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ÅAU makes adjustments due to the coronavirus

ÅAU makes adjustments due to the coronavirus

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Åbo Akademi University has adjusted its operations in accordance with the authorities’ instructions and restrictions, and in accordance with the guidelines agreed upon with other universities.

Updated 18 September 2020, 14:10.

Åbo Akademi University continues to gradually open up its operations. Staff and students shall still follow previously made decisions regarding remote studies and work.

Teaching arrangements for period 1 and period 2

  • It is up to each and every one of us to make sure that we maintain sufficient safety distances between each other.
  • Do not come to campus if you are showing symptoms of cold or influenza.
  • We recommend employees or students belonging to any risk groups (or who have persons belonging to risk groups in their household) to study and work remotely as much as possible.
  • It is the responsibility of each individual student to inform (no medical certificate is needed) the teacher if she/he or someone in her/his close environment (for example a room-mate or a child) belongs to a risk group. In these cases, the teacher will decide on alternate forms of teaching.
  • For the faculties’ own arrangements and solutions to practical problems, please turn to your own faculty coordinator or director.
  • All teaching must be arranged allowing the teaching premises to be used at 50 per cent capacity at the most. In other words, no more than every second chair may be used. This may mean that several rooms may have to be used for courses with many participants, or that hybrid arrangements are required, with some students attending the course on site and the rest online.
  • The digi-mentors provide the teaching staff with instructions on what teachers should pay attention to when teaching remotely, and in hybrid courses. Click this link to read more information on the intranet.
  • Course registration is mandatory for all courses. The teacher must make sure that the students are registered for the course and must also approve all registrations in Peppi. Due to the circumstances, course registration is particularly important to enable infection tracing.
  • Åbo Akademi University will supply all employees and students with face masks where necessary for work or studies, in other words, in situations where sufficient safety distances cannot be kept (for example teaching in laboratories, clinics or in woodwork rooms).
  • Face masks are not distributed for normal teaching situations (in lecture halls or similar situations), where every second seat only may be used. Students are permitted to use their own face masks.
  • If they wish, teachers will be supplied with visors to wear while teaching.
  • Masks needed during necessary work trips will be provided by the employer. Masks needed for trips between home and the workplace will be paid for by the employees themselves.
  • Bottles with disinfectants are placed in the different campus buildings and there are also disinfectants available in lecture halls and other areas to clean computers and copying machines. Everyone is required to clean the machines after using them.
  • Forms of examination other than on-site exams, are strongly recommended. If an examination or language test is arranged on campus, the current hygiene and safety protocols must be followed. The e-exam rooms are available. Written exam and language tests with remote participants, which would require supervision via e.g. Zoom, are not recommended, as there is a greater risk for cheating than in on-site exams. Other forms of examination should be used, e.g. open book exams or written assignments. If distance supervised exams are arranged, the national recommendations should be followed.
  • Study counselling and tuition must be scheduled and will mainly be given remotely. Please contact your study counsellor to book an appointment. With the exception of first-year students or special courses agreed upon earlier, teachers can also teach from their office or from a teaching class on campus, if they do not have the proper equipment at home.
  • The Deans / Directors decide on the principles for staff presence on campus for each faculty.

Face masks

  • Åbo Akademi University provides masks for employees and students in cases where work or studies require masks to be used and safe distances cannot be kept. Facilities Management handles the distribution of masks.
  • If safe distances cannot be maintained in work or teaching areas, everyone present is required to use a mask. Employees and students belonging to risk groups (or whose family members belong to risk groups) are recommended to study and work remotely as much as possible.
  • If you cannot use a mask in situations where masks are required, you should leave and settle on how to manage your assignments with your superior or your teacher.
  • Education services will inform teachers on the use of masks in, for example, laboratory courses.
  • Masks needed during necessary work trips will be provided by the employer. Masks needed for trips between home and the workplace will be paid for by the employees themselves.
  • By clicking on this link you’ll find an instructional video, in Finnish, on how to properly use face masks.

When visiting campus

  • Use your own key when entering the premises, this allows for the tracking of contagion, should it occur.
  • Please make sure that the door closes behind you.
  • Wash your hands with soap.
  • Cough and sneeze in single-use disposable tissues.
  • Maintain safety distance to others.
  • We wish that students that become ill/start showing symptoms during or after a visit on campus inform their teacher tutor or departmental adviser about the matter.

Studies

  • Students’ keys were activated 8 August 2020. Students may visit campus, but distance teaching and distance learning is recommended during period 1 (31.8–23.10) and period 2 (26.10–18.12) of the autumn semester. Exceptions will be made for certain courses which require presence, such as courses with laboratory sessions or internships.
  • First-year students at Åbo Akademi University that started their university studies on campus in Turku and Vaasa will continue with a combination of on-site and distance learning during period 2.
  • All on-site teaching will be arranged in a manner that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of staff and students, in accordance with the law on contagious diseases and following the guidelines agreed upon with other universities.
  • The activity of student associations is allowed on campus, provided that the national recommendations are followed.
  • Bookable computer classes, group study rooms and lecture halls for small scale group projects will open in period 1.

Research

Research will mainly continue remotely. Work in laboratories and other shared research facilities on campus can be carried out to some extent, in accordance with the Dean’s directions.

Work

  • Åbo Akademi University employees will mainly continue working remotely.
  • The Deans, the Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning, the Chief Librarian, the Head of Administration, the Financial Director and the General Counsel decide on a safe and gradual opening of, and access to, work areas and other facilities in accordance with Rector’s decision and the principles of the Rector’s Executive Board, in consultation with Vice-rector Stefan Willför.
  • Åbo Akademi University has taken out a supplementary insurance to cover remote work for its employees.

Libraries

Travel

  • Study related travels abroad are, still from 19 September 2020 onwards, allowed with the approval of the Dean. Students are adviced to contact their teacher. The national recommendations and travel restrictions are to be followed.
  • Work related travels abroad are, still from 19 September 2020 onwards, allowed with the approval of the Dean, the Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning, the Chief Librarian, the Head of Administration, the Financial Director, the General Counsel, or the Rector of Vasa övningsskola. The national recommendations and travel restrictions are to be followed.
  • Work related travels within the country are allowed with the approval of the supervisor. Study related travels might be allowed with the approval of the Dean, students are adviced to contact their teacher.
  • Both staff and students are expected to follow the national guidelines concerning potential self quarantine before coming to campus.

Events on ÅAU’s premises

  • No external events will be arranged on campus, until further notice. Internal meetings and events are mainly arranged remotely.
  • Dissertations are arranged remotely or on campus with a limited number of invited guests. The public can follow the dissertations via video.
  • Persons not associated with ÅAU are, until further notice, not allowed to visit campus.

Exchange studies and International Master’s Programmes

  • Åbo Akademi University advises students not to go on international student exchanges during the autumn semester, and recommends that student exchanges be postponed to the spring term 2021 or later. Students who choose to complete student exchanges during the autumn semester 2020 do so at their own risk.
  • Students that have been accepted for exchange studies at Åbo Akademi University are encouraged and offered the opportunity to instead come for the spring semester 2021 or later. Students that choose to come to Turku or Vaasa will study in accordance with the study possibilities and under the circumstances that are in effect at Åbo Akademi University.
  • Persons admitted to Åbo Akademi University International Master’s Programmes will be offered teaching with a hybrid model consisting of part on-site teaching and part online for those students unable to be on campus.

Care for your health

  • If you experience symptoms or suspect you are infected, in addition to a health center, you can also contact occupational health care (010 4140 666) for advice.
  • You can make a symptom assessment using the Omaolo service at www.omaolo.fi.
  • Remember the importance of good hand hygiene and greet in other ways than by shaking hands.
  • At the same time, we want to remind you that it is everyone’s own responsibility to stay at home when we are sick to avoid unnecessary infections of various kinds.
  • Åbo Akademi University and the Finnish Council of University Rectors UniFi encourages all students and staff to start using the Koronavilkku coronavirus tracing app. Click here to read more about the application.
  • What should you do if the Koronavilkku alerts you of potential exposure?
    • Follow the app’s instructions. It is important that you monitor your condition over the following two weeks and ensure good hand, coughing and sneezing hygiene.
    • To avoid risking infecting others on campus for the next two weeks you should also study/work remotely. If during that time you test negatively for the corona virus you may return to your place of study/work if you’re not showing any other symptoms.
    • These instructions only concern the one that the Koronavilkku app has alerted. Everyone else should follow the current guidelines on this page.

It is of great importance that ÅAU staff and students follow the instructions that the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) maintains on its pages (the link leads to the English page, but the page in Finnish is updated more frequently, and is recommended if you understand the language).