Handling Lectures, etc. in Light of the Novel Coronavirus Situation ( Update: 2020/5/8 )


Published: April 22, 2020

Update: May 8, 2020

To: All New Students, Currently Enrolled Students, and Their Guardians
From: Tetsuya Mizumoto, Executive Vice President for Education, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Handling Lectures, etc. in Light of the Novel Coronavirus Situation

The global outbreak of novel coronavirus is evolving rapidly and the number of new cases is increasing every day. Such circumstances may cause concern for those starting a new academic year. To alleviate the worries of students and guardians, Tokyo Institute of Technology has carefully reviewed the academic calendar for AY2020 and decided that, in light of the current situation in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Japan, lectures, etc. in 1Q and 2Q of AY2020 will be held as follows under the basic policy described below.

Tokyo Institute of Technology Basic Policy against Novel Coronavirus
  • • Tokyo Institute of Technology will protect the lives and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff as a priority.
  • • We understand that infectious disease affects individuals differently, both mentally and physically. We ask Tokyo Tech members to engage in study, education, and research activities in accordance with their individual physical and mental conditions.
  • • We will make sure, as much as possible, that students can complete their study in the period they originally planned regardless of financial and other circumstances.
  • • We will allow students to continue their research activities under the condition that we give the maximum consideration to the health of students, faculty, and staff as well as to preventing the spread of infectious disease.

These decisions have been made based on the coronavirus situation at the present time. In preparation for changes that may occur as the situation evolves, Tokyo Tech has already drawn up plans. Please understand that sudden changes may be inevitable, depending how the situation develops in the Tokyo metropolitan area as well as Japan. Check our website, ‘COVID-19 updates for all new students and current students’

AY 2020 1Q – 2Q academic calendar
  • 1) Students will be contacted on or after Monday, April 20 for instructions regarding 1Q coursework. In principle, students will not be required to come to campus. Medical examinations will accordingly be postponed.
  • 2) Regular courses are projected to start on Monday, May 4 (a national holiday). These will also be provided online as a rule; students are not required to come to campus. Relevant instruction or guidance will be provided separately. Until then, students are asked to prepare for the new quarter online. Newly enrolled students will receive information regarding their student ID card, Tokyo Tech email account, orientation programs, etc. online during this preparatory period. Both newly and currently enrolled students are asked to familiarize themselves with the online lecture system (see the next section) before the beginning of the quarter.
  • 3) Newly enrolled graduate students will receive their student ID card on or after April 20 from their academic supervisor at their laboratory. For students unable to come to campus, ID information will be provided at an online meeting or by other means. This will allow students to open a Tokyo Tech email account using their ID information.
  • 4) In order to facilitate mandatory coursework, 1Q classes will be held on national holidays, i.e., May 4, 5, and 6 during “Golden Week.” The first quarter is scheduled to be completed on Saturday, June 20. The second quarter will begin on Monday, June 22 and end on Saturday, August 8. Classes will be conducted on July 23 and 24, which are also national holidays.
  • 5) Courses planned for 1Q will be suspended during the above period if they involve experiments or exercises. They will be conducted during the summer break instead. This may restrict students’ extracurricular activities. However, please understand that the decision was made to maintain student’s academic progress.

  • 1) Lectures during 1Q that do not involve experiments and exercises will be given mainly via livestreams at scheduled dates and times. To attend these online lectures, a device with a webcam and microphone is required. The device can be a smartphone (iPhone, Android, etc.), tablet (iPad, Android, etc.), or a PC (Windows, Mac, etc.) connected to the internet. We recommend the use of a headset with an attached microphone if you are using a PC.
    Please also note that viewing online lectures requires an internet connection with a minimum bandwidth of 600 KBps/1.2 Mbps (up/down) and an unlimited data plan. The total data per month could exceed 10 GB.
    All students are asked to prepare everything necessary for viewing livestreamed lectures by themselves (devices, unlimited data connection, etc.) before courses start on May 4.
  • 2) Due to the changes made in the academic calendar, we are reviewing the schedules for each course, which will be notified as soon as available. The schedules was updated on April, 20.
    Manuals explaining how to install applications, how to optimize functionality when attending online lectures, etc. will be also notified as soon as available.
  • 3) If the coronavirus situation continues to hinder classroom teaching, lectures from 2Q will be also be given online.

Independent research project, thesis, and dissertation
  • 1) Independent research projects for undergraduate students, master’s theses, and dissertations are expected to be completed according to the calendar. However, protecting the health of students and faculty, preventing the spread of infection, and giving due consideration to the particular circumstances of each student take priority.
    Therefore, experiments and other activities requiring presence on campus may begin no earlier than Monday, April 20. After that, such activities must be kept to a minimum.
    As of April 22, students are not allowed to come to school until May 8.
    Tokyo Tech is requesting that all students avoid coming to the Institute’s campuses at least until end of May.
  • 2) Guidance for graduate majors may be provided online or through the distribution of materials before Monday, April 20 (i.e., by means that do not require students to come to campus). Your academic supervisor may ask you to do research in the meantime. Such assignments as collecting and analyzing data, researching the literature, or writing essays are to be done at home.
  • 3) Such academic activities as the holding of a research supervision session by the supervisor, or participating in research seminars should, except in special circumstances, be done online.
  • 4) Students must refrain from attending academic conferences and similar activities until further notice.

Support for students
  • 1) For newly enrolled undergraduates:
    Students with questions regarding campus life should consult the Support Services for New Students via email or telephone. We welcome inquiries on student ID cards, Tokyo Tech email accounts, course registration, and online learning among other issues concerning campus life. The phone number and email address for inquires as well as other details will be notified as soon as available.
  • 2) For 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate students, as well as 4th year students who have not yet started their independent research projects:
    Your academic advisor or the department chair will provide support and advice.
  • 3) For undergraduates who have started their independent research projects as well as graduate students:
    Your academic supervisor (or prospective academic supervisor) will provide support and advice.

This is a very difficult situation. We must all pay attention to each other’s health and safety, and be responsible for our actions in order to overcome these challenging circumstances.

Update : May 26, 2020