Current coronavirus instructions and recommendations at LUT University

We at LUT are following the outbreak situation continuously and will update our coronavirus instructions whenever necessary. We aim to continue studies and work in as normal a way as we can while doing our part to slow down the spread of the coronavirus in accordance with government recommendations.

Updated 29 May at 10:20Release to LUT staff and students:

Plans for autumn 2020

Summer is upon us and the vacation season will provide a long-awaited break after this rather exceptional spring. Finland, along with the rest of Europe, is gradually lifting its restrictions, and the effects will be closely monitored. Although the coronavirus epidemic in Finland seems to be slowing down, there is no effective vaccine or treatment, and no one knows what the situation will be like in August or September. 

We are all hoping to be able to start the autumn semester normally on our campuses. However, should the epidemic take a turn for the worse and new restrictions be imposed, we need to prepare for it advance.

In practice, we have three possible scenarios: life on campus will return to normal, work and studies will take place in small groups prioritising the most important activities, or campuses will remain closed as in March-May 2020.  We will monitor the situation, follow guidelines by authorities throughout the summer and send a collective e-mail by Monday 3 August 2020 providing further instructions on how work in the autumn will start.

The coronavirus task force has, based on discussions with different parties involved, decided to prepare for the autumn as follows:

The vice rector for education will lead planning related to the prioritisation of teaching in case authorities issue restrictions on student group sizes. Based on these plans, facility arrangements on campuses will be thought through with those in charge of such matters.

If needed, LUT will prioritise the orientation of new students to give them the best possible start to their studies. In addition, we will focus on examination arrangements and key laboratory assignments and put our experiences from this spring to good use. We will aim to make special software available to students on campus. We will do our best to enable students to graduate according to plan.

Incoming and outgoing exchange students should prepare for the autumn according to plan. If travel is possible and campuses are open, student exchange and international internships will take place normally. If there are restrictions in Finland or the target countries, incoming and outgoing exchange students will be informed of them without delay.

Deans will plan what research to prioritise in the schools. The plans will concern laboratory research in particular.

To support our employees, we will utilise our experiences from this spring and input from union representatives and labour protection representatives. Ergonomics, communication, leadership and well-being will be in the forefront if restrictions are imposed again.

One aspect that we need to consider is contact tracing to identify transmission chains on campus. The need may arise if infections are identified in our community. We are waiting for news on whether a national tracking app will be adopted. If not, we will figure out another way to help authorities to track individuals, taking privacy protection into consideration.

With the LUT Oivallus team in University Services in a key role, we will create ways to implement our strategically critical operations remotely, including student orientation, larger project seminars, and site visits by international accreditation panels. 

Updated 14 May at 9:10. Release to LUT and LAB staff:

Travel guidelines starting 14 May 2020
Travel abroad

We recommend avoiding work-related travel until 31 July. If travel is necessary, ask for the dean, faculty director or director of administrative services for travel authorisation. Both domestic travel and international travel require advance authorisation.

For domestic travel, send e-mail to the person who handles your authorisation requests. For international travel, submit a travel request through the SAP Travel system for approval.

If you are planning travel abroad, remember that you will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days when you return to Finland and likely also in the country to which travel. Also take into account the instructions issued by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

Returning to Finland
In accordance with the instructions of the Finnish Border Guard, return traffic to Finland is permitted across EU's internal borders as of 14 May 2020, as are return traffic, commuting and other essential travel to and through other EU and Schengen countries. The Finnish Border Guard considers the entry of EU citizens starting a new employment relationship in Finland as commuting.

At external borders, return traffic to Finland is permitted as of 14 May 2020, as are return traffic to or through other EU and Schengen countries, the departure of third-country nationals, and other essential travel. In addition, third-country nationals with a Finnish residence permit arriving in Finland for the first time will be allowed in the country as of 1 May 2020. In other words, new employees hired from outside of the EU will be able to enter the country with a valid residence permit.

