Spring Semester 2021

Spring Semester 2021

1. Organization of university courses

2. Two-cohort system modality

3. Other modalities, restrictions, exceptions, transition week

4. Broadcasting and video recording of lessons

5. Compliance with the protection plan - wearing a mask

6. Staff and work from home

7. Organization of the June exam session

8. Support measures

9. Vaccination


1. Organization of university courses

The Federal Council decided on April 14 to allow a resumption of face-to-face university teaching under three conditions (maximum 50 people per room, use of capacities reduced to one third, protective measures). As a consequence, a relaxation of current security measures take effect from Monday April 19.

The general principle is to return to more face-to-face teaching, but it is not possible to hold all classes completely in presence mode. The week of April 19 to 23 is a transition week. Courses that fulfil the three conditions stated by the Federal Council can take place in presence mode. For courses with 51-100 registered students, face-to-face teaching can resume via the two-cohort system that was set up at the start of the last semester, as long as the attendance does not exceed one third of the room. For other courses that do not meet these conditions, ad hoc solutions are to be defined by the faculties, for example by having more cohorts or by maintaining distance learning.

Two-cohort system modality

If a course meets the three conditions set out by the Federal Council, it can take place in full presence mode. For courses with fewer than 100 registered students and sufficient capacities in the lecture hall, the two-cohort system applies. For the rest, ad hoc arrangements are necessary. As a reminder, in the two-cohort system, students whose registration number is even will be authorized to come to campus the week of April 19 to 23, then it will be the turn of the odd numbers from April 26 to 30, etc.

  • April 19-23 - even numbers
  • April 26-30 - odd numbers
  • May 03-07 - even numbers
  • May 10-14 - odd numbers
  • May 17-21 - even numbers
  • May 24-28 - odd numbers
  • May 31-June 04 - even numbers

The color-coding system for seating remains in effect. Upon arrival in the room, green places have to be taken first. If the number of students exceeds the number of green places, the yellow places are chosen. Students have to stay at a distance and avoid the formation of groups.

Other modalities, restrictions, exceptions, transition week

As indicated above, the two-cohort system is not applicable to large courses of more than 100 people. In these cases, the faculties will decide if the course is maintained at a distance or if a different cohort system is adopted. The faculties can also make exceptions for courses for which the two-cohort system poses major organizational problems, in particular at the didactic level. Possible modalities range from the maintenance of distance education to complete presence mode.

Broadcasting and video recording of lessons

All lessons will continue to be streamed and recorded, even those that can be given in full presence mode. This is done in order to meet the needs of students who do not have the opportunity to come to campus. Attendance on campus is further limited by allowing students to attend courses at a distance if they prefer to do so.

Compliance with the protection plan - wearing a mask

The relaxation measures in higher education are only possible if all members of the community are in compliance with the protection plan: a distance of 1.5 meters between people has to be maintained, masks have to be worn in all situations, the formation of groups in common areas, especially corridors, is not allowed. Students are encouraged not to stay on the premises between lessons and during the lunch break. At any time, the cantonal authorities can order the university buildings to be closed if problems arise in relation to the protection plan. Inspections are carried out regularly, the last one a few weeks ago. Wearing a mask is crucial, and it should be remembered that failure to comply with the protection plan can lead to disciplinary sanctions which may go as far as exclusion.

Staff and work from home

The obligation to work remotely wherever possible remains in force at the federal level. The practice is however relaxed so that teaching staff can come to campus on teaching days. For the rest of the staff, the practice established since January remains unchanged: requests for exceptions from the general rule of remote work are to be addressed to Human Resources by the deans and department heads. The authorizations granted so far remain valid. Other exceptions should be limited, but it should be taken into account that face-to-face teaching may require the partial return of certain employees.

7. Organization of the June exam session

8. Support measures

The UniNE Ensemble meetings that take place on Mondays at lunchtime will continue after the start of the semester, at least until the Easter holidays. If the situation evolves favorably, we might move from a weekly basis to one meeting every other week.

In addition, the rules for receiving financial aid that the Social Office can grant to students have been relaxed. The Social Office treats all requests confidentially, regardless of whether the requests concern material or psychological support.

  • Bureau social - www.unine.ch/social (in French, but people of the Bureau also answer to requests in English)

9. Vaccination

Vaccination is open to the entire population residing in the canton of Neuchâtel and over 16 years of age.






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