General Information Regarding the 2021-2022 Academic Year -1
Since the day it was founded, Middle East Technical University has been an international institution of higher education with a leading and pioneering role in raising individuals who care about social and universal values and development, who attribute importance to create a collective awareness of social responsibility, who are willing to adopt lifelong learning as a principle, and who can make a difference in the fields of science, technology, culture, and environment.
I would like to inform you about the current situation and practices, and also explain the facts regarding the recent unfair comments in the press and social media on the face-to-face education practices of METU that do not reflect the truth and some statements that do not comply with the stance, principles, and mission of our University.
How the Courses Will Be Taught:
In line with the ruling of the Council of Higher Education (YÖK), our University Senate has decided that at most 40% of the courses taught in the departments can be conducted online and conveyed this decision to all our academic units.
Accordingly, all the departments have determined which courses will be held online and which courses will be taught face-to-face. As the Rectorate, our purpose was to keep the ratio of online courses to face-to-face courses equal for each grade (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-year students) as much as possible. However, especially in some of our departments with a high number of students, this ratio could not be kept fully equal due to several parameters such as classroom capacities and student numbers.
Rearrangement of the Classrooms:
With the beginning of the new academic year at our University, "hybrid education classrooms" are created in our lecture halls and departments for the courses offered in the hybrid system. This way, our students, who will not be able to attend the face-to-face lesson by being physically present in the classroom, will still be able to follow the lesson simultaneously and ask their questions to the lecturers/faculty members of the course during the lesson. Currently, the rearrangement of 14 lecture halls and 5 classrooms as hybrid education classrooms are completed. This means a capacity of 1,561 students when the pandemic-related social distancing rules are followed.
For the Fall Semester of 2021-2022 Academic Year, all the halls in the main Cafeteria Building have started serving food to our students. As of October 11, 2021, our students have two options at the cafeteria: they can either take away their meal (this option is valid for one month) or eat inside the halls. The same menu will be served in all of the halls, and the meals will predominantly consist of warm foods.
In the buildings and halls run by the Office of Cafeteria, the tables have a diagonal seating arrangement which reduces the number of people sitting at a table together by 50%. Our students can add money to their smart cards online via the mobile app, or they can use the kiosks if internet/mobile banking transactions are enabled on their cards. There will be no transactions in the kiosks by using cash.
Dormitories and Studying Areas:
Our dormitories were opened on October 8, 2021, after all the measures required by the pandemic were taken such as cleaning, rearrangement of common areas, and placing warning signs and marks where necessary. In addition to the quarantine corridors allocated in two of our dormitories, an entire dormitory building is kept empty so that it can be used as a quarantine dormitory.
As a result of the rankings based on their scores, 2,039 students have been placed in our dormitories as of today, and 549 of our students have been placed in the guesthouses. The number of our students who have not been placed in our dormitories yet is 1,860.
Furthermore, I would like to remind you that the studying areas in the dormitories and the Reserve Hall in the Library will be open 24 hours, while the hours of use of the studying areas and classrooms in the departments are regulated by the departments themselves.
New Regulations, Arrangements, and Practices:
With our Student Center building, which is built on the site of the old Gendermarie Building next to the A4 Gate, we aim at providing our students with a joyful studying area in nature within the METU Forest. The Student Center, which will have convenient places for 300 students to carry out their studies individually or as groups, will be opened in the Spring Semester of 2021-2022 Academic Year.
In addition to the 2,530-meter-long bicycle road between the A1 and A4 gates of our campus, new routes with a length of 3,630 meters have been created between the A2 and A7 Gates, and Western Dormitories. Thus, the total length of the bicycle roads on our campus has reached 6,160 meters.
Through our "Back to Campus" website (https://backtocampus.metu.edu.tr), which we have prepared for you, our precious students, to adapt to campus life more quickly during the current pandemic period, you can find information regarding the use of HES codes and details of on-campus transportation in addition to the new rules, regulations, and practices at the Registrar's Office, Medical and Counseling Center, Library, Cafeteria, Dormitories, and Sports Facilities.
I am also pleased to share with you that we are at the final stages of our negotiations with İşBank for the construction of a new cafeteria building, which is a great need of our University.
Despite the difficulties of the pandemic period that we are in, I sincerely believe that you, our students, will direct all your energy to your academic and scientific studies. While wishing the 2021-2022 Academic Year to be a healthy and successful year for you and all our members, I would like to extend my love to you all.
Prof. Dr. Mustafa Verşan KÖK