New employees should be prepared to present an employment contract, an invitation letter from the employer (stating where the person is travelling and for what reason) and Annex 1  'Entry under emergency conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic'.

The arrival of employees recruited from beyond the EU this spring may be delayed. Finnish missions abroad have interrupted the receipt and handling of visa and residence permit applications on 19 March 2020. It is still unclear when they will start accepting applications. If a new recruit has not started the application process before 19 March, the visa or residence permit process may take longer than usual. Researchers usually receive a residence permit in 1-2 months, but now the process may take months more.

New employees arriving in Finland or old employees returning home must remain in quarantine-like conditions for 14 days. Do not use public transport from the airport to your residence. Instead, take a private car or taxi. New employees are not allowed to make any arrival-related arrangements in person, such as visit the local tax office, for the first two weeks.

Foreign nationals with a Finnish residence permit

LUT's international researchers whose residence permit is about to expire may apply for an extended residence permit through the online service of the Finnish Immigration Service, EnterFinland. By submitting the extended permit application before the old permit expires, the researcher may reside in Finland legally and continue working under the terms of the old permit.

There is some delay in the processing of extended residence permit applications. At the moment, no appointment times to the Finnish Immigration Service offices are available before July. The delay in granting an extended residence permit may make leaving Finland difficult for example for holiday or work-related travel.

 

Updated 13 May at 8:35. Updates to the Q&A on teaching arrangements below in this article.

Updated 8 May at 14:00

Release to LUT and LAB students, updates to the Q&A on teaching arrangements below in this article.

Activity on the campuses starting 14 May

The full closure of higher education institutions issued by the Regional State Administrative Agencies will end on 13 May. However, LUT's and LAB's campus buildings will remain closed to students until 31 July. In addition, remote work is also recommended to staff members until 31 July. Never come to the campus if you feel sick or have respiratory infection symptoms.

Activities on the LUT and LAB campuses will focus on two aspects: 1) making the environment safe to work in and maintaining sufficient social distance, and 2) keeping track of who comes to the campus in order to help contact tracing if infections or exposures occur on campus.

We will comply with the Finnish government's restrictions on public gatherings:

Until 31 May, no more than 10 people may be in the same space at the same time.
As of 1 June until further notice, up to 50 people may be allowed in the same space.

We will continue our current practice of authorising students access to the campus as necessary. The vice rector or vice president for education may authorise individual students or small student groups access to campus buildings for reasons related to their studies or graduation. We are exploring possibilities to open individual computer classrooms to students as of 1 June.

The library will start lending books as of 14 May. Students may reserve books online and collect them at an agreed time on campus. More information is available on the library web page.

The campus restaurants will remain closed until 31 May in accordance with the Finnish government's decision. We will comply with orders issued by authorities and explore other possibilities to arrange lunch services.

The campus gyms and exercise facilities will remain closed until 31 July.

 

Update 6 May at 16:25

Release to LUT and LAB staff. 

 

Activity on campuses starting 14 May

When the closure of higher education institutions issued by the Regional State Administrative Agencies ends on 14 May, employees may return to work on the campus with their supervisor's authorisation. However, the coronavirus epidemic continues, and depending on its development, authorities may issue new national and local restrictions in the future.

We still recommend that employees work remotely until 31 July. Do not come to the campus if you feel sick or have respiratory infection symptoms.

Activities on the LUT and LAB campuses will focus on two aspects: 1) making the environment safe to work in and maintaining sufficient social distance, and 2) keeping track of who comes to the campus in order to help contact tracing if infections or exposures occur on campus.

No more than 10 people may be in contained indoor spaces (e.g. open-plan offices or laboratories) at the same time until 31 May. As of 1 June, up to 50 people may be allowed in the same space.

Enhanced cleaning measures will continue. In addition, hand sanitizer will be available at several locations on campus.

Maintaining sufficient social distance is especially important in open-plan offices and laboratories. In hallways and lobbies, you should act as you do in grocery stores: maintain distance, cover your cough with your sleeve, and avoid lingering. If you come to the campus, confine yourself to your own workstation.

