After the Government of Spain declared the state of alarm, according to the Spanish Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14th March, and the measures taken by the Andalusian order of 13th March of the Andalusian regional ministry of health and families (Consejería de Salud y Familias), adopting public health preventive measures in Andalusia as a consequence of the health crisis situation caused by the COVID-19, the rectors of the Andalusian public universities have decided to agree on a set of temporary general guidelines, during the meeting held on 15th March 2020, to guarantee the protection of the health of university staff, as a matter of priority, while keeping working on the essential administrative services, during this exceptional situation on the occasion of the COVID-19.
During this period, which may be extended according to the measures successively adopted by the Government of Spain and the Regional Government of Andalusia, all the centres, services and departments of the Andalusian universities will remain closed to the public. As far as possible, every effort will be made to minimise the presence of the university community on the university facilities.
The first main goal of these measures is to keep the university activity in the best way possible under the institutional loyalty to the Government of Spain and the Regional Government of Andalusia. The second one is to ensure that the health of our university community is preserved, as a basic principle, and its collectively collaboration to stop the virus spread.
- Presential activities are suspended (theoretical and practical lessons), within the period of 16th March and 30th March, when the situation will be evaluated again.
- Maintain the suspension of all the courses and activities programmed on university facilities.
- Maintain the suspension of all cultural activities.
- Maintain the suspension of all activities related to extracurricular and curricular internship which take place inside the university facilities. The extracurricular and curricular internship which take place outside the university facilities can be developed depending on the decision of the external entity, provided that it can be developed by telematic means.
- Maintain the suspension of all the field trips.
- Maintain the suspension of secondments and commutes outside the university facilities for work purposes, including the ones participating in examining board of civil services exams, competitions and doctoral thesis defences.
- Keep libraries, study rooms and sports facilities closed.
- Keep canteens, cafeterias and photocopying services With regard to the student housings and halls of residence, where students continue to be housed, they will only provide their services to the students meeting the health preventive measures.
Measures aimed at the administration and services staff:
- To provide that these measures are established without any prejudice to the subjection of all personnel to the needs of the service and their availability, when required, for the provision the service.
- In order to guarantee the continuity of the services in this situation as far as possible, the Administration and Services personnel will carry out their activity by telematic means, according to the requirements and conditions that will be established by the governing boards, always taking into account the tasks assigned by those responsible for the services.
- Extraordinary and justified cases, in which it is not possible to carry out the work by telematic means and in which the on-site assistance of the employees is not necessary, will be considered as justified absence, without entailing the loss of rights.
- The Management of each University will determine and communicate, within a short period of time, the planning of the minimum services that will be necessary to provide in-person, including those corresponding to external contracts.
- In the case of the provision of in-person services, it will be ensured in any case to promote the reconciliation of work and family life and to guarantee health safety in the workplace.
- In determining the person(s) who should work in-person, priority will be given to staff who volunteer. In the event that the necessary personnel are not available to comply with the work programs, the criteria determined by the governing boards will be applied.
- Both in the activity developed in-person and in the one developed through telematic means, in a temporary way and during the period in which this exceptional situation is maintained, tasks can be reassigned by the heads of service, responsible for units or work teams, according to the concurring circumstances.
- Universities shall provide, as far as possible, the necessary technical means for the effective performance of the professional activity by telematic means.
- All staff should be available and consult daily the information that the University can send through the means established for this purpose (mainly, corporate email and the website of the institution).
Measures aimed at teaching and research staff and research staff:
- All the TRS and Research Staff will continue with their teaching and management activity in a non-presential way, and with their research activity also in a non-presential way, preferably.
- When this is not possible and on an exceptional basis, the TRS and Research Staff may access the university facilities, always voluntarily and following the hygiene and health guidelines set by the authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In these cases, the access to the facilities must be done accrediting the membership to the University or by means of the university cards.
- The distance teaching activity will be carried out through the different platforms and means authorized by the Universities.
- Tutorials will also be maintained and will be carried out virtually through the aforementioned teaching platforms, by e-mail or any other distance system that is authorized by the University.
- In view of the exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves, we beg teachers to be as flexible as possible in their teaching and assessment activities, in order to reduce the academic damage that this situation entails for students.
- Those activities required for the programming of the next course, as well as any others considered essential for the correct functioning of the institution, will be carried out by means of virtual meetings.
Measures and recommendations aimed at students:
- To order that students refrain from going to university facilities and its spaces, remaining in their homes and places of residence.
- To try to maximize academic achievement during this exceptional period of quarantine, given that, despite the measures taken, the course officially continues.
- To pay attention to how many informative and guiding communications are sent to them by the Government, the Administration and Services Staff and the Teaching and Research Staff, with special attention to the messages on the official websites and the corporate e-mail.
The Andalusian Public Universities guarantee that, despite the exceptional nature of this situation, they will ensure that the rights of students and the best possible solution for any academic dysfunctions that may arise are safeguarded.
From the conviction that we will know how to face with solvency the enormous challenges that this situation presents us and that our institutions may even be strengthened as a community, the rectors ask the entire university community to act responsibly and with institutional commitment, complying with the rules derived from the current state of alarm, for their own sake and that for our society as a whole.