Distance learning and dormitory accommodation. What options do students have?

Bratislava 30 August 2021: By 31 August 2021, Comenius University Bratislava faculties will publish their tuition plans for the winter semester of the upcoming academic year. It will be a challenge to compile adequate schedules in this fourth semester of a pandemic for many of the faculties. If they'll strive for on-site teaching, they'll need to fully adopt the guidelines of the relevant regional public health authorities. The general rules for teaching in the winter semester are set out in the Rector's order no. 16/2021.

30. 08. 2021 11.55 hod.
By: CU External Relations Office

Almost half of CU students are making use of the accommodation in one of its dormitories. Students, who were granted accommodation in the 2021/2022 academic year will begin checking in as early as 2 September 2021. University management hopes that it can keep the dormitories operational for as long as possible, ideally during the whole year. The dormitories have implemented the necessary measures and set aside a number of “isolation” rooms. In the event that the district of the dormitory is placed on the Vigilance level according to the “COVID automat”, the dormitory will apply the “vaccinated-tested-recovered” principle. This means that, according to the Public Health Authority decree No. 240 (more in the news report issued on 19 August 2021), only persons who have been fully vaccinated, tested or have recovered from COVID-19, will be allowed entrance to the dormitories.

The Regional Public Health Authority in Bratislava has approved the conditions for on-site teaching in the winter semester for the faculties which are based in the Bratislava district. The circumstances under which on-site teaching can take place depend on the development of the epidemic situation in Bratislava and are summarized in the “Traffic Light for Tuition at CU”.  In the green and orange stage the traffic light system allows a maximum of 50 people in the room, in the red stage the number of people in the room is reduced to 20, and from the magenta stage onwards only selected essential subjects can be taught on-site.

It is probable that the tuition of some study programs will take place in on-line form either completely or partially. The university, however, does not expect a reduced interest in accommodation in its dormitories. "We already know more about COVID-19, and we have taken various measures to reduce the risk of infection. In addition, our survey showed that 82 percent of accommodated students are vaccinated and another 14 percent plan to vaccinate before the start of the semester. We have reason to assume that the dormitories will be a safe place to study," said the rector of Comenius University Marek Števček.

The university will meet the needs of students who will elect not to stay in its dormitories if their programmes are taught on-line in the winter semester. If they cancel their reservation by 15 September, the dormitories will return their deposits and accomodation charge and automatically allocate their place to other applicants from the Comenius University waiting list. Any students who check in but then, by 30 September, check out due to on-line study, will be permitted to terminate their contract with the dormitory and will receive a proportionate amount of the accommodation payments they made, and their place will be assigned to the next applicant. If they decide to check out after 1 October, they adhere to the accomodation contract. Students who will decide not to use the allocated accommodation waive their right to use it in the whole academic year, even if on-site tuition in their study program resumes in the summer semester. Additional students will be allowed to take up accommodation for the summer semester during February 2022 if dormitory capacity permits.