Update 5 May at 10.10 
updated 29 May concerning instructions for high-risk employees.

Closure of higher education institutions ended by Regional State Administrative Agencies – new instructions regarding work on campus as of 14 May

The closure of higher education institutions ordered by the Regional State Administrative Agencies will end on 13 May 2020. This will enable the partial return of staff on campus following safety and hygiene guidelines. However, students will still be prohibited from entering the campus until 31 July.

We will follow the government's restrictions on public gatherings closely:

Events with more than 10 people will be prohibited until 31 May.

Events with more than 50 people will be prohibited as of 1 June until further notice.

Employees of higher education institutions are recommended to continue working remotely until 31 July. Employees who need devices or facilities on campus for their work may, as of 14 May, work on campus with their supervisor's consent. This enables us to follow the restrictions on gatherings.

Employees who work on campus must comply with the hygiene and social distance guidelines of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. We recommend that internal meetings be held remotely until 31 July.

updated 29 May concerning instructions for high-risk employees.
If you need to work on campus and suspect you belong to a high-risk group, please contact occupational health care. Ask the physician to call you or make a 20-minute (virtual) appointment with an occupational physician.

Employees should work only at their own workstation unless their duties require otherwise. On the Lahti campus, LAB employees must work at one single desk permanently to promote hygiene at work.

As for education, we had previously decided to finish the spring semester remotely. In other words, the campus will be closed to students until 31 July. We will continue our current practice of authorising students access as necessary, complying with the restrictions on gatherings. The vice rector or vice president for education may authorise individual students or small student groups access to the campus if it is required for the progress of studies or graduation.

Some library services will be available on campus as of 14 May: customers may reserve books online and collect them at an agreed time on campus.

Campus restaurants will remain closed until 31 May in accordance with the Finnish government's decision. We will comply with orders issued by authorities and explore other possibilities to arrange lunch services.

Travel abroad should be avoided for the time being, as recommended by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The Ministry of the Interior will issue more detailed instructions on gradually resuming cross-border travel.

We will give further guidelines on working on campus, events for under 50 people (e.g. public examinations of dissertations) and loaning books from the library later this week (week 19).

Update 23 April at 16.30

Studies will continue remotely until the end of the spring semester

LUT University and the LAB University of Applied Sciences will continue teaching remotely until the end of the spring semester. All of this spring's exams and courses will take place remotely.

The LUT Summer School will be cancelled this year. However, LUT and LAB have increased the range of other studies available during the summer. Students will have access to a wide range of lectures, literature and online exams and online courses. Students may also complete final theses and project assignments for their degrees.

More about LUT's online studies:

https://uni.lut.fi/kesaopetus;jsessionid=C6F854A7BC6203167FB13C3EC69105EC.lutuni1

More about LAB's online studies:

https://lab.fi/fi/koulutus/avoinamk/opintotarjonta

Also other universities offer open university instruction free of charge to degree students of other institutions: https://www.avoin.jyu.fi/fi/opintotarjonta/avoimet-yliopistot

Campusonline.fi is the digital student portal of Finnish universities of applied sciences. You can select courses from another institution free of charge and include them in your degree: https://campusonline.fi/

Update 30 March at 16.15

Graduation ceremonies will not be arranged in the spring and summer. Students graduating this spring and summer will receive their degree certificates by mail.

Update 27 March at 16.00

Link to rector Saksa's letter to the LUT Community added:

LUT's strategy and its core issues will be more relevant than ever

We have worked mainly remotely for almost two weeks and shown great professionalism while doing so. I wish to thank each and every one of you. Our characteristic creativity has come in handy on more than one occasion in learning to apply research, teaching methods, learning techniques, Zoom and Teams in new ways and in adjusting our everyday life to these new circumstances.
Read the whole text
 

Q&A on teaching arrangements

Updated on 1 April, replaces earlier contents on this topic in this article)
Update 7 April at 10.05: Question 20. The travel ban is valid until May 13.
Update 23 April at 16.30: Question 2: Studies will continue remotely until the end of the spring semester, LUT Summer School cancelled.
Update 8 May at 14:00: Updates on activity on the campuses starting 14 May, questions 2,3 and 18
Update 13 May at 8:35: Question 20. Travel abroad or within Finland should be avoided.

