Nota informativa 90.R.2020 – Plano para o levantamento progressivo das medidas de contenção

Following Order No. 74/R/2020, of April 8, and the press release from the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, regarding the "Development of plans for the progressive lifting of containment measures motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic", of April 17, after hearing the Presidents of the Pedagogical, University and Polytechnic Councils, and the Presidents of the Faculties and Schools of the University of Madeira, the following guidelines are established, related to the functioning of the Institution and its services, and to the organization and pursuit of the teaching-learning process, which will be updated as the pandemic COVID-19 evolves, taking into account the guidelines issued by government bodies and health authorities, both national and regional, and in close articulation with the Regional Health Authority, and analyzing the general framework of Portuguese higher education and the specificities of the situation in the Autonomous Region where it operates.

1. Without prejudice to the maintenance of teleworking activities, the Management Council shall define, by April 30th, 2020, which services shall also be made available in person, as of Monday 18th, May, and in what way;
2. The Administrator, Ricardo Gonçalves, is in charge, together with the Deputy Administrator, Sérgio Brazão, and in articulation with the Coronavirus Prevention and Control Committee (COVID-19), appointed by order no. 44/R/2020, of February 27, and with the Regional Health Authority, of establishing the safety conditions that must be ensured in the context of any face-to-face activities that may occur, and of maintaining a planning/registration/schedule of such activities;
3. In addition to other safety requirements that may be established, within the scope of the work mentioned in the previous paragraph, in all face-to-face, teaching or customer service activities, all parties involved must wear personal protective equipment, namely masks for general use. The maximum number of participants and their distribution should also be defined in order to respect the conditions of social distancing determined by health authorities;

4. The University shall provide individual protection equipment to its staff, teaching and non-teaching, as well as to the students, within the scope of its general services and support to the activities of the students, and the performance of the teaching and non-teaching activities in which they have to participate this semester (namely, any classes and examinations);

