All NVU Medical School Exams and Final Exams To Be Held Online Due To COVID-19

All NVU Medical School Exams and Final Exams To Be Held Online Due To COVID-19

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Edward Langdon Amdur started this petition to David Kereselidze (Head of NVU) and

Dear New Vision University

Thank you for your email sent to students earlier today informing us that of all the final exams will be taken on campus in Georgia. While we respect your decision, we the students are highly concerned about the exams being taken anywhere except online due to COVID-19. 

The Issue

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our, yours and virtually everyone's lives across the globe. To highlight the severity, there were almost 14,000 recorded cases in the UK on the 1st of December. This equates to almost 10 cases per minute. In India, there are almost 30 cases per minute.

Many of us have had first-hand experience of the virus, both my parents were in intensive care at the beginning of the year, and some us have unfortunately lost family members to this terrible disease, some not even classed as vulnerable! Some of us have young children, vulnerable partners, pregnant partners and other vulnerable people who surround us who’s lives we do not want to put at risk. 

International Travel

The vast majority of students at NVU are international.

The WHO recommends that international travel should be limited to ‘essential travel for emergencies, humanitarian actions (including emergency medical flights and medical evacuation), travel of essential personnel (including emergency responders and providers of public health technical support, critical personnel in the transport sector such as seafarers and diplomatic officers), and repatriation’.

The UK government advises against all but essential travel to Georgia as it is in the ‘Red Zone’ and is currently considered to be high risk. Additionally, those who travel to Red Zones will not have travel or health insurance.

The Australian government has completely closed their borders, and students who are currently in Australia will be unable to travel.

The Georgian government advises that foreign citizens who are permitted entry will face compulsory 8-day quarantine, an antigen rapid test and possibly a PCR test depending on the result of the first test.

Therefore, travelling to Georgia does not just pose health risks, but proves to be a logistical nightmare. At present, there are no direct flights to Georgia from most of the students’ home countries, which means we will need to spend time going through airports across the globe and on multiple aircraft (a UK flight spread the virus to 16 passengers from only 1 being infected onboard). This means that students will either be unable to travel at all, or they will be acting against their governments’ advice, and their travel and health insurance will be invalidated.

Financial Issues

Additionally, because of COVID-19, travelling to Georgia will also present an unexpectedly large financial burden for most students.

Due to airlines not operating at capacity, flight prices are astronomical with international flights costing over £1000 with multiple stops.

The requirement to quarantine for 8 days upon arrival before students can attend exams means that the financial cost of accommodation in Georgia will be far more expensive than what students anticipated as they will need to pay for an extra 8 days.

It is also extremely difficult for students to return to their home countries due to quarantine and self-isolation measures of those countries. Those who have jobs to support their university fees and families will be unable to work for the first 14 days upon arrival to their home countries, as they will be required to stay home (this is applicable for the UK and may be more or less for other countries). Those who have vulnerable household members will be unable to stay at home and will have to quarantine elsewhere, which will again add a financial strain.  

Solution

While we understand that the university needs to ensure the exams are completed fairly, we also need to be able to keep ourselves and loved ones safe and travelling across the globe from all of our respective countries is putting us all at risk from this deadly disease. 

We propose all final exams to be taken online, however with strict measures in place. The following are proposed ways to help secure the final exams.

1.     All students at their own expense must purchase or have available to them a second way to have a camera for the exams so that they can be seen and recorded during the exam from multiple angles.

2.     Use a company specifically to supervise online exams such as Proctoru.

Conclusion

Due to the issues, we are all facing there is a very real and highly likely possibility that a large number of students will not make it to Georgia. 

Please follow this link to a Google document that has been filled out by a large number of NVU students who wanted to have their voices heard (please note you must access the above through an NVU email address).

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bxRpLuc0xA6XApaFXVMzLuY5OYXp8nPCwtghem0BgWM/edit?usp=sharing

Given 1.5 million COVID-19 deaths, and travel and financial issues that international NVU students will be facing, exceptions MUST be made.

We hope that as the future generation of doctors, our voices can be heard, and NVU conducts this semester final exams online. In this current world climate, this is a completely reasonable request that really complies with our basic human right of autonomy.

Kind Regards

The Medical Students of New Vision University Georgia and Doctors/Dentists of the Future

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