Academic year 2020-2021
How do we function during the pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a significant change in the functioning of society and  led to the introduction of restrictions which all the universities were obligated to implement. We feel we are responsible for the health and safety of our students and employees. For this reason  we made changes to the organization of work in our campuses, modified the teaching model and re-shaped the way we do research. We are prepared for the new academic year.

 

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A message from the Rector

We are all asking the question about the new academic year. One thing is certain - it will be unlike any previous one. The COVID-19 pandemic will linger on for months or years to come. However, we are now more capable of adapting to living, learning and working in these extraordinary conditions. In the new academic year we will tap into the vast experience we built up in the previous semester. We will also implement novel solutions.

The basic modality in the new academic year will still be distance learning, however it will take on numerous different forms including hybrid teaching or the HyFlex course model. Classroom activities will take place in a limited scope and under special safety precautions, in particular for students of the first and final years of study. Workshops and practical activities will be given priority in this respect.

Throughout SWPS University we have adopted a number of rules which will guide our work in the new academic year.

First and foremost, safety and health. We will monitor and minimize the risks arising from the pandemic and prevent them.

Second, faithfulness to our mission of creating the best possible conditions for education, work and development. We will teach, learn and work differently - but still as effectively as ever. And we will do that using innovative technologies. We will be traditional in the way we set goals for education and work and innovative in the way we pursue them.

Third, flexibility. We will actively respond to he changing conditions resulting from the pandemic. The implemented solutions are and will be developed with the participation of various stakeholders and will respect their needs, decision powers and level of responsibility. That is why specific solutions relating to the organization of teaching will vary depending on the faculty, field, mode and year of study.

Fourth, community. We must be together. In the coming year it will be especially important for us - the entire community of SWPS University - to be cooperative, communicative, ready for change, tolerant, open and sensitive. We will initiate and promote activities for the mutual support and assistance.

The previous semester proved that we are able to take advantage of modern technologies in teaching and working. We familiarized ourselves with, and indeed grew accustomed to, functioning in virtual space. However, in the academic environment we want to build relationships and collaborate also in a more direct manner - in physical space on our campuses. That is why, as soon as it becomes possible amidst the pandemic, we will enable students to use the university facilities. Naturally, this will occur under special conditions which will be adopted in the university buildings. These will include, among others, wearing face masks or social distancing. The rules will be monitored and updated. We will ask the lecturers to conduct classes in university buildings - including those in which students will participate online. We made sure that all the classrooms in all our campuses are fitted with the equipment and internet access needed to smoothly run classes.

I am certain that the coming academic year will not only bring us new experience, but also enhance our skills and strengthen the university community. There is no doubt in my mind that our open and creative academic environment will together rise to any new challenge. I hope to see you soon.


prof. dr hab. Roman Cieślak
Rector of SWPS University

Guidelines for candidates and international students
Studies in English

  • If you are our student that had to return to their home country due to the pandemic, or if you are now applying for admission to one of our courses and you need assistance, we are here to help you. The decision to come to Poland is not an easy one and that is why the experts from our admissions offices are there to provide you with all the information you may need.

  • In the coming academic year, you can take advantage of the option to learn online. At the same time we assure you that classes in the university buildings will take place in safe conditions and subject to all the requirements of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate.





MORE INFORMATION

Priceless experience

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the academic reality by imposing limitations which made it impossible for the university to function as before. But we knew we had to face that challenge from the very start. We were motivated by the feeling of responsibility for the education of 14 thousand students who put their trust in us. Owing to the outstanding commitment of the entire academic community, we resumed teaching online according to the original schedule.


In the summer semester we conducted 86% of the scheduled classes accounting for nearly 75 thousand teaching hours in various forms and modes delivered by 1200 lecturers, as well as 28 thousand live meetings with student groups. During the online examination period we prepared nearly 35 thousand individual student spaces in 700 online tests. The largest one was attended by over 500 participants.

 

These numbers show not only how large the scale of the effort was, but also how much work has been done both individually and institutionally by our employees. Thank you for being with us then and now.

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Further changes to teaching

Today we can say with full confidence that our university has fulfilled its educational mission, even though now, during the pandemic, that mission is pursued differently than before. We made every effort to ensure that the change in the organization of teaching does not negatively affect the classes or the cooperation between the students and the lecturers.

We learned to conduct classes online using the most recent digital technologies. Building up on those competences, in academic year 2020/2021 we will be launching pilot classes in the HyFlex formula. For this purpose we are now fitting classrooms with ultra-modern equipment enabling the alignment of classroom activities with online work.

Owing to the experience we have already gained, we now know what tools are most effective in teaching and how to organize the examination period or conduct diploma examinations online.

Flexibility in teaching

The goal we set for ourselves now is to maintain the quality of teaching while at the same time ensuring safety of our students and lecturers. We will achieve this by means of flexible organization of classes in the entire university.

We are convinced that flexible use of various teaching modalities will allow us to adapt to the changing conditions and requirements associated with the pandemic and to ensure the highest level of education to students.

We should be prepared for part of the classes to take place in the classrooms while the other part will be delivered online, however in all cases with real-time participation of the students.

Class modalities: the 4+1 formula

01Classroom activities

Students participate in traditional classes in the university buildings under safety precautions.


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02Online synchronous classes

Students participate live in classes conducted online with the possibility of direct interaction with the lecturer and with other students.

