Aalto University

Questions and answers on coronavirus

On this page you can find questions and answers about coronavirus.

Check latest information on coronavirus: https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/information-on-coronavirus

See bottom of the page to for links to various general instructions.

General questions

Are campus restaurants open?

Information on opening hours can be found here: https://www.aalto.fi/en/campus/campus-restaurants-and-cafes

I don't have a key to access working spaces. What do I do?
To secure the functions specifically necessary for the university (such as IT support, facility security) during the period between 25 March and 13 April 2020, only designated members of staff and faculty can work on campus.

If you have specific need to visit the campus facilities between 25 March and 13 April, please send a notification to [email protected] by 16.00 one weekday prior to your intended visit. You should include your name, visit time and place, the reason for your visit and whether you are visiting the campus from outside the Uusimaa region (city/community) in the email. You will then receive a visiting time confirmation by 18.00. Please note between 25 March and 13 April that access to Aalto University facilities will be only from main doors and lobbies of the buildings. Detailed instructions on visiting the campus facilities can be found at: https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/internal-instructions-related-to-coronavirus.

I’m organising an event on campus, do I need to cancel it? 
Visitors will not be received to Aalto University for the time being. This means that no meetings or events will not be organised before 31.5.2020. Cancel all meetings and events with visitors attending from outside Aalto University.  Aalto University pauses all contact teaching from 17 March to 13 April.  

Should internal work meetings be cancelled as well? 
Arrange all possible events or meetings as remote meetings, or postpone or cancel them. 

What if I am ordered to a quarantine in Finland? 
For personnel: 
Immediately inform the supervisor of the situation and its estimated duration. Remote working is agreed upon with the supervisor if this is possible. 

Submit your medical certificate to HR within 14 days and report your absence on Workdays. 

KELA can pay allowance for the period during which the employee is required to be absent from work due to quarantine. Aalto pays the salary for the quarantine period and receives the corresponding allowance from Kela. 

If during quarantine you need to receive discussion support on occupational health, it can be arranged as a remote support. Contact Terveystalo’s Mielen Chat or book a call from your occupational health nurse. 

What happens if I am ordered to a quarantine during my holiday abroad? 
For personnel: 
Immediately inform the supervisor of the situation and its estimated duration. Unless otherwise agreed, employees quarantined on holiday leave will be absent. If circumstances permit, working remotely may be agreed upon with the supervisor. Holiday arrangements can also be made. 

What if my family is quarantined? 
For personnel: 
Immediately inform the supervisor of the situation and its estimated duration. Agree on possible work absence (request absence at Workdays), remote working and holiday arrangements. KELA may pay an allowance to a guardian of a child under 16 years of age if the child is ordered to be at home to prevent the spread of the communicable disease and the carer will suffer a loss of earnings. Aalto pays the salary for the quarantine period and receives the corresponding allowance from Kela. 

What do I do if I get sick and need sick leave?
If you have mild symptoms, stay at home. Only if you have serious symptoms, contact occupational health care.

If you suspect you’ve contracted the coronavirus, the Terveystalo website (https://www.terveystalo.com/en) 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.

If the employee's illness lasts up to 7 days (5 working days), the employee may be on sick leave during this period by notifying his / her supervisor, medical certificate is not needed. If the duration is longer than 7 days, occupational health care should be consulted and medical certificate is needed. Please remember to report the absence in Workday.

This guidance applies to all sick leaves. The guidelines are initially valid from 13 March to 19 April 2020.

What do I do if my child gets sick and I have to take care of him/her at home?
An employee with a child under the age of 10 will, as a rule, inform his / her superior of the child's illness and of his / her absence to care for the child. The first four days of a child's sickness is considered as paid leave provided that employment with Aalto has lasted more than one month. Medical certificate is not needed. If the illness continues, the parent may, at his or her discretion, carry out telework or, if telework is not possible, continue absenteeism. In that case the absence is unpaid. Please remember to report absences in Workday.

