“Dear students, teachers and staff of ITMO University! Your health and safety is our top priority. In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the University’s management is doing everything possible to minimize the risk of infection, to ensure continuity and to maintain high quality of education and research. We ask you to carefully monitor all messages on this topic that appear on ITMO’s official channels, to treat all the measures taken with understanding and responsibility and to help us in their implementation for the sake of our common good. We ask you to continue studying in this new format as actively and conscientiously as you usually do. We believe in you and will do our best to provide you with all the necessary resources.
On March 16, 150 units of bacteria and virus blockers will be delivered to the dormitories. The blockers have been developed by ITMO’s ChemBio Cluster and produced by the small innovative enterprise Innocolloid. A further 300 units will be delivered on March 23. The bacteria and virus blocker is a deodorizing agent the antiviral properties of which are confirmed by Rospotrebnadzor’s laboratory tests.
If questions or suggestions still come up about what else we can do to help us get through this period together, we are open to hear them. Thank you for your support, and please take care of yourself and each other! A lot depends on your actions and personal responsibility now.”
Vladimir Vasilyev, ITMO University Rector
Do I need to attend class? Can I remain at home?
Starting on March 16, classes will be conducted online and remotely. Soon, you will receive further information on changes to the educational process from the staff of your faculty and the Student Services Office. You can also follow the Student Services Office’s Telegram channel to receive the latest updates.
Teachers will be provided with flexible working hours to ensure the most effective organization of the educational process based on individual educational tracks and the shift to the online and remote formats.
Switching to online learning: current measures
According to ITMO University’s First Vice Rector Daria Kozlova, a general set of online courses is currently being formed by the Ministry of Higher Education and will be provided to students of Russian universities in the spring semester of the 2019/2020 academic year. These courses will be found on the Open Education portal and made available free of charge to students of all universities.
As of March 15, there are already more than 500 such courses. Most of them have been provided by member universities of the Open Education Association. In the near future, this number is expected to exceed 1,000. ITMO University is responsible for overseeing the collection of a common database of online courses.
Russian universities will also be providing free access to their digital libraries for all students.
In the days ahead, teaching staff will be providing students with links to online courses that correspond to their current disciplines; alternatively, they will use the university’s online education resources to publish the educational materials needed to complete a course.
Available study formats
Students can interact with their professors in a digital environment using distance learning software such as ZOOM. The company Yandex will also provide its distance learning solutions. The teaching staff for each specific discipline will provide students with detailed instructions on the manner in which distance learning classes will take place.
Students will be able to take online courses and later receive full or partial credit. They can also make use of materials posted by teaching staff using the university’s online education resources.
This educational model will be adopted starting on March 16, 2020 and until the end of the academic year or the stabilization of epidemiological conditions.
Which courses will I need to take?
The decision about which online courses each student will need to take and which materials to study for each discipline will be decided by the respective teaching staff.
How do I get in touch with my professors?
Communication with the teaching staff will be organized by each faculty via the vice deans. You can also contact your teachers by using the information available on their personal page in ISU. You can also always direct your questions to the Student Services Office.
I still have to retake some of my exams. How can I do that?
Repeat exams will also be conducted online using a proctoring system or on-site, in small groups.
I have more questions about the educational process. Who do I get in touch with?
Students may contact the Student Services Office; staff should contact the Department of Academic Affairs.
How will research be conducted?
Research work at ITMO University will be conducted in small teams and within the university’s laboratories according to all sanitary norms and recommendations as provided by the Rospotrebnadzor federal agency and the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Will the university still be open? Can I come in to meet my research advisor?
Yes, the university will remain open; the staff will continue to work according to their regular schedule.
What else is the university doing to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus?
At the present time, ITMO University has already taken a number of measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infection.
- A Rector’s decree has come into action and expanded on the prophylactic measures that have been taken so far against the 2019-nCoV infection (COVID-19).
As per the document, business trips and other work-related travel to countries with high rates of novel coronavirus infection have been cancelled. In addition, all academic mobility-related trips to these countries have also been postponed. These measures will remain in place until the release of an official Rospotrebnadzor memo on the stabilization of affairs in countries with unfavorable epidemiologic conditions.
- Students and staff who have returned from abroad should call the 112 nationwide emergency number to request medical monitoring at the hospital assigned to their place of residence.
- ITMO University is keeping track of the arrival of students and staff from journeys abroad and their medical monitoring during a 14-day period after their arrival to St. Petersburg. Staff members will be provided with medical leave.
- The latest information regarding protective measures against the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) will be made available to students and staff through intranet resources and digital newsletters by email.
- Entrances to the dormitories are being equipped with hand disinfection tools.
- A Dezar UV air purification device has been installed at the Student Services Office; appliances, phones, and door handles are treated with disinfectant solutions.
- All ITMO University spaces are being treated with virucidal disinfectant solutions; that includes the treatment of door handles and handrails.
Dear friends! If you have any questions or suggestions about measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, please contact the Student Services Office at email@example.com (for students), or ITMO’s Department of Academic Affairs (for teachers and other staff).
The official decree "On the organization of educational activity in the circumstances of preventing the spread of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) among students and staff" can be found here (in Russian).