Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: UAE varsity students back on campus for final exams

SM Ayaz Zakir/Sharjah
Filed on May 20, 2021


Unvaccinated students need to provide a negative PCR test result before entering the hall.

For the first time in nearly a year and a half, thousands of university students in UAE are sitting for in-person exams. School heads have assured that strict Covid safety measures will be enforced all throughout the period.

As many as 10,000 students of the University of Sharjah recently took their spring semester finals on-site. These on-campus exams were mainly for the varsity’s advanced, graduate, laboratory and clinical, and medical colleges courses. Those for all other general courses, however, were completed remotely.

Professor Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, chancellor of the university, has said a set of plans and measures were put in place to facilitate the process at their main branch and other branches.

The Ajman University also confirmed that all their exams for “advanced, graduate, laboratory, and medical courses” are being organised on the campus.

Students who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 need to provide a negative PCR test result before entering the examination hall.

A number of other universities have been open to conducting on-site tests, as educators believe this would “normalise exams at the higher education level”.

Dr Arindam Banerjee, associate professor and deputy director of SP Jain School of Global Management, said: “From the outset, complete care is taken to ensure Covid protocols are maintained. Social distancing, compulsory wearing masks at all times, sanitisers placed at different locations on the campus, temperature measurement devices installed at different entry points, isolation rooms on the campus and at the hostel, dedicated health and safety officers assigned, coupled with student representative to monitor situation round the clock are some of the measures taken by the university.”

Universities have also developed a system to screen students and teachers.

“(We have) successfully developed a campus accessibility management system. The system manages campus access for students, staff and faculty by generating unique QR codes and ensures that everyone is thoroughly screened for Covid-19 before entering the campus,” a spokesperson for the Ajman University said.

At the Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai, in-person exams are held with strict guidelines in place, particularly social distancing and mask-wearing. Compliance with protocols is also monitored until students leave the premises.

However, online exams are still being held for other students.

At the Ajman University, many students will still take the exams online. “Final examinations are being conducted online, except for the students of the College of Medicine, fourth and fifth-year students of the College of Dentistry and a few tests that involve studios in the College of Architecture, Art and Design.”

Murdoch University Dubai has offered flexible and convenient opportunities for students’ exams and assessments.

“For certain exams, students have had the option to choose any time within a 24-hour period to complete their two-hour written exams. This was welcomed by our students who were placed in different parts of the UAE and the world,” said Dr James Trotter, dean and academic president of Murdoch University Dubai.

(With inputs from Wam)

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