University Response to Novel Coronavirus and Guidance for the 2020 Academic Year and Spring Term

April 6, 2020

To all KUIS students, parents, guardians, teaching staff and members:

University Response to Novel Coronavirus and Guidance for the 2020 Academic Year and Spring Term

Due to the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and in consideration of guidance provided by the Government of Japan’s recent meeting of experts, the 2020 school year has been pushed back by three weeks, and is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 27.
We are now facing a critical stage that will test human wisdom as we take these emergency measures. Considering the most recent news, it looks as though the spread of infection in the metropolitan area is unlikely to be resolved soon. Regardless of these circumstances, it remains the responsibility of a university to provide opportunities for high-quality education to students, while furnishing a safe learning environment which reduces the risk of any “cluster” infection outbreaks. Accordingly, to avoid risking the spread of infections, and incorporating the measures detailed below, it has been determined that the new student guidance which had been planned for April 13-16, as well as all first-term classes, will be held online.

If a state of emergency is declared, we will act in accordance with the requests of the national government and local government offices, so please periodically check the KUIS website for updates.

●From Monday, April 13: All guidance will be held online.
●From Monday, April 27: All first-term classes will be held online.
*There will be both real-time lessons and on-demand lessons.
*Maximum capacities on class enrolment will be applied for courses with a high number of applicants.
*As the situation improves, on-campus classes may become possible in some cases.
●Students may register for a maximum of 16 credits in the first term.
*The new limit does not apply to 4th-year students or transfer students.
●Postponed classes may be offered during the spring/summer vacation, or during the next academic term.
●The university will be providing as much support as possible to students.
●Further information will be updated on the university homepage, CampusWeb, and through KUIS e-mail.

*Details on response measures are as below.

Fundamental Policies:

●KUIS will continue to provide students with educational opportunities as much as possible.
●KUIS will act to reduce the risk of infection to all campus community members (including students, teaching staff and members, and their families) as much as possible.

In order to achieve both fundamental policies above, we ask that students and staff do their best to prepare for online classes beginning on Monday, April 27.

In the interim, the preparation period until April 27th will be called “Innovation KUIS 2020.” This project will involve our teachers preparing online courses, the students who will take those classes, and all students, teaching staff and members in cooperation to foster a smooth and stress-free transition to online learning. In this unknown world which we are experiencing for the first time together, we hope that students and teaching staff will work together to create a high-quality learning environment, and become trailblazers of a new format of higher education.

Online Guidance for New and Continuing Students:
In order to prioritize the safety of our students, the spring 2020 entrance ceremony was cancelled. To provide maximum support for new students beginning their lives as university students during these difficult times, we had planned to hold on-campus guidance for new students, with additional measures taken to avoid the risk of a cluster outbreak. However, in accordance with the fundamental policies above, and considering the seriousness of the situation, all guidance for new and continuing students which was scheduled to be held on campus from Monday, April 13, will be held online.

For more details, please check the university homepage, CampusWeb, and your KUIS e-mail. By taking these measures, university teaching staff and members will be working together to support and alleviate the concerns of all students. As the situation continues to unfold, the university may need to further adapt its response. We ask that you continue to monitor the university homepage, CampusWeb, and your KUIS e-mail for the latest information.

Concerning Online Classes:
In principle, the new academic term will consist of all online courses. University courses are measured based on credit-hours. The number of credits for each course is predetermined, and, after registering for a course, credits will be awarded based on in-class performance, and on the results of assignments and examinations. One credit is equal to 45 hours of study time both in and outside of class.

Based on the course and instructor, classes will be held in one of two online formats: 1) Classes held in real time, at the pre-set time and days of the week, where students may interact with the instructor live during scheduled class time, or 2) On-demand classes, where students work on assignments during their free time, and the instructor responds to inquiries through the internet or other means, offering explanations, guidance on corrections, supplementary information, advice, and other feedback. Limits on online class capacity will still be applied as needed.

In order to allow students sufficient time for classes and independent study, and with the aim of fostering high-quality academic outcomes, the maximum number of credits which students may take this term has been limited as follows: (New limit does not apply to 4th-year students or transfer students. Please see Campus Web for more information)

1st through 3rd-year students: Maximum credit hours changed from 24 credits → 16 credits for the first term.

Should the spread of the virus be mitigated enough to allow for classes to safely be held on campus, it is our hope that on-campus lessons will be resumed. However, the decision to commence lessons on-campus is up to each course instructor, and some teaching staff may choose to continue online lessons through the end of the first term. Therefore, please refer to your course instructor for guidance.

Concerning Courses Which Cannot Be Held Online:
Courses which are determined to be incompatible with the online learning format will either be cancelled or postponed. Depending on how quickly the situation improves, postponed classes may be held as intensive short summer courses, fall courses, or as intensive short spring courses. Final judgements will be announced at a later date.

Although the number of courses will be limited this term, as will the amount of opportunities to participate in study abroad, volunteering, and other extracurricular activities, the university is preparing to provide numerous opportunities to students over the course of the next few years, for example through lessons held during summer or spring break. The university is also working to provide additional learning opportunities and further enhance study abroad, internships, and volunteer programs to make up for the setback caused by these measures.

We understand that many students will have concerns about taking online lessons, and the university aims to provide maximum support to students through the “Innovation KUIS 2020” system to help eliminate these concerns.

A Request:
The above measures are our means of adapting to extraordinary circumstances, as we aim to prevent “cluster” outbreaks of infection and guarantee a safe learning environment. Although we generally only hold face-to-face lessons, it is our highest priority to secure a safe and secure environment and high-quality education for our students. Therefore, we would like to ask all students, parents, and guardians for your understanding of our decision to implement online learning as an emergency response measure.

This situation is expected to continue for some time, and maintaining a new digital learning environment may prove to be a difficult undertaking requiring no small amount of patience and cooperation. We ask that each of you consider what you can do as an individual to prevent the spread of infection, and together we will work to get through this difficult time.