Coronavirus instructions and recommendations at the LAB University of Applied Sciences

We are continuously monitoring the outbreak situation and will update our coronavirus instructions when necessary. We aim for studies and work to continue as normally as possible while doing our part to slow down the spread of the coronavirus in accordance with government guidelines.

 

Q&A on teaching arrangements 

Updated 7 April 2020 at 10.00, replaces the corresponding content earlier published in this article.
Q&A will be updated whenever necessary 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? 
Updated 1 April 2020.
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. 

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. 
 
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.

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? Updated 7.4. at 10:00
LUT and LAB students and staff members are currently banned from travelling abroad for work or studies. We also recommend avoiding work and study related travel within Finland. Travel restrictions for students are valid until 13.5.

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. 
 

Updated 30 March 2020 at 16:30

Graduation ceremonies in the spring and summer

No graduation ceremonies will be held in May and June.

Neither LUT nor LAB will arrange graduation ceremonies in the spring semester. Students graduating this spring and summer will receive their degree certificates by mail.

 

Update 17 March 2020 at 14:25

Contact teaching will be interrupted until 13 April 

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 13 March 2020 | Instructions 

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, e-mailed to you, and released by government authorities.

We are monitoring the situation actively and will update our coronavirus instructions daily. Our aim is for studies and work to continue as normally as possible while doing our part to slow down the spread of the coronavirus in accordance with government guidelines. 

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.