Square (entrance from the back on Múzejná Street), the Comenius University Information Centre resumed its activities with the sale of university merchandise, which, in addition to t-shirts and sweatshirts, includes a special addition for this year in the form of cloth facemasks bearing the university logo.
In addition to regular teaching, the ongoing crisis has also affected the eighteenth year of the Children's Comenius University, which will be held online. The Minister of Education, Branislav Gröhling, will be the first to address the children. Over the summer, lectures will be given by Professor Silvia Pastoreková from the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Associate Professor Lenka Sokolová from the Faculty of Education at Comenius University. This year's topics will cover pandemics and viruses.
A popular place to relax near the Danube, the Comenius University Botanical Garden has also opened its gates. These days there is a blooming rosarium full of colours and scents, where visitors can admire about two thousand roses from one hundred and fifty different species. The garden will also continue the tradition of regular summer concerts in cooperation with the Bratislava Culture and Information Centre.