Updated as the situation changes.

1. Classes will be taught remotely. What does it mean?
All lectures and other teaching events that can be arranged online will be arranged online. Campuses are closed in terms of teaching activities. Exams, laboratory tutorials and other teaching events requiring attendance may, however, be held on campus, if the activity is essential for graduation. The decision concerning activities taking place on campus, are made by the vice-rector for teaching, based on proposals by the degree manager (LAB) or the head of the degree programme (LUT)  Teaching events that may be held on campus either take place in small groups (max. 10 persons) or one on one.

2. How long will these exceptional arrangements be in place?
The arrangements will be in place until 13 May 2020. LUT and LAB will monitor the development of the situation and the recommendations of health care professionals.
 

Update 23 April at 16.30
Studies will continue remotely until the end of the spring semester

LUT University and the LAB University of Applied Sciences will continue teaching remotely until the end of the spring semester. All of this spring's exams and courses will take place remotely.

The LUT Summer School will be cancelled this year. However, LUT and LAB have increased the range of other studies available during the summer. Students will have access to a wide range of lectures, literature and online exams and online courses. Students may also complete final theses and project assignments for their degrees.

More about LUT's online studies:

https://uni.lut.fi/kesaopetus;jsessionid=C6F854A7BC6203167FB13C3EC69105EC.lutuni1

More about LAB's online studies:

https://lab.fi/fi/koulutus/avoinamk/opintotarjonta

Also other universities offer open university instruction free of charge to degree students of other institutions: https://www.avoin.jyu.fi/fi/opintotarjonta/avoimet-yliopistot

Campusonline.fi is the digital student portal of Finnish universities of applied sciences. You can select courses from another institution free of charge and include them in your degree: https://campusonline.fi/

Update 8 May:

The full closure of higher education institutions issued by the Regional State Administrative Agencies will end on 13 May. However, LUT's and LAB's campus buildings will remain closed to students until 31 July. In addition, remote work is also recommended to staff members until 31 July. Never come to the campus if you feel sick or have respiratory infection symptoms.

We will comply with the Finnish government's restrictions on public gatherings:
Until 31 May, no more than 10 people may be in the same space at the same time.
As of 1 June until further notice, up to 50 people may be allowed in the same space.
 

3. Can the campus premises be entered?
The doors to the campuses are locked starting from Wednesday 18 March 2020. Students may not enter the campus premises. Exceptions can be made for exams or other teaching events for small groups (max. 10 persons) if the activity is essential for graduation. Instructions regarding such events will be provided separately. Participants will also be told which entrance to use, and a staff member will pick them up.

Staff members can enter the premises with individual badges/electronic keys, but working remotely is continued to the extent that the duties allow. Do not let anyone else in unless they are authorised to access the campus.

Update 8 May:

The full closure of higher education institutions issued by the Regional State Administrative Agencies will end on 13 May. However, LUT's and LAB's campus buildings will remain closed to students until 31 July. 

We will continue our current practice of authorising students access to the campus as necessary. The vice rector or vice president for education may authorise individual students or small student groups access to campus buildings for reasons related to their studies or graduation. We are exploring possibilities to open individual computer classrooms to students as of 1 June.

The campus restaurants will remain closed until 31 May in accordance with the Finnish government's decision. We will comply with orders issued by authorities and explore other possibilities to arrange lunch services.

The campus gyms and exercise facilities will remain closed until 31 July.

4. I am completing open university Highway Studies, and I need to complete a certain number of credits to secure my place in a degree programme after them. How can I complete the credits if courses are not arranged?
Even though students now study mainly remotely, courses can still be completed according to the planned schedule. If the situation changes in a way that makes the completion of courses impossible, the requirements will be re-evaluated.

