UPDATE: COVID-19 AND TEACHING IN THE FALL SEMESTER
Here in Italy, which was one of the first countries in the world to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have good reason to feel very fortunate and optimistic about the coming months.
The nation’s management of the situation has gotten the spread of the disease under control and with every passing day, more and more Italians – including university students – are getting vaccinated. As of today, 46% of the population has received at least one dose of the approved vaccines and we hope to be well on the way to herd immunity by October.
As a result, Ca’ Foscari and other Italian universities now feel we can plan to give you and other new BA and MA students what you expected when you imagined studying at university: the chance to be in the classroom with your professor lecturing in person, sharing a physical and intellectual space with your peers. Our current plan – if the situation in Italy continues to improve as it appears it will – is to get everyone back in the lecture hall and off the internet. (The Foundation Year is an exception; you can read about the plans for its teaching on the programme’s website.)
However, that said, we all know that COVID-19 has surprised us more than once. If social distancing measures continue to be in place when September arrives, which may still be the case, then it will be impossible for us to host all of our students in our lecture halls. In this event, we will maintain the equal-opportunity reservation system we have successfully used this year in order to allow you and your peers to reserve your spots in the classroom as well as provide online access to lectures – likely in the form of recordings posted after the fact – for those students unable to attend them in person.
We are aiming to make a decision about whether we will be able to accommodate all of you in the classroom this fall or if we will need to maintain classroom quotas that allow social distancing in lecture halls while offering online access to classes by the end of July. We believe that delaying such an important decision is appropriate and responsible (if nothing else, this year has taught us the importance of cautious planning!). What we can say with certainty is that it is important that you continue to reason that you are planning to be here in Italy at the beginning of September. Therefore, we encourage you to proceed with all of the steps required in order to facilitate your arrival, especially your pre-enrolment on the Universitaly platform if you need a study visa (which you can begin as soon as you receive an enrolment eligibility letter).
We hope that you are looking forward to settling into your seat in the classroom this fall!
11 Jun 2021