The effect of coronavirus on teaching - Q&A

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content.

Updated on 12 May at 8:25.

On this page, questions and answers concerning the COVID-19 disease will be collected especially from the perspective of teaching and teachers’ work. Students' frequently asked questions and answers are available on the Instructions for Students website. Please select your degree programme above to see if your faculty has provided further instructions.

In the first place, the University always complies with instructions provided by the authorities. You can keep yourself up to date with developments on the University website Helsinki.fi: Coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki.

Current situation

  • The University continues to recommend the use of protective face masks at your own discretion and in situations where several people are present in facilities and social distancing is impossible. By wearing a mask in congested situations, you protect yourself and others. Consider wearing a mask for your personal health and safety, especially if you are in a high-risk group. 
  • Surgical masks, cloth masks and FFP2 respirators remain available to staff and students.
  • More information on the critera for quarantine is available in the section Getting sick or exposed to the coronavirus.
  • We recommend getting vaccinated against coronavirus.

Ob­serving com­mon rules re­mains the top pri­or­ity in pre­vent­ing the spread of the coronavirus:

  • Do not come to the campuses when ill or when experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus disease. Assess the need for testing on the basis of local guidelines (the Koronabotti service for the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa) and, when necessary, perform an at-home test.
  • Be sure to practise extremely careful hand and coughing hygiene.
  • Leave room for others whenever possible.
  • See Protective face mask recommendation.
  • Do not shake hands or hug people.
  • Plan physical appointments together with your work community based on your work tasks.
  • Please remember to clean any equipment in joint use after using it. Overall, cleaning activities at the University have been intensified.
  • We recommend getting vaccinated against coronavirus.

Getting sick or exposed to the coronavirus

I feel ill. What should I do?

See instructions on the university website: Coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki

A student in my course has coronavirus, what should I do?

One can not participate in contact instruction when sick. A student may be absent from teaching on his/her own notice. It is sufficient for students to report their illness to the teachers of their courses. The University does not require sick leave certificates of its students, and the Student Health Services (YTHS) does not typically issue them. In these situations the student should contact their teacher, who will estimate if self-study options can be given while the student is absent.

Quarantine

At the University we follow the national criteria for voluntary quarantine. According to them, asymptomatic exposed individuals can visit the University if it is impossible to work or study remotely. If you get a positive result from a home test or have symptoms, you cannot visit the University.

The University complies with the guidelines provided on 14 April 2022 by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare:

If you live in the same household with a person who has received a positive result on a home test or if you live or have otherwise been in close contact with a person who has received a positive result on a test carried out by healthcare services:

  • Whenever possible, you should avoid contact with people outside your home.
  • Wear a face mask outside your home.
  • Work or study from home whenever possible. If you have no symptoms whatsoever, you can visit the University as long as you wear a face mask and avoid contact with others.

Should attendance lists be collected for tracking purposes?

Attendance lists for tracking purposes are no longer collected.

Teaching

Teaching is basically planned in such a way that the courses or its different teaching sessions are considered to be either contact or distance learning. Contact  and remote teaching can also alternate during the course. Hybrid teaching, i.e. a teaching situation where some of the students take part in the teaching on site and some take part through distance teaching, is not recommended.

The teaching programmes can be found in Sisu and CoursesOn the Teacher page on Flamma (requries logging in), you can find a list with your teaching events and if necessary you can update the course pages. More information on how you manage your teaching can be found in Instructions for teaching. Information for students can be found on the page Where can I find courses? 

Attending teaching 

  • Compulsory class attendance does not apply to contact teaching, unless the completion method in question requires physical presence (such as laboratory courses, patient encounters, skills courses). In addition, attendance in contact instruction may be required in accordance with the curriculum, if attaining the approved learning outcomes of the degree programme requires attendance.
  • If the course completion method requires attendance, degree programmes decide on alternative procedures for teaching.
  • Students who are absent due to coronavirus (illness, exposure, quarantine) should be offered substituting assignments, where possible.
  • Whenever possible, students in at-risk groups must be offered independent study alternatives. No verification is required from students for at-risk notifications.
  • Attendance in remote teaching sessions may be required as specified in the curriculum.
  • One can not participate in contact instruction when sick or in quarantine. In these situations the student should contact their teacher, who will estimate if self-study options can be given while the student is absent.

If close contact cannot be avoided in a teaching situation, what should be communicated with the face masks?

The University continues to recommend the use of protective face masks at your own discretion and in situations where several people are present in facilities and social distancing is impossible. By wearing a mask in congested situations, you protect yourself and others. Consider wearing a mask for your personal health and safety, especially if you are in a high-risk group. 

Surgical masks, cloth masks and FFP2 respirators remain available to staff and students.

Instructions on the use of teaching facilities 

  • Instructions on the use of teaching facilities 
  • As far as possible the movement of students during the day from distance teaching to contact teaching 
  • The teaching can be organised as blended learning e.g. a study module can have both contact and distance teaching.

Public examinations of doctoral theses

Doctoral defences can be organised without any restrictions in the University's premises. It is no longer necessary to be prepared to transfer on-site public examinations to be held online.

You can read more about organizing the Doctoral defences in the updated bulletin.

Instructions for teaching and guidance

Where can I find instructions on how to implement teaching?

Teaching in spring 2022 has been planned in such a way that the courses or its different teaching sessions are considered to be either contact or distance learning. Hybrid teaching, i.e. a teaching situation where some of the students take part in the teaching on site and some take part through distance teaching, is not recommended. However, it is recommended that contact  and remote teaching alternate during the course.

Teaching facilities

Computers and software

There are no teaching facilities booked for me in Optime. Does this mean that I must conduct all my teaching as distance teaching?

The course implementations have been set by the steering group of the degree programme. If you have questions about the implementation, please contact the timetabling officer in your degree programme (contact details on Flamma). The timetabling officer completes facility bookings and makes changes to the bookings.

More information on teaching facilities can be found on the page Teaching facilities.

Should the examination results be published within one month also in the exceptional situation?

In the exceptional situation of the University, the results and grading of the examination and assignments must also be published no later than one month after the examination or the deadline for the assignment.

Questions from students

A student needs support in distant learning and well-being in this exceptional situation. Where do I direct the student?

You can direct the student to take a look at the Mental well-being instruction page, where we have listed diverse support services in this exceptional situation. The Study psychologists have gathered directions for distant learning in the Support for studies instruction page. In addition, the Guidance corner's Well-being Tuesdays' events offer support for studies and student well-being. See the Well-being Tuesdays' instruction page.

How will the students know how the courses are organised?

The teaching information can be checked: 

If Sisu or Courses does not have a location listed alongside the teaching schedule, this generally means that teaching will be conducted remotely. If the student is unsure how the teaching will be conducted, he/she is given the advice to check the information available on Courses or the Moodle page (if one is used for the course). If necessary, the student can contact the teacher responsible for the course.

Please remember to notify students well beforehand on how the course is implemented either on the course page or in Moodle.

Can a student go do an Examinarium exam even though University facilities are closed?

All the campuses spaces are open and can be accessed normally. Examinarium examinations can be arranged according to the teaching programme. If the students has any questions related to Examinarium examinations they can contact the exam services.

The exam spaces have hand sanitizers and disinfectant towels. The University continues to recommend the use of protective face masks at your own discretion and in situations where several people are present in facilities and social distancing is impossible. If needed, it is possible to get masks from the porter / from the exam space, depending on the campus.

Where can students find information about facilities for independent study?

For more information on independent study facilities for students, please see the Instructions for students.

Students are asking about the status of student exchanges, where do I direct them?

Follow the International Exchange Services and Education Cooperation's information on the effect of the coronavirus on student exchanges. The information will be updated as the situation changes.  

Contact persons and further information

Email address for coronavirus-related questions

If you have any questions about measures to be taken at the University as a result of the coronavirus, please send an email to coronavirus@helsinki.fi. All email messages will be answered by specialists in human resources and occupational health, facility and cleaning services, conferences and events, IT services, and teaching and learning services.

Read more about the situation

Further information can be obtained from

City Centre Campus

  • Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Theology: Anu Holvikivi, head of academic affairs, phone 02941 23351
  • Faculty of Educational Sciences: Virpi Kiljunen, head of academic affairs, phone 02941 28013 
  • Faculty of Law and Language Centre: Johanna Harju, head of academic affairs, phone 02941 24038
  • Faculty of Social Sciences: Marianne Järveläinen, head of academic affairs, phone 02941 24807

Kumpula Campus: Anne Palo, head of academic affairs, phone 02941 50061

Meilahti Campus: Linnéa Lindh, head of academic affairs, phone 02941 26627

Viikki Campus:

  • Maika Strömberg, head of academic affairs, phone 02941 58021
  • Pia Saarinen, head of academic affairs, phone 02941 50601

International Exchange Services and Education Cooperation: Minna Koutaniemi, head of unit, phone 02941 22939

Admission services: 

  • Student admissions and advice: Karolina Kokko-Uusitalo, phone 02941 28332
  • Applicant advice and recruitment: Anna-Liisa Kuusela, phone 02941 26624
  • Applicant advice and recruitment: Riitta Heinsalo, phone 02941 22353 

Open University: Sanna Saari-Salomeri, education specialist, phone 20941 02947