“You are at the center of our decisions”
In a message to our community, the rector informs that the 2020-1 semester will start on April 6th, that there will be a pre-induction week for virtual courses and that economic relief measures are being implemented for our students.
Dear members of the university community:
Since the start of the pandemic, PUCP has been alert to its evolution, its effects on our country and on the world, and has put itself at the service of the authorities to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We are a university at the service of Peru. These are not simple days. There is a lot of uncertainty and concern. Our beloved university, by the way, is not oblivious to any of this. On the contrary, this commits us to work seriously, prudently and measure each step carefully in a context with a still uncertain prognosis.
Since we postponed the start of the academic semester until today, professors, deans and department heads, as well as students and students’ representatives, have sent us proposals and ideas in order to ensure, on the one hand, the development of our academic activities with the quality and excellence of always and, on the other hand, to cushion the economic impact of this exceptional situation.
“The semester will formally begin on April 6th. If the quarantine is maintained or if the health conditions prevent us from attending campus, we will start with courses in the virtual modality”.
For this reason, I want to express and report the following:
1. First of all, I publicly thank those who, from day one, made themselves available to our university. Many thanks to the professors, administrative staff and students who let us know their willingness to support their academic community and immediately got to work on it.
2. Given that the quarantine ends on March 31st, but the possibilities of its extension are not ruled out; and since, although there is no extension, our concern will be to eliminate all health risks on a campus attended by nearly 40,000 people, we have made the following decisions about the beginning of the semester:
- From Tuesday, March 31st to Saturday, April 4th, an “induction week” will be held for the use of the virtual modality in the courses selected by each faculty. Professors and students will carry out the proposed activities that will allow them to become familiar with the use of the Paideia platform. In this way, we will be able to identify and make the necessary adjustments.
- The semester will formally begin on April 6th. If the quarantine is maintained or if the health conditions prevent us from attending campus, we will start with courses in the virtual modality. Deans, the Direction of Academic Affairs and the Direction of Information Technologies will be responsible for supervising this online output.
- The university has the appropriate platforms to implement most of our courses virtually. However, we are aware of the overload problems that can occur in telecommunications networks. Therefore, we are taking a set of academic, administrative and technological measures in order to minimize the possibilities of overload.
- Courses that, due to their nature, cannot be virtualized, must be rescheduled during the 2020-1 semester or postponed to be offered during the 2020-2 or 2021-0 cycles. For this purpose, this following summer cycle will last ten weeks, which will allow our students to access more courses and not delay their professional career development. The Rector’s Office leaves to the deans the responsibility to evaluate the proposals that contribute to the progress of our students in the fulfillment of their study plans, all of which will be informed to and approved by the Academic Vice-Rector’s Office before their implementation. This includes, for example, increased use of campus and our classrooms on weekends.
- PUCP is currently working to provide our students with technological alternatives that reduce problems related to connectivity.
From Tuesday, March 31st to Saturday, April 4th, an “induction week” will be held for the use of the virtual modality in the courses selected by each faculty”.
3. We are not unaware of the economic problems that COVID-19 has produced in our country and, above all, in the families of the members of our university community. In the case of our students and thinking about their well-being, we have taken the following measures regarding their enrollment and the cost of the academic credit:
- Defer payment of the following academic fees in accordance with the new academic calendar that will be published shortly. Those who need it may additionally split them through the virtual campus, in which case, they will have up to 30 days to complete their payment.
- Suspend, from today, the 3.1% increase in the value of the academic credit during the first semester of 2020.
- Suspend the collection of default interest for late payment of academic fees for students enrolled in the 2020-1 semester.
- Intensify the search for new external financing alternatives (public and private) for our students.
- Provide the resources so that students can withdraw from courses, without payment, within the first two weeks of the start of the semester, that is, from April 6th.
“Thinking about the well-being of our students, we have taken measures of economic relief ”.
4. We will make budget cuts and take rigorous austerity measures this year. All of them will be communicated between today and Monday to deans, department heads, directors of centers and institutes, and any professor or worker who is responsible for the administration of an institutional budget. For now, disbursements for travel tickets, per diem, sponsorships, congresses, official services are suspended, until further notice.
“Normality will not be the same as before. But what we cannot call into question is our academic quality nor our sincere and deep vocation to serve the country to form conscious citizens, responsible for the common good”.
As rector, I cannot finish without invoking your solidarity and understanding. We are all aware that we are in an absolutely exceptional situation that must be faced with equally exceptional measures. We know that there are many aspects that are left out of this statement, but rest assured that we will resolve them as the changes caused by the spread of COVID-19 occur. When the pandemic has passed, we will be others. Normality will not be the same as before. But what we cannot call into question is our academic quality nor our sincere and deep vocation to serve the country to form conscious citizens, responsible for the common good. Today more than ever, we must do it together.
The university has you and your families at the center of its decisions.
Carlos Garatea Grau