COVID-19 Communication 18: Return to Campus Vote

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Belgium Campus COVID-19 Communication 19 - Academic Schedule and Mode of Deliver

15/07/2020

Dear Student,

We have received some concern from students and parents regarding the availability of the academic schedule and our plan for delivering classes going forward. We hope that this email will address these concerns and provide some clarity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty and unwelcome change. Despite our best efforts to reduce its impact on the lives of our students, there are some areas where this impact is unavoidable.

Academic Schedule Availability

In the past we have received enquiries regarding our academic schedule and why we cannot make the full year’s schedule available at the beginning of each year. Our academic schedule is carefully drawn up taking a number of factors into account. Some of these factors, including the number of students that enrol for each course and the availability of our lecturers, cannot be predetermined. The modular system which provides our students with the advantage of being able to study one or at most two modules at a time, unfortunately also comes with the disadvantage of preventing us from releasing the schedule for each quarter as early as we would like.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the process of drawing up the academic schedule even more challenging. The volatile nature of the pandemic and the changing lockdown levels means that our academic schedule is likely to change even more than before. We have been forced to keep our schedule as adaptable as possible so that we can deal with the changing circumstances as they present themselves. As a result, we unfortunately won’t be able to finalise and release any schedules more than 3 weeks in advance. There are a multitude of important factors to consider, including accommodating students who did not have access to infrastructure during lockdown.

We understand that this may cause frustration amongst students and parents alike but we ask that you remain patient and understanding. This is also a challenging time for our lecturers who now have less time to prepare for the upcoming courses and the subjects which will run. We assure you that all decisions taken by Belgium Campus Management are in the best interests of all our students and keeping our schedule highly adaptable will allow us to keep our promise to leave no student behind.

Mode of Delivery

Belgium Campus’ mode of delivery is dependent on directive from the Department of Higher Education and the regulations of the current lockdown level. Under the present lockdown level, we are able to resume face-to-face classes for 33% of the student body. However, this is not feasible at this time. As such, online classes are set to continue (with campus facilities being used by students who require this) until lockdown level 1 or 2 at which point Belgium Campus will consider adopting a hybrid learning system. This system will give students the option to return to campus for face-to-face classes or continue to attend classes online via a live stream. The adoption of this system will be dependent on the number of students returning at each specific lockdown level.

Catch-Up Classes

We are aware that some students were unable to attend online classes due to a lack of connectivity/infrastructure. These students were invited to return to campus to make use of the facilities to attend online classes. This was done in line with the 33% directive from the Department of Higher Education and in accordance with strict COVID-19 health and safety government regulations. We intend to do everything fair and feasible to help these students complete the academic year on time. Catch-up classes are being made available to give these students the opportunity to catch up with their peers. The first set of catch-up classes have commenced with specific students being invited to attend the subjects currently on offer. Further information, including catch-up class schedules for the upcoming recess periods, will be communicated as soon as it is possible to do so.

All class updates, including any changes to the academic schedule, will be posted on Microsoft Teams. It is the responsibility of each student to continuously read announcements and keep an eye on their accounts to avoid missing any important updates. We thank you for continuing to work with us as we collectively navigate these uncertain times.

Yours faithfully,

Belgium Campus iTversity Management