Modes of Learning for Upcoming University Semester Announced
Sunday, August 30, 2020 
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The Higher Education Council has announced the general provisions and standards for attendance and participation in the upcoming university semester, according to a ministry statement.
The council has decided to apply the hybrid learning model for the upcoming semester.
The hybrid learning mode “combines traditional face-to-face learning environment with online dimensions, building on prior e-learning experiences gained during the previous summer semester and second semesters”, according to the statement.
The decision comes out of the council’s concern to provide quality education that would achieve equity and reduce the dropout rates, bridge learning gaps that might occur due to the interruption of regular education, as well as to ensure the health and safety of students and faculty members, the statement added.
Faculty members will recommence work on September 20. The first semester of the academic year 2020/2021 will begin on September 27, the statement added.
As for private universities, the academic year will begin on October 18.
According to the council’s new rules for undergraduate courses at public universities and intermediate diploma programmes at national community colleges:
1.  The mode of teaching will be remote education for compulsory and optional university and faculty requirements.
 2. Courses that require laboratory activities, workshops and physical applications will be taught on campus, adhering to public health and safety standards.
 3. Course specialisation requirements will be taught on campus, preserving public safety measures.
 4. The board of deans has the right to make exceptions for certain on-campus course requirements, to be offered via blended learning, provided that the percentage of teaching on campus is not less than 50 per cent.
 5. All exams, except those related to course requirements will be remote, taking all necessary measures to ensure the integrity and credibility of the examinations.
 6. All exams (semester work and final examinations) for specialisation courses are conducted in each faculty on campus, taking into account public health and safety standards.
All medicine and dentistry students, regardless of the years, will be taught on campus.Based on the recommendations of the board of deans, blended learning will be applied in classes for certain faculty and course requirements.
All postgraduate courses — higher diploma, master’s and doctorate degrees — will be taught via blended learning, provided that the percentage of teaching on campus is no less than 50 per cent and that all examinations are held the regular way at the university, the statement said.
Meanwhile, students who are abroad can access their courses via virtual classrooms. Whereas at least one class will be taught remotely to first-year students of all specialties, enabling them to catch up with their studies.
The board of deans decides which on-campus courses could be switched to online classes . In case students abroad cannot travel back to take their final exams, the university is free to chart out its own final-year exams plan, read the statement.
By JT: Aug 27, 2020
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