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COVID-19 RESPONSE UPDATE

Posted on February 24, 2021

Written by AUW

Special measures: Covid-19

24 February 2021

The current coronavirus situation still remains unsettling but AUW has adapted to online teaching and learning with great agility over the past year.  We are continuing to take all the necessary steps to ensure that students aren’t just surviving but thriving during this unprecedented and uncertain period. This report provides an update on the academic performance and progress of students, their welfare and well-being, and the support given to students experiencing exceptional academic and personal circumstances during this pandemic.

(i) Student welfare

Student welfare continues to be our primary concern and our Dean of Students has been supporting them throughout the vacation period, fielding enquiries on a number of matters, including online availability of books and resources, scholarships, tuition payments, Writing Center assistance, and wellness resources.  A small number of students – 24 – are still residing on campus, unable to travel home due to personal circumstances and border closures; they are predominantly from the Rohingya community and several from East Timor, Laos and Yemen. We have been maintaining regular individual and group meetings to offer support, as appropriate.  Staff on site has also been providing support throughout this period, while the counselling service has been operating remotely offering sessions via Skype.  AUW’s student government continues to work with students across the campus and beyond.

(ii) Learning and Teaching

Despite the huge challenges, learning and teaching has continued unabated and, in some respects, has even benefited from migrating to online delivery. Student retention rates throughout the University remain high at just over 96 percent.  Almost all students remain on track in their academic studies – as evaluated by recent end of semester assessments – with around 4 percent at undergraduate level falling behind due to poor academic performance.

Assessments have been adapted to the online context with a greater emphasis on formative (continual) assessment through e- portfolio assessment and oral presentations. This is partially in response to ongoing concerns about security surrounding summative testing, which is potentially compromised in an online context. About 3 percent of the total student population have opted to go on extended leave and resume their studies when campus teaching resumes.  Students requesting extended leave invariably find themselves in such circumstances – refugee camps or remote areas – where poor connectivity makes it unviable for them to continue their courses.

Class attendance rates remain highly satisfactory at 92 percent.  Some faculty have, however, expressed concerns about engaging students in larger classes, while securing stable connectivity poses an ongoing challenge for nearly a third of our students.   Poor internet problems have been mitigated by the mandatory video recording of all classes so that students can access them in their own time and when connectivity permits, asynchronously. The University has provided financial assistance to over hundred students to enable them to purchase data packs.  A large amount of self-study material has also been introduced into course curriculums, an approach mirroring that of well-established distance learning courses which other higher education institutions have been successfully using over the last couple of decades. This has necessitated adapting and repurposing content for online delivery, both synchronous and asynchronous.

Despite the remarkable progress made with online delivery, faculty and students are strongly of the view that online delivery diminishes the community learning aspect in which students emotionally and academically support each other.  Community learning is one of the outstanding features of AUW and the current situation has, to some extent, impacted on this aspect of the students’ overall learning experience.  However, even this loss has been compensated for by a characteristically tenacious and resourceful student body who have sometimes formed community learning groups, sharing the same residential space and mutually supporting each other in their studies.  It is estimated that up to 25 percent of students have formed these groups.

Impact of COVID on recruitment for spring 2021

Our student number target for 2020/2021 was set at 230, with 113 students admitted in August 2020.  The target for spring 2021 is 115 students against which we have recruited 94 to date.  The pool of applications has not been encouraging, with just over 650 applications submitted by November.  The low number of applications is mainly attributable to the indefinite postponement of the secondary school board examination in Bangladesh due to COVID, together with delays and cancellations of higher secondary examinations in our neighbouring countries.  Overall, 350 shortlisted students took our entrance examination in December 2020, majority from Bangladesh, followed by Afghanistan, Timor Leste, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India.

The 94 students admitted for Fall term include Bangladesh (51); Afghanistan (24); East Timor (4); Pakistan (7); Sri Lanka (5) and 1 each from Myanmar, Nepal and Syria.  For the first time, AUW recruited from Balochistan, with 7 admitted for spring term.  We will shortly commence our recruitment for Fall 2021.

Reopening of the campus

At the meeting of the Board held on 7 October 2020, Trustees were presented with an evidence-based analysis of the various factors that would influence the reopening of the campus in 2021.   Given the ongoing uncertainties of the pandemic and the public health situation in Bangladesh, it was decided to defer the opening of our campus to May 2021.  Public universities in the country are still set to remain closed until further notice, while some private universities plan to continue online for the foreseeable future.

