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Statement from the Director Jacint Jordana

March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is a phenomenon of dramatic global impact, which few could think of just a few months ago. For this reason, the first thing that needs to be done is to concentrate all our efforts on containing the virus, keeping all necessary precautions and fully complying with the established measures. The entire IBEI community is committed to this fight, and expresses its solidarity with all those who are suffering most directly from the consequences of the disease, and also with those who have lost loved ones.

Students are making a great effort to continue progressing in their subjects, despite the difficulties they are experiencing, and in some cases, unsuitable study conditions that they have to face in the quarantine situation, whether this is in Barcelona or in their countries of origin. From the IBEI management, we have done our most possible to make the study plan more flexible and adapt it to new circumstances, by introducing a series of measures that allow each student to find the adjustments that best suits their needs and expectations.

Fortunately, we were prepared: in late February, we started working on moving to the virtual world all IBEI activities, implementing the necessary software, preparing corresponding manuals, and making all kinds of adjustments to the organization of study and work. This allowed us to make a transition to e-learning comparatively quickly, without interruption, and with students and teachers committed to continue with the semester through the digital means we made available. Despite being an emergency situation, we have been able to respond quickly and rework syllabi, especially assessment criteria, to the new circumstances, with all the flexibility required.

In this sense, we can say that all teachers, staff and students continue to work relatively normally, while adjusting to and experimenting with the new digital environment. Their dedication and involvement are admirable and indicative of IBEI’s commitment to complete of the master's programmes with all the guarantees of quality, despite all the restrictions we are experiencing.

Unfortunately, we are in a great deal of uncertainty with regard to COVID-19, and it is therefore very difficult to make forecasts at this time,. This semester's teaching is done in a virtual way, in full normality, given the exceptional conditions we are living under, and will continue to do so at least until the end of May. If allowed by the authorities, some on-campus activities (seminars, exams, etc.) may take place again during June, but it all depends on how the situation evolves. As to the graduation ceremony of the course 2020, we are discussing with students about possible options, including to move it to mid-September, the weekend after thesis’ defences.

With regard to the next 2020-21 academic year, we expect to start in the end of September, as every year, by adopting all the measures of protection and social distance that are going to be required at that time, but by continuing to offer the interaction-intensive face-to-face education IBEI has become known for. Because the courses offered at the institute average 14 students per group, it will be relatively easy for us to adapt to the stringent security conditions that may be required.

Moreover, we are scheduling a series of specific webinars about next year for prospective students, with detailed information on each of the master’s programmes and how IBEI plans to handle various possible scenarios, in which all existing doubts can be resolved.

However, given the great uncertainty that exists, we are working on several contingency plans, to be applied in the hypothetical case that face-to-face classes cannot be started normally. In this sense, we do not rule out the possibility of starting with a virtual course format, until it will be possible to resume face-to-face activity. Our enrolment is open for the next academic year and admissions operates as usual. Given the special circumstances we are experiencing, we have relaxed the deadlines for several common requirements, such as language proficiency certificates or the submission of official transcripts.

Jacint Jordana
Director, IBEI