AUBG Prepares for Fall ’20 Semester
When the Bulgarian government declared a state of emergency on March 13 and suspended all in-person school and university activity, AUBG was already finishing its first week of virtual education. Initially a temporary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, classes continued taking place online for the rest of the semester.
With Spring ’20 now over, the university leadership has started working on plans for the next academic year. The state of emergency officially ended on May 13 and Bulgaria is now in an emergency pandemic situation until June 14. But because no one knows yet what measures will be in place by September, AUBG is working on different scenarios for Fall ’20.
“We currently plan to reopen the residential campus and return to in-person teaching in the fall. But we are considering adjustments to our more normal practices to protect the wellbeing of our community,” said Interim President Dr. David Evans in a message to the community.
Even with the planned return to classrooms, the university will introduce hybrid course delivery to accommodate students and faculty who are at risk or can’t return to campus on time. This will allow certain professors to teach remotely, and students will be able to join their courses online with their classmates who are physically on campus.
AUBG will also introduce testing for the community, both for the virus and for antibodies, to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 infections on campus.
While everyone hopes for a return to normal, the possibility that classes in the fall will also have to be online still looms. The AUBG leadership is working on back-up plans for a virtual semester should the situation and regulations require it.
“Because the transition to online this semester occurred under emergency conditions, like every other university making the same switch we endured technical challenges,” Dr. Evans’ message reads. “Faculty and staff will be working during the summer to ensure a more polished experience to meet students’ expectations.”
A final decision on how to proceed in the fall will be made by Aug. 1.