26 June 2020
Dear AIT Family:
The AIT Campus will re-open on 1 July. In the past few months, due to the gradually implemented strict measures and the vigilance of the entire community, our campus has stayed safe from Covid-19, and academic instructions went on without delay. Work was going on in many different areas, and we thank all those mission-essential personnel who had to come in to serve our students and community, and we also thank all those who worked from home diligently. In less than one month, more students will graduate from Intersem, thus completing their very challenging final six months at AIT. We appreciate their perseverance and we congratulate them!
Even though the campus will re-open on 1 July, work will be on a shift basis for one month, plus certain cautionary measures will still be in place, so please pay attention to the Covid-19 Task Force messages and the Intranet for these measures and any gradual relaxation. The Covid-19 situation in Thailand seems to be under control, but globally the pandemic still rages on. At AIT, we must continue to be watchful, and social distancing in gathering and seating will still be the mandatory practice for some time. We are requiring health checks for all employees and vendors and students, and new dormitory assignments will be made with proper separations in mind. Our highest priority continues to be the health of everyone at AIT.
As for academics, we are installing a system which will provide Hybrid Instruction this Fall and more innovative teaching beyond that. A number of Smart Modified Classrooms are being outfitted—with support by several generous donors—with technology that will make the experience of those students who are not on AIT campus as interactive and close to being here as possible. It will also allow the Instructors to focus on the teaching with ease. Continuing research students who are overseas will have special arrangements being put together by the Schools. For the students who are able to come on campus, their AIT experience will be even better than before with the new equipment, and classrooms and laboratories will also be arranged with social distancing in mind, providing a safe place to learn.
We know that some AIT students who are at home overseas may not be able to come back to our campus in time for the start of the Fall (August) Semester—classes are scheduled to begin on 4 August. But we are getting excellent support from various offices of the Thai Government—from the Prime Minister’s Office, to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, to Thai embassies in different countries, as well as from various Ambassadors here, to facilitate the arrival of our students as quickly—and as safely—as possible. As you can imagine, because of varying seriousness of the Covid-19 situation in each country and the very cautious and prudent attitude of the Thai Government, because of the uncertainties of international air travel and other restrictions, because of visa processing and a likely quarantine requirement, a number of our overseas students may not be present in the classrooms on time. But as I mentioned above, with our Hybrid Instruction system in place, AIT “will not miss a beat”, and instruction and learning will continue for ALL our students, wherever they may be.
We are well-prepared and very much looking forward to the Fall Semester. Please continue to take care and stay safe, and the whole AIT family will get through this difficult period together successfully—that is the AIT Spirit!
Dr. Eden Woon
Asian Institute of Technology