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03Online asynchronous classes

Students participate in classes conducted online which are prepared earlier by the lecturer and made available for viewing in any place and at any time.




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04Hybrid classes

Within the scope of a given subject, all the students in one group participate in classes conducted both in the university building and online according to the original schedule. This means that part of the teaching hours are conducted in the classroom and the rest are carried out online.

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05HyFlex course model

Students choose the manner of participation in classes on their own. Within the scope of a given subject it is possible to participate in person or online. This means that, during a given class, some of the students in the group are present in the classroom while others participate online.

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Where can I get more information?

Detailed information regarding the organization of classes in your field of study will be available in your faculty. Information regarding whether the given class will be conducted in the university building or online will be available in the Virtual University in the form of a note in the class schedule as well as an e-mail notification sent to your university mailbox.


♦  Please check your university e-mail regularly
♦  Please read the information posted in the Virtual University

You will also find practical guidelines and answers to previously asked questions in the FAQs section.

Nobody can predict the future course of the pandemic. We will adapt to the changing reality as we go along, which is why constant communication between the students and the university is of vital importance.

FAQs

Support for students
Creating workplaces

We have prepared two schemes of assistance for students who find themselves in a difficult financial situation. In the implementation of those schemes we invested 1 million Polish zloty.

“Student Support” scheme

As part of this scheme students find temporary employment in the university. Up to now we have received nearly 240 student applications. We have already established over 50 workplaces for eligible candidates.


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In the scope of this scheme, the Pro Akademika foundation established in cooperation with SWPS University involves students in the process of preparing a series of training sessions in the methods and tools of distance learning for primary and secondary school teachers.

 

Grants and welfare support from the funds of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

This includes a basket of material aid benefits subsidized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education including: rector’s scholarships, grants for persons with disabilities and welfare benefits which are designed especially for students who found themselves in a difficult financial situation as a result of the pandemic.

The rules applicable to university buildings

We realize the importance of academic community, establishing connections and the relationships between peers which are possible owing to direct, physical interaction with other people. That is why we want to enable students to participate in classroom activities to the broadest extent possible. We have adapted our infrastructure to strict safety requirements in order to minimize the risk of infection.

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Let’s be together and let’s be safe

We all want to feel comfortable and safe, and that is why we have introduced the following rules:


  • “Physical contact zones” are regularly sanitized with the use of professional agents.
  • In the university premises it is required to cover your mouth and nose (face mask, face shield). Entrance to university buildings is possible on the strict condition of wearing a face mask and sanitizing your hands.
  • Hand-sanitization facilities are located in every campus directly by each entrance.
  • In the cafeterias and coffee bars we have ensured the option of payment by credit card.
  • Plexiglass partitions have been installed at all the service desks.
  • In order to minimize the risk of building up large gatherings of people in one place, we have introduced online and telephone service as well as individually scheduled appointments in all offices for handling student affairs where you can safely submit or collect documents.
  • Information on the maximum number of permitted occupants is displayed on the door of each classroom and lavatory. Please follow the above safety recommendations.

 

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Protecting ourselves and others

We do our best to ensure safety to students and employees of the university, however still a lot depends on YOU:


  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Use soap and water, and if they are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers (min. 60%).
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue. Immediately discard the used tissue to a closed dustbin and wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Maintain a safe distance and avoid large gatherings. It is recommended to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters.
  • If you experience fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical assistance. Stay at home until you get well.
  • Remind others to observe these rules.










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Coronavirus - what do we know about it

What is a coronavirus?

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms.
  • Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. Around 1 out of every 5 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, or cancer, are at higher risk of developing serious illness. However, anyone can catch COVID-19 and become seriously ill. People of all ages who experience fever and/or cough associated with difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, or loss of speech or movement should seek medical attention immediately. If possible, it is recommended to call the health care provider or facility first, so the patient can be directed to the right clinic.

How does COVID-19 spread?

  • People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly sink to the ground. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus. This is why it is important to stay at least 1 meter) away from others. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces around the person such as tables, doorknobs and handrails. People can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways that COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.

When can infected people transmit the virus?

  • Based on what we currently know, transmission of COVID-19 is primarily occurring from people when they have symptoms, and can also occur just before they develop symptoms, when they are in close proximity to others for prolonged periods of time. While someone who never develops symptoms can also pass the virus to others, it is still not clear to what extent this occurs and more research is needed in this area. Limiting contact with people who are infected with COVID-19, frequent, thorough, hand cleansing and wearing a mask when at least 1 meter of physical distance can’t be guaranteed, help to break chains of transmission.

Can people without symptoms transmit the virus?

  • Yes, infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms. This is why it is important that all people who are infected are identified by testing, isolated, and, depending on the severity of their disease, receive medical care. Even people confirmed to have COVID-19 but who do not have symptoms should be isolated to limit their contact with others. These measures break chains of transmission. This is why it is always important to stay at least 1 meter from others, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a bent elbow or tissue, clean hands regularly, and stay home if you become unwell or if asked. In areas where there is widespread transmission, it is also important that people wear a fabric mask where physical distancing and other control measures cannot be implemented.
  • More information on the use of masks can be found here.

How long does it take after exposure to COVID-19 to develop symptoms?

  • The time between exposure to COVID-19 and the moment when symptoms start is commonly around five to six days but can range from 1 – 14 days.

Source: World Health Organization

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