I am expecting mail to Aalto University. What should I do?
Between 25 March and 13 April, all mail arriving at Aalto University will be received in the mailroom at Otakaari 1. The recipient will be informed by email of incoming mail from authorities. If you’re expecting urgent and critical mail to arrive, send the sender’s name, as well as the name and building of the recipient to [email protected] Upon receiving an arrival notification from the Registry, send an email to [email protected] according to the facility visit instructions to arrange a time for your mail pick-up.

Questions related to visitors

We have ordered maintenance for equipment for our unit. What do we do?
Alternatives to meetings with physical contact or where the guest visits university spaces should be sought first. Instead, meetings should be held online as often as this is possible. If this is not possible, cancelling or rescheduling the meeting should be considered. 

If the maintenance work in campus spaces are critical for the continuation of university operations, it is important to ensure that the right measures are taken to minimise the risks. Please, send a notification (name, maintenance time, place and the reason for the visit, are the visitors coming from outside the Uusimaa region) by email by 16.00 one weekday prior to the intended visit to [email protected].

We are having an important research partner visiting us urgently? Is he/she allowed to visit?
Alternatives to meetings with physical contact or where the guest visits university spaces should be sought first. Instead, meetings should be held online as often as this is possible. If this is not possible, cancelling or rescheduling the meeting should be considered.

Can I visit a colleague at Helsinki University?
Use virtual meetings or cancel/postpone all visits.

If meetings in campus spaces are critical for the continuation of university operations, it is important to ensure that the right measures are taken to minimise the risks. 

I am expecting research instruments as packages. What do I do?
There are lobby services available in various buildings. Door are locked, but there is telephone numbers available at doors and on https://www.aalto.fi/fi/palvelut/aulapalvelut. Incoming shipments are left in the lobby of the building and gloves are used to receive them, with a pencil set off and a sufficient distance between the sender and the importer. 

Questions related entrance examinations

Questions and answers about the coronavirus and how it affects the student admission of Aalto University:
Coronavirus, effects on student admission in Aalto UniversityAre the entrance examinations arranged normally?
Universities strive to arrange the exams as planned. Coronavirus situation development and government guidelines are followed nationally and information is updated as needed. 

Joint application period for programmes in Finnish and Swedish is 18.3-1.4. It is now important for the applicant to apply for the programmes according to their wishes. Applicants are primarily asked to contact university learing services in all issues related to student selection and applications.

Information can also be found here: https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto

How about pre-assignments for School of Arts, Design and Architecture, how are they returned?
Contrary to previous announcements, the pre-assignments of all applicants will be returned electronically. There are more instructions on this page (in Finnish) https://www.aalto.fi/fi/opiskelu-aallossa/taiteiden-alan-ennakkotehtavat-2020

Questions related to remote work

See general instructions for remote working /teleworking:

IT instructions: https://www.aalto.fi/en/it-help

Secure processing of personal data: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/general-instructions-for-secure-processing-of-personal-data

Telework instructions: 
https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/guidelines-for-teleworking-during-the-corona-epidemic

Can I borrow equipment for remote working?
Instructions for this procedure can be found in this page https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/internal-instructions-related-to-coronavirus.

Do we have enough IT support available for remote working and studies? 
IT Services has been preparing for increased support needs. IT support will be delivered mainly online (online instructions, email requests, phone, chat). Opening hours of IT service points on campus will be limited. IT support channels might be very busy - please be patient. We also strongly encourage to check online instructions available before contacting the service desk. Especially phone support should be primary used for teaching and critical activities’ support. Updated information on IT support and services hours will be available on https://www.aalto.fi/en/it-help 

If you need onsite IT support between 25 March and 13 April (e.g. pick-up of a replacement device, certain software updates or AV support), send a notification to [email protected] and according to the visiting instructions to agree on a time for your visit. If you require other IT support, please contact the IT Service Desk [email protected]

