17 June 2020: Aalto is currently planning to adopt a hybrid operating model in mid-August
Although the state of emergency caused by coronavirus has now been lifted in Finland, there is still a great deal of uncertainty concerning the pandemic situation next autumn. As the pandemic being over by then does not seem likely at the moment, Aalto is currently planning to adopt a hybrid operating model in mid-August. Aalto’s operations will continue in compliance with the current corona-related instructions until 16 August.
Our goal to gradually resume work on campus as of 17 August, keeping in mind that returning to campus is only possible if we comply with the rules and regulations put in place to ensure everyone’s safety. As keeping a safe distance from others will continue to be necessary in the autumn, too, there will be fewer workstations available in the office spaces than usual.
At first, the guidelines on space use will vary depending on the type of space, because laboratories for experimental research and workshops require different practices than open-plan offices or teaching spaces. When planning campus use, priority will be given to experimental research, teaching and first-year students, as well as functions that support these target groups.
Tell us what you think
Below are some preliminary ideas for Aalto’s operating model in the autumn. We hope that all members of the university community share their ideas on enabling a safe and smooth return to campus. Please submit your ideas no later than on 3 July through this link:
Survey related to operating model in the autumn
Working on campus
Our current plan is allowing the personnel to return to the campus office spaces gradually with each person alternating between working on and off campus. A rotating system is needed, because the number of workstations will be reduced to ensure sufficient physical distance between people. In planning campus use, special consideration will be given to those at a higher risk of infection. Our goal is to introduce rotating work schedules on 17 August at the earliest and 1 September 2020 at the latest.
The campus spaces will be reviewed in a centralised manner and a preliminary plan on their use will be ready no later than 10 July. In August, the Aalto schools and service units can start planning their rotating work schedules based on the Aalto-level plan, and will be supported by HR in this task as necessary. The goal is to reduce the risk of infection and limit the number of people potentially exposed to the virus.
As a temporary precaution, the idea is to have assigned desks instead of shared ones in open-plan offices. Meetings will continue to be organised remotely (using e.g. Teams or Zoom) in order to ensure equal opportunities for everyone to participate regardless of their presence on campus. Detailed instructions on the use of all campus spaces will be issued in the beginning of August.
Teaching and studying on campus
We will begin teaching in the autumn term in accordance with the academic calendar approved earlier. As a rule, teaching will continue remotely, provided it is possible without compromising teaching quality or learning outcomes. The pandemic situation and the related nation-wide restrictions permitting, organising on-site teaching will be possible with the necessary safety measures in place. We want to pay particular attention to ensuring our new students’ integration into the university and the university community. While most of the
orientation activities for new students will be organised remotely, we will be able to organise some events on campus, provided that due safety measures are taken.
Further instructions to be issued in August
The pandemic situation may still change and the government guidelines on, for instance, travelling, are adjusted whenever necessary. The Aalto guidelines on travelling, organising events and receiving guests as well as those on student access rights and possibilities for using self-study spaces will be updated in August.
* * * * * *
These instructions given on 13.5.2020 are valid for the summer
Remote work and working on campus
Work at Aalto University will continue remotely during the spring and summer for the most part, however, facilities on campus may be used if it is particularly necessary. Schools and departments plan the implementation of experimental research locally, in accordance to the safety guidelines.
To ensure safe working in a coordinated manner, to accommodate the needs of different visitors and units as well as to avoid possible congestion, all visits to the campus should be notified to [email protected] in advance:
- Report one-day visits by 16.00 the day before the visit.
- Report 2–5 day visits by 9.00 on Friday the week before the visits.
- Your message must specify the visiting person’s name, unit, and the time and place (for example, room number) of the visit.
In the event of many people wishing to visit the same space, congestion will be reduced by giving priority to entrance examinations, experimental research and services supporting these.
Meetings should take place online only.
Everyone is responsible for seeing to their own physical distancing, and people in higher risk groups should take special precautions regarding the use of campus facilities. Measures to increase safety on campus, such as the cleaning of campus facilities, will be increased. If you have symptoms of a cold, influenza or some other infectious disease, stay at home.
Teaching, studying and public examinations
Teaching and study will continue mainly remotely during the spring and summer. It is possible to use some facilities, such as laboratories and workshops, as well as teaching spaces for limited contact-teaching, if necessary. Arrangements for the use of summer teaching spaces are proceeding. Small exams (under 50 participants) can be arranged in a way that ensures no exam room has more than 20 participants. Large examinations will be held remotely.
Teaching in the autumn will begin according to the planned schedule. Most orientation activities will be held online, but some activities can be arranged to take place on campus providing that the safety measures are in place. Teaching will be implemented remotely for the most part. However, teaching may be conducted on campus if the safety measures are observed and if allowed under the status of the pandemic and the national restrictions.
Public defenses are organised remotely, via remote access, until the end of May. From June onwards, public defences may be held remotely or on campus, if it is particularly necessary, under certain space restrictions. No more than 20 individuals may attend such on-campus events. However, allowing 20 invited guests on campus does not fulfil the criterion of a public event. Due to this principle, all public examinations must be organised also remotely, via online platforms such as Zoom, even though maximum of 20 invited guests would be invited to the campus.
The organisers of teaching, exams and public defenses are asked to notify their plans regarding the use of the campus facilities well in advance already at the planning stage [email protected]
Notification procedures for students to visit the campus are published separately on Into.
Human resource matters
Most of the emergency guidelines will remain in place throughout the summer. Holidays may be spent normally – given the circumstances – and half-day holidays remains a possibility as well. Converting holiday bonuses into paid leave is recommended, and it is possible to switch to part-time work on short notice or for a short duration. Until further notice, sick leaves of under 7 days (5 workdays) require only notifying one’s supervisor and entering it into Workday. Medical certificate is not required. Recruiting will take place by interviewing applicants remotely and visits related to academic recruitment are recommended to be relocated or, if particularly necessary, carried out remotely. Contractual employment relationships may not commence in the form of working remotely from abroad.
Travel during summer 2020
For security reasons, there shall be no work-related travel abroad and no assignments abroad may commence during the summer of 2020. Travel abroad for work is only possible for a justified reason in accordance with the travel instructions for high-risk areas. This guideline is valid for the time being. During July-August, the travel situation will be assessed for autumn 2020, taking into account the recommendations/regulations of the authorities in force at that time and the situation of the pandemic globally. See the web page https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/internal-instructions-related-to-coronavirus for more detailed instructions and a risk assessment document.
While most campus services are continuing remotely, some on-campus services are being gradually reintroduced. The Learning Centre will open on Monday, 25 May at the latest:
- Reserved books pick-up point is open on weekdays from 10am to 2pm.
- The pickup of materials expanded to include customers from outside the university.
- New library cards are being issued for lending out necessary materials.
- An area for reading theses is being set up in the lobby.
IT Service Desk is open from 9.00 to 12.00 at Väre (on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and the Undergraduate Centre (Otakaari 1, Thursdays and Fridays). Information about campus restaurants and cafés: https://www.aalto.fi/en/campus/campus-restaurants-and-cafes
More detailed internal instructions and guidelines from https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/internal-instructions-related-to-coronavirus.
If you do not find answers to your questions in material published on this webpage, you can email us at [email protected].
- If you suspect you’ve contracted the coronavirus, the Terveystalo website provides instructions for home care and treatment. Contact Terveystalo primarily through Doctor chat 24/7. You will need your online banking credentials or a mobile identification to sign in. If you don’t have these credentials, call 030 6000 and your call is directed to a doctor.
- A nationwide telephone helpline provides general information on the coronavirus, 0295 535 535. This telephone counseling does not provide health counseling or counseling for acute symptoms on call. Open from 8 am to 9 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays.
- The public health care helpline number is 116 117 (24/7).
Crisis Management Team (CMT)
The Aalto University Crisis Management Team (CMT) is responsible for Aalto University’s instructions. The CMT is led by the president. Members of the CMT include the head of security and risk management and the director of communications. The CMT is following the coronavirus situation, keeping in close contact with the authorities and formulating the measures to be taken by the university. The CMT is utilising the situational assessment of the Finnish authorities and expert opinion.
THL.fi: Coronavirus COVID-19 - latest updates
YHTS.fi: Current information concerning the coronavirusTerveystalo website
UM.fi: Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Travel advisories (in Finnish)
UM.fi Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Info on coronavirusWHO.org: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak