Teaching Modality for the Start of Spring 2022
January 27, 2022
Dear AUC Community,
Like the rest of Egypt and the world, our campus community is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of COVID infections. To ensure an orderly start to the semester given the disruption we will face with the number of people who are currently isolated or sick, we will begin the semester as scheduled, but we are introducing a two-week transition period to online instruction as more members of our community pass through this stage of the pandemic.
During the two weeks from Sunday, January 30 to Saturday, February 12, the following will be in effect:
- Classes will be held online. A limited number of labs and courses which require face-to-face interaction will be held on campus. The Registrar will notify students before the first day of class if they are required to attend face-to-face for the next two weeks.
- Managers should continue to show flexibility, while ensuring all operations continue uninterrupted.
- Events should continue to be held virtually for the next two weeks.
- For up-to-date library hours, please check here.
Our campus remains fully open and operational during this two-week transition. All faculty, students and staff will continue to benefit from full access to campus, provided they are not sick or isolated. All faculty are expected to be in Cairo before the start of the semester on January 30, and are free to hold their online classes from their offices or rooms, if this facilitates better WiFi access.
A Changing Reality
I understand this temporary shift to online instruction will be a disappointment to many of our students and faculty who are eager to return to campus — an integral part of the educational experience. This decision is not taken lightly and we will ensure we fully utilize this time to prepare for our return to face-to-face instruction on Sunday, February 13. As we enter a new phase of the pandemic with the Omicron variant, many of our previous benchmarks, dashboards and guidelines for testing and isolation are no longer valid. For the majority of vaccinated individuals, exposure to Omicron yields flu-like symptoms and does not pose the level of medical risk that was common in prior variants. While the rate of infection continues to be high, medical guidance and evidence of previous waves suggest that this current wave will reach its peak and start to decline over the coming days. Our aim, therefore, is to minimize the disruption to our learning and teaching environment, as we reach greater levels of immunity in our community.
We are working closely with our Scientific Committee and medical experts to develop more meaningful and relevant metrics as we navigate this new phase of the virus. And we are currently developing updated guidelines for testing and isolation times, in alignment with the new recommendations issued by the CDC and practices at other universities. For those who were previously vaccinated at AUC, we expect booster doses to be available on campus as of next week through the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population. Our medical team will be sending out individual emails with further details to all those who are eligible to receive their booster.
I thank all members of the AUC community for your continued flexibility and patience as we navigate this rapidly changing landscape. None of us can predict the future, but we remain vigilant and steadfast in our commitment to ensure we deliver on our educational mission and keep our community safe.