Students eager to get back to university
Li Yingchen, a senior student at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, bought a ticket from his hometown in Yunnan Province after the university announced dates for students’ return.
The university said graduating postgraduate students can return on Monday, and graduating undergraduates on Tuesday. Other students can come back in batches from May 6. Dates for overseas students will be announced later.
Students have to submit applications for return on WeLink and only those who are approved can return. Anyone with respiratory symptoms, temperatures higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius, fatigue, diarrhea or other problems should stay home and return when they have recovered and with university approval.
“Our teacher told us on Tuesday that we can start submitting applications,” said Li, a major in prosthetic orthopaedic engineering. “In the application, we have to fill in information such as our health condition in the past 14 days, the specific return itinerary and our green health code.”
Li submitted an application on Thursday and awaits approval. But he bought his ticket to Shanghai right away as he is eager to return to finish his dissertation.
“I have written part of my dissertation and need to use the lab on campus for experiments,” he said. “I chose to fly because it’s quick and the price is cheap now, an off-season for travel. It costs me just over 400 yuan, while it cost more than 1,000 on normal days.”
Wei Qinjian, a major in mechanical design, manufacturing and automation, is also returning to Shanghai as he has to take an internship at the company he will work for after graduation.
The university is asking students to prepare some protective items, such as masks, and protect themselves on their way back. They will have to show their health codes and student identify cards and have their temperatures measured at the university gate.
The campus remains locked down and students will have to submit applications to leave. They will check their temperatures twice a day and disinfect their dormitory rooms daily.
Takeaway food from restaurants outside campus is banned but other items can be dropped at a university gate and delivered by campus staff to a site where students can pick them up.
“I think the university has done a great job to keep us safe,” said Li. “Since I have been admitted into a master’s program at Fudan University, I will have more time than my classmates, so I will work as a volunteer to serve them, providing services such as helping distribute masks and other protective items.”
East China Normal University will see about 15,000 students back in two batches, including 10,000 graduating students who will be the first to show up. Six teams have been set up for traffic instructions, entry inspections, temperature screening, campus patrols, emergency management and logistics.
The university has divided students into 10 categories, such as graduating students and non-graduating students with important research, and worked out corresponding plans for their return in different batches. An online system has been set up to assess applications for return.
Dai Liyi, vice president of the university, said all students need to wear masks and show green health codes and campus ID cards on their return.
A room has been set up at the gate of its campus in Putuo Distirct for returning students to have temperatures checked by an infrared imager. Students with normal temperatures can enter the university while those with a fever would be guided to an observation tent for another check by a doctor from the university hospital.
They may enter the university if their temperatures fall to normal level. Otherwise, they will be sent to a designated fever clinic for diagnosis. They will be sent to a designated hospital for treatment if found to be infected. If they have no infection, they will be quarantined at a designated dorm building until their symptoms disappear.
Temperature screening devices and hand sanitizer have been put in canteens and marks on the ground remind teachers and students to keep at least 1 meter from each other.
There are three kinds of packed foods for each meal. The foods are carefully prepared to ensure nutrition and taste, according to Dai. Students can take food back to their dorm or eat at the canteen.
“There are only a few students remaining on campus since the winter vacation, so each of them can occupy a table and face one direction to prevent cross infection,” said Dai. “After the other students return, they may have to share tables, so we will install baffle plates.”
In the dorms, public areas have been disinfected and ventilated. In the dormitory rooms, the school has put 15 masks, a thermometer, soap, alcoholic cotton and notices for anti-virus prevention on each desk for students.
Dai said the university has prepared about 500,000 masks which will be enough for the two batches of 15,000 students to use by June 1. He said they were purchasing more.
Wang Jing, deputy director of the university's logistics department, said students will have temperatures and identities checked before entering. They are also offer services such as basking quilts and picking up packages upon requests from students to ensure they live comfortably on campus.
Dai said the campus will remain locked down so faculty and students need to submit application first before leaving and entering. There won’t be offline lectures, forums, conferences, job fairs, club events or sport competitions.
He said the university has been delivering online courses since March 9 and the effect proved good.
“We’ve set up flexible ways for thesis submission and oral defense, as well as degree awarding,” said Dai. “Both online and offline oral defenses will be available.”
A drill will be held to test its pandemic control plans on Saturday.
At East China University of Science and Technology, two drills have been organized, one at its campus in Fengxian District and another in Xuhui.
According to Chen Jian, the university’s security department director, students will be divided into different batches and return in designated time periods.
“If they come in a wrong time period, we will not allow them to come into the campus,” said Chen. “So our teachers are now communicating with students to make sure they understand the rules.”
In the canteens, different entrances have been set up to lead diners to different levels of the buildings. At the No.1 Canteen, foot-shaped marks have been pasted on the ground to guide teachers and students to different windows to pick up packed meals and keep distance from each other.
“Teachers and students will have to bring the meals back to their offices or dorms, rather than dining at the canteens,” said Li Tao, vice president of the University. “We also encourage that each room to have one to pick up the foods for all so as to reduce gathering in the canteen. The dishes will vary from meal to meal but all the canteens will offer the same menu so they can go to the nearest one.”
The universities said return is not compulsory and students can make their decisions based on their own conditions.