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8,700 undergraduate students begin a special course at the University tomorrow

1,800 renovated courses, 1,566 new workspaces, campus-wide remote teaching technology infrastructure, PCR for students and professionals and $6.5 million for scholarships

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First year students of the Faculty of Communication, during the welcome days. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
31/08/20 16:01

8,700 undergraduate students will begin the course at the University of Navarra's Pamplona and San Sebastián campuses on Tuesday, January 1. Most of them will do it in person and personalized, and with all the necessary security measures. In total, the academic center expects to have more than 12,000 undergraduate, doctoral and master's degree students at its different campuses.

Although the enrollment process is still open, so far 2,193 new students have enrolled in the 52 degrees offered by the University. The forecast is to exceed 2,200 first-year students, maintaining the positive trend of recent years. Of the total number of first-year students (2,193), 635 (29%) are from Navarra, 946 (43%) from outside Navarra and 612 (28%) from outside Spain.       

As planned, face-to-face and personalized teaching will be provided to as many students as possible, always in a safe manner and with alternatives for different scenarios according to the evolution of the pandemic. A few months ago, the University launched the Prepara2 Plan, with 40 measures on teaching, health and safety, and scholarships.

In terms of teaching, the University has reduced the number of lectures and face-to-face classes by half. The subjects will have the same hours and will be completed with more participatory methodologies and personal and group development work. With this scheme, the faculties and schools have redesigned almost all of the 1,800 subjects taught.

To compensate for the reduction in seating capacity, 1,566 new work spaces have been created (Pamplona and San Sebastián) and existing ones have been renovated with new technologies and classroom resources. Thus, 450 webcams have been installed in classrooms, offices and seminars and infrastructure for streaming in 300 spaces, so that students who are in other work areas, are ill or in quarantine, as well as international students who have not yet joined in person can follow the classes.

It is estimated that with the start of the new academic year, the need for new investments in the teaching project will arise and the total cost of improvements will be close to 2 million euros. So far, 1,285,000 euros have been invested in new spaces, adaptation of existing ones, extraordinary cleaning and health care measures, and new technologies.

PCR to the entire university community and 6.5 million scholarships

In the area of health and prevention, from August 24 until September 11, PCR tests are being performed on the entire university community. Subsequently, random sampling will be carried out, about 200 PCRs per week. Of the first 3,200 tests carried out on employees and students, the double-check system established has detected only two positive cases.

In addition to PCRs and basic mask, safety distance and hygiene measures, the University has created a virtual medical office, edited health guides for students and faculty, and established a specific protocol for cleaning and signage throughout the campus.

Finally, the plan foresees that this year the amount of aid will be 2 million euros higher with the so-called Prepara2 scholarships, aimed at 671 families economically affected by the covid crisis. In total, 6.5 million euros of aid have been allocated, benefiting 3,000 families.

From Monday, March 31, until Wednesday, March 2, each Faculty and School will have sessions designed for new students to get to know the center as well as administrative and academic issues. Students have already had an online welcome session on the 25th and during this time they have been informed of the plan put in place for a safe return to the classroom. This video has also been edited: https://youtu.be/G1_WyR4TXU0

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