Summer greeting from the executive team

2020.06.25 | Dekanatet

Photo: AU Photo

 

Dear employees,

With the summer holidays fast approaching, we can look back on quite an extraordinary spring. And forward to an autumn that will also be somewhat different than usual.

During the physical lockdown in the spring, we worked together at a distance for almost three months and had to come up with new online solutions for teaching and exams.

It has been a massive task, but by and large we have succeeded exceptionally well. By introducing innovative solutions and experimenting with digital tools, we have made sure that - academically - our students were able to complete their semester as planned.

This is an impressive feat made possible by the many committed lecturers and administrative employees at the departments and in the administrative centre. Many people have worked exceptionally hard during a changing and uncertain time, so thank you all very much. We also thank the school’s task force and extend a special thank you to the study administrative employees, who have competently handled the many complex challenges related to teaching and exams brought on by the coronavirus situation.

Online teaching will never be able to replace the physical encounter between lecturer and student. However, it is an important and necessary supplement that opens up for many new possibilities - in the physical encounter as well.

This spring, we have gained lots of experiences of what works well and less well. We must learn from these experiences and use this knowledge going forward. We are now evaluating the spring semester’s digital teaching to gain an insight into which areas we can build on.

Digital solutions are sure to remain an important aspect of the teaching in future. Also in the upcoming semester, where we still have a number of unresolved questions. We still do not know when students are allowed back on campus, to what extent and with what restrictions. This places great demands on our planners and lecturers, whom we will try to equip with the necessary prerequisites before the start of the semester.

It also places great demands on our students, who have probably paid the highest price of all of us here at Aarhus BSS this spring - and who have been largely overlooked in the public debate.

A good student life is not just about the academic content of the degree programme, but about all of the human and social experiences that come with being a student. Students have had to miss out on these experiences this spring, which has been an even more “stolen” spring than usual. Our PhD students have also been challenged by the crisis, and some have had to make adjustments in order to complete their projects. However, they have handled the situation admirably.

We look forward to welcoming back our students and to having campus buzzing in the way we are used to.

We also look forward to embarking on the next semester. Although things will be slightly different, we will be able to draw on the many positive experiences we have gained in the spring.

However, before that it is time for well-deserved summer holiday. We wish you all a great summer!

Kind regards,

Thomas Pallesen, Per Andersen, Per Baltzer Overgaard and Anne Bækby Johansen.

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