Do IT systems (e.g. video services) have enough capacity for remote working and studies? 
IT Services has been preparing for increased capacity needs for Aalto staff and students. Our network and part of our IT services are maintained by Aalto whereas part of the services are bought from 3rd party service providers. We will monitor actively system performance and discuss with the service providers. It’s likely that large scale remote working will cause some issues, e.g. slowness of services, especially in general national and global services. We ask for patience and flexibility. In case we find severe issues through our continuous monitoring, we will advise users on alternative solutions at: https://www.aalto.fi/en/it-help

Are there any technical instructions regarding remote working?
While using VPN connection, please avoid unnecessary use of social media (such as YouTube, Facebook). 
These services need a lot of capacity and this means slower work for other Aalto community members. More info: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/remote-connection-to-aaltos-network-vpn

Do I have to work from home?
As a general rule we work at home currently.

I have basic illnesses and it is not possible for me to work remotely. Can I stay home?
Please contact your supervisor.

Can I use my vacation days in this situation?
In principle, this is possible, provided an absence is possible from your tasks’ perspective. Pls discuss your own situation with your supervisor.  

Questions related to studies

How are exams arranged? 
See info from this page.

Can I use Adobe software at home now that I cannot come to campus? 
Aalto IT is arranging the access - more info and instructions available on 19.3. according to the latest information. Check IT Help page and Into for more info.

Is there some remote support available for wellbeing?
Yes, there is, please check this page.

Can I do group work at campus? 
Unfortunately this is not possible, since all premises are closed to students. Remote group work is recommended in this situation. 

Can I see lectures done with Zoom afterwards? 
Yes, if the lecturer has recorded it. 

Do student service points operate normally?  
University’s facilities are not available for students after 17 March 20.00 until 13 April. Summary info including students’ financial aid, services and facilities is available in Into.  

For the time being, student service points (Starting Point! Applicant Services, Open University, schools, Harald Herlin Learning Center and Starting Point of Wellbeing) are moving to an operational model where no face-to-face customer service is provided, but service happens via telephone or service addresses. Service providers other than Aalto University follow their own procedures. In addition, special situations, such as returning of pre-tasks related to entrance examinations, will be specifically instructed.

The first part of the exchange grant has been paid to me. I haven’t been able to travel. Do I need to return the grant? 
You don’t have to return it. You can cover with it those costs that you already have. The second payment will not be paid though. 

I started in the exchange university but had to cancel. The university does not offer remote studies. What do I do? 
You can enrol to Aalto University courses. The learning services staff helps with the process if needed. Even if you study at Aalto, you can keep the grants already paid to you. 

What if I am not able to finalise my courses that I have started as an exchange student?
If you are not to complete remotely the course you have started, we will most of all seek a solution to validate the acquired knowledge here in Aalto to include the course as part of your degree.

I am an exchange student at Aalto. Now my own uni requests me to return. Does Aalto offer possibilities to complete the unfinished courses remotely?
Aalto University pauses all contact teaching from 17 March to 13 April. Follow MyCourses and Into for updates.

I left the exchange to wait for the situation to calm down. Will this trip also be replaced? 
The travel allowance is paid to Finland (or, in the case of an international degree student, to the home country). We wanted to meet the student's travel expenses that come with having to return earlier than planned, taking into account the instructions given by the authorities. 

Is there a specific guidance for conducting on-premise admissions interviews at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture? 
Information on examinations and entrance examinations will be provided in the near future. 

I am at student exchange abroad. What should I do?
Return home at your earliest opportunity. If needed, Aalto University supports financially your travel from your university town to Helsinki, or alternatively, to your home country. 

I am an Aalto University student and I live abroad. I have bought a flight to Finland to attend a lecture in Otaniemi next week. Should I cancel my trip?
Aalto University pauses all contact teaching from 17 March to 13 April. Follow MyCourses and Into for updates.

I am liable to tuition fees, what happens if the measures taken to contain the outbreak delay my graduation or impact my studies?
Students liable to tuition fee at Aalto can apply for the Additional Semester Scholarship in case their graduation will be delayed by measures taken by the university to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

If granted, the scholarship covers 100% of the tuition fee for one additional semester following the normative duration of the programme.

