New Year, New Classes – What to expect in AY2021

To deliver a better learning environment and prioritize student safety going forward, Tohoku University is sharing some initial plans for the 2021 academic year.

(1) Current COVID-19 prevention measures on campus will remain in place. This includes strict rules about temperature-taking, smaller class sizes, greater distance between seats, the use of alcohol disinfectant and a QR code in each class/lecture room that students must scan for contact tracing purposes.


(2) The university will continue having both online and in-person classes appropriate to each class’ content and characteristics.

(3) Classes for first and second year students – mainly the General Education subjects – will be held in-person on campus where safely possible. This is so that new students can be in a more conventional learning environment with more social support.

(4) For students who are unable to attend in-person classes due to underlying health conditions, special arrangements can be made through their departments.
Students who are temporarily unwell (cough, cold, fever etc) must stay home, and will be able to make up the lesson(s) online.

(5) The content and format of all classes will be published on the website with the syllabi. In the event that there are mid-term changes, announcements will be made promptly online and through each department.

A few other points:
• In-person orientation and guidance for the new term will take place, but with strict adherence to the university’s infection prevention measures.

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• Campus facilities, such as the Main Library, will reopen with COVID-19 prevention measures in place. Safe study areas will also be made available so that students can do their work with peace of mind.

• There are plans to hold round-table meetings and discussions with students to get feedback on how the university can better provide a safe and inclusive learning environment.

A note about extracurricular activities:
• All across Japan, universities have been easing restrictions on student club and circle activities. At Tohoku University, we announced a plan to resume student extracurricular activities in four phases, with new rules and safety guidelines.

• The university intends to continue permitting extracurricular activities to take place next academic year according to the rules in Phase 4. All students – new and old – should be aware of the latest guidelines before preparing for recruitment and orientation activities.

• Please note that activities will be suspended again if one or more of the following occurs: the university BCP level rises to 2, a club member tests positive for COVID-19, multiple students at the university test positive for COVID-19, Miyagi prefecture moves its emergency level to “Stage 3” or higher, or when the university deems it unsafe for any reason.

Our common goal is to have an open and vibrant campus where all students can attend classes and enjoy activities safely.

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