AUW staff and faculty – particularly expat colleagues – have been strongly of the view that there may be serious consequences of reopening the campus in May, given the ongoing COVID crisis, the inadequate public health infrastructure in Bangladesh and our limited institutional capacity.  Majority of the faculty have expressed their preference to continue to deliver online until Bangladesh completes its vaccination programme for all its citizens.  Despite a strong desire to return to face-to-face teaching, academics want to do so only when they are assured that it is safe and appropriate.

Amidst these uncertainties, there is naturally some restlessness amongst students who would like clear, accurate and timely information to make informed decisions.  We are doing our best to provide them with the right information at the right time, which includes making current and prospective students aware of any potential for changes at the earliest opportunity.   While reopening the campus is critical to keeping students at all levels on track, it is our hope that we can do so without putting students, faculty, and staff at risk. Senior staff and faculty at AUW have deliberated at length and have come to the conclusion that the reopening of the campus should be put back to September 2021.

I realise this a period of great uncertainty, particularly for students.  I am immensely grateful for the continuing support from all students, staff and faculty.

 

Professor Nirmala Rao

Vice Chancellor

24 February 2021

 

17 October 2020

At the meeting of the Board of Trustees held on 7 October, a decision was made that the AUW Campus will now not reopen until May 2021.  The safety of our students and staff is our priority and the decision was taken on the grounds of ongoing COVID concerns in Bangladesh.  The Trustees were particularly mindful of the small, enclosed, nature of our campus and, in particular, the associated risks of exposure to infection for those travelling from far and wide.

Full details of the reopening of the campus are forthcoming.  In the meantime, teaching will continue online during Spring term and the Registry will notify students and staff of exact dates of the commencement of classes in January 2021.

It has not been easy to arrive at this decision to defer the reopening of the campus to May 2021, and I hope you will appreciate our reasons for doing so.

Nirmala Rao 

Vice Chancellor 

Asian University for Women 

 

7 August 2020

The safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and faculty are our highest priority. To help keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 crisis, we have moved teaching online, closed non-essential facilities and cancelled or postponed on-campus events.  

At the start of the pandemic we established a small focus group, led by members of the University’s senior management, and our staff have been working hard throughout to prepare contingency plans to manage the situation as it evolves.  We are doing all we can to plan for all possible circumstances, and as the situation changes we will keep you updated with any further action we may need to take. 

Whether you’re joining us as a new student or returning to continue your studies, we’re dedicated to providing you with an excellent student experience. We will prioritise your safety both on and off campus; provide an engaging, inspiring and supportive learning experiencecreate opportunities for you to try out new experiences and welcome you into a supportive, collegial, community where your wellbeing is of utmost importance. 

Some of our students are still on campus and may not be able to return to their home countries due to travel restrictions, visa delays, or medical reasons.  We are also conscious that among those students who have returned home there are many who are experiencing difficulties in accessing internet facilities or do not have adequate resources to attend classes.  We are committed to ensuring that you are not excluded or disadvantaged for this reason and will receive full support when you are back on campus. 

(i) Learning and Teaching 

The University has put a number of key measures in place to continue to maintain a good learning experience for all students.  Teaching will be delivered online during the Fall term and students will have full access to learning resources.  Heads of Programmes and personal tutors will provide additional assistance, as required, especially for students who may not have full access to online facilities. Faculty are designing and adapting courses and programmes, so as to be flexible and inclusive. Alternative assessment methods, for example, have been designed to replace assessments of courses with practical components such as in performing arts and science-based laboratory work.  Recorded lectures are being made available, while teaching will continue to be adapted to make it accessible to all students.  Faculty have experimented with new, innovative methods of remote teaching and students seem satisfied with, for example, lectures on YouTube and the flipped classroom model in which lectures are recorded for the students to view in advance of the live Zoom classes. 

A total of 120 students graduated in early May 2020. The Summer semester commenced soon thereafter and concluded in late July.  Surveys of student satisfaction, implemented in early June, have yielded good results, despite the disruptions, recording the highest satisfaction rates and positive perceptions of AUW.  A survey of courses was also conducted to establish the efficacy, strengths, and weaknesses of online teaching and assessment.  Heads of Programmes are currently reviewing the results of the survey, and feedback will be given to individual faculty members by the end of this month.   

A significant number of students reported issues with Internet access, either due to lack of funds to access the Internet or non-availability of WIFI in areas where they reside.  Where appropriate, financial support has been given to students to purchase mobile data packs, and for those students in remote areas with little or no access, alternative arrangements are in place to provide them with hard copies of study packs and/or additional time to complete their courses after their return to the campus.  

