Coronavirus information for students

Posted on 13/03/20.

The content of this page was last checked 30 October 11.15 a.m.

Instructions for students concerning studies in autumn 2020

Safety is our top priority in all activities during autumn. We want to protect the health of our students and personnel and minimise the amount of corona infections. Our target is to open up our campus gradually, but to do that, strong commitment to safe behavior is required from us all.

During spring semester 2021, the University will operate in a hybrid model, where teaching and staff work mainly take place remotely. The scope of teaching and campus activities is guided by the general epidemic situation and existing safety and space restrictions. The crisis management group outlines the University's measures based on the authorities' assessments of the situation.

These instructions are valid until further notice and will be updated according the situation. For up-to-date information, please check regularly your student e-mail, Moodle, timetable app Lukkarikone, WebOodi and the webpage on corona information.

We have opened a mail address for inquiries and questions concerning the coronavirus: corona.info@univaasa.fi Please note, that the mails are read and answered Mon-Fri 8 am to 4 pm.

The University of Vaasa recommends downloading the Koronavilkku app, produced by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

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University operations during autumn 2020

During 1.11.–31.12. teaching at the University continues mainly in distance learning mode. As of 9 November, necessary contact teaching in for example laboratories and smaller groups can be executed with the rector’s permission following safety instructions and in groups of maximum 10 persons. The courses offered by VAMK (Vaasa University of Applied Sciences) are executed according to VAMK’s decision as of 2 November.

EXAM-rooms will be opened on 9 November with the restriction of allowing maximum 10 persons present in each of the rooms. Campus restaurants will be closed, but the possibility of take away services will be investigated during November.

Library services are available with restrictions. Please see www.tritonia.fi for more information.

Organising events indoors and outdoors at the University is prohibited. Dissertations are held in remote mode. To minimise the risk of infection, campus buildings remain closed to external persons. Students will be able to access the exam rooms through Tervahovi-building. The personnel continues working mainly remotely.

The health authorities strongly recommend to keep distance in all social contacts and pay special attention to following coronavirus instructions also during free time. To protect the community, it is important to follow the safety precautions also during free time.

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The University's face mask recommendation has been updated

When visiting, studying or working indoors at the University, the use of a face mask will be required from 2 November. In order to avoid exposures, a sufficient safety distance allowed by the situation is also maintained. You can only come to the campus if you are in good health and follow the safety and hygiene instructions.

Using a face mask is mandatory in all situations where people meet each other (such as necessary face-to-face meetings, break rooms, common spaces) unless there is a specific reason, such as health, not to use one.

The use of a mask is also required in all contact teaching, self-study, laboratory and exam situations. The University reserves masks for students and teachers for contact teaching situations. Face masks provided by the University are primarily intended to be used in study situations.

If you are on the campus and do not have a mask with you, you can get a disposable one from the janitors in Tervahovi, Fabriikki and Tritonia buildings. There are also disinfectant and disposable protective gloves available on the campus. It is recommended that only one person distribute masks using hygienic plastic gloves or pliers.

By using a face mask, we protect ourselves and each other. We all want to open the University's activities and liven up the campus, but it will only happen if we can together reduce the number of infections.

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Where to find more information, help and support?

Reserve enough time for your studies and learning. Support for online studies can be found at Nyyti

If you have respiratory symptoms, stay home and contact health care. You are allowed to come to campus only if you are healty. Inform your teacher about your absence as you would normally.

If you have been informed about a corona infection or exposure, the situation can be very difficult mentally. You may experience shame, guilt, or concern for your own health or possible exposure or infection of other people. If you feel that the situation is too difficult, we encourage you to contact study psychologist Ray Ohtonen ray.ohtonen@univaasa.fi You can also contact Finnish student health service (YTHS).

The Vaasan Student Union (VYY) also offers help, you can ask it via this form. VYY also offers food help.

Information about the situation in Vaasa can be found from the City of Vaasa's and Vaasa central hospital's web pages. Following the City of Vaasa in social media channels is also highly recommended (info in shared in Finnish, Swedish and English).

For information about the coronavirus situation in Finland generally, please turn to the webpages of Finnish authorities: Finnish Institute for Health Welfare (THL), Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland,  and The Finnish Border Guard.

If you are interested, take a look at this Face covid -text, which offers practical tips on how to respond to the corona crisis.

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To prevent Covid-19 from spreading, follow these steps

According to the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) the virus mainly spreads from person to person through close contact droplet transmission. The virus can survive on surfaces and can also be transmitted as a contact infection by handling materials or surfaces contaminated with the sputum of an infected person.

The patients’ symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. Rapid identification of cases continues to be important in order to slow down the progress of the epidemic in Finland.

Basic protective measures against the virus (for more detailed instructions, see for example www.who.int):

  • Wash your hands regularly or use a hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Keep a distance of at least 2 meters (safety distance) from other people
  • Use other methods than a handshake to greet
  • Sneeze and cough into a handkerchief - throw the handkerchief in the trash immediately after this
  • If you do not have a handkerchief, cough into your elbow and keep your mouth covered
  • Use contactless or mobile payment
  • If your health allows, always use a face mask in situations where it is not possible to maintain safety distance
  • Do not come to campus if you are sick

You can find more information about the coronavirus situation in English from e.g. the webpages of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, and the Finnish Government.

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More instructions

  • We encourage all new students to follow the information on webpages directed to new students
  • Study handbook can be found in the Student’s Tools
  • See also Course schedules
  • For course registrations, see WebOodi
  • An online course is completed in its entirety by online
    • centralized exams will not be arranged, but are replaced by other methods
  • International degree and exchange students can come to Vaasa if possible within the existing travelling restrictions
  • You can only come to the campus after a 10-day waiting period when you return to Finland from abroad or arrive in Finland to study
    • the waiting period applies to arrivals from all countries, and is calculated from the date of arrival in Finland
    • during these 10 days you should study remotely
  • During the autumn, outgoing student exchange and international internships continue within the restrictions given by the authorities.  For more detailed information please contact the Mobility Services.

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Study counseling

  • Contact information for study counseling
  • Study counseling is mainly given online (Zoom, Teams). An appointment for study counseling can be made electronically in Moodle. In special situations, an appointment can be booked for study counseling on campus taking into account the safety regulations.
  • For new students, enhanced support for starting the studies is available (study circles etc.)
    • More information about this is available in Moodle

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Tips for distance learning

  • Remember that distance learning is as demanding as studying on campus. Please reserve as much time for studying remotely as you would plan for in-person teaching.
  • Web-based studies are often project-based, so plan your studying well.
  • Make a list for yourself including all important course dates, remote meetings, last days of returning and exams, so that you have an understanding of your studies and what it requires from you.
  • Plan your studying so that you stay in schedule.
  • Choose a nice and comfortable place for yourself at home. The couch is not necessarily the best place.
  • Take enough breaks. Check your ergonomy. Sleep and eat well. Get some fresh air. Keep in contact with your family and friends.
  • Do you need inspiration for taking the breaks? Try BREAK PRO
  • If studying feels heavy, try breaking it into slots of 45 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. Try for example the Pomodoro-technique
  • Remember to follow the writing instructions when doing the assignments.
  • In Zoom- ja Teams-meetings it is advisable to keep the microphone muted when others talk. In addition, chat can be used when asking the teacher questions. Also audio (camera) can be put on when answering, if the teacher does not specifically ask for the cameras to be on.
  • You can also use Teams and Zoom for studying remotely together with your fellow students (in addition to teaching organised by teachers).
  • You can also start reading circles around courses and study remotely, but together.
  • It is a good idea to have remote coffees – do not be alone if you have challenges with studying.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and remember to also ask how others are doing
  • Contact information for coordinators /fi/for/student/guidance/specific/. Coordinators are also reached through Moodle.
  • Contact information for IT support: it@uwasa.fi

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Questions and answers

1. Can I come to the campus?

During 1.11.–31.12. teaching at the University of Vaasa continues mainly in distance learning mode. As of 9 November, necessary contact teaching in for example laboratories and smaller groups can be executed with the rector’s permission following the safety instructions and in groups of maximum 10 persons. The courses offered by VAMK (Vaasa University of Applied Sciences) are executed according to VAMK’s decision as of 2 November.

EXAM-rooms will be opened on 9 November with the restriction of allowing maximum 10 persons present in each of the rooms. Campus restaurants will be closed, but the possibility of take away services will be investigated during November.

2. What about spring semester 2021?

During spring semester 2021, the University will operate in a hybrid model, where teaching and personnel work mainly take place remotely. The scope of teaching and campus activities is guided by the general epidemic situation and existing safety and space restrictions. The crisis management group outlines the University's measures based on the authorities' assessments of the situation.

3. Can I go to the library?

Library services are available with restrictions. Please see www.tritonia.fi for more information.

4. How will I know if my courses change or is cancelled?

The teacher informs about the changes/cancellations via Moodle, WebOodi or your student mail.

5. I need help with Zoom, where can I get more instructions?

Please check the instructions for using Zoom

6. How will teaching in spring be organised, and where can I find more information?

Programme Coordinators advise the students on studies as updates and information is received from teachers.

7. Who is my Coordinator?

For finding your Coordinator, please check here

8. I feel sick, what do I do?

If you have respiratory symptoms, stay at home and contact health care by phone. You are allowed to come to the campus only if you are healthy. Inform your teacher about your absence as you would normally.

If you think you may have the coronavirus, please be in contact with your local hospital, health centre or the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS).

If you have been informed of a positive result or exposure, the situation can be very difficult mentally. You may experience shame, guilt, or concern for your own health or possible exposure or infection of other people. If you feel that the situation is too difficult, we encourage you to contact study psychologist Ray Ohtonen ray.ohtonen@univaasa.fi

The Vaasa Student Union (VYY) also offers help, you can ask for help with this form.

9. What if I have been travelling outside Finland?

You can only come to the campus after a 10-day waiting period when you return to Finland from abroad or arrive in Finland to study. The waiting period applies to arrivals from all countries, and is calculated from the date of arrival in Finland. During these 10 days you should study remotely.

10. Is FSHS open?

FSHS continues normally at least for the time being. For more instructions, please check FSHS webpage.

11. How does the situation affect student financial aid (Kela)?

For more information about student financial aid and the effects of the virus on benefits, please read more from Kela's pages.

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For further information, please contact:

Mobility Services, Head of Mobility Services Ahmed Hamad, tel. +358 29 449 8660
Education Services, Vice-director Nina Nässlin tel. +358 29 449 8163
Education Services, Vice-director Helena Varmajoki, tel. +358 29 449 8174
HR Director, Elina Kaunismäki, tel. +358 29 449 8072

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