5. I am studying at LUT/LAB and need to pay a tuition fee. I need a certain number of credits to obtain my scholarship. How can I attain my credits if courses cannot be arranged?
Even though students now mainly study remotely, courses can still be completed according to the planned schedule. If the situation changes in a way that makes the completion of courses impossible, the requirements will be re-evaluated.
 
6. Will exams be arranged as planned?
Exams taking place on campuses are cancelled. Under exceptional circumstances (when exams are essential for graduation or further studies) exams can be arranged. The decision on special arrangements is made by the vice-rector for teaching, based on proposals by the degree manager (LAB) or the head of the degree programme (LUT).

7. Are the Exam facilities in use?
Exam facilities are only used in exceptional circumstances. Exam can be used in individual exceptions (when exams are essential for graduation or further studies), decided by the vice-rector for teaching, based on proposals by the degree manager (LAB) or the head of the degree programme (LUT).

8. I am a high-risk student or do not otherwise wish to risk contracting the coronavirus and do not want to take an exam. Will there be other chances to take it?
We will provide other chances to take exams if the situation requires. The need for exam sessions will be assessed on the whole as the situation becomes more stable.

9. I am an intern/in work placement. Can I continue my internship/placement?
Follow your internship employer's guidelines regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Your internship supervisor will be able to advise you. Internships and work placements of LUT/LAB students may continue depending on the guidelines of the employer and your own health.

10. I was supposed to start my internship/work placement, but my employer cancelled it due to the coronavirus.
We respect the employer's decision. If possible, the internship/work placement may be rescheduled or extended. Internships/work placements may partly be carried through substituting assignments, if possible (the student's first internship/work placement).

11. My course requires attendance on campus. How should such courses be arranged?
We recommend that teachers find alternative ways to complete courses or teach them online (e.g. students give presentations online instead of in person). If you are planning changes to your teaching approaches, discuss them with your degree manager (LAB) or the head of your degree programme (LUT) before releasing the new plan to your students.

12. If I feel sick or have a cold, may I still continue my internship/work placement?
Do not go to work if you are sick. Remember to let your internship/work placement supervisor know that you are staying home because you are sick.

13.  A student wants to study remotely in another city in Finland or abroad.
This is not a problem as long as the courses do not require attendance on campus (laboratory, exam, etc.). If the course includes an assignment that requires attendance, we cannot guarantee that the student will receive a passing grade. 

14.  Students will mainly study remotely. This is a great burden on our information systems and may cause problems. Has this been taken into consideration?
We have anticipated that the load of our remote work tools will multiply and may reflect on usability. IT support will focus its efforts on solving problems related to remote work and teaching. The challenge related to capacity is national and in some cases Europe-wide. The need for capacity will increase significantly throughout Europe. Therefore, we ask patience from students as well as teachers.

15. May I skip classes that require attendance? 
We are cancelling attendance requirements in education. We are increasing flexible modes of completing courses.

16. Where can I find information on cancelled classes or changes to modes of teaching (e.g. contact teaching replaced by remote studies)?
Information on all changes will be posted in the course's Moodle environment. Follow Moodle.

17. What happens if classes are cancelled?
If an individual course or lecture is cancelled, we will aim to find other ways to provide instruction. We will monitor the situation and aim to avoid unnecessary delays in studies if classes need to be cancelled.

18. Are libraries and other shared study areas open as usual?
The campuses and libraries are closed.

Update 8 May:
The library will start lending books as of 14 May. Students may reserve books online and collect them at an agreed time on campus. More information is available on the library web page: https://www.lut.fi/web/en/news/-/asset_publisher/lGh4SAywhcPu/content/the-library-offers-limited-lending-and-return-services-from-14-5-

19. May I come to the campus premises for an appointment with my supervisor (e.g. assignment/thesis supervisor or study guidance)?
Students may not enter the campus premises. Supervisors of studies and study guidance staff will provide assistance remotely. Also teachers will provide study guidance remotely.

