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Update from Head of Department Niklas Andersson to the UID community

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During this past week, the leadership at Umeå Institute of Design has been working to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances presented by the global pandemic of COVID-19.

2020-03-20

Our first priority, at all times, are our students. That rings even more true during these difficult times.

We understand that a lot of students have concerns and questions regarding how this pandemic will impact you, your education and your engagement with UID. We hear those concerns and while we don't have all the answers yet we are working with the central leadership at Umeå University to make sure that we support the academic experience for our students while keeping their health and safety as our top priority. The same goes for our faculty and staff, whether they are at UID or working remotely.

To reduce the risk of spreading disease, Umeå Institute of Design was instructed by Umeå University leadership to conduct the teaching of the remainder of this semester remotely, as of March 18th. This means that the school is now closed to all students until June 7th. If you have to retrieve personal belongings, please contact your programme director or course responsible teacher.

We are aware that many of you will have a lot of questions, like: "How will my courses be conducted remotely and how will this situation affect the academic quality? Will I be able to complete my degree project without access to UID studios, workshops and materials? Will the Design Talks & Degree Show (UID'20) still happen?"

Naturally, the transition towards solely digital studies  will impact the educational experience. However, we are trying to also see this as an opportunity to create an inspired academic environment in the digital space. That goes for UID'20 as well. Plans are already underway to convert this year's Design Talks & Degree Show into an online experience that will do our extraordinary students justice.

If you are a student in need of academic assistance related to your specific programme or course, please do not hesitate to contact your programme director or course responsible. If you are a student in need of assistance or guidance relating to broader issues surrounding Umeå University or society at large, please contact the UMU Infocenter: www.umu.se/en/contact-us. To keep yourself up to date with the latest developments relating to UID and Covid-19, including guidelines for remote education, please visit the UID Student web on a daily basis; www.umu.se/en/student/umea-institute-of-design.

To conclude, I have a lot of faith that UID students, faculty and staff will carry on the spirit of this school and that our collective actions will ultimately show what this place is about; humanity, collaboration, creativity and resilience.

With appreciation,

Niklas