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June 7, 2020 - 09:35h] Notes of the Director. Weekly Report (XI). COVID-19

June 7, 2020 - 09:35h] Notes of the Director. Weekly Report (XI). COVID-19

Dear community,

After almost 3 months since the beginning of the confinement, tomorrow Monday we will move on to the long-awaited Phase 2. At the social level, it has been 12 very intense weeks with many changes and during which we have lived situations that seemed unimaginable, in a very recently time ago. Everyone tries to get out of it in the best way, adapting and making work, home and family coexist with distress. And if it’s not really distress, it’s a strong emotional charge, a mixture of feelings and sensations that, at times, leads us to situations of personal collapse. As every week, the first message of this text is of warmth and support for our comrades who are still affected by this damn pandemic. Lots of encouragement!!  

Well, tomorrow we will be in Phase 2 that, in fact, is the third or fourth if we take into account the 0.5… In any case, entering in this new phase implies that certain face-to-face activities are allowed even though continues to prioritize non-face-to-face work.

Authorized activities are:

  • Support Services to the research laboratory.  
  • Experimentation related to Final Research Work (TFE) and Doctoral Thesis. In this case, it is essential to have authorization from the Director of TFE, the Director of Thesis and the School Management.
  • Limited Concierge Service (opening of spaces, reception of parcels, ...).
  • Maintenance Service.
  • SICT services.  
  • Academic Secretariat (by appointment).
  • Library Service (by appointment).  

Students must be aware that in this phase the Library and the Academic Secretariat of the School are open (on TR5) but with a request for an appointment. The Library will be open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 2 pm with a restricted service for individual study and with its own material. To access it, send an e-mail to To request administrative services from the Academic Secretariat that require face-to-face care, you must make a SAU by accessing .

Regarding the PDI and the PAS, you have already received an e-mail with the instructions to be followed in relation to access to your workplace. Please it is necessary that Especially Sensitive Staff must follow the directions strictly.

Taking stock of the week, at the UPC level an important Governing Council has been held where a series of economic measures have been approved so that schools and faculties can invest in material and personal resources to deal with the complexity that probably we will meet in September.  

The message that comes to us from the Interuniversity Council of Catalonia, and that the Rector has adopted, is that the next academic year will begin with the maximum possible presence, applying the limitations set by the health authorities. In fact, the UPC predicts that the autumn term 2020-2021 will be a transition from the current situation of non-face-to-face to a future situation of full attendance. The planned investments aim to make this transition as "friendly" as possible, within the exceptionality of the moment.

For practical purposes, we work with three possible scenarios that could alternate over time:

  • a stage of full normality, with a 100% presence in the classrooms;

  • a total confinement scenario like the current one, with 0% attendance; and

  • a hybrid scenario where 50% classroom occupancy can be allowed and which must be complemented with virtual teaching.

The economic efforts approved by the Governing Council are aimed at dealing mainly with the last two scenarios:  

  • There will be an increase in tools, training on good practices and about the resources available to adapt to non-face-to-face teaching, in line with what has already been deployed since the beginning of the crisis.

  • The bases of a call for mentorships are established to accompany first-year undergraduate students, to facilitate their adaptation to their studies and to our university.

  • An extraordinary budget item is provided with the objective that schools can adapt classrooms for the recording and retransmission of classes (audio and video capture material and the corresponding installation).  

  • There is a call for grants aimed at undergraduate, master's and doctoral students at the UPC to support teaching in the preparation of teaching activities for the first four months of the 2020-2021 academic year.

At School level, we have already begun to work intensively in order to assimilate all this information and be able to integrate it correctly, making it compatible with ESEIAAT's own casuistry (spaces, degrees, community…). I hope we can give you more specific information over the next few days, after we have met with degrees coordinators and departmental representatives.

On the other hand, despite the exceptional situation we live in, and the preparation of the peculiar next year, the School’s "normal" life continues and I take this opportunity to make four reminders:

  • Next Wednesday, June 10, there will be a School Board where the Report and Management Report for the 2018/2019 academic year will be presented, among other important procedures. Remember that all groups are represented on the Board.

  • The modification period of Teaching Guides is open. Remember that you do NOT need to modify the guide to introduce what the Addendum says, or make changes thinking about a potentially exceptional situation in the next four months of autumn.  

  • Tomorrow, Monday 8 June at 10:00, there will be a training session for PDI on the ATENEA Exams platform.

  • And, as the final exams are approaching, we recommend that you review the following document : Recommendations in relation to the evaluation tests in the context of the exceptional situation of non-contact teaching motivated by COVID-19 .

Finally, and as I have said on another occasion, surely we are all working at 100% and I would even go so far as to say 120% or more. At home, the boundary between work time and leisure time often blurs. The demands of the challenge and the magnitude of the difficulties have forced us all to invest much more time in the work than usual. Think that, in a way, the School has had to be rebuilt from top to bottom and that is why I want to insist on thanking the whole community for their commitment and dedication to society, our society.

Thank you everyone and please take great care, stay safe!  

A big hug,  

Xavier Roca                  

Director of the ESEIAAT

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