Coronavirus: information for admitted students

The instruction belongs to the following themes

*Update on 27 May 2021: Information about the deferral of studies due to Covid-19 updated.

Have you been offered a study place at the University of Helsinki and will start your studies in autumn 2021?

Congratulations! We hope that you are excited about your future studies. However, we understand that the current circumstances might cause uncertainty and worries. On this page, you can find coronavirus (COVID-19) related questions and answers on topics such as beginning your studies, orientation and tutoring, and other practical matters.

Please read through this page carefully. The page will be updated according to the University’s guidelines, so check it regularly in order to stay informed. In addition, you should follow these pages:

If you have any other questions regarding the coronavirus measures taken by the University, please send a message to coronavirus@helsinki.fi.

Despite the exceptional situation, we will do our utmost best to support you and hope to welcome you to the University of Helsinki soon!

General questions

How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation affect the University of Helsinki?

The University of Helsinki closely monitors the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and takes measures following the instructions by the authorities. Our top priority is always the health, welfare and safety of our students and staff.

You can follow the coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki on the University website.

Where can I find general information for new students?

You can find general information in a section for new degree students in the Instructions for students.  Please make sure to select your own degree programme from the drop-down menu.

Accepting your study place

I have been conditionally accepted, but I cannot deliver the required documents before the set deadline due to the coronavirus situation. What should I do?

We are aware of the fact that the coronavirus situation can cause delays for our conditionally accepted applicants with their graduation dates and/or getting the required documents in order.

Because of this, the University of Helsinki has extended deadlines for graduating and delivering the required documents for our Master’s Programmes and the English-language Bachelor’s Programme in Science.

You can find the detailed information and deadlines for all programmes on the webpage for conditionally accepted applicants. If you have further questions, you can contact the Admissions Services by e-mail.

When do I have to accept the offered study place?

The study place must be accepted before the given deadline. You can see the deadline for accepting your study place in the acceptance letter that was sent to you or by logging into the My Studyinfo.fi service.

May I defer the beginning of my studies?

The Finnish Government is preparing a law that would allow the deferral of studies on the basis of Covid-19 by registering as non-attending student. This law would allow the registration as non-attending student for the first academic year due to the travelling restrictions and other restrictions by authorities that are caused by Covid-19. The law is expected to be published in June. Please check this site later for updated information. More information about annual registration.

If your situation is affected by Covid-19 in such a way that you are not able to begin your studies in the autumn semester 2021, you can fill out a form during the annual registration period starting on 1 June 2021 with the required information. The form is available as of 1 June 2021. Please note that a deferral requires that you accept your study place by the given deadline. Also remember that in case you were conditionally accepted, you have to prove your eligibility by 31 Aug 2021. 

In case you have paid the tuition fee or received a scholarship, please see Questions related to residence permits, tuition fees and scholarships

I was admitted in the 2020 intake and have deferred the beginning of my studies. How can I begin my studies as of the autumn semester 2021? 

In case you enrolled as a non-attending student for the academic year 2020-21, you can enroll as an attending student by following the instructions for annual registration.

If you deferred the beginning of your studies but did not enroll as a non-attending student, you need to apply for readmission of your right to pursue the degree

Please note that if you are liable to pay the tuition fee, you also must complete the tuition fee payment.

Orientation and tutoring

How will the orientation week for new students be organised in autumn 2021?

Orientation will be organised on week 35 (starting from 30 Aug 2021). If you are starting your studies in the degree programme in medicine or dentistry, your orientation will begin already on week 33 (starting from 16 Aug 2021)

However, singular exceptions to the above-mentioned schedule are possible. Final schedules for the orientation week will be updated during August in the Orientation and Tutoring page

Please note that due to the coronavirus situation, the University is preparing to organise the orientation week partly or entirely remotely. You will get more precise information about the programme of your faculty’s orientation week in August.

More info about tutoring and upcoming events will be updated during April - August. 

The effect of coronavirus on studies and teaching

How will teaching be arranged in the autumn term of 2021?

Teaching in the autumn is planned and implemented according to the plan drawn up in the summer.  ​​​​

  • The starting point for guidelines for the planning of teaching in the autumn term 2021 is to enable safe contact teaching.  
  • Teaching and examinations will be planned and organised so that safe distances can be observed in the facilities in question. 
  • Small group teaching will be prioritised in contact teaching. As a rule, mass lectures will be delivered remotely.  
  • In contact teaching, priority will particularly be given to first-year students in bachelor’s and master’s programmes as well as second-year students in bachelor’s programmes. The situation of international students will be considered separately. 
  • Degree programmes will stagger on-site teaching periods wherever possible. 
  • If it turns out that all planned contact teaching cannot be provided in a safe manner, the relevant response centres will determine the prioritisation of contact teaching. 