Orientation sessions for new and returning students are currently being planned for between 17 and 20 August 2020.   Teaching for the new academic session is scheduled to start on 23 August 2020. 

(ii) Students on campus 

During the academic year 2019/20, the total student population was 888, comprising 664 residential students and 224 day scholars.  Since the lockdown, 616 residential students departed to their respective countries, leaving 48 students still residing on campus.  There are 37 International and 11 Rohingya students. Othe International group of students, countries represented include: 14 Syria; 6 Laos; 5 East Timor; 5 Yemen; 3 Cambodia; 2 Afghanistan (waiting to travel to India); 1 China; 1 Senegal. 

We are expecting flights to resume for these International students, with the exception of Yemen.  The Syrian students were expected to depart at the end of August, but all flights have now been cancelled following the recent explosion in Lebanon.  We are currently looking for alternative routes outside of Beirut. 

(iii) Recruitment and Admissions: 2020/21 

Our student number target for 2020/2021 was set at 230, with 115 students set to start in August 2020 and additional 115 students to commence in January 2021.  Of the 1100 applications received by the deadline of 15 February 2020, 499 shortlisted students took the written test, which was held in early March, 2020. The majority of students were from Bangladesh (305), followed by Myanmar (58), Laos (30), Cambodia (9) and Syria (4).  We have just concluded further assessments in Bhutan, East Timor, some parts of India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam and made offers to students (except in East Timor and India). Due to COVID-19, tests could not be administered in a number of countries including Afghanistan, parts of India, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan.  

Recruitment for the Fall term currently stands at 102 students.  The majority of students are from Bangladesh (66); followed by Myanmar (17); Sri Lanka (6); Syria (4) and 3 each from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.  We expect to meet our target of 115 (80 entering Access Academy and 35 entering the Pathways for Promise programme) by the start of the Fall term, although we will not know the full impact of the coronavirus until much later in the cycle, as we get closer to enrolments in August.  In the meantime, applications will continue to be assessed, using on-line interviews, where required. Looking beyond the August 2020 entry, we will develop Virtual Open Days for students interested in a January start, and plan to launch these across our social and web channels and newspapers. The Bangladesh Government is yet to decide on the HSC 2020 examinations, further delay may heavily impact our Spring intake.  

Covid-19 Impacts 

  • The circumstances of this year’s recruitment round are unprecedented and any prediction of likely outcome is inevitably speculative. We can anticipate some of the impacts, although their scale will only become apparent over the next weeks and months.
  • Withdrawals or deferrals are likely if the teaching and learning experience from September is, or is viewed as, compromised to an extent that students don’t find online teaching satisfactory anymore. 
  • Attrition is also likely among continuing students as a result of, for example, economic impacts of the pandemic or concern about the safety of study in Bangladesh.

Nirmala Rao 

Vice Chancellor 

Asian University for Women 

 

