On Monday 4 May, the Finnish government announced how the control measures necessitated by the coronavirus will continue. The recent decisions by the government provide a good opportunity for the universities to monitor the development of the pandemic and the efforts to dismantle the social restrictions, as well as to react quickly to the changing situation, if necessary.
– The decisions by the government enable the universities to operate safely in exceptional circumstances. The universities will jointly develop different scenarios for how the development of the pandemic situation in Finland and globally will affect education and research activities in the longer term. We will continue to prepare for different options and will gradually reopen our operations, taking into account the development of the pandemic situation and the restrictions and guidelines laid down by the authorities, says Keijo Hämäläinen, Chair of Universities Finland (UNIFI).
During the spring semester, the universities will be closed to students, as previously announced. As a rule, teaching will continue as distance learning in accordance with the government’s recommendations. For example, in situations in which a student’s graduation requires presence on a campus, solutions will be sought on a discipline-specific basis according to the pandemic situation.
Research will also continue mainly as distance work. However, research activities requiring the use of university premises will be reopened as the pandemic situation allows, but limited numbers of people will be working on the premises, and general safety will be considered.
Universities are preparing in close cooperation for different pandemic scenarios. Decisions concerning the autumn semester will consider the development of the pandemic situation as well as the current guidelines and recommendations given by the authorities.
– It is now important to look far into the future and anticipate how the next stages of the pandemic will affect the basic tasks of the universities. Continuation of studying and research must also be secured in these challenging circumstances, as they form an important basis for recovery from the crisis, says Hämäläinen.
Each university will give more detailed information and guidance to their staff and students concerning the effects of the restrictions on the university’s operations.
For more information on the press release:
Universities Finland (UNIFI)
Telephone 040 024 7435