Any evident, direct impact of the coronavirus measures will be taken into consideration when assessing the effect on scholarships, awards or processes relating to tuition fees. A due process and fair outcome are ensured at all times. 

Students liable to tuition fees may also need help in mapping a number of other issues resulting from any significant  delay to their graduation, such as residence permit extensions, financial matters and specific awards or assessments.

The university is committed to providing relevant help and support throughout this exceptional situation. If you have a specific question relating to tuition fees or individual circumstance impacting your tuition fees or scholarship, please write to: [email protected]

Read also info from Into

Questions related to traveling

I am an employee and returning from a trip abroad. My work task does not allow remote work? What do I do? 
Discuss with your supervisor and agree what to do case by case.

What happens to my salary if I am ordered to a quarantine in another country when on a business trip? 
Aalto pays the salary for the duration of the quarantine and gets an allowance from KELA for that.  Aalto also pays the daily allowances. This time is considered working time and therefore an employee who does not have corona symptoms is expected to work remotely to the extent possible. 

How long will the travel ban be in force? 
The travel ban is in force for the moment. The situation is subject to ongoing assessment. We are monitoring any updates to the guidelines set by the authorities. 

Can I cancel my vacation if my trip is cancelled due to coronavirus?  Can I save my vacation days so that they would still be valid? 
Primarily you should take holiday as you have planned and agreed on. If necessary, please discuss with your supervisor. However, should you decide to cancel the holiday period together, please note that the corresponding holiday should be taken within the normal statute of limitations. Your vacation will not, therefore, be transferred to carried-over holiday (save holiday) due to the cancellation of your leisure trip.

If a person is on an international assignment, should he or she leave the area? 
Return home at your earliest opportunity. Please contact the HR Manager of your school and your supervisor to make arrangements based on your situation. Those returning from trips abroad have to work remotely during 14 days.  As of the week 12, employees are, as a general rule, expected to work from home. 

How does Aalto act as an employer if, for example, a traveler gets two weeks extra hotel and flight expenses due to a possible quarantine situation? 
Aalto will cover the costs of the changed travel arrangements. 

I would have a conference trip to a non-epidemic in March, but due to the coronavirus, the departure makes me doubt. 
All Aalto University personnel and students' trips are to be cancelled. Those returning from trips abroad have to work and study remotely for 14 days.

Does Aalto travel insurance cover the costs of my cancelled business trip?
On certain conditions, yes. If Insurance Company updates their instructions on claims related to cancelled business trips frequently. Always check the current instructions at:
https://www.if.fi/yritysasiakkaat/ota-yhteytta/ajankohtaista/corona-english
 
On 20.3.2020 If Insurance Company’s instructions were as follows:
'If will compensate for the cancellation of trips for our business insurance customers, on trips from Finland to abroad ..., when the trip starts between 13th March and 13th April 2020. The trip must have been booked no later than the 12th of March 2020 and must be canceled between the 13th and 26th of March 2020. Travel insurance only covers what is not covered by the tour operator, airline, travel agent, hotel or service provider. You will be asked to check the cancellation policies of these entities and to seek reimbursement from them before submitting a claims application for If.'

Conference I was going to was cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak. I booked my flights with HRG. How do I proceed with flight cancellation and my expense claim in M2?

  1. Cancel your travel bookings by contacting HRG: +358 9 4245 2228 (Mon-Fri 8-17) and other travel bookings directly with the service provider.
  2. If your flight ticket is non-refundable, cancel the flight closer to the departure date. If the airline cancels the flight altogether before the departure date, they also refund the ticket price.
  3. HRG claims refund directly from the service provider. If nothing else, normally the tax part of the price is refunded.
  4. Wait until the refund is visible in your M2 purchases.
  5. If only part of your travel ticket price is refunded, check if the remaining cost is covered by Aalto University’s travel insurance. Please refer to If Insurance Company’s current compensation rules at https://www.if.fi/yritysasiakkaat/ota-yhteytta/ajankohtaista/koronavirus#english
  6. Send an insurance claim for the remaining costs to If Insurance Company. Instructions and link to the claim portal: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/travel-insurance  
  7. Make a cost claim in M2. Write a note in the claim description field that the trip was cancelled and that you have submitted the insurance claim if it has been necessary. Allocate both the original purchases and the refunds, and attach travel program/schedule and receipts (HRG credit card note) to your claim. Instructions for making the claim: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/m2-blue-travel-claims-expense-claims-m2-mobile-and-travel-plans
  8. Contact Travel team [email protected] if you need advice or help.

My work trip was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. I had booked my flight tickets directly with the airline and already paid for them. How do I proceed with the cancellation and where can I get compensation for the flight I had paid for?

  1. Cancel your flight booking by contacting the airline directly. If your flight ticket is non-refundable, cancel the flight closer to the departure date. If the airline cancels the flight before your departure date, they also refund the ticket price.
  2. First claim for refund from the airline.
  3. If only part of your ticket price is refunded, check if the remaining cost is covered by Aalto University’s travel insurance. Please refer to If Insurance Company’s up to date compensation rules at https://www.if.fi/yritysasiakkaat/ota-yhteytta/ajankohtaista/koronavirus#english
  4. Send an insurance claim for the remaining costs to If Insurance Company. Instructions and link to the claim portal: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/travel-insurance  
  5. The insurance claim payment for costs paid by you will be made to your bank account.
  6. Make a cost claim in M2 after you have received insurance company’s compensation notification. Write a note in the M2 cost claim description field that the trip was cancelled and you have claimed for refund from the airline and If Insurance Company. Allocate both the original purchase and the refunds to the claim. Attach to your cost claim:
    - receipts
    - travel program/schedule
    - the insurance company’s notification of the compensation decision.
  7. Instructions for making the M2 cost claim: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/m2-blue-travel-claims-expense-claims-m2-mobile-and-travel-plans
  8. Contact Travel team [email protected], if you need advice or help.

Book loans from Harald Herlin Learning Centre

I have borrowed books from the Learning Centre and I can't renew them. Will there be late fees?
Possible fees during the period March 17 - April 13 are not charged. However, their occurrence cannot be prevented. For these payments, contact the Learning Centre customer service at [email protected]

I have made a reservation for a book and I got a notification that it is ready for pickup. When can I come to get it?
Books may be reserved through the AaltoFinna database. When the book is ready to be picked up, customer service will call you to arrange a time. The pick-up point for books is located next to the main entrance of the Learning Centre, Otaniementie 9.
 
The due date for my book loan is during 17.3.-13.4. What can I do?
When you renew your loan at AaltoFinna, its due date is postponed to a date after the exceptional situation. If renewing the loan is not possible, contact the customer service at [email protected] Any late fees incurred during the exceptional period will not be charged. You can also return the book to the Learning Centre from the return door located next to the Otaniementie side door (next to the café).

Information on coronavirus

Information on the effects of coronavirus on activities at Aalto University (updated 27.3.).

Lue lisää
Laboratoriossa käytössä oleva koeputkiteline.

News regarding coronavirus on aalto.fi

Ei tehdä korona-ajasta suorittamisen olympialaisia, kuvituskuvassa kolme ihmistä kävelee syksyisessä kaislikossa
University Published:

Let’s not turn the corona crisis into the Solo Performance Olympics

‘In this exceptional situation, we should be kind to ourselves and to each other,’ says Assistant Professor Jukka Luoma.
Miten koronavirus leviää
Press releases Published:

Finnish researchers join forces to investigate the airborne transmission of coronavirus

The project includes fluid dynamics physicists, virologists and biomedical engineering specialists. The researchers are using a supercomputer to carry out 3D modelling and believe that the first results will be obtained in the next few weeks.
Image of an empty lecture hall
Studies, University Published:

Aalto Thesis update on coronavirus

Read here how coronavirus affects Aalto Thesis.
Laboratoriotarvike.
University Published:

Mailbox for corona-related questions opened

You can send emails concerning Aalto University and the coronavirus to [email protected]
  • Published:
  • Updated:
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