Teaching to be provided both on the campuses and online in the autumn
In the autumn, teaching in the first and second teaching periods will be organised partly on site and partly online. No sudden changes will be made to schedules and teaching forms to make it possible for all teachers and students to plan their schedules without undue stress.
University operations will be resumed in stages, and restrictions will be lifted as the coronavirus situation eases.
“We want to make sure that returning to the campuses is safe and possible for all students, including those in at-risk groups. This is why we are closely monitoring the vaccination coverage of the student age group at the University. While it unfortunately remains low for the time being, we are hoping for it to increase rapidly,” says Vice-Rector Tom Böhling.
At the moment, less than half of people aged 20 to 29 years have received two vaccines. At the same time, the incidence rate in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa has been high throughout the pandemic.
The University has agreed with the City of Helsinki to open a pop-up vaccination site at the Helsinki University Main Library in the Kaisa House on 17th September. The site is open on Friday 17.9. Monday 20.0. Tuesday 21.9. and Wednesday 22.9. from 11 a.m. to 15 p.m. The site can be visited without an appointment, which is expected to make it easier for people to get vaccinated. See also a list of similar vaccination sites elsewhere in the city.
Health and safety measures applied to teaching
The policy set by the Ministry of Education and Culture for educational institutions on sufficiently spacious teaching facilities for the avoidance of close contacts remains in force. The number of students that can be admitted to facilities relative to their normal capacity varies greatly due to, among other aspects, the furnishings of individual facilities.
“No major and sudden changes can be made to the planning of teaching. Instead, any amendments will be carefully considered. Just the booking of facilities for contact instruction, scheduling and the planning of teaching can take a great deal of time at a large university. And we don’t want to increase the teachers’ workload with extra duties in replanning their teaching, should its form change. It’s clear that sudden changes cannot be made to students’ plans either,” notes Director of Development Susanna Niinistö-Sivuranta.
Mass lectures to continue online
When the Finnish government and the Regional State Administrative Agency lift pandemic-related restrictions, the University will strive to increase contact instruction, already in the second teaching period if possible. For instance, the number of students attending contact instruction can probably be increased if restrictions are lifted and the normal occupancy of teaching facilities can again be utilised. In such circumstances, teaching planned to be provided entirely online could be organised on site, while teaching planned to be provided in hybrid form could be transferred solely to contact instruction without changing the times and dates.
However, currently planned teaching times and dates will remain valid, and lectures for large student groups will be held online as planned. Any changes to be made to the form of instruction will be updated, whenever possible, in Sisu before the relevant registration period begins. As a rule, the planning of teaching for spring 2022 is carried out according to the premise that no pandemic-related restrictions are in effect at the time, with teaching programmes to be published in late November.
In spring 2020, the University’s teachers took a substantial digital leap, as the start of the pandemic necessitated a transition to virtual teaching.
“We’ve had positive experiences of remote instruction too. Some of the teaching to be provided in the autumn has been planned in virtual form also on pedagogical grounds, and this practice will continue in the future as well,” Niinistö-Sivuranta says.