4,000 UPM students to return to campus starting Oct 15

Photo used for illustration purposes only

PUTRAJAYA – Around 4,000 Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) students would return to campus, including those from the B40 group and students requiring Internet services, for the first academic session of 2021/2022 starting Oct 15, said UPM vice-chancellor, Prof. Dr Mohd Roslan Sulaiman.

“Only five categories of students with needs, including those undergoing clinical training, training in teaching, industrial training who require on-campus accommodation, as well as students conducting research in the labs are allowed to return to campus from Oct 15 to 17,” he said in a statement here today.

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He said UPM would implement tighter standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure the safety of those on campus as the new academic session begins amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Mohd Roslan said he welcomed the Higher Education Ministry’s recent announcement and would implement students’ physical admission to campus in stages as approved, subject to compliance with the conditions set by the National Security Council (MKN).

He said the Student Affairs and Alumni entity was intensifying preparations to manage students returning to campus including coordinating the data of students allowed to return to campus after completing their COVID-19 vaccination, student movements and campus accommodations.

“So far, 88.5 per cent of the academic and non-academic staff have been vaccinated. The vaccination of staff and students is ongoing at the UPM teaching hospital, which also offers vaccination to the public,” he said.

Dr Mohd Roslan said as the students would be returning in stages, the learning session would also be implemented in three phases.

The first phase from Oct 15 to 17, he said, involved the intake of students with needs, involving clinical training, training in teaching, industrial training requiring on-campus accommodation, students conducting research in the labs, B40 students and those requiring Internet facilities and a conducive study environment.

Phase Two from Nov 3 to 7, he said would be for students requiring lab sessions (while lectures will be conducted online), while Phase Three would see all students returning to campus, with the exception of those who have not been fully vaccinated.

He said teaching and learning in Phase Three would be face-to-face and also a hybrid format, subject to compliance with the tight SOP from Dec 10 to 12.

Dr Mohd Roslan said the overall students’ performance would not be affected by online learning conducted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, an analysis of the students’ performance showed an improvement during online learning in the second semester of 2019/2020 and first semester of 2020/2021 when over 80 per cent of the students agreed that they got better grades during the period.

“The students were also more critical and creative as their performance evaluation was developed using a higher cognitive level and they managed to master more online teaching and learning tools and software.

“It did not only affect students, but also the lecturers in terms of improving knowledge and competency in the aspect of online teaching and learning,” he added.