6 April 2020

  • The University is in a precautionary response period from 11 March until 30 April with a projected extension beyond that date. Over this period, the campus is closed to all but vital business. Resident students are required to remain on site. Day Scholars are remaining away from campus. The current semester will be completed with on-line alternative assessments by 30 April and resident students will mostly remain until then. The University Learning Teaching and Quality Assurance Committee is overseeing quality control of alternative assessments.  The Vice-Chancellor has confirmed that the summer semester classes will go ahead online starting on 10 May and concluding on 18 July.
  • There are community support sessions and other events to help students cope with a prolonged period on campus. ‘Town Hall’ meetings have been held with students, faculty and staff, with many joining from outside the campus through Zoom.  Members of Faculty are teaching on-line through Zoom technology and other types of technology.  Heads of Programs are monitoring the delivery of classes alongside Academic Registry and IT Services.  Classes are taking place as scheduled and student attendance registers are being taken.  The results are largely positive; there are some challenges of connectivity and faculty and students have to become used to on-line learning, but operational issues are being addressed. Virtual labs are being delivered.
  • All members of the community have received guidance on measures to reduce the risk of infection – effective washing etc.  The Health Center is monitoring the well-being of students and staff in connection with the local Metropolitan Hospital.  Additional measures have been taken to safeguard hygiene, including the administration of hand sanitizers to all arrivals at the campus gate, the issue of masks and vitamin C tablets to all students and personal protective equipment to others as required.  24 hour nursing care is available on campus, with external support from a doctor.  Additional quarantine space has been allocated. . Counseling is available for students.  Messages of assurance have been sent to parents and external contacts. No students or staff have tested positive for Covid19 so far.
  • An emergency team has been created to monitor the management of Covid19 issues, including the University Registrar, the Dean of Students; and the Head of Academic Registry, with additional support from other personnel.  Domestic, security, health and some other staff have moved onto campus or into nearby staff accommodation to be available on a 24 hour basis and to reduce the footprint of staff coming in and out of the campus, including residential life r; catering, cleaning ,security and drivers. Some other staff attend on campus when required.
  • The University is facilitating the return of students to their homes where feasible, including funding for travel where required and the provision of data packs to help students study at home.  There are limits to the capacity of the national health infrastructure and there is a very low test rate for Coronavirus across Bangladesh. There have been expressions of concern from students and their families at the prospect of continuing their restricted presence on campus.  Many students are losing out on work, external examinations and other opportunities because of the restrictions, while day scholars retain greater freedom.
  • The Government has closed all schools, colleges and universities and placed restrictions on students leaving their homes.  AUW is not subject to those ministerial regulations but it is expected to respect wider national laws and it is subject to the national lockdown.  The lockdown has been extended until at least 15 April and is likely to be extended further. There is a ban on passenger travel via water, rail and on domestic routes and all public transport on roads is suspended.  Most international flights are suspended and there are heavy restrictions on national borders.  All international arrivals are required to enter a 14 day period of self-isolation to be monitored by the authorities. There are tighter lockdown arrangements in several areas, including Dhaka and access to Chittagong is restricted.
  • The provisional plan is that, from 30 April, and, in some cases earlier, students will be enabled to return home where feasible. Detailed arrangements are being made, including overland transport for the Bangladeshi students who remain on campus (94 remaining).  Arrangements will then be made for the return of students to other countries; subject to the approval and co-operation of the authorities; it appears that most national borders will not open until 30 April. The largest contingent is from Afghanistan (112 remaining) and the Afghan Embassy is presently asking that students should not return until further notice.
  • 380 students remain on campus. Many members of faculty and international staff have also left Bangladesh and others are hoping to leave when an opportunity arises.  It is anticipated that some 150 students may eventually be left on campus; all will be moved into single room occupancy.

Dr. Dave Dowland

University Registrar

 

1 April 2020

The past ten days has been an extraordinary time for us all as we have adjusted our work and home lifestyles, started to assess the implications for our students and staff, and learned to communicate and care for those around us in new ways enabled by technology. Personally, we have seen new community spirit emerging amidst the confusion and worry of adapting to living in a rapidly evolving context. We hope all our students, staff and faculty are, and remain, safe and well over the coming weeks and months, and we send my very best wishes to you all.

AUW has been closely monitoring the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and liaising with Bangladesh government, hospitals, and health agencies to get their latest advice on public health guidance.

Online provision of teaching is now in place and will be improved further with advice, counseling, and assistance from our IT department.  Administrative support will also be enhanced to ensure that the health and safety of our students and frontline staff is protected.

Below is some latest advice and support, along with additional guidance for students and staff that will be provided on a regular basis by the Dean of Students, Rania Kaseem and the Registrar, Dr Dave Dowland.

(a) Travel advice and self-isolation

The Government has imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus until at least 4 April.  There is a ban on passenger travel via water, rail and on domestic air routes, while all public transport on roads is suspended. Most international flights are suspended and there are heavy restrictions on national borders.  Any international arrivals are required to enter a 14 day period of self-isolation to be monitored by the authorities. The Dean of Students will help students remain informed about options to travel home.

(b) Health and Hygiene

Please be assured that the University is monitoring the evolving situation very closely and extra measures are being put in place to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff, students and visitors.

How to protect yourselves and others

The most effective way to prevent the spread of respiratory infections is by practising good respiratory hygiene, such as:

  • avoiding direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth
  • maintaining good hand hygiene; washing hands with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser, after coughing or sneezing, after going to the toilet, and prior to eating and drinking
  • when coughing or sneezing cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissues and disposing of them in nearest waste bin after use

Hand washing

You can reduce your risk of acquiring and spreading respiratory infections by practising good hygiene:

  • avoiding direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
    • When you arrive at work or home
    • after coughing or sneezing,
    • after going to the toilet,
    • and prior to eating and drinking
  • If you are unable to use soap and water, hand santiser could be used but you must ensure it is 60% alcohol to be effective and you must wash your hands as soon as you are able to.

