Mar 23 2021

Regarding the start of spring semester for the 2021 academic year

To all registered students and guardians:

Spring semester of the 2021 academic year will start on April 6. There is still no way of predicting what will happen with regards to COVID-19 and its variants, so we will unfortunately need to start classes while taking great caution to prevent the spread of infections. In this respect, the situation has not changed much from fall semester 2020. Meiji Gakuin University will therefore proceed with classes in spring 2021 by slightly improving the class formats used in fall 2020 to account for the current situation.

Basic University policies remain unchanged:

1.At Meiji Gakuin University, we consider face-to-face classes as the basis of university education, so as many courses as possible will utilize face-to-face classes.
2.However, because we cannot predict how the COVID-19 situation will play out, in consideration of those who must be extremely careful we will allow distance learning even in face-to-face courses.

Spring semester courses will be broadly divided into those taught face-to-face (along with simultaneous broadcast) and those taught by distance learning (with on-demand or simultaneous broadcast). To see which form your courses will take, please refer to the schedules in the syllabi published by the Academic Affairs Department today (March 22). Note that even courses listed as those taught face-to-face may be taught via distance learning at the instructor’s discretion; please consult with your instructors for details.

Classrooms will be assigned for courses taught through face-to-face classes. These courses will allow you to attend classes at designated times, at a designated place, with the same classmates. As described above, this is what Meiji Gakuin University considers to be the basis of university education.

For distance learning courses, please use an information terminal suitable for the course and participate from a location with Wi-Fi or an otherwise suitable information environment. Note that both Meiji Gakuin University campuses provide spaces for remote learning, with the required Wi-Fi and other information services, so please take advantage of them.

In spring semester 2021, we will be operating University facilities at one-third capacity (one person per three seats), and all classrooms will be well ventilated. Both University campuses will provide highly safe learning environments that aid in avoiding close contact, in addition to other measures for preventing infections such as disinfectant solution stations, devices for taking your temperature, spaces reserved for eating meals, more thorough cleaning procedures, hand-washing spaces, and plastic separators at information desks, lounges, and in the Palette Zone. In consideration of commuting environments, we have scheduled classes to start at 9:35 AM so that rush hour can be avoided.

We are aware that some students and their families have underlying conditions that could be exacerbated by a COVID-19 infection, making them wish to avoid going to campus. By submitting the prescribed form, such students will be allowed to remotely participate in face-to-face classes. In such cases, the instructor will use IT equipment to broadcast the actual face-to-face lesson, so please participate in lessons at the scheduled class time. See the notice from the Academic Affairs Department regarding the required application form. (New students will be able to confirm this through Port Hepburn from April 1.)

We are slightly easing the applicability requirements for receiving the “Scholarship in Response to COVID-19 Infections” we started in spring semester 2020. This scholarship is for a one-time payment of 400,000 yen, so please consider taking advantage of it. (We are still considering whether this scholarship will be available in fall semester.) We will announce details after April, so please see the University website for details.

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We spent the last year groping in the dark regarding how to continue university education amidst the severe restrictions on activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and over that year we became acutely aware of the importance of direct, face-to-face meetings with other people. A university campus is a place for meeting with friends, interacting with faculty, and directly engaging with books and scholarship. We hope you will work together with our faculty and staff to make your college life enjoyable and fruitful, even under these circumstances.

Until the COVID-19 threat subsides, continuing university activities will require sufficient caution, despite the continued inconvenience it entails. We ask for your understanding and cooperation during this time. Needless to say, we also ask that you please continue to make every effort to prevent infection. In the unlikely event of a sudden increase in infections, we will need to perform a comprehensive review of class formats. In such an event we will quickly post notices to the University website, etc., so please be sure to periodically check for information from the University.

Leo Murata, President
Meiji Gakuin University
22 March 2021