Statement of the Rector of VŠE on the beginning of the winter semester for the academic year 2020/2021
Dear colleagues, dear students,
For the first time in the almost seventy-year history of the University of Economics, Prague, we are launching an academic year without the presence of students on the premises of our alma mater. We all know that the reason for this is the rapidly deteriorating epidemiological situation in Prague. The regulation from the Hygienic Station of the Capital City of Prague No. 12/2020 effective from September 21, 2020, which restricts mass teaching at universities in the city of Prague, was sent to me in the late afternoon of Friday, September 18 by the director of the Department of Higher Education from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. In order to avoid organizational problems, the crisis staff of VŠE decided that all faculties of the University of Economics, Prague will start teaching a week later and the winter semester will be shortened to 12 weeks. Due to Monday’s national holiday, the commencement of online lessons will start from Tuesday, September 29, 2020.
I am afraid that this semester will not only be atypical by its beginning, but uncertainty will continue to accompany us. The management of the University of Economics, Prague works closely with the management of all six faculties, and in these difficult times our strength can be found in teamwork and in the maximum effort by all deans to find a consensual solution. I therefore believe that we will be able to handle the crisis situation, even if the winter semester will require a considerable dose of responsibility, flexibility and a pragmatic approach from all of us.
I am glad that so far the situation is very favorable for the University of Economics, Prague in terms of the number of infected employees and students. To today’s date (Sunday, September 27, 2020), only 2 teachers and 2 administrative staff fell ill to covid-19, and out of a total of 13,500 students, only 12 cases of covid-19 have been reported. In case of covid-19 infection, I ask everyone to inform the school as soon as possible about their personal situation at firstname.lastname@example.org. For up-to-date information on coronavirus, see the separate university webpage.
The beginning of the new academic year will be accompanied by certain changes. From October 1, 2020, we will start using the new name of the school in English. Instead of University of Economics, Prague the university is changing its name to Prague University of Economics and Business (the Czech name remains Vysoká škola ekonomická v Praze). The new name was registered by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and is part of the VŠE statute. Author of the VŠE logo Mgr. Klára Horová also completed work on the modernization of the school’s visual style, which better meets the needs of communication on social networks and is able to better unify the visual identity of individual parts of the University of Economics, Prague. Websites, promotional materials and other communication tools will be innovated during the winter semester.
During the summer months, the University of Economics, Prague responsibly prepared to ensure hygienic measures. All classrooms are equipped with disinfection dispensers (there are about 250 dispensers in the VŠE premises) and the university is buying other special germicidal UV ozone lamps for more effective disinfection of rooms in case there is a suspicion that a person infected with covid-19 was present in the room. During the holidays, the settings for automatic air recuperation in the recuperation units were adjusted and the proportion of fresh air was increased to 60%. In catering facilities, the number of chairs has been reduced to ensure the required spacing, cutlery is served in paper pockets. The dishwashers have been set to a higher temperature. Very strict hygiene measures have also been introduced in university dormitories.
Turnstiles were installed at the entrance to the Italian building as a measure to increase security in the campus buildings in Žižkov. In the usual mode of operation, the use of turnstiles will be tested at times when the identification of newcomers is required, i.e. especially on weekends and in the evening.
Water dispensers were installed on all floors of RB, in which the water is cooled and filtered (the whole complex of the water treatment includes carbon filters, UV lamps, a stainless steel drinking water tank with a cooling system and automatic pumps). Thanks to the water dispensers, we are one step closer to the implementation of our long-term project “VŠE without plastics”.
I am very sorry that a number of events that were an integral part of our community life will be canceled this semester. For the year 2020, we are canceling the Alumni Evening VŠE, the VŠE Talent competition, the VŠE Ball and the Job Fair Šance will be moved to April 2021. No student organizations events can take place on the premises of the VŠE until further notice.
Dear colleagues, dear students, let me ask you to conscientiously observe and comply with all the necessary measures that result from the difficult situation in which the Czech Republic currently finds itself. I believe that we will manage the winter semester of the academic year 2020/2021 with honor and I hope that we will be able to handle all the difficulties of the coronavirus period.
I wish you all good health and with kind regards
Prof. Hana Machková
Rector of VŠE