Catering

The catering services in the dining hall are continuing as usual and the University has additional food stocks in reserve.  Measures are in place to promote hygiene and cleanliness and catering staff (alongside other staff) are staying on campus.  The self-service shop – ‘Docan’ remains in operation.  There is some interruption to services in Cinematella, since the staff are subject to the movement restrictions imposed by the Government but services will be resumed at the next opportunity.

(c) Current students

Below are some guidance on academic matters and the support available for students currently enrolled.

Course work and assessments

  • Teaching is carrying on (although remotely), so assessment of learning is carrying on too. Students are still expected to submit any outstanding coursework assignments as normal.
  • In some cases, students may have already demonstrated that they have achieved the learning outcomes for their course, either because they have already completed a major course work assignment, or have completed lots of coursework assignments for a particular course. In such cases, your course teacher may decide there is no need for any further assignments for that course this semester. Registry will advise students if that is the case.
  • Registry will provide details regarding all outstanding assessments and any changes to deadlines. If students are in any doubt, they are strongly advised to continue to work towards completing assessments as they become due.

Examinations this semester

The Academic Registry is closely working with Program Heads to finalize the final assessment details. At present, April 19-23 will count as a ‘Study Week’, which will allow faculty to host course review sessions and to review final study packs for all students during their regular class time allotments. Subsequently, April 26-30 will count as the ‘Spring 2020 Final Assessment Week’. The assessment schedule has already been sent. Any updates will be shared as appropriate, so please check your AUW emails regularly.

Professor Nirmala Rao

Vice Chancellor

Dr. Dave Dowland

University Registrar

 

25 March 2020

We are grateful to members of the international AUW community for their support during the Covid19 emergency.  We are publishing regular updates to keep everyone informed about the action to keep our students and staff as safe as possible and to continue the vital work of the university.

The University is in a precautionary response period until further notice. Over this period, the campus is closed to all but vital business and teaching is being provided on line with alternative forms of assessment.  Members of the Faculty and Day Scholars have been staying away from the campus since 11 March. Many students and staff have returned home. with support from the University and from donor organizations or embassies; others are preparing to leave subject to national restrictions on travel.

The University is continuing to support and accommodate students who cannot return to their homes, who need to remain to continue their studies on site or who wish, for various reasons, to remain here.  Support staff are maintaining university operations, with some working away from the site where feasible and others living on site to reduce the footprint of people entering and leaving the campus.. International and domestic travel are restricted with those who travel being asked to self-isolate for a defined period.

Various protective measures are in place for the benefit of the community.  All members of the community have received guidance on measures to reduce the risk of infection. The Health Center is monitoring the wellbeing of students and staff in connection with the local Metropolitan Hospital. Additional measures have been taken to safeguard hygiene, including, for example, the administration of hand sanitizers to all arrivals at the campus gate.  There are restrictions of the entry of vendors and visitors during the precautionary period.  The University is supporting national arrangements to counteract Covid19.

An emergency team is monitoring the management of Covid19 issues and keeping in touch with the AUW community on and away from campus.  Regular updates on progress will be shared.

Dr. Dave Dowland

University Registrar

 

