Student Life

Graduate Institute to move [back] online

By Neva Newcombe

Published in French on October 25.

The epidemiological situation in Switzerland has worsened dramatically over the course of this past week. Confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been doubling weekly. In response the cantonal governments, federal authorities, and IHEID administration have extended their containment measures. 

In a press conference on Friday, 23 October, the canton of Geneva announced new restrictions, including the limitation of both public and private gatherings to 5 persons, effective Monday, 26 October. 

Shortly after, the Graduate Institute updated their Coronavirus Updates webpage to communicate new measures of its own. IHEID’s main announcement was that all classes will move online, effective from Monday, 2 November to Thursday, 29 November, with the possibility of an extension. 

Director Marie-Laure Salles sent out an email to the IHEID community some hours later to contextualize the Institute’s decision. She emphasized that although the Institute has only had 11 confirmed cases since the beginning of the semester, the government is likely to impose even more measures in the coming days that would make the transition compulsory.

The Masion de la Paix building itself will stay open, as will the library and the café. The restaurant will be closed during this period.

Following are summaries of the updated measures announced by the Institute and the canton of Geneva.

Graduate Institute

Measures effective November 2 – November 29

  • All classes will move online
  • Maison de la Paix will remain open, as will the café and library. Updated hours are posted at the end of this list.
  • So long as a classroom is not reserved, students may use the rooms as workspaces. 
  • Professors, teaching assistants, and technical assistants will be able to come to the institute to use the equipment.
  • Research activities may continue in compliance with the Institute’s protection plan.
  • The Coordination Team is encouraging administrators to work from home unless their presence in the office is absolutely necessary for operation.
  • All public events will move online. If an event takes place in one of the Maison de la Paix auditorium’s, the organizers may attend in person.
  • Internal meetings should be held online if possible. This includes department meetings, team meetings, or meetings related to student initiatives, specialized committees, or the GISA Board.

New Hours

  • Building: Petal 1 and 2
    8:00-20:00, Monday-Friday
    9:00-19:00 Saturday and Sunday
    Faculty may access the Institute at any time.
  • Library
    8:00-22:00, Monday-Friday 
    9:00-19:00 Saturday and Sunday
  • Cafeteria and Restaurant
    The cafeteria is open from 11:30-14:30, Monday-Friday 
    The restaurant is closed until further notice. 

Next Week, October 26- October 30

  • In the next week, the IHEID community will be transitioning to accommodate the new measures. 
  • Professors will have the autonomy to choose to either suspend classes next week or continue with the hybrid format. 
  • Pre-scheduled events will be allowed to take place in their original formats, in compliance with the protection plan.

Canton of Geneva

Measures effective 26 October – 30 November 

  • Public and private gatherings will be limited to 5 persons. Private gatherings include any private party, not accessible to the public, taking place by invitation and not for profit, for example family reunions, weddings, baptisms, funerals, or birthday celebrations. A public gathering is considered to be a spontaneous gathering of people, without prior organization. Neither limitation applies to people living in the same household.
  • In an attempt to preserve cultural life, public events and demonstrations will be limited to no more than 1,000 people. 
  • Cinemas and theatres can remain open for now.
  • Contact sports and team sports are banned. Individual sports facilities, such as fitness centres and swimming pools, will remain open so long as they strictly observe the cantonal protection plan.
  • Restaurants and bars must close by 23h. Table service will be mandatory, and tables will be limited to 5 people. Children under 12 will not be counted. 
  • Obligatory masking is extended to open-air markets, fairs, and travel by car if the passengers are not from the same household.


Featured photo: “empty classroom” by but a stranger is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

1 comment on “Graduate Institute to move [back] online

  1. Pingback: La situation épidémiologique en Suisse – The Graduate Press

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