Announcement from the rector to University students 23 March 2020:
One of the most difficult things about this time is the uncertainty. This was clear from the results of a survey that the Student Council conducted into the wellbeing of University of Iceland students. The survey revealed categorically that many students are experiencing stress and anxiety due to the current situation.
Eliminating uncertainty as far as possible will help ease the strain on students. For this reason, I would like to reiterate the following:
• Teaching staff are now hard at work finding the best possible solutions to the reorganisation of assessment, assignments and exams.
• Almost all students will receive information on changes to exams and assessment before the upcoming weekend and no later than 30 March.
• Emphasis will be placed on consulting with students regarding these changes, accommodating their needs, and reducing pressure.
At my meetings with the school deans and the University of Iceland Emergency Response Board, there has been unanimous agreement that the pressures on students should be reduced as far as possible. We completely understand that students find themselves in hugely variable circumstances at this time and are facing enormous challenges. For this reason, it is also important that final exams are replaced by alternatives with which students are familiar. In some cases, this might mean digital take-home exams; in other cases assignments or essays could be a sensible solution. The University of Iceland is a very large and diverse institution and the best solutions for students will differ significantly between schools and faculties.
This is consistent with what most universities in the Nordic countries have done – we have been closely following the responses of other universities at this time and kept them in mind when reviewing our options for exams here.
Finally, I urge you all to stay up to date with announcements from your course coordinators and to use the web chat service on the University of Iceland website if you have any questions.
Together we will prevail.
Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector“