Student Union announces: on the impacts of the corona epidemic to the students

The corona virus epidemic has a significant impact on the everyday activities of the University and the lives of the students.

Last update: 15.5.2020 at 13.21. 

Background

In late 2019, an epidemic caused by the new coronavirus COVID-19 began in China and it has spread worldwide. Follow the development of the epidemic and guidelines for prevention on the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s (THL) website: https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates

Frequently asked questions about coronavirus situation

1. My studies are not progressing according to my plans due to the corona situation and my credit accumulation does not meet Kela’s minimum requirements for the study progress. Do I have to return the study grant?

There is no need to return the study grant if your studies have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Kela might ask you to explain why your studies have been delayed. The student support legislation  makes it possible to take into account the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus during the maximum periods of student support and the sufficient progress of studies. The maximum period of study support can also be extended.

When you re-apply for a study grant, select “ilmoitan muusta muutoksesta tai haen lisätukea” (I’m reporting some other kind of change or applying for additional financial aid) and then ”Jatko- tai lisätukihakemus” (Application for extended or additional financial aid) in Kela’s transaction service. Please indicate that your application concerns “Tuen myöntämistä uudelleen opintojen riittämättömän edistymisen jälkeen” (New award of financial aid following insufficient academic progress). OYY’s specialist of social affairs can help you with the questions you might have regarding study grant or study progress (sopoasiantuntija@oyy.fi).

2. I didn’t get summer job and it’s not possible for me to study in the summer. Do I have to raise a student loan to get basic social assistance?

Normally, a precondition for students to receive basic social assistance is that they have drawn up an available student loan. Due to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has instructed Kela and municipalities that it is not necessary to ask students for a report on the progress of their studies or applying for a summer job. The ministry has also instructed Kela and municipalities that it is not necessary to require a student loan to be drawn up (this year) in order to receive income support. However, if you have already drawn up a student loan, it will be taken into account as income in the income support decision.  OYY’s specialist of social affairs can help you with the questions you might have regarding basic social assistance (sopoasiantuntija@oyy.fi).

3. I’m a guardian to a child who is less than a 10-year-old  and I took an unpaid leave from work because of the coronavirus situation in order to take care of my child in home. What subsidies can I get?

If you are studying, it is possible for you to get financial aid for students , which consists of a study grant and a student loan. In addition to the study grant, you will receive provider supplement. Because you stayed home from work to care for your child under the age of 10, you can apply for  temporary financial assistance from Kela. Student aid and temporary financial assistance can be paid at the same time. Note, however, that temporary financial assistance is taxable income, so it is counted as income in student income control, like your salary.

4. I want to study in the summer. Is it possible for me to get  study grant?

You can apply for  a study grant for studies in the summer. Grant can be granted for lecture courses, book exams, internships or doing a thesis. The study grant can be granted for the period for which the student has applied for it. Higher education students must remember that taking out financial aid for summer study counts against their total eligibility for financial aid, which is calculated in months. Any summer months for which a student receives financial aid are also taken into account when checking the student’s annual income and monitoring their academic progress.

5. I want to study in the summer. Where can I find studies?

In the summer, studies can be done with the help of the University of Oulu’s summer study offer, the Northern Ostrobothnia Summer University’s study offer or other universities’ open studies. The study courses of the Northern Ostrobothnia Summer University are free of charge for undergraduate students attending the University of Oulu if the study courses have been approved for the student’s HOPS. Contact your tutor to update your HOPS. To participate in the courses of the University of Oulu and the faculties, you must have registered to attend (see the University website). Open studies at other universities are free of charge until 31st of July, 2020.

6. I have not had my thesis completed as planned in the spring due to the corona situation. What do I do?

Contact your thesis supervisor: in some cases it is also possible to return the theses in the summer. If this is not possible in your degree program, our specialist of academic affairs (kopoasiantuntija@oyy.fi) can try to find out the solution together with you.. You can also return the thesis in the next academic year and apply for a support for it (see question number 1 above).

7. My teacher requires me to share my ID in remote exam. How should these things really go?

In the beginning of the exceptional circumstances and distance teaching and studying, the University of Oulu published guidelines of student identity verification in distance learning. You can log in to Patio with your student ID. These guidelines say that “In services where a student uses his or her username, it can be assumed that the student is who he or she claims to be.” Discuss this with the course teacher first. You can refer to these instructions in the discussion. If the situation is not resolved by discussing it with the course teacher, you can contact OYY’s specialist of academic affairs (kopoasiantuntija@oyy.fi).

8. The course I took feels really hard. Has the teacher given us too many assignments?

The University of Oulu has defined that the average reading speed of a student is about 10 pages / h, in which case, for example, 100 pages is 10 h of student work. In addition, the average writing speed is 0.5-1 pages of edited text / h, in which case, for example, 5-10 hours of student work must be calculated for a 5-page essay. 1 cr = 27 hours of student work. You can ask the teacher to give you a workload calculation.


More frequently asked questions on Kela’s website.

 

Impact on the day-to-day life of the students

The corona virus epidemic has a significant impact on the everyday activities of the University and the lives of the students. The decisions of the Government of Finland allow the University of Oulu to ease corona restrictions. The latest and accurate information can be found here

On 16 March 2020, the Government decided on additional measures to address the coronavirus outbreak in Finland. The aim of the measures is to protect the population and to safeguard the functioning of society and the economy. The measures will be in force until 13 April 2020. The Government has announced, in cooperation with the President of the Republic, that there is a state of emergency in the country as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The University of Oulu will switch entirely to distance learning and close its campuses from students, in accordance with the guidelines from the Government of Finland. Closure of premises takes effect on Wednesday, March 18, and will last until April 13. If students have equipment, material or other property on University premises, they must fetch it on Tuesday, March 17. The students will be informed about the distance learning courses as soon as the arrangements progress.

On the 12th of March  the University already denied the access to the university facilities if one has any symptoms of flu. People with any kind of symptoms are not allowed to attend lectures or any teaching situations, including exams. In addition the University has informed that the possibilities to study remotely will be increased.

The best way to protect yourself and everyone around you from any kind of respiratory infection is to practice good hand hygiene.

Follow the updates of University’s guidelines for corona virus here.

Electronic Exam rooms

Electronic Exam rooms have been opened partially 14th of May 2020. You don’t need a 24/7-campus card to complete the exam. Contact the course teacher about getting to the exam. If you don’t want to complete the exam in Exam room, contact the course teacher about alternative ways of completing a course

Library

From Wednesday, March 25 onwards University of Oulu students may get necessary books from the library during the exceptional situation on certain conditions. The collecting of books must be agreed on by email. More detailed instructions for University of Oulu students will be announced in the library news in Tuudo.

Pegasus library and Kontinkangas campus library will be opened the 1st of June with limited open hours and services. You can loan and return books during the open hours. The collections in the closed stacks and the storage room for reading are not available. The libraries are closed between the 29th of June and the 2nd of August, 2020. Read more here.

Remote desktops for students

ICT Services of the University have brought into use new remote servers which make possible for students and researchers to use the university’s licensed software remotely without payment. Read more here.

Exchange students

On the 16th of March the Government of Finlandhas advised Finnish travelers to return to Finland immediately. According to the decision made by the University of Oulu 12th of March, the students in exchange are recommended to return to Finland regardless of the exchange destination country. The University of Oulu will reimburse the necessary travel expenses which are not covered by travel insurance or scholarship.

Good hand hygiene must be ensured on the return journey. Those returning from the exchange must stay at home and distance learn 14 days after returning.  The University recommends that students do not leave for student exchange during the spring semester 2020.

For more information about international mobility services contact international.office@oulu.fi.

Study grant

The regulations regarding the financial aid for students allow the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus to be taken into account in the maximum time limits for student aid and sufficient progress in studies. If it has not been possible to study, the student may continue to have the study allowance, even if the amount of the studies has not been sufficient. It is possible to extend the maximum period of study grant. Kela will announce other student aid effects separately.

Services of the Student Union

The office of the Student Union is closed for now. However, specialists at the Student Union are working as usual, only the work is done remotely. If you have problems concerning studying, living, personal finance or other student life related questions, you can contact the specialists by sending an email to help@oyy.fi. Contact information for the specialists is available here.

Future events of the student union are cancelled or they will be conducted remotely. Follow student union’s social media accounts for more information.

Guild Rooms

The Student Union has recommended to subject societies and guilds to close their guild rooms for the time being.

If you get sick

If you get any flu symptoms or if you suspect you have coronavirus follow the instructions of City of Oulu. You should stay home if you have mild symptoms.

More information on the FSHS website.

The situation regarding the Faculty of Medicine

The University of Oulu informed the 12th of March about 17 students having an infection of the coronavirus. According to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine everyone who has possibly been exposed to the virus has been mapped out together with PPSHP (the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital district). All those (word those added on the 13.3. at 15.30) who on March 9 attended same lectures with students who have got the infection, as well as other exposed persons, are in quarantine according to the instructions of an infectious disease doctor. The University and PPSHP will track the situation closely. If new infection cases appear, they will be handled according to the instructions of PPSHP. 

Why all this?

The reason of all this is to slow down the epidemic so that the resources of the health care system would be sufficient to help those who need medical assistance, and that we need to protect those who are in greater risk because of their age or condition. If you want to meet your elderly loved ones, consider calling them instead of visiting them.

Is your question left unanswered?

The situation has brought up many questions, and unfortunately we don’t have answers to all of them for the time being. The Student Union concentrates all its resources to handle the consequences of the corona epidemic. We will answer the questions when we have the answers. Our goal is to promote the fluency of studying and day-to-day life of students also in this situation.

If you need any guidance, please contact the Specialist of the Student Union via help@oyy.fi. You can find the contact information of the staff of the Student Union here.

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