How coronavirus affects the University

This article summarises the most important principles and guidelines, and it will be updated on a continuous basis. Updated on 28 October at 15:30.

The development of the coronavirus epidemic will be followed continuously, and the instructions will be updated during the autumn term, if necessary. We will prepare for possible sudden changes in the situation during the academic year, in which case we will react quickly and make updates on the university’s coronavirus guidelines. 

Important links

Uniarts Helsinki’s coronavirus-related guidelines

Use of facilities 

University’s facilities are open for for studies, teaching and other work  in accordance with jointly agreed-upon principles. 

The number of students and staff using the facilities is monitored, and if necessary, there will be some restrictions. Nobody is allowed to come to the university when sick. If you have a fever, symptoms of a flu, stomach symptoms or other coronavirus-related symptoms, you cannot come to the university.   

Organising joint recreational events in the university facilities

The preparedness team has decided that due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, using Uniarts Helsinki’s facilities for student events or other recreational events is not allowed.

We also recommend that staff and students refrain from meeting one another in joint recreational events indoors outside of the university’s facilities.

Studies 

Students can study in the university facilities as of 10 August as long as they follow the safety guidelines. The aim is to offer students who belong to high-risk groups the possibility to complete studies remotely if it is possible. The decision on these kinds of arrangements is made by the head of the unit in charge of organising teaching (dean or the academic director of the Open Campus) or a person authorised by the head of the unit.   

The orientation period that is offered for new students is arranged partially through face-to-face meetings in small groups.  

Campus restaurants will reopen in the beginning of the academic year. Each restaurant will follow the national instructions concerning restrictions on restaurant operations and inform their customers on their policies. 

Teaching 

It is possible to organise teaching in the university facilities starting from 10 August by decision of the head of the unit (dean or the academic director of the Open Campus), if it is necessary in terms of the achievement of the learning objectives. The university facilities will be used primarily for one-to-one or small-group instruction, and the size of the space and the number of people in the space are taken into consideration when assessing the safety of the teaching session. 

Remote teaching will occur mostly on courses or parts of courses where remote arrangements do not considerably jeopardise students’ possibilities to achieve the learning objectives. Teaching that is impossible or unreasonably difficult to organise remotely with the learning objectives in mind will be arranged on campus. 

Teachers will be ensured the possibility to teach remotely in situations where this is possible when considering the proper management of the job duties in question. Supervisors consider the learning objectives, nature of the job and safety guidelines and decide whether remote teaching is possible. 

Contact teaching must be arranged in accordance with the safety guidelines. Keeping a 1 to 2-metre distance is not required in contact teaching if it is not possible to achieve the learning outcomes when maintaining the distance and if the teaching cannot be delayed until a later date. The decision on deviating from the safety guidelines is made by the head of the unit in charge of organising teaching or a person authorised by the head of the unit.  

The more detailed instructions for teaching arrangements are made by the units in charge of organising teaching (academies, Open Campus). The heads of the units in charge of organising teaching (deans, academic director of the Open Campus) or persons authorised by the heads of the units are responsible for making sure that the instructions are followed.  

The unit in charge of organising teaching must have information on all people who use the campus facilities for teaching. 

Other work 

Other work will continue mostly remotely starting from 10 August. The recommendation is that staff members working in the University Services have the possibility to work remotely some part of the week when this is possible considering the proper management of job duties. Supervisors will instruct their teams on the safe use of the university facilities. 

It is recommended that meetings are held remotely for the time being. Exceptions can be made if there are justified reasons to hold meetings on campus with consideration to heightened safety measures.

If an employee is not able to work in the university facilities, the work is performed completely remotely. Supervisors consider the nature of the job and the university’s guidelines and decide whether remote work is possible. Teams are encouraged to discuss work arrangements, duties and objectives regarding remote work so that a smooth and well-planned management of job duties is possible also if the coronavirus situation changes.   

When an employee works remotely, their duties may temporarily differ from their usual job duties. Employees discuss changes to the job duties with their supervisors. If it is not possible to perform the work remotely, and there are no alternative work duties that can be assigned, the HR team should be contacted concerning the matter.  

Additional decisions concerning support for remote work (including ergonomics-related matters) will be made in August based on the feedback given to the university. 

Artistic activities and invitational guests

Artistic activities are allowed in the university facilities including events with more than 50 people.

Also, no events with more than 50 invited guests are to be held. 

When it comes to artistic activities and invitational guests, the university follows all regulations, policies and instructions issued by the authorities.

Rules on keeping a safe distance to others are followed in all artistic events and invitational guests. The size of the space and the number of people allowed in the space are taken into consideration when assessing the safety of the events.  

Research 

Research will be carried out partially remotely starting from 10 August. Research personnel will be ensured the possibility to work in the university facilities in situations where this is necessary when considering the proper management of the job duties in question. Supervisors consider the nature of the job and the university’s guidelines when making decisions on remote work. 

It is recommended that research conferences and symposiums are organised remotely. Public defences of doctoral dissertations and other thesis examinations can be arranged remotely or on campus, as long as the safety regulations are followed. 

Libraries 

The libraries will reopen on 10 August in Helsinki, while the Kuopio library will reopen on 13 August. The self-service hours will be in use during the opening hours of the facilities, and customer service will be available Monday through Friday between noon and 15:00 in all library locations.  

Visits and travels 

We follow the instructions issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and encourage everyone to avoid trips abroad.

A 14-day self-isolation is required of all employees and students who come to Finland from countries that are subject to internal or external border control. 

If, after the assessment of the risks, a work or study-related trip abroad is estimated to be necessary and/or if it is critical in terms of the university’s operations, a separate decision on the trip can be made. Decisions on trips to be made by the academies’ staff are made by the dean. As for the staff of the Open Campus, Shared Services and Shared Research, decisions are made by the vice rector in charge of the unit in question.

If the employee travels abroad for a reason that isn’t related to their work at Uniarts Helsinki, they must contact their supervisor in advance to discuss how a possible quarantine would affect their ability to perform their job duties at Uniarts Helsinki.

Exchanges

Uniarts Helsinki will welcome and send out exchange students from and to other universities starting. The exchange agreements are conditional, and applicants are informed on possible restrictions concerning travel and start of studies due to the coronavirus situation. The decisions on exchanges are made by the academy that is either sending out or receiving students.  

Face masks

It is strongly recommended that a mask is worn whenever operating in the university facilities.

Uniarts Helsinki will provide staff and students with face masks. Masks are available from the info desks of the university’s main buildings (M, N and R Building, Kookos, Academy of Fine Arts).  

Other protective products and measures 

We have purchased more disinfectant wipes for all of our campus facilities, and they can be picked up at the info desks. You can clean practically any surfaces with the wipes, including computer and piano keyboards and desks. 

The ongoing coronavirus epidemic is taken into account also in daily cleaning, and the cleaning of surfaces that are touched and used the most will be extra thorough. 

Places where people queue are marked with stickers showing the safe distances to the next person. 

There will be posters and slides on the info screens explaining how to use the shared facilities in the safest way possible. 

Joint guidelines on start and end times of meetings

The preparedness team has decided that Uniarts Helsinki will introduce a joint policy concerning start and end times of meetings in an effort to accommodate to the staff’s schedules.

It is recommended that in the future, all meetings start on the hour and end 10-15 minutes before the hour. For example, if a meeting starts at 13:00, it should end at about 13:45–13:50.

The situation in Finland  

  • The situation in Finland is monitored and assessed by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL, and the latest information can be read on the THL website.   

What to do if you suspect that you have been infected  

When you have symptoms of a flu, stay at home immediately, because the infection risk is highest during the first 2-3 days, when it is important to avoid contacts with other people and to take care of good hand and coughing hygiene. 

The THL website lists coughing, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, muscle pain and headache as symptoms of a coronavirus infection. It is important that everyone who suspects a coronavirus infection seeks a laboratory test. Review your symptoms in the Omaolo service or contact your occupational healthcare.

You can find precise instructions on Artsi intranet.

Useful links 

Preparedness for changes 

Uniarts Helsinki prepares for possible changes in the coronavirus situation by maintaining its preparedness to switch over to exclusively remote studies and work during the academic year. If necessary, the rector may call upon the university’s preparedness team to support decision-making in related matters. 

Preparedness team  

  • In accordance with its preparedness plan, Uniarts Helsinki has a preparedness team led by Rector Jari Perkiömäki.   
  • To keep the university updated on matters involving the coronavirus, its members also include Vice Rector Lauri Väkevä, Director of Communications and External Relations Eveliina Olsson, Senior Head of Academic Affairs Sanna Kotajärvi-Söderholm, Senior Facilities Manager Antti Halm, Service and Personnel Manager Mikael Vänttinen, Vice Rector Jaana Erkkilä-Hill and Senior Legal Counsel Annakaisa Koskimäki.
  • The secretary of the team is Occupational Health and Safety Manager Jyri Pulkkinen, who can also give further information on how to prepare for the coronavirus outbreak: jyri.pulkkinen@uniarts.fi050-5722058  

Coronavirus team 

By decision of the Rector, Uniarts Helsinki has set up a new coronavirus team tasked with compiling hands-on coronavirus-related instructions that affect the university’s daily operations and artistic activities. The team is also responsible for making decisions on practical arrangements during the coronavirus epidemic. 

The team’s members are Senior Head of Academic Affairs Sanna Kotajärvi-Söderholm, Technical Manager and Vice Occupational Health and Safety Manager Marko Myöhänen, Technical Manager and Occupational Health and Safety Manager Jyri Pulkkinen, Facilities Manager Matti Rautio, Service and Personnel Manager Mikael Vänttinen, and Communications Planner Mirva Niemi

The team’s work is steered by the university’s emergency preparedness team, which is led by Rector Jari Perkiömäki.