Bergamo, November 4th 2020
in the past few weeks my communications have followed one another according to a very precise timing, as I decided to report to you the situation of our University every time that, at a (national and regional) regulatory level, new decisions are made regarding the epidemic situation, still unfortunately an emergency one.
Last Saturday I sent a letter to all the Department Directors about the organisational management of all our activities, so as to align, as we have always done, our behavioural rules with the recent decision-making developments.
Today a new Presidential Decree has been issued in which, as we could all expect, even more restrictive precautionary measures were set, that I deemed it essential to communicate to you as soon as possible. As far as we are concerned, the most important indication is that in Lombardy all university teaching activities must be carried out remotely starting tomorrow.
Therefore, all the lessons that so far could be attended in presence – based on your individual choices and thanks to a well-established organisational procedure that we had long introduced in total safety – will be immediately converted to the remote mode, in accordance with government guidelines.
However, I would like to reiterate that all UniBg offices will remain open, in order to guarantee all basic services to all of you students and as a strong sign of our willingness not to stop our cultural mission (always, of course, in conditions of maximum safety).
After all, the epidemiological data on the province of Bergamo suggest (for now) a less worrying situation than that of other Lombardy provinces – which allows us to keep a few specific services active –, but it is correct, and indeed appropriate, that also our University adopts the behavioural standards established for the entire Region and, more in general, for the whole country.
In order to go into detail of each single activity and anticipate any doubt, I inform you that from tomorrow Thursday, 5th November until Thursday, 3rd December 2020, the various university activities will be structured in the following ways:
In this regard, students without adequate IT equipment or Internet connections will be able to choose to take the test accessing the university classrooms and laboratories, upon reservation.
As I promised you in my previous communications, today UniBg has also published the Call for the provision of "COVID-19 Emergency Support Measures" that offers discounts for the expenses that you have incurred or will incur to purchase digital tools for study and teaching purposes from 1st July until 22nd December 2020. Being aware that computer equipment has a significant cost on average, we thought we would help you and your families so that you can best equip yourselves to carry out distance learning activities without any problems.
In addition to the commitment that we have concretely showed reducing fees (as reflected in the regulations for student contributions), UniBg wants in this way not only to promote digital education – a matter of primary importance in these times – but also to remain close to its students with targeted actions on the economic level. In fact, of the 150,000 euros that the University was planning to allocate for this call we managed to reach 250,000 euros, to broaden the list of students who will benefit from it. The call, active until 22nd December 2020, is open to all students regularly enrolled, with an on-going career and ISEE up to 30,000 euros.
All those who meet the requirements will be granted an allowance of up to 125 euros, the minimum expense to be incurred for the purchase of hardware or for the adaptation of network connectivity (the expense may also be incurred by a family member and does not necessarily have to be on behalf of the student). This benefit may take the form of a tax discount or a direct cash contribution.
In case not all the funds available with the applications received by 22nd December are allocated, we have decided to make the remaining funds available with a new call (that will obviously have updated participation requirements).
From what I have just listed, I think it is clear that, although it undergoes changes in its activities, our University has no intention to close, as I mentioned before: UniBg does not close 'physically' – once again, all locations will remain open and accessible according to the modalities you know by now – nor in its aims and objectives. We remain at your disposal, following your study path, offering you our suggestions, growing with you. By making a circle against the pandemic. And also by doing research against the pandemic: not only scientific, but also research for new thinking, new lifestyles, new social relationships, more responsible and careful.
In his work Past and Present (1843), Thomas Carlyle states that everything that distinguishes the human being, everything that tells of his morality and intelligence; everything that reveals the "patience, perseverance, loyalty, method, insightfulness, intelligence and energy" distinguishing him are contained in the work that he does.
Now, our main work is to go on with what we are doing, even remotely, but go on, without letting ourselves be overwhelmed, refining our patience even more and showing everyone our sense of responsibility.
I am counting on your creativity, on your ability to seek new balances without ever letting your and our path towards knowledge be interrupted.
Be brave, guys, let us always go in pursuit of our desires and take advantage of all the talents we have at our disposal. Together we will make it through these times of uncertainty and bewilderment.
Your Rector (who knows your efforts and appreciates them),
Professor Remo Morzenti Pellegrini