Newsletter from Vice Dean Niels Lehmann

Vice-Dean for Education Niels Lehmann describes the reopening of the Faculty of Arts in a more detailed and concrete form.

2020.05.15 | Lisbeth Hartmann

[Translate to English:] Foto af prodekan Niels Lehmann

Dear teachers, examiners and students at Arts

As an extension to the dean’s newsletter, I would like to provide you with further details about the small ways we can begin to reopen at the Faculty of Arts. Phase two of the reopening of Denmark has given us an opportunity to resume some of the physical activities at the faculty. For universities, this reopening is unfortunately just a small door that has been pushed ajar, but the opportunities this gives us are nevertheless very welcome.

At Arts, we still have a small number of courses that could not be concluded because they contained practical exercises and therefore required staff and students to be physically present. Although Minecraft has indeed been invented, it is, for example, difficult to learn to be a good archaeologist without digging in the soil at sites where there is something to learn from the past. You will likewise become a better dramaturge if you are able to “tread the boards”, a better choir conductor if you learn how to direct actual voices in a real room, and a better digital designer if you can work with the advanced equipment available at the Centre for Advanced Visualisation and Interaction.

There is a clear desire for all the students to be able to conclude their semester, and, therefore, at the faculty, we have made it our absolute top priority that any remaining teaching can be conducted. It is encouraging that the small ways we can reopen have made it possible to almost reach the finish line before the next semester, although a single course in Musicology cannot be completed until August.

It would have been great if the reopening had also given us the opportunity to revert to conducting the oral exams physically instead of online. Yet, due to teaching still to be concluded, this has not been possible. It has, however, been possible to arrange for four courses at Arts to hold their final exams on campus premises. These courses have been selected because the relevant individual examiners had a particularly high number of examinations in the virtual sphere. This involves one course in World History, two courses in Scandinavian Studies, “Early Literary History” and “Language Use Analysis”, and one course, “Media System Analysis 1”, in Media Studies.

We will send more detailed information to all those teachers who need to complete their teaching and all those examiners and students who have the chance to hold their oral exams physically on the university premises. The school management team will inform the directors of studies, and Arts Studies Administration will inform the students and staff.  In this connection, instructions will also be provided on how to comply with the health authority’s recommendations.

At the same time, it is possible to allow all examiners who have online exams to conduct these exams from their offices, to ensure that the exams run as reliably as possible. Unfortunately, due the the maximum number of staff that can be on campus at any given time, this possibility cannot be extended to internal co-examiners.

PhD defences are also important events that need to be conducted reliably. We have therefore also ensured that the leaders of the remaining defences for this semester can conduct these defences from their offices, just as the PhD students who need to defend can use their offices and take to the stand from there.

Finally, as an extra bonus, we have also been able to arrange that the entrance examinations for Musicology can take place physically on university premises.

It would have undoubtedly been nice if we had been given a little more leeway in phase two of the reopening. But at least the process has begun. A small door that is ajar is better than a door that is closed, and, hopefully, the ray of light that shines through can give you all the courage to hold out a little longer.

Finally, I would just like to mention that, although phase three of the reopening may provide more scope to be on campus, it will be too late at this point to make any changes to exams that have already been converted and scheduled for June. You should therefore assume that these exams will be conducted according to the exam schedules and exam forms that are currently in place.

Best wishes,