20. Am I allowed to travel abroad?
LUT and LAB students and staff members are currently banned from travelling abroad for work or studies until May 13. We also recommend avoiding work and study related travel within Finland.

Update 13 May
Travel abroad should be avoided for the time being, as recommended by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The Ministry of the Interior will issue more detailed instructions on gradually resuming cross-border travel. We also recommend avoiding work and study related travel within Finland.

21. The public examination of my dissertation will take place soon, but my opponent will not be able to travel to the event. What should I do?
A video conference may be set up with the opponent, or the public examination may be postponed to a later date.

 

Update 18 March at 11.15

Dear friends, students and staff

By now it is probably clear to everyone that our nation, along with the rest of Europe, is facing something exceptional. The government has imposed strict measures, which testify to the gravity of the situation. All responsible individuals are aware that every necessary measure must be taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

At universities, we show responsibility through our individual actions and by suspending contact teaching as of this morning. Students will not be allowed on campus before 13 April 2020. We got a head start and initiated remote studies already on Friday.

We have a strong background in flexible modes of learning, and our trailblazing teachers have provided online instruction for years. This enables our 5000 students to conduct their studies in a close to normal way. Everyone – both teachers and staff members – deserve recognition for this.

Normally, close to 14 000 people study and work on the LUT and LAB campuses, and now nearly every one of them is working remotely. At the moment, only some personnel in University Services, research and RDI facility maintenance and critical research projects can be found on campus, following instructions issued by the Regional State Administrative Agencies. Also in their case, we are employing the necessary precautions to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus. No more than 10 people will be in the same space at the same time.

As a further display of responsibility, we should all continue our remote work without dragging our feet. We do not need to stop our research or education because of the epidemic; we simply need to continue it remotely. Continuing our research, instruction, studies, and corporate collaboration is the responsible thing to do and creates stability in this time of turbulence.

I sincerely hope that we will be able to strengthen our sense of community in the coming weeks. Sami has held coffee meeting for over 50 people on Zoom, researchers working from home are providing advice through Facetime, colleagues assist each other in arranging online instruction, Teams is used frequently, and students are continuing their studies responsibly and creatively. To top it off, our Mayday celebration, vappu, has not been cancelled – it has been postponed. I have read social media posts related to our situation with great joy. Let's keep posting and brightening each other's day with our ingenuity and special sense of humour.

Dear friends, resourcefulness and agility have for decades been our greatest strengths that have helped us build mutual trust. Let's keep it up because the sun also rises tomorrow. And the day after that.

Stay safe,

Juhis
Juha-Matti Saksa, rector

 

Update 1 April at 9:45

Contact teaching will be interrupted until 13 May

On Monday, the government imposed a number of additional measures to combat the coronavirus in Finland. The national measures are meant to protect the population and secure the functioning of the society and business.

The government decided that contact teaching in universities and universities of applied sciences will be interrupted, and the decision will enter into force on Wednesday 18 March 2020. Instead of contact teaching, the institutions must arrange their instruction and guidance in alternative ways as extensively as possible.

In practice, we will follow the policies we defined on Friday, with a few exceptions.

LUT University and the LAB University of Applied Sciences aim to enable students to progress in their studies as planned despite the alternative arrangements. Especially students close to graduation should be allowed to complete their degrees to enable them to pursue postgraduate studies or enter the working world.

Facilities for research at LUT University and research, development and innovation (RDI) the LAB University of Applied Sciences do not need to be closed especially when critical research is concerned.

We will provide more updates when the government gives more instructions.

Access to campus facilities as of 18 March 2020

The doors to campus buildings will be locked as of Wednesday 18 March 2020. Staff members can enter the facilities with their electronic access control keys, but everyone will continue working remotely to the extent that their duties allow. Do not let anyone else in unless they are authorised to access the campus.

