Will Universities (and grade schools) Be Open on Sept. 13, 2021?

My son heard that universities in the Taipei area will begin classes on September 13 (2021). Is this correct? It is unlikely that students will be vaccinated by then. Does anyone have information about schools opening at this time while covid-19 still remains a serious threat? Thank you!

It’s subject to change, but at this point in time they will be open.

I think a number of universities are actually starting their classes on Wednesday September 22 (the day after Mid-Autumn Festival).

I’d say university classes will definitely start, since we’re all somewhat used to distance learning now. Whether or not they will be in classrooms remains an open question.

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What @lostinasia said. The starting date I have heard is September 22. This delayed start is due to the delayed Subjects Test which determines for many students in Taiwan their university placement.

But the real answer to your question is to not take advice from randos on the internet (however reliable we may be here!) but instead to find the 2021-2022 academic calendar of the uni your son will attend, or simply call that university’s Office of Academic Affairs, which would be responsible for such matters. If you son is attending as an international student, you could also contact the university’s Office of International Affairs for guidance.

Guy

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My uni said we’d still be online in September. But we’re a private uni and have a (too) cautious President and this was back in early June when the situation was more dire, so hopefully things have changed.

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Thanks all! The calendar for the university (that my son attends) does state that classes will begin on September 13. But there is nothing there about the classes being online or not. If not, I can’t help but think that the university is being too foolishly optimistic. With six students crammed in a small dorm room, diseases like covid will spread all too rapidly.

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I’d be very surprised if there’s any concrete information at present for whether classes are planned to be online or in-person. A decision on that won’t be made for a few weeks.

Universities were quite fast back in May to move to distance learning, and if there’s any uptick in cases, the same move will happen again, at least until a bigger fraction of students & staff are vaccinated.

I suppose there’s a high chance as well it’ll be up to the students to do distance learning or in-class learning, as they prefer. I hope not, because that’d suck. Teaching online worked better than I expected. In-class learning I’m of course familiar with. But trying to manage both during the same class? Ugh.

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We’re getting some more clarity now, at least in Taipei City:

Guy

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Universities in Taipei City (NTNU, NTU, NTUST) started the new semester today. There was a two week delay due to the delayed administration of the Subjects Test, affecting the placement of incoming first-year students.

Online classes will be offered for the first three weeks (some exceptions possible).

After that, we shall see . . .

Guy

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Interesting - any idea if this is a regulation for Taipei City, or for the public universities?

Our (private, New Taipei City) uni is online only for the first week, and then the plan for the rest of the semester is a rotating 1/3 of students present in class, remaining 2/3 online for distance learning, with teachers somehow running an online class and in-person class at the same time. Social distancing to be maintained in the classrooms, so presumably those present in person shouldn’t be talking to each other. Same 1/3 attendance policies for the midterm and final exams, which will be an interesting logistical feat.

I’m dreading this.

Less of a pain but also a touch weird is that every “week” of the semester will be from Wednesday to Tuesday, so for example students will go straight from classes on Tuesday to final exams the following day, instead of the usual practice of a weekend between.

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Taipei City government has no say over the matter.

The online policy at the unis I mentioned (NTNU, NTU, NTUST) was decided at the university level—though clearly the final decision was coordinated as students are able in some instances to take classes across these three universities.

I think there was some concern over newly arriving international students at my school, who were able to land yesterday at the earliest, then need to do the two weeks in quarantine, plus an extra week in which they are not permitted to enter the campus. Going online leveled the playing field so these students would not be blocked from the first three weeks of lectures.

Guy

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Oh, I didn’t know that! OK, now the coordination makes a lot more sense to me - that’s why I was wondering if it was some kind of government policy.

University administrators seem to love these arrangements lately.

NTHU/NCTU/NYMU/NCU had a similar scheme in place much earlier—and they took it to the next level by merging NCTU and NYMU!

Guy

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The ‘rules’ are all over the place. It’s going to be a lively semester.

It feels to me like guidelines from the government which are interpreted at university level. A large amount of passing the buck seems to be at play.

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