Universities are preparing to open campuses in the autumn – “Increasing the sense of community is extremely important”

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Planning of teaching arrangements for autumn 2021 is under way. Contact teaching will be increased, and especially for those in the early stages of their studies, opportunities for studying on the campus will be offered.

In the autumn, universities aim to open contact teaching to the extent possible, considering the prevailing coronavirus situation and official instructions. In particular, contact teaching will be offered to first-year and second-year students who have not experienced the campus life due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

– Universities will begin teaching the autumn semester with a hybrid model and are prepared to adjust their policies, if the coronavirus situation or official regulations so require, says Tanja Risikko, Executive Director at Universities Finland Unifi.

The aim is to organise, for example, laboratory courses, artistic teaching, and other studies requiring attendance, on the campuses, while lectures for larger groups of students will mainly remain remote in the autumn.

– In campus teaching, universities follow strict security arrangements. This means, for example, limiting the number of people in the premises, adhering to physical distances, and using masks, explains Risikko.

Focus on strengthening well-being

When planning the autumn, special attention is paid to supporting the well-being of students and staff. Universities will launch new projects focusing on well-being, offer services that support coping, and utilise practices developed during the Covid-19 period in remote teaching.

According to the surveys, the exceptional period has caused polarisation: While some students are well suited for remote learning, it may cause fatigue for others.

– Increasing the sense of community is extremely important from the perspective of both students and university staff. The aim is, that as the pandemic situation eases, the campuses can be gradually opened, and more face-to-face encounters are provided in daily life.

Each university will provide more detailed information on its autumn plans in its own channels.

Further information:

Tanja Risikko
Executive Director
Universities Finland UNIFI
Tel. +358 40 1952 037

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