Steps in place to ensure safe campuses

  • Education
  • Sunday, 02 Feb 2020

SEVERAL measures have been put in place to ensure a safe and healthy campus and environment for all students to study, live and play in, are maintained.

Sunway Education Group CEO Elizabeth Lee said all staff and students who are unwell are asked to seek medical attention immediately.

“We will totally discourage those who display symptoms of ill health from participating in any campus activities.

“This could jeopardise their own well-being further and affect the welfare of other students and staff.

“We are in direct contact with each of our International students from China to commit themselves to quarantine for health reasons for the duration, as advised by medical authorities, on their return and arrival in Malaysia, ” she said.

The students’ learning is of importance and those who are unable to come on campus for classes will be dealt with separately to ensure that their studies will not be adversely affected during their absence from formal classes, she added.

“They will be welcomed back onto the campus and into classes after they have demonstrated that they are in relative good health after the self-quarantine.

“All business travel to China for staff is stopped with immediate effect.

“Those staff who return from China will also work from home until the recommended quarantine period is met.

“All healthy colleagues are welcomed back accordingly to the campus after that, ” she said.

Higher education institutions were asked on the steps they are taking to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) has sent an advisory containing precautionary measures to its staff and students.

“We provide the latest updates about the outbreak and reminders to students and staff to take cautious measures to reduce the risk.

“For staff and students who have come back from China, they are required to impose self-quarantine for 14 days.

“The university will be contacting and closely monitoring their condition daily, ” said UTAR.

Taylor’s is taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety of its staff and students on campus.

As such, the management at Taylor’s has requested that its students and staff who have travelled to China or other affected areas, and are showing symptoms of the flu, to stay at home for the next 14 days.

“Students are required to inform their programme director and lecturer/s of their absence so they may advise and direct them to the relevant lecture materials and assignment tasks, which students can review and complete while away from campus.

“The Taylor’s Lakeside Campus is closely monitoring the situation, in compliance with Malaysia’s Health Ministry, ” said the university.

Management and Science University (MSU) has postponed all activities involving its students and faculty members on trips to and from China.

Its president Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid said the directives are timely, in view of the coming recruitment and engagements arranged in the future involving international mobility for the university.

“These measures are to ensure the health of over 18,000 students and staff on campus, as well as the neighbouring communities in Shah Alam, are prioritised.

“We have formed strong relationships with our China partner universities, ” he said.

Once travelling is permissible, he said health screenings at its MSU Medical Centre Specialist Hospital, will be made compulsory for all students from China.

To further facilitate the students, he added that MSU has also reviewed its curriculum and considered various delivery methods to ensure the learning process is uninterrupted.

Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said only a small number of Chinese students have gone home for the Lunar New Year festivities.

Most, he added, did not go home for the celebration.

“Some institutions are discouraging their students from travelling back now and to delay their arrival, ” he said.

He said Mapcu suggests that all institutions keep a close eye for any symptoms appearing in any of the students returning from China.

As of December 2018, there are some 16,000 students from China in Malaysia.

Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei said the institution had contacted all its China students about their recent international travel and people who they had physical contact with.

“Those who have been to China recently or have been in contact with people from China have been advised to impose self-quarantine for at least two weeks, ” he said.

Lee said that most of its China students are currently in Malaysia, except for two who plan to come back soon.

UCSI University has issued an advisory to students and staff informing them to register on an online form to state if they have travelled to China, including those who are currently in China and will be returning after the period.

“Students and staff who have been to China recently will be monitored closely to ensure they remain well upon their return.

“The Students’ Affairs and Alumni is also in the midst of contacting every student who is currently in China to check on their whereabouts and health conditions, ” said the UCSI Group Corporate Affairs.

The university also advised students and staff who are sick not to report to class or work, and seek immediate medical attention.

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia provost and CEO Prof Mushtak Al-Atabi said it has a crisis management group that is ready to be deployed whether it is dealing with haze, a virus or other emergencies.The university, he added, has an app that is called SafeZone for staff members and students to report any accident or health situation.

“Through this app, we can establish a safe perimeter and reach out to our community anywhere in the world, ” he added.

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