According to current estimates, about one-third of courses in the teaching programme can be safely organised as contact teaching on University premises. 

If the coronavirus pandemic worsens, teaching will be organised according to stricter safety and security requirements.

Decisions about teaching arrangements will be made in the study programmes. In other words, the students themselves cannot decide the mode for completing a course. Course-specific instructions need to be followed when completing studies. If teaching is cancelled or there are changes to methods of completion, the course teacher will communicate about them. You can find up-to-date information on courses from the My Studies page.

NB! If you are an international degree student (Bachelor's Programme in Science or International Master's Programmes) and will not be able to arrive in Finland in time when the semester starts due to the COVID-19 pandemic but would prefer to start your studies remotely, please contact your Faculty’s Student Services for more specific course information.

Where can I find more information on the effect of coronavirus on studies and teaching?

You can find frequently asked questions from the Instructions for Students’ article The effect of coronavirus on your studies – Q&A. The page has a comprehensive list of information on e.g. the teaching arrangements, opening hours of University venues, examinations and other study-related topics during the exceptional situation.

Please check the above-mentioned page regularly as the fall term approaches, as this page for new students will not be updated with information that concerns all our students.

Where can I get more information on the coronavirus measures of my faculty/study programme?

The University’s website has a list of faculty- and unit-specific instructions.

How can I get the necessary equipment for remote studying?

The student is responsible for arranging the necessary equipment, such as a computer and Internet connection, for their studies.

Questions related to residence permits, tuition fees and scholarships

I need to apply for a residence permit. Will the coronavirus situation affect my application?

The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) provides information on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on their operations and services on their website. They also publish weekly updates on the processing queue for applications for a residence permit for studies.

You can find more information about residence permit applications during the COVID-19 pandemic including a step-by-step guide for starting your immigration process in the Instructions for Students.

I am applying for a residence permit. How can I prove that my degree offers in-class teaching on campus in the autumn semester 2021?

The situation varies between programmes. Therefore, the most exact information and evaluation of each student’s situation will be done in the programmes. In case the programme offers contact teaching, you should request for a confirmation e-mail or other verification required by the Finnish mission from your programme by contacting your Faculty’s Student Services.

I have to pay a tuition fee. When do I need to make the payment? Can I wait until it is confirmed that I can start my studies in autumn 2021?

he deadline for tuition fee payment is 31 August 2021. If you are applying for a residence permit, but have not yet paid the tuition fee, please make sure you have sufficient funds to cover the tuition fee and living expenses in Finland as required by the Finnish Migration Services (Migri). See the instructions on the Migri website.

Please make sure to start the process of obtaining a residence permit as soon as possible. The process can take several months.

If you have paid the tuition fee and cannot start your studies at the beginning of the academic year 2021-2022 due to issues caused by the coronavirus situation, the paid tuition fee can be transferred to the next academic term/year, or alternatively be reimbursed. No administrative costs will be charged by the University of Helsinki in this exceptional situation. If you wish for a reimbursement of the paid tuition fee, you must send a request by 31 December 2021 at the latest.

Please note that the transfer of the tuition fee and/or reimbursement under these conditions applies only to the cases caused by the coronavirus situation. The requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If you have questions about the tuition fee payment, please contact the Admission Services by e-mail.

I have received a scholarship. Will I lose it if I am not able to start my studies in autumn 2021 due to the coronavirus situation?

If you have been offered a study place at the University of Helsinki and received a tuition fee-covering scholarship from the University of Helsinki Scholarship programme (for Master's programmes only), and are not able to begin your studies at the beginning of the academic year 2021-2022 due to issues caused by the coronavirus situation, you may transfer the scholarship until the next academic term/year.

Please note that if your acceptance has been conditional, you must have fulfilled the given conditions by the set deadline in order to receive the scholarship.

If you are not able to begin your studies at the beginning of the academic year 2021-2022 due to issues caused by the coronavirus situation and wish to transfer your scholarship, please contact the Admission Services by e-mail.

If I apply for housing, can I cancel it without any costs if I cannot start my studies in autumn 2021 due to the coronavirus situation?

You can apply for student housing from Hoas or Unihome with no financial risk involved. You will only become responsible for any costs once you have accepted the housing offer, paid the deposit and signed the tenancy agreement.

More information about housing can be found in the Instructions for students.

Restrictions and safety precautions

What kind of instructions has the University given for using the University spaces?

You can find updated information about the safety guidelines of the University on The effect of coronavirus to your studies - Q&A page on the section University facilities and services.

Should I stay in quarantine after arriving/returning to Finland? 

You can find updated information about the travelling guidelines of the University on The effect of coronavirus to your studies - Q&A page on the section Travel restrictions.

Read more about the coronavirus situation