The NEOMA campuses are gradually opening, and even if the courses and exams of this past semester are finishing in remote-learning format, its activities are partially being done in person or in class, which is very encouraging considering the difficult period we’ve all just experienced. Today, a new challenge has taken shape with the preparation for the start of the coming academic year under exceptional circumstances with the risk of a resurgence of the epidemic this autumn. NEOMA has worked out several different plans and methods that will be implemented starting in September. Here is a brief explanation.
Postponing the start of certain programmes
To organise the start of the various programmes in the best possible conditions and to facilitate the arrival or return of student to Reims, Rouen and Paris, the school has spread out the start dates of certain programmes.
Working out several scenarios in the instructional framework
Faced with the health concerns and uncertainties that will affect and influence the start of the coming year, NEOMA has worked out several scenarios for the instructional framework depending on whether the current social-distancing measures will be maintained, tightened or relaxed. These scenarios are exceptional and have not been devised for implementation at the school beyond the health crisis and the next semester.
Relying on a mixed educational format of remote and in-class learning
Regardless of the social-distancing measures in place, NEOMA wants to preserve a large part of its in-class learning format. In fact, even if the challenge of creating 100% digital-learning courses was successfully met in the past several months, what we’ve just experienced has shown the invaluable contribution of in-class learning. NEOMA students have also expressed their desire for it in a recent survey taken to assess the confinement period. The school’s pedagogic approach for the coming academic year is thus based on a mixed curriculum of in-class and remote learning. NEOMA has selected a flexible hybrid model that can adapt to the situation. It will involve about 60% in-class courses and the other sessions will be done remotely, in virtual classes and with a professor involved. The student can also do all of their other activities in addition to their classes (student association activities, meetings with the Talent & Career Department, Library, Wellness, etc.).
Maximising the chances of going abroad
While a lot of schools have decided to cancel their study-abroad programmes for the coming semester, NEOMA chose to give students the choice of cancelling or going forward with their departure when the host university has already confirmed the exchange. In the case where the host university cancelled the exchange, the school has called on its network of 330 international partners to reserve new spots and thus preserve the chances of going abroad in September as much as possible, despite the closure of many different campuses throughout the world and the current difficulties with air travel. NEOMA has been able to propose more than 500 spots up until now, which has been assigned to various students. The students who do not want to leave at the start of the year can postpone their exchange departure.
Rethinking hosting international students
NEOMA’s international component is a key part of the school’s experience, including on its own campuses, and the hosting of international students contributes to its multicultural offer. The school anticipates that the opening of borders for countries outside the EU will be delayed, which will complicate the arrival of international students in September. NEOMA has thus developed a strategy for its international students based on 4 conditions: changing the programme start dates, an option of starting the academic year remotely in case it is impossible to come to the school’s campuses, a second start to the year in January for certain programmes and a complete 100% online services package, supplementing the courses.
Adapting the internship periods
Concerning internships, several changes to the dates have been validated to facilitate student research.
These exceptional measures are intended to allow students to continue with their programmes, while allowing professors and employees to continue with their work in the best possible conditions in spite of the circumstances. The start of the 2020 school year will be like no other, but NEOMA will stay mobilised and ready to listen to and help its community.