Against a backdrop of the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, over 100 students from China, Hong Kong and Macau had an opening ceremony with Soochow administrative and academic heads on March 4th, 2020, marking the first of its kind in the school’s history. To withhold the education rights of the students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Soochow is providing as many as 658 distance learning classes to nearly 300 students.
The online ceremony began with a pre-recorded video briefing about the University’s current situations and precautions against the coronavirus outbreak, keeping the students posted with the latest information even if they are overseas. Quite a few students said they truly missed the school and Taiwan.
The video informed that 34 Soochow students from Hong Kong and Macau just completed their 14-day quarantine in the dormitory without any confirmed positive cases, and that the school administration has set up in the two campuses five infrared thermometers that may detect every individual’s body temperature fast and accurately.
Among many other precautions is a meal-ordering system that allows students to order meals online and pick up their orders swiftly by scanning a QR-Code without queuing up. This has greatly reduced the contact among students who would have needed to wait in line or dine in the cafeteria with lots of people around. So far 20 food providers or restaurants on campus have participated to provide this hassle-free service. “This is really convenient. Not only does it facilitate the meal pick-ups, but it also cuts our time staying inside the cafeteria,” a senior from the Department of Sociology said.
As the outbreak of coronavirus has a serious impact on Taiwan’s economy, making numerous workers of many professions faced with a tough situation, the University decided to subsidize students whose family suffer income loss due to the pandemic with a “COVID-19 emergency allowance.” Students can apply for subsidy from a minimum of NT$10,000 to a maximum of NT$50,000, which is appropriated as quickly as within two weeks, with no limits of the times of application depending on the situation of each case. In addition, Moral and Civil Education Center will also help students to apply for financial aids of emergency or poverty.