Students may not enter the campus buildings. As an exception, exams and teaching events may be arranged for students close to graduation in groups of under 10. Instructions regarding such events will be provided separately. Participants will also be told which entrance to use, and a staff member will open the door for them.

LUT's heads of degree programmes and LAB's degree managers will be issued more detailed instructions on the arrangement of events such as the above.

Use of research and RDI facilities

Facilities for research at LUT University and research, development and innovation (RDI) the LAB University of Applied Sciences do not need to be closed especially when critical research is concerned.

LUT University's deans will provide detailed instructions regarding LUT's critical research. For LAB, the vice president for RDI will provide instructions regarding critical RDI.

Instruction on the campuses

Instruction and exams that require attendance on campus may only be arranged in exceptional cases if it is necessary to enable students in the final stages of their studies to graduate. Such cases are decided by LUT's vice rector for education or LAB's vice president for education.

Classes and exams may be arranged for less than 10 people at a time. This, as well as other arrangements related to facilities and hygiene, aim to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

Exams

Sit-in exams in groups and independent exams in the Exam facilities will be cancelled for the time being. Teachers must aim to find alternative ways to assess student performance.

Exams may be arranged in certain exceptional cases if it is necessary especially for students who are close to graduation. Such cases are decided by LUT's vice rector for education or LAB's vice president for education.

Use of facilities in the admissions process

Student admissions may take place in LUT and LAB facilities if appropriate safety steps are taken.

Exchange students interrupting their stay

Exchange students may receive grades for courses that do not require attendance on campus (laboratory, exam, etc.)

In addition, teachers in charge of courses will aim to find alternative ways to assess student performance. If the course includes elements that require attendance, we cannot guarantee that the student will receive a passing grade.

Public examinations of dissertations

Public examinations of dissertations will be arranged remotely: opponents will participate through remote connections, as will guests. No more than 10 staff members may be present in the same space at a time. The audience must be provided the opportunity to pose questions to the doctoral candidate at the end. The questions may be presented remotely.

Dissertations must be available to the public in PDF format on the LUT website 10 days before the public examination.

Library services

The Lappeenranta Academic Library will be closed as of 18 March. Customer service, information retrieval, guidance and other services will be available remotely.

LUT's and LAB's communication services are now focusing on work assigned by the coronavirus task force.

 

Update 15 March at 9:45

Rector Juha-Matti Saksa: Time for flexibility and creativity – together

Dear friends; students and staff
 
We all need to face the fact that the coronavirus is changing our daily lives. We should neither underplay the situation nor overreact. A calm, logical and creative approach builds trust.
 
Over the years, we as a university have prepared for many exceptional situations, and those preparations now need to be put to practice. All of the measures we are taking aim for the safety of our community and for our activity to continue as normally as possible under the circumstances.
 
It is essential that we follow all instructions issued both in-house and by government authorities, that we wash our hands frequently and cover our cough, and that we contribute to the stability of our society with our actions.
 
We have established a flexible operating culture, and it is no coincidence that e.g. mobile work is an everyday occurrence in our community and that we avoid stacking papers in our offices. In many ways, we will be able to continue our normal work by utilising our remote work devices and tools. Securing the continuation of our activities is now more important than ever in our 50-year history.
 
To put it in simple terms, we will not stop our research or education because of the epidemic – we will continue it mainly remotely for the time being. Our work continues despite the situation.
 
In practice, we already apply flexible modes of learning in our courses, reaching thousands of students remotely and enabling them to live their lives off-campus. We can increase our remote teaching e.g. on Zoom and create alternative ways to complete courses and assess student performance. Our students have the time and desire to study. 
 
In contrast, our research laboratories will be quieter in the coming weeks. On the other hand, this gives researchers time to focus on their unfinished journal papers. Moreover, we will be able to help our corporate partners remotely. Of our experts in University Services, I ask special creativity to come up with ways to help researchers, teachers, students and other stakeholders in this new situation. No one should be left alone.
 
