Rector’s Statement to TBU Students and Staff18. March 2020
Please listen to the current information provided by Prof. Ing. Vladimír Sedlařík, Ph.D., Rector of TBU, on measures adopted to ensure the operation of the University in the present situation (English subtitles included).
English transcription of TBU Rector´s Statement
Dear students, dear colleagues,
it is mid-March, usually a time when the summer semester is in full swing and, under normal circumstances, the University is alive with student life. Unfortunately, this year the situation is different due to the current coronavirus infection. I hope and believe that the situation will soon improve again and we will be able to gradually return to normal.
I would like to assure all of you that we are doing our best in order to protect you and to protect your health. In the following minutes, I would like to give you basic information about the current situation at Tomas Bata University in Zlín and about the measures adopted and aimed to ensure your safety, the safety of students and employees, but also to ensure the operation of our University, because we cannot afford to stop, on the contrary, we have to respond flexibly to this crisis situation.
As we all know, we have been obliged to suspend contact classes, which are an inseparable part of the teaching process. A proverb says that every cloud has a silver lining. Please consider this complication an opportunity that can be used to support the development of modern teaching methods based on the maximum use of information technology, including online classes – in future, we will not be able to do without using such technology anyway. I would like to ask all teachers to communicate with students in a friendly and active manner at this time. It is also necessary to keep up all R&D and creative activities at our faculties and, most importantly, in our research centres.
I would also like to ask academics and other employees to give special consideration to international students, as there are almost 300 of them here. Most of them are accommodated in our Halls of Residence, and the main reason for their stay in the Czech Republic are precisely their studies in Zlín, at our University. For them, the current situation is difficult as well, moreover, even more stressful as they are here alone, without their loved ones. All international students were offered the option of returning to their home countries and, afterwards, continuing their studies in the form of online classes. However, at this very moment, only a small number of students have decided to return home, most of them prefer to stay with us in Zlín. Some of our students, on the other hand, study abroad. Currently, there are more than 100 of them. The International Office is in contact with all of them, and has also offered those students an opportunity to return to the Czech Republic.
Now, I would like to address you – students. I would like to assure you that, at present, it is not our intention to cancel or nullify the running semester; on the contrary, we will do everything we can to complete the semester with as little delay as possible. Currently, we are intensively working in order to develop a suitable form of online classes and examinations – you will be informed very soon. Therefore, it is better to be prepared.
Please use your free time effectively for your self-study, do not forget to study foreign languages either – foreign language skills are a basic prerequisite for finding a good job. If you did not receive the texts and materials for self-study in the required course units, please contact the Vice-Dean in charge of the relevant degree programme at your Faculty, who will arrange for an immediate remedy.
I suppose that all of you are curious about the operation of the University component parts offering services.
- The services provided by the Refectory have been significantly reduced due to the current situation. Please use as much as possible the platform for ordering packed meals to be delivered to your workplace.
- The operation mode of the TBU Residence Halls remains unchanged.
- The Library is closed for staff, students and the general public. I recommend making the most of the extensive electronic resources available via remote access during the Library’s closure according to the instructions available on the Library website.
- The responsible approach of parents and staff has enabled the University Nursery School to remain in operation.
- The Counselling Centre also remains in operation. If you need any help or seek psychological advice, do not hesitate to contact the staff.
- The staff at the University Institute have been ensuring the supply of disinfectant gels to all University buildings, including the Residence Halls for two weeks already. I am sure that you have noticed that we are also trying to help organizations focused on social services. However, we do not forget about you, our employees, who continue to work. This week we aim to distribute disinfectant gels and solutions for each of you.
I was delighted to see the wave of interest in volunteering among students. We are in contact with relevant organizations and we keep monitoring their needs. Please join us and help the most vulnerable people in the current situation. For details please check the website of our University.
To conclude, I would like to assure you that Tomas Bata University in Zlín supports and takes care of its students and employees and that it will continue to do so.
I wish you strong nerves and health for the following days. Take care, be considerate and sympathetic to other people and, most importantly, maintain a healthy mind.
Thank you for your attention.