Amended 12.5.: Work-related visits to campus are allowed only with permission from the head of department/unit.
The University of Eastern Finland will begin lifting restrictions on its functions in phases while observing the restrictions and guidelines from the government at every turn in order to ensure safety and security.
The university staff will continue to work remotely. No contact teaching will be organized during the spring 2020 semester. In accordance with the decision made by the Finnish government, basic education in the teacher training schools will begin on May 14th. The library’s services will open in part starting May 14th. Apart from these exceptions, the facilities of the University of Eastern Finland will remain closed in general.
– Right off, I want to thank our staff and students for following the restrictions carefully and for showing great team spirit during this exceptional time. We will begin lifting restrictions on the university’s functions gradually and with consideration while prioritizing health and safety, the rector Jukka Mönkkönen sums up.
The recovery plan of the University of Eastern Finland will comply with the decisions made by the Finnish government as well as Universities Finland (UNIFI).
– The recovery plan may need to be revised or specified in accordance with possible developments in the coronavirus situation or to comply with new decisions made by the Finnish government. The university will announce any decisions made as the situation develops through the spring and autumn.
The use of facilities and working at the university
Because the university’s facilities remain closed, the staff will continue remote working at least until the end of May. Work-related visits to campus are allowed only with permission from the head of department/unit. Otherwise, visiting the campus remains prohibited. Decisions about steps to be taken in June will be made at the end of May with the coronavirus situation in mind as it then stands.
The university’s facilities will primarily remain closed during the spring semester, and teaching will continue to be carried out chiefly online as per the current plans and principles. Assessments about teaching in the autumn semester will be made based on decisions made nationally and by observing forthcoming developments in the coronavirus situation. Facilities for electronic EXAM examinations will remain closed. The EXAM rooms can only be opened by a decision of the dean.
Teacher training schools
Both teacher training schools will reopen for contact teaching for basic education on May 14th in a controlled and safe manner: it is prohibited to attend work or school while ill, unnecessary physical contact at school should be avoided, and particular attention must be paid to hand and cough hygiene. Particular care will be taken to ensure the cleanliness and hygiene of the facilities. Meetings between teachers must be kept to a minimum or organized electronically. Outsiders are not permitted on school grounds without a specific reason.
Distance teaching will be continued at the upper secondary school of the teacher training school until the end of the semester in accordance with the Finnish government’s recommendation.
For the time being, research will primarily be carried out remotely. Beginning May 14th, carrying out research activities in the university’s facilities can be permitted by decision of the head/director of the department/unit in cases where access to the university’s facilities is crucial for carrying out research and the activities comply with official guidelines. These cases include, for example, field research, laboratory research, and research that requires the university’s secure telecommunications link. The amount of personnel permitted in the facilities at the same time is limited, and safety and health guidelines as well as restrictions on gatherings must be adhered to in each laboratory and research space.
The current field research guidelines remain in effect. Field research or other research conducted outside of the university may be carried out while observing general protective measures and the following restrictions at all times:
– Equipment used for research may be retrieved from the university’s facilities with permission from one’s supervisor while following both the university’s and government’s general guidelines to avoid the risk of infection.
– In accordance with general guidelines, travel is not recommended. If the research subject/site is located near one’s residence, one should primarily travel there alone and avoid carpooling and ridesharing. If traveling alone is not possible, the passengers in the same vehicle must be able to maintain a minimum distance of one meter from one another.
– General guidelines must be adhered to at research sites. These guidelines include restricting the number of participants at a gathering to a maximum of 10 as well as following any specific guidelines stated about or at the research site.
– Persons in any risk group, persons who are ill and persons manifesting any symptoms of infection are not permitted under any circumstances to participate in research work.
– These guidelines pertain only to research work. All contact teaching and contact guidance is prohibited for the time being.
Additionally, clarifications on research activities conducted in the university’s facilities:
– The head/director of the department/unit must always know which persons are working in the facilities.
– The head/director is responsible for ensuring that there are never more than 10 people working in the same space and that the minimum distance between all persons present is 2 meters.
– All writing and analysis work relating to research that can be conducted remotely will continue to be conducted remotely.
– Group meetings will be carried out as video meetings.
– Gloves must be worn at all times when using any equipment in joint use.
– Persons in any risk group are not permitted to physically participate in research at all.
– No one who is ill or manifesting symptoms is permitted in the facilities.
Public examinations of doctoral dissertations
All public examinations of doctoral dissertations must be organized remotely until the end of May. This method is recommended thereafter as well. According to the decision of the Finnish government, meetings of up to 50 persons will be permitted from the beginning of June. Public examinations of doctoral dissertations can therefore be organized on campus while observing restrictions on the number of participants and caution to maintain safe distance.
The library’s online services will continue to function normally. A limited pickup service of printed books and the chance to return borrowed books will open on May 14th. For the time being, the service will only be open for UEF staff, students and contract customers. Up-to-date, detailed instructions on this will be posted soon on the library’s website.
The Kuopio campus library will be renovated between June 1st and August 31st, 2020. During this time, the library’s book collection will not be available for use, because the books will be put into storage for the duration of the renovation.
The Joensuu campus library will be renovated between June 15th and August 7th, 2020. During this time, services will continue within the limits dictated by construction site restrictions.
The campus restaurants follow general national guidelines and will continue to sell take-away meals in the Carelia restaurant in Joensuu and the Snellmania restaurant in Kuopio, as before.
In accordance with the renewed admissions procedures, the entrance examinations will be organized in May and June, primarily as remote examinations that will be implemented in two phases. The safety measures for the exams in which the second phase requires the applicant to be on campus will be announced separately. More information on the entrance examinations can be found here: https://haeyliopistoon.fi/valinnat-2020-muutokset/.
Conferences and seminars
All conferences and seminars are being held online until further notice. Traveling abroad is prohibited for the time being.
Restrictions on university sports will be in place until the end of May. University sports activities will resume at the beginning of June. More information on this will be announced later.
Inquiry to institute directors about restoring functions and experiences during this unusual situation
At the beginning of the week, an inquiry was sent to department directors to map out the institutes’ viewpoints on returning to campus. The inquiry canvasses how the university’s functions could be recovered in phases, especially from a safety perspective. Additionally, the aim is to reflect on what we have learned from this unusual situation. The answers to the inquiry will be used to aid in forming the university’s recovery plan and for further development.
The University of Eastern Finland will make decisions on the next steps at the end of May.
Questions regarding these topics should primarily be sent via email to: COVID-19(at)uef.fi.