It is important to remember that we have a mission greater than ourselves. Each of us is a representative of this university. We as employees and students are a pivotal part of an institution that maintains peace and stability in our society. By a display of creativity and reliability, we will be able to demonstrate that life at the university can continue at the university and thus do our part as responsible members of society.
 
Let's take care of ourselves and each other. We can get through this together – stronger and wiser. As the President of our nation has stated, even though we need to maintain physical distance from each other, we should aim to connect emotionally. #becausewecan
 
Stay safe,
 
Juhis
@JuhisSaksa +358 400 166 659
 

Update 13 March

Work and studies conducted remotely as of Monday 16 March 2020

As of Monday 16 March 2020, students will study remotely until further notice. Employees will work remotely if their duties allow.

The campuses will not be closed, and staff members and students may set foot in the facilities as before. By reducing the number of people on campus, we will be able to slow down the spreading of the coronavirus in our country.

We will aim to secure the progress of studies despite these remote work arrangements.

All employees are obligated to discuss their own remote work arrangements with their supervisor. The critical operations of the university and university of applied sciences will be carried out normally.

Arranging events and visits

For the time being, LUT and LAB will cancel all planned events open to the public and will not arrange new ones. Meetings with individual guests will be held remotely.

We also require that LUT and LAB employees not attend external events and seminars beyond our campuses in person – remote attendance is encouraged. In unclear cases, please contact your supervisor.

Recommendations for high-risk groups

If you as an employee are part of a high-risk group (older adults and people with chronic medical conditions) and your work requires your presence on campus, discuss your situation with your supervisor.

For students at risk, we recommend remote studies whenever possible. In addition to remote studies available to everyone, we are unable to make special substituting arrangements for high-risk students. To discuss the details of your course arrangements and assessment options, please contact your teacher.

Recreational activities on campus

Due to the elevated risk of infection, all recreational activities on the LUT and LAB campuses will be suspended. These activities include e.g. the MOVEO sports services and Happiness through Health events. In addition, the gyms and other sports facilities will be closed.

These measures will help to slow down the spread of the coronavirus in accordance with government recommendations.

The coronavirus outbreak situation in Finland and our operating areas changes daily. Please follow the updates posted on our intranet (https://intranet.lut.fi/Pages/Koronavirus-coronavirus.aspx), e-mailed to you, and released by government authorities.

 

Update 12 March

Events

All visits by guests from epidemic areas have been cancelled. No visitors from these areas will be received. In addition, due to the elevated risk of transmitting the coronavirus, all visits from other countries have been cancelled for the time being.
We recommend that meetings between the two campuses be held remotely. Work-related travel to other areas in Finland should also be avoided.
 

Travel

All travel abroad related to work or studies should be avoided. LUT and LAB staff members and students must cancel all work-related travel abroad in March and April. Also visits by guests from abroad to our campuses have now been cancelled or postponed.
 
All employees and students returning from a work-related trip or vacation abroad must work or study from home for 14 days. The remote work period starts on the day of arrival. Employees must inform their supervisor and HR of their absence without delay. Those currently on a work-related journey are urged to move up their return date.
 

Symptoms of illness

The coronavirus outbreak situation in Finland and our operating areas is changing daily. We will keep our staff and students up to date through the intranet and by e-mail.
 
Everyone is responsible for monitoring coronavirus updates by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
 
A national coronavirus hotline has been opened to provide general information on the coronavirus. 
The hotline number is 0295 535 535. The information provided by the hotline is based on the information available on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
 

Remote work

We will continue working and studying as normally as possible but will prepare for the possibility that remote work and remote studies may at some point be necessary. If the need arises, separate instructions will be issued. Nevertheless, we recommend that you take your work laptop and cell phone as well as their chargers home with you every day in case of an unforeseen need for remote work.
 

Protecting yourself from the coronavirus

Wash your hands often and with care. Do not shake hands. Good hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the transmission of the virus. Maintain physical distance in social situations.