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July 19, 2020 - 14:31h] Notes of the Director. Weekly Report (XVII). COVID-19

July 19, 2020 - 14:31h] Notes of the Director. Weekly Report (XVII). COVID-19

Dear Community;

This last week we have seen how it seems that the emergence of regrowths that were expected for autumn has advanced and surely, we already have here the beginning of a second wave, we hope contained and reduced. We are all aware that this situation will be a great fire test to see the responsiveness of our healthcare system and society at large. We will see how long it takes to control the pandemic, what time interval there is between outbreak and outbreak, the most affected areas and the containment measures established… Obviously the degree of success in overcoming this challenge in the coming weeks will have consequences for the next course, let’s hope they are mild. So far, and unfortunately, we have already received news of a few (in fact very few) cases of direct impact on our community caused by this new wave. For them and for those who are still dragging the previous sequels, lots of encouragement!!

In fact, the current situation of cases of contagion that is occurring in Catalonia in recent days will have a direct impact on one of the groups that make up the School: the Administration and Services Staff (PAS). Management, has sent an instruction to the PAS starting from next Monday, July 20 until July 31, an organizational model of work similar to that already tested during the phases of confinement will be implemented: the provision of work in telework format preferably, with the possibility of performing up to five days of teleworking per week.

This will not affect the academic activity of the School but small adjustments have had to be made in relation to access to the buildings, also adapting to the lower intensity of use expected. The buildings are not closed but the schedule and the system of access to them are set as follows:

  • TR1, access through main door from 8:00 to 20:00;

  • TR5, access through the main door from 8:00 to 14:00 and automated access via Ramon i Cajal street the rest of the time;

  • Other UPC buildings in Terrassa will have automated access.

  • The UPC Libraries will provide the service virtually.

  • The parking lots will remain open, except the last week of July the parking lot of the TR5 building will be closed for security reasons.

The protection material can be requested in the TR10 building or at the address that has been enabled for this purpose: In this sense, the UPC has designed institutional masks for all the staff and students of the University, with the very active participation of INTEXTER. During this month of July, the PDI and PAS who wants their mask before leaving for holidays can approach to the TR10 building and they will give it to you prior identification. In September, distribution will also take place in other buildings.

With regard to the internal activity of the School, this week the last re-evaluation exams have been completed without any notable incidents and the period of the numerous defenses of TFGs and TFMs has begun, which will last until July 31. In relation to the Final Works of Studies there has been a small mismatch in the allocation of Meet rooms which has made the system not as automatic as planned. For this reason, it is necessary to review the Meet room corresponding to each defense in the section of courts TFE of our web, in case there was some discrepancy with the room that appears in the calendar of each one. We take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of everyone (students and PDI) accessing to the evaluation events through their UPC GSuite profile. If you have any questions, see the guide.

Apart from these activities, perhaps the most important fact of the week is that last Friday the last Standing Committee of the course took place, where a series of essential documents for the correct functioning of the School were approved and were given indications about the processes of enrollment and the start of the course.

On the one hand, the ESEIAAT Academic Calendar for the 2020/21 academic year was approved and is now available on the School's website. It must be said that this is an extraordinary calendar that marks different start dates depending on the type of degree and the course or semester:

  • Q1 students of all degrees, beginning on September 28 and end classes after the Christmas holidays;

  • rest students’ degrees beginning on September 14; and

  • master's degree students, start on September 21.

The Calendar of Partial Exams, Finals and Reassessments for the autumn subjects of the next academic year was also approved and will be available, shortly, on the website. This has implied to move the stop of partials one week over the traditional dates in order to match all the degrees (there was no physical alternative possible).

Also, has been presented the procedures that will be applied for this year registration from July 27 to 31. Exceptionally, and unlike what was traditionally done, all the registrations will be made on-line. It is very important to comment that at the time of assignment of class groups will govern, as a matter of priority, the safety of people, ensuring strict compliance with current healthcare measures. This means that it will seek to balance the dimensions of the class groups of the same subject even if the order or priority of enrollment is not always respected. The reason is that next year it will be crucial to have groups of similar dimensions in order not to exceed the maximum occupancy of the spaces.

On the other hand, it was presented to the Standing Committee some practical details of Scenario A - Limited Attendance which is the reference framework that is proposed at the very start, although the indications may vary slightly depending on the final enrollment of each course. Initially, the vast majority of the School's Undergraduate and Master's courses will be able to have a 100% of class attendance while maintaining the stipulated security measures and with compact schedules. The following exceptions will have a 50% student attendance to theory classrooms:

  • Q3 of the Common Phase of GREFI Studies (Degrees Electrical, Industrial and Automatic Electronics, Mechanical, Chemical and Textile);

  • Q5 of the Degree in Engineering in Industrial and Automatic Electronics (GREEIA);

  • Q4 and Q6 of the Degree in Engineering in Industrial Technologies (GRETI).

This decision has been taken considering the enrollment history of each subject in the last 5 years, but we are aware that we are facing a very atypical year and it could be the case that a course, not included in the previous list, increased significantly (having to go to 50%) or that any of the above mentioned clearly lowers down the enrollment (and could go to the general regime of 100%). Fortunately, the model created is quite robust and permits to make changes with some easiness. In any case, from July 31 we will dispel all doubts, once the bulk of the enrollment of the School is finished, finishing adjusting the system in the first week of September.

In the same vein, on the final adjustments, we are just fitting the schedules for the first semester of next year and will make them public at the beginning of the week, before the enrollment period.

Also remember that we still have some scholarships available 76 Learning Scholarships for our School students. You can find all the detailed information at information on Scholarships a TAAIESE .

Finally, it seemed impossible but we are about to close the 2019-20 academic year, and if we live up to the expectations that existed 3 months ago, I would say that we will close it in an extraordinary way, considering the contour conditions in which has been developed. In addition, with the experience gained, we have already defined a robust and at the same time flexible first Planning of the next course (Teaching Model attached last week). And I say first version because it will surely have to change depending on the socio-sanitary situation of our environment and the "new realities". It is true that everything can change abruptly and that is why we are in early September finishing adjusting the last details of the next course with much more information and then the beginning. In the meantime, we keep working.

Thank you very much, encouragement, good health and a big hug to everyone. Please be very careful!

Xavier Roca

Director of the ESEIAAT

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