Keeping education community safe: Preventing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) at universities in Dubai


 

Last updated: 11:30 AM – 25 June 2020

Frequently Asked Questions - Universities

Please check back on this page regularly. We’ll keep updating it to include all the questions we receive from the community.

Please do check the latest update from the concerned authorities in relation to health, safety and travel in case it changed while we were working on updating this page.

Important Circulars

PDF icon  Circular for “Distance Learning” - 31 March 2020

PDF icon  Circular for "A four-week closure for all nurseries, schools and universities" - 07 March 2020

PDF icon  Circular “Reopening universities in the new academic year – 2020/2021” – 23 June 2020

General Questions

  1. Does this mean this will be an extended holiday for universities?

    No. Universities will continue to provide education through distance learning.

  2. Are education institutions allowed to provide paper materials to their students during the distance learning period?

    Early learning centers, schools, universities and training institutes are currently not allowed to exchange any type of paper material with their students, except for textbooks for this term. To ensure uninterrupted delivery of distance learning, institutions are expected to incorporate alternative strategies and online learning methods, in addition to any electronic communication tools that are accessible to teachers and students. Please adhere to the circular here.

  3. My university was scheduled for a quality assurance visit. Will this go ahead?

    No – all quality assurance audits will be rescheduled and the higher education team from KHDA will be in touch with universities affected.

  4. How can I find a company to deep clean my premises?

    Dubai Municipality publishes a list of recommended companies to clean and disinfect. Please take a look here: https://www.dm.gov.ae/en/Business/HealthAndPublicSafety/Pages/Health-and-Safety-Consultancy-and-Training-Companies.aspx

  5. We are struggling with the implementation of distance learning because some of our students and staff don't have internet connection. What can we do?

    During the distance learning period, Du, Etisalat and Virgin Mobile are providing free data for prepaid and postpaid customers for selected video conferencing tools (Blackboard, Zoom, Microsoft Teams) or to access and download content from school websites.

    For more information:
    https://www.du.ae/distancelearning
    https://www.etisalat.ae/en/c/learning-together.jsp

  6. I’m applying to go to university in Dubai but my school exams were cancelled. How will universities be able to assess my application?

    Provided they have the approval of their home campus, international branch campuses in Dubai may be able to make you an offer of admission based on your previous attainment and predicted grades.

  7. Can graduation ceremonies be held in person?

    Due to health and safety risks around Covid-19, graduation ceremonies can only take place online this year. We understand this news is disappointing to students, parents and teachers. However, this is the only way we can ensure the continuing health and safety of our community. We encourage your school to work together with students to use existing technology in fun and creative ways that enables students to have a meaningful, memorable and safe graduation experience.

  8. Will schools and universities be open to students in the new academic year? New icon

    Schools and universities will be allowed to open and operate from the start of the 2020/21 academic year, provided they comply with specific health and safety protocols.

  9. Will all health and safety protocols that apply to schools also apply to universities? New icon

    With a few exceptions, health and safety protocols for schools and universities are the same. The main differences are:

    • Food halls, cafeterias and other dining facilities may open, in line with the appropriate health and safety recommendations of the Ministry of Health and Community Protection and the National Authority for Emergency and Crisis Management .
    • Ensuring the operation and organization of university housing according to specific precautionary procedures and requirements.

Distance Learning

  1. If distance learning is not available, what can be done? 

    The UAE Ministry of Education has stated that all schools, universities and training centres must provide some form of distance learning during the closure period. 

    Please check with your institution to learn how it plans to deliver distance learning.

  2. We are struggling with the implementation of distance learning because some of our students and staff don't have internet connection. What can we do?

    During the distance learning period, Du, Etisalat and Virgin Mobile are providing free data for prepaid and postpaid customers for selected video conferencing tools (Blackboard, Zoom, Microsoft Teams) or to access and download content from school websites.

    For more information:
    https://www.du.ae/distancelearning
    https://www.etisalat.ae/en/c/learning-together.jsp

Staff

  1. Are all school, university and training institute staff expected to return to the workplace? New icon

    As of June 3rd, 100% of staff employed at schools, universities and training institutes can return to the workplace, provided that specific health and safety conditions are adhered to. These conditions include:  

    • Maintaining a distance of 2 metres between people 
    • Wearing face masks 
    • Regularly washing and sanitizing hands 
    • Disinfecting all staff common areas 
    • Screening all visitors and staff members’ temperatures at entrance 
    • Providing an isolation room for people showing symptoms of Covid-19 

    For more information, please see this article from Dubai Media Office. 

  2. I’ve just returned from abroad and my employer is refusing to pay my salary during the 14-day quarantine. Can they do this?

    Staff salaries and employment are governed by the Ministry of Emiratisation and Human Resources. Please contact the Ministry directly for guidance https://www.mohre.gov.ae/en/services/labour-offices.aspx

  3. I am having trouble getting paid by my school, university, training institute, what can I do?

    Please contact the Ministry of Emiratisation and Human Resources and discuss your eligibility for payment through your legal agreement with them: https://www.mohre.gov.ae/en/services/labour-offices.aspx

  4. Can I return to my university after my holiday abroad?

    No. The most recent government guidelines state that all UAE residents who have travelled abroad must self-quarantine for 14 days when they return. Failure to do will be punishable by law.
    UAE residents will not be allowed to re-enter the UAE from abroad for a period of two weeks starting Thursday, March 19.
    Until further notice, the UAE will no longer be issuing visit visas to any foreign nationals.
    UAE nationals are prohibited from travelling abroad.

  5. Which employees are given priority to work remotely at early learning centers, schools and universities?

    With immediate effect all schools in Dubai should prioritize employees whose health is vulnerable, including pregnant women, employees over 60 years old and people of determination to work from home, provided that distance learning continues for all students.

  6. Do these guidelines apply to everyone working at education institutes? New icon

    Staff members who have respiratory conditions or those with compromised immunity should not return to the workplace at this time. These guidelines also do not currently apply to staff at nurseries or early learning centres, who may continue working from home. We ask schools and universities to be mindful of the needs of staff members who have family commitments at home.

Campus Access

  1. I live in university accommodation on campus. Am I expected to find another place to live?

    Common learning areas across universities will be closed for the rest of this academic year. You can continue to live within the residences on campus.

  2. Are universities still allowed to hold Open Days? New icon

    Universities may conduct tours of the building to prospective students and their parents, provided physical distancing and other health and safety guidelines applicable to all university visitors are followed.

  3. Can universities continue to offer summer programmes?

    Universities can continue to offer summer programmes. If current measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus are still in place during the summer, these programmes must be delivered through distance learning only.

  4. How are students able to receive new textbooks?

    Schools, universities and training institutes must adhere to the same rules when distributing books. They can deliver books or request books to be picked up by an adult.
    In both situations, strict health and safety guidelines must be followed. If books are delivered, they must be received by an adult.

    Both the delivery driver and the adult must wear masks and gloves when exchanging books. The receipt will be sent online after delivery has taken place. Education institutes are already aware of these regulations.

Exams

  1. Will internal school and university exams still take place as scheduled?

    Internal school and university exams can still go ahead, provided they do not require students to be physically present in a shared space. It is up to each school to assess their own capability to carry out these exams.

For more information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please call:
- Estijaba Service on 8001717
- Dubai Health Authority on 800342 or
- Ministry of Health and Prevention on 80011111

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