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Laurea’s corona instructions: Contact teaching on campuses to be increased with emphasis on safety

In August 2021, we will start the new academic year by providing degree students in regular daytime implementation with more face-to-face instruction on the campuses. The teaching of blended learning groups is carried out primarily as distance learning with the exception of the orientation periods. All Master’s degree studies are carried out as distance learning for the time being.

(Instructions updated on 9 August 2021: instructions for teaching, services and travel renewed, remote work recommendation continued) 

The instructions will be updated in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations issued by the authorities to ensure the safety of both students and employees and the continuity of Laurea’s operations. 

Teaching arrangements

As the pandemic situation in Finland continues to be difficult, special caution must be exercised in the organisation of teaching. To ensure the safety of all operations, teaching will, for the time being, be organised as follows: 

  • The teaching of daytime students starting in 2021 (spring and autumn) will be organised on campus as face-to-face instruction. 
  • Face-to-face instruction for daytime students who have started in 2020 or earlier will be increased in a staggered manner for each degree programme and campus, allowing all groups to participate in face-to-face instruction in their turn while ensuring the safety of all those involved. The main focus of contact teaching will be on the teaching of core competences. The development managers and education planners in charge of the degree programme shall work with the teachers on enforcing the staggered implementation to ensure that the pedagogical needs of the study units are considered.
  • As a rule, the teaching of blended learning students will be organised as distance learning except for the orientation periods of the students starting their studies in the autumn semester of 2021 which will be held on campus as indicated earlier.
  • The teaching of all Master's degree students is organised as distance learning, including the orientation periods.
  • The study groups will arrive at the campus in a staggered manner, so that the number of persons residing in the lobby areas at any given time can be restricted. The lunch breaks will be staggered whenever possible, and an effort will be made to leave plenty of space between seats in the restaurant facilities.
  • The study progress and competence development of students who are placed in quarantine or are absent for health reasons will be ensured through pedagogical solutions, such as independent learning assignments to compensate for the absences.
  • All necessary contact teaching, such as compulsory workshops related to studies, is organised on the campuses. Necessary contact teaching means instruction that cannot be implemented remotely because of a need to learn manual skills, for example.
  • For the time being, no exams are organised at the campuses, except for the national examinations of nurses.
  • In all campus activities we emphasise safety, strive to keep sufficient distances, maintain good hygiene and limit the number of people in the facilities as described above. Moreover, facial masks shall be worn on the campuses. 

Space reservations must be updated in the Peppi system. If a study unit is moved from contact teaching to distance learning, information on the change must be updated in the system. This allows for the monitoring of the number of people on campus. Guidance and advice is available every Wednesday at 8:00 on Teams . 

At the moment, no public events or private functions are organised on Laurea campuses. Events related to business operations and RDI are assessed separately with consideration for the risks involved.

Services on the campuses

The use of any and all Laurea campus services requires social distancing, minimising contacts, ensuring good hand hygiene and wearing facial masks in accordance with the provided instructions.  

  • Laurea’s libraries will be opened in mid-August for a limited number of customers at a time. Please check the service hours of the libraries and any exceptions. No more than half of the normal customer capacity may be admitted to the library facilities at any given time. 
  • Laurea’s Student Affairs Offices and ServiceDesk are open online and on campus. We recommend that you use the services online or book an appointment to minimise the number of office visitors on campus and ensure the availability of the services.
  • Restaurant services will be opened during week 33 at the latest, with the exception of the Porvoo campus which does not currently have restaurant services available. 

Travel abroad by students   

Student exchange periods abroad are currently assessed and organised on a case-by-case basis. Laurea’s international services will be in contact with the students involved. All students must also consider the risks related to private travel abroad. Such travel may result in a quarantine period included in the health and safety measures laid out by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) or some other consequences that prevent the student from entering the campus areas. With questions related to travel, students may contact corona@laurea.fi. 

Remote work and registering your workplace  

As encouraged by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland, Laurea complies with the recommendation on remote work. Laurea’s staff members whose work can be carried out remotely shall make arrangements on remote work with their supervisor. Staff meetings and other internal meetings will be organised remotely.  

In the everyday life of a higher education institution it is possible that there will be need to co-operate with the health care services to examine cases of suspected exposure. For this reason, all Laurea employees working on campus are asked to keep a record of their workplace and the exact room on a daily basis. This data will facilitate and expedite the tracking of possible exposures. 

Staff members in high-risk groups  

Staff members who belong to high-risk groups must contact their supervisor to set up procedures for carrying out their work. The employees shall request a certificate from Aava to verify that they belong to a high-risk group, which they shall then submit to human resources. As a rule, the goal is to allow all staff members who are at higher risk to continue working remotely. 

Travel abroad by staff members  

Laurea aims to enable travel related to RDI or business tasks when it is deemed necessary. For the time being, each trip is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, involving a risk assessment and consideration for the travel recommendations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The risk assessment is the joint responsibility of the supervisor, employee and the head of safety and security / development manager.    

Anyone planning a trip shall check that the local authorities in the destination country allow travelling from Finland. Any employee planning a trip must also be prepared for sudden changes in the situation, which may prevent the trip from taking place. Moreover, the employee shall also check before departure that travelling to the destination is safe and possible.  

When returning to Finland, all Laurea employees travelling abroad on business shall be prepared to comply with THL’s health and safety measures depending on the country from where they arrive.  

Laurea encourages all staff members to carefully consider the possible undesirable consequences of free-time travel to high-risk areas abroad, such as exposing other members of the work community to the coronavirus. Furthermore, the employees may upon their return be required to complete a quarantine period recommended by THL, for which the employer cannot be held accountable. In such a situation, the quarantine does not necessarily serve as a direct justification for a remote work period for the employee if the work tasks do not support this claim. As a result, the employee may be required to take annual leave, flexi leave or unpaid leave for the duration of the quarantine period. Employees shall always settle such matters with their supervisor.  

In matters related to travel safety, Laurea employees can contact corona@laurea.fi.  

Common instructions for maintaining safety  

The two prerequisites for safe working on campus are responsible co-operation and compliance with the common instructions:  

  • Do not enter a campus unless you are completely healthy. Anyone experiencing any symptoms must immediately get tested for the coronavirus in accordance with the instructions provided by their local health care services. If you are experiencing symptoms or suspect exposure, you can fill out an assessment of your health status on the  omaolo.fi website. 
  • Wear a face mask while on campus. Persons who are unable to wear a face mask for health-related reasons shall use a personal reusable protective visor. You can pick up a mask/visor from Lobby Services. The use of own masks/visors is also possible. 
  • Laurea provides students with masks every day. These masks are either surgical mouth and nose masks or FFP2 masks. The use of textile masks alone is not recommended. The availability of FFP2-level masks will be increased on the campuses.
  • Maintain good hand and coughing hygiene. Everyone must immediately wash and sanitise their hands when entering campus facilities or moving from a space or classroom to another, and otherwise as necessary. 
  • Maintain sufficient distances on the campuses.
  • In addition to enhanced cleaning, disinfection wipes are available for wiping down shared surfaces.
  • We recommend everyone to download the Koronavilkku app on their mobile phone.
  • We encourage all employees and students to get the recommended vaccines as soon as possible.
  • Students can book campus facilities in the reservation system for their own work or for working in small groups while complying with the safety instructions. When a space is reserved for working in a small group, the names of all participants must be stated in the reservation. This will speed up the tracking of potential exposure chains.  

Read more on how to protect yourself from corona virus