Coronavirus: information for admitted students

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. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

*Update on 19 Aug 2021: Information about teaching in autumn 2021 and how to get instructions on coronavirus testing and self-quarantine before arriving in Finland updated.
*Update on 21 Jul 2021: Information about how to activate your IT user account remotely and Covid-19 vaccinations added.
* Update on 30 Jun 2021: Information and online form link regarding deferral of studies due to Covid-19 updated.
* Update on 7 Jun 2021: Information about the schedule for deferral of studies due to Covid-19 updated
* Update on 27 May 2021: Information about the deferral of studies due to Covid-19 updated.

Have you been offered a student 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

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 service.

May I defer the beginning of my studies?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Finnish law will exceptionally 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. 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 an online form during the annual registration period with the required information. 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 is the orientation week for new students organised in autumn 2021?

Orientation activities 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 are updated during August.

Please note that due to the coronavirus situation, the orientation activities are organised partly remotely. You find more precise information about the programme and final schedule of your faculty’s orientation activities in the Orientation and Tutoring page. Please make sure to select your own degree programme from the drop-down menu.

The effect of coronavirus on studies and teaching

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

As planned, teaching and examinations in the autumn will be implemented as a combination of on-site and remote arrangements. However, exceptions can be made at the discretion of the relevant response centre.

You can find all the latest information related to studies, teaching arrangements and other study-related topics during the exceptional situation on this page: The effect of coronavirus on your studies – Q&A. For example, there you can find answers to the following questions:

  • What are the guidelines for teaching in the autumn of 2021?
  • How will I know how my courses are organised in the autumn semester?
  • How will I know how my courses are organised in the spring of 2022?
  • How will teaching be organised in the autumn semester (hybrid, remote, contact instruction)?
  • How many students will study online and how many on-site in the autumn?
  • Are some groups (e.g. first/second-year students) prioritised in contact instruction?
  • Can changes to the arrangements still be made at short notice, for example, if the epidemic situation worsens?
  • Can attendance in teaching be mandatory?
  • Where can I get information on cancelled teaching or changes to methods of completion (e.g., from contact teaching to distance teaching)?
  • How can I act responsibly at the University facilities during contact teaching?

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 all the latest information related to studies, teaching arrangements and other study-related topics during the exceptional situation on this page: The effect of coronavirus on your studies – Q&A.

Please check the above-mentioned page regularly 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 activate my University of Helsinki IT user account?

All new degree students at the University of Helsinki need to activate their IT user account remotely according to these instructions. You can activate your account once you have registered as an attending student and your information has been entered into the student register (you will be informed of this via email).

If you have a Finnish e-banking account or an electronic user ID and reader, use this service to activate your IT account.

If you do not have a Finnish e-banking account or electronic user ID, please take the following actions:

  1. Fill out the IT username application form (PDF) online and sign it. Send a picture of your signed application by email to the IT Helpdesk using the subject line: “Degree student video identification: Firstname Lastname”
  2. You will receive an e-mail from the IT helpdesk with information on how to book an appointment. After receiving the email, fill in your details in the booking system. Please note that it can take up to a couple of weeks before you receive the reply.
  3. For the actual online appointment, you need to have your official ID (e.g. passport) at hand and make sure you are in a well-lit space with a stable and safe internet connection preferably in a private surrounding.

Please activate your IT user account already before your studies start. You will need it to be able to sign in to the University of Helsinki platforms. More instructions for activating and using your account can be found on the Helsinki University IT Center's freshman page.

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?

The 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? 

FINENTRY service provides travellers arriving in Finland with information and instructions on coronavirus testing and self-quarantine.

Can I get a Covid-19 vaccination in Helsinki? 

In Finland, Covid-19 vaccinations are organised by the municipalities. You can find information about the Covid-19 vaccinations in Helsinki on the website of the City of Helsinki. Everyone living in Helsinki (residents of Helsinki) is vaccinated in Helsinki. Non-residents and foreigners staying in Helsinki for a long time can also be vaccinated at the Helsinki vaccination points, but otherwise vaccinations are available in your home municipality. If you live or will move to another municipality than Helsinki, check the information on the website of the municipality in question.


Read more about the coronavirus situation