5. By May 15, the Management Council shall take the necessary steps to ensure the purchase of personal protective equipment and disinfectant and cleaning materials required for the progressive lifting of the containment measures currently in place, which is expected to begin on May 18, taking advantage of all the support that has been announced, and bearing in mind the safety conditions mentioned in the previous paragraphs;
6. Those responsible for research units and laboratories wishing to gradually resume in-person activities, with the presence of researchers and technicians on the University premises from May 18, shall contact the Administrator of the University, or whomever he indicates, by April 30, to establish the conditions and requirements to be met;
7. Teaching staff, who need access to their offices and work in them, from 18th May onwards, shall continue to request authorization by e-mail to the following address: They can only do so if the working conditions in their office allow for the minimum compulsory social distance, which must be maintained throughout their stay on the University premises, and if they respect all other indications given to them;
8. All curricular units and their components, which may be taught on a non-presential basis, should continue to be taught in this way until the end of the semester;
9. For the purpose of quantifying the work of teaching staff, measured in terms of service provision units, the teaching practices that are being taught at a distance, resulting from the current exceptional situation in which we find ourselves, will count, during the period in which they were taught in this way, as if they were teaching practices taught for the first time;
10. Having raised doubts, it is clarified that the evaluation model to be adopted in each curricular unit is no longer subject to number 8 of article 5 of the " Regulation for the Evaluation of Student Learning at the University of Madeira", which requires the carrying out of at least two elements of periodic evaluation, all the determinations issued in order no. 74/R/2020, regarding evaluation, must be maintained;
11. The Degree Director for each study cycle, together with the Department Coordinator (if any) and the President of the Organic Unit responsible for the study cycle, and the President of the Pedagogic Council where the cycle of studies is inserted (University or Polytechnic), still have the deadline of 15 May to draw a proposal for the timing of the curricular units' activities of the degree that will allow the conclusion of this 2nd semester until the end of July, safeguarding exceptional cases of specific curricular units.
12. In the previous timing, those responsible should take the following into account:
a) The possibility of holding classes that have not been possible to teach at a distance, namely laboratory classes, from 18 May onwards, in order to combine with the heads of the respective curricular units, possibly organized in shifts, in order to be able to comply with all safety requirements determined by health authorities;
b) The possibility of using the months of June, July and September for the reprogramming of the curricular units that could not be taught in a non-presential regime, but taking into consideration the evaluation activities in which the respective students could be involved;
c) The possibility of conducting face-to-face evaluations during the month of June, after the end of the period foreseen for classes in the school calendar (more precisely, from June 8 for undergraduate and master's degrees, and from June 23 for the 1st year of higher professional technical courses), as well as during the month of July, for the conclusion of the regular evaluation period and the carrying out of the appeal evaluation period;
13. The carrying out of face-to-face classes, referred to in subparagraphs a) and b) of the previous paragraph, should be communicated, as soon as possible, to the Administrator of the University, or to whomever he indicates, in order to establish the conditions and requirements to be met in that context;
14. All teaching staff, who have not yet done so, should immediately contact the Degree Directors of the study cycles where they teach, for the purpose of points 10 and 11;
15. Foreign students, regular or in mobility programmes, who have returned to their country, and who should not travel to Madeira until the end of July, will be assessed from a distance, necessarily involving an oral examination;
16. The previous paragraph is also applicable to national students who have left the Region for their usual residences, and for whom a proper evaluation model has not already been defined, within the scope of their study cycles, as well as to other students from the Region who are prevented from going to the University for the compulsory face-to-face examination, due to legal determinations in force;
17. The period for the special evaluation periods, in person, will be extended, so that most of the students can carry out the special evaluation period related to the 2nd semester (as stipulated in the Order no. 74/R/2020). September shall be set aside for the special evaluation periods;
18. The Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and the Presidents of the Pedagogical, University and Polytechnic Councils shall liaise with the University Administrator, or with whomever he may indicate, in order to establish the requirements to be observed when conducting face-to-face examinations, and shall inform him of the planning of such examinations, to be defined in accordance with the following paragraph;
19. The Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, together with the Presidents of the Pedagogical, University and Polytechnic Councils, Presidents of the Organic Units, Degree Directors and those responsible for the curricular units, shall guarantee the necessary conditions for the face-to-face exams scheduled for June, July and September:
a) either in terms of timetables and classrooms, with several daily shifts and mismatched start and end times for examinations, in order to comply with the conditions of social distancing determined by the health authorities and to avoid concentrations of students at the University;
b) or in terms of examination surveillance. The scheduling for each examination should be made in this order of precedence. First, by the teaching staff of the curricular unit , then by other teaching staff of the department responsible for the curricular unit, other teaching staff of the organic unit and, finally by other teaching staff of the university;
20. The duration of each examination cannot exceed 2 hours;
21. Since the rules of social distancing will require a much larger number of rooms for the carrying of examinations and, consequently, a much larger number of monitors, all teaching staff on exclusive dedication or full-time contract should be available, if necessary, for examination surveillance, during the months of June, July and September, both of their curricular units and of others, including of other organic units. In terms of service provision units, examination surveillance of curricular units in which he/she does not teach will be taken into account;
22. In the school calendar proposals for the next academic year, to be prepared by the Pedagogical, University and Polytechnic Councils, the beginning of the school year should be scheduled for 6 October 2020, after the end of the period of enrollment in the University of the students who will be placed in 1st phase of the National Access Competition;
23. Any study cycles that have been rescheduled for the conclusion of the previous school year that prevent the beginning of the next academic on that date are exceptions to the provisions laid down in the preceding paragraph;
24. Given that the University of Madeira does not have the conditions to carry out all the curricular units in person, meeting the conditions of social distancing determined by health authorities, the heads of organic units, departments and degrees should plan the next academic year, namely its 1st semester, with the possibility of being necessary to combine face-to-face teaching with off-site teaching, namely by teaching theoretical and theoretical-practical teaching, with a larger number of students, at a distance, reserving face-to-face teaching for laboratories and other teaching practices that do not allow distance teaching, possibly with class deployment, or for teaching practices that have very few students;
25. Given the foreseeable maintenance of restrictions at least in the 1st semester of next year, requiring the continuation of an additional teaching effort by the teaching staff, all organic units are advised to take particular care in the approval of proposals for sabbatical leaves, namely for the 1st semester of next academic year, ensuring that it does not jeopardize the teaching and non-teaching service they have to ensure.

These guidelines will always be conditioned by the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Region and the necessary authorizations from the Regional Health Authority.

As the situation evolves, new guidelines will be issued regarding the teaching-learning process and the functioning of the Institution.

Funchal and University of Madeira, on April 24, 2020

The Rector

José Carmo