21 March 2020

  • The University is in a precautionary response period from 11 March until 30 March. Over this period, the campus is closed to all but vital business. Resident students are required to remain on site. Day Scholars are remaining away from campus. Staff are working to special arrangements ensuring that university operations continue, with some staff working away from the site where feasible. International and domestic travel are restricted with those who travel being asked to self-isolate for a defined period.
  • Community support sessions and other provision have been arranged to help students cope with a prolonged period on campus. ‘Town Hall’ meetings have been held with students, faculty and staff, with many joining from outside the campus through Zoom. Faculty are teaching on-line through Zoom technology and other types of technology.  Heads of Programs are monitoring the delivery of classes alongside Academic Registry and IT Services.  Classes are taking place as scheduled. Student attendance registers are being taken.  The results are largely positive with some operational issues being quickly addressed.
  • All members of the community have received guidance on measures to reduce the risk of infection – effective washing etc.  The Health Center is monitoring the wellbeing of students and staff in connection with the local Metropolitan Hospital.  Additional measures have been taken to safeguard hygiene, including the administration of hand sanitizers to all arrivals at the campus gate.  Of course, the university already monitors hygiene and the standard arrangements have been supplemented with the use of additional disinfectant and other provisions. Messages of assurance have been sent to parents and external contacts
  • An emergency team has been created to monitor the management of Covid19 issues, including the University Registrar, the Dean of Students; and the Head of Academic Registry, with additional support from other personnel.
  • We have to move into a second phase since the virus has become apparent across the country, including Chittagong, and we have to reduce the risk to the university community and its care responsibilities. There are limits to the capacity of the national health infrastructure. Several governments have advised their nationals to go home before the borders close, including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.   There have been expressions of concern from students and their families at the prospect of continuing their restricted presence on campus.  Many students are losing out on work, external examinations and other opportunities because of the restrictions, while day scholars retain greater freedom. The University cannot refuse exit to those who wish to do and could take on legal liabilities if it did so. The Government has closed all schools, colleges and universities and placed restrictions on students leaving their homes.  AUW is not subject to those ministerial regulations but it is expected to respect wider national laws.
  • Arrangements are coming into place to enable students and faculty who wish to leave to return to their countries or districts and then to complete the semester.  Students are largely funding their own travel, unless they are graduates undertaking their final home journeys, which are funded as a matter of course by AUW.   The University is, however, preparing options to enable students to return home.  Many members of faculty and international staff also preparing to leave and a few have left already it is anticipated that maybe 20% of the total university (students and staff)  will remain on campus through their own informed choice (in the case of staff) or because they have no practical choice but to remain.  Support resources are in place for those who stay on campus.
  • All students leaving are required to confirm their access to online facilities and also subject to confirmation that they could take assessments in an on-line or alternative format.  Staff who leave are required to be available to undertake duties online.

Complete closure of campus

  • This is not proposed since there is an irreducible number of people to be accommodated and the University can most safety house and support them on campus.

Assessment

  • Alternative and on-line assessments are being provided for students.
  • The University Learning Teaching and Quality Assurance Committee is overseeing quality control.

Operational Services

  • The operational services are continuing to run the university, including intensive support for online delivery. Staff are working to a rotation with some working from home

Commencement

  •  Commencement and the accompanying conference have to be cancelled this year. A proposal will be prepared to offer graduates an opportunity to join the ceremony in 2021.

Dr. Dave Dowland

University Registrar

16 March 2020

  • The University is in a precautionary response period from 11 March until 30 March. Over this period, the campus is closed to all but vital business. Resident students are required to remain on site. Day Scholars are remaining away from campus. Staff are working to special arrangements ensuring that university operations continue, with some staff working away from the site where feasible. International and domestic travel are restricted with those who travel being asked to self-isolate for a defined period.
  • Community support sessions and other provision have been arranged to help students cope with a prolonged period on campus. ‘Town Hall’ meetings have been held with students, faculty and staff, with many joining from outside the campus through Zoom. The Dean of Students acted as facilitator, supported by Anika Chowdhury, Head of Academic Registry. The mutual support of members of the AUW community is notable.
  • Faculty are teaching on-line mostly through Zoom technology. Heads of Programs are monitoring the delivery of classes alongside Academic Registry and IT Services.  Classes are taking place as scheduled. Student attendance registers are being taken.  There has been positive feedback from students about the learning opportunities arising from on-line teaching.
  • All members of the community have received guidance on measures to reduce the risk of infection – effective washing etc.  The Health Center is monitoring the wellbeing of students and staff in connection with the local Metropolitan Hospital.  Additional measures have been taken to safeguard hygiene, including the administration of hand sanitizers to all arrivals at the campus gate.  Of course, the university already monitors hygiene and the standard arrangements have been supplemented with the use of additional disinfectant and other provisions.
  •  Messages of assurance have been sent to parents and external contacts
  • An emergency team has been created to monitor the management of Covid19 issues, including the Registrar, the Dean of Students; and the Head of Academic Registry, with additional support from the Head of the Health Center and the Finance Department.  The team is supported by Tunazzina Salam.
  • The team is starting to prepare a contingency plan in case the University cannot open to standard operations after 30 March. Recommendations will be made regarding the scheduling of Commencement.  We shall keep the Board of Trustees informed.

 Developments in Bangladesh

  • No. of travellers reaching Bangladesh from Italy: 142 (They will stay in home quarantine)
  • All flights from Europe except from UK are suspended until 31st March, 2020·
  • On arrival visa’ service for all other international passengers is banned until 31st March,· 2020
  • Entry from countries that have banned arrivals from Bangladesh is also banned for· two weeks. Countries include India, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Qatar & Kuwait.

Dr. Dave Dowland

University Registrar