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Universities organise entrance examinations with strict safety arrangements

The majority of entrance examinations will be held in May–June. Changes to the manner of administering the examinations are made onlyif required by regulations issued by the authorities.
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Photo: Aalto University / Valeria Azovskaya.

Finnish universities have jointly agreed (news article, 27 January 2021) that the spring and summer entrance examinations in 2021 will be held as physical events on campuses and other supervised premises. The plan has been drawn up taking into account the prevailing pandemic situation and the necessary safety arrangements.

If the authorities issue regulations related to the coronavirus situation during the spring that affect the organisation of entrance examinations, the applicants will be informed directly.

'We have estimated that conducting physical entrance examinations is the best way to ensure the fairness of student admissions in these circumstances. We have prepared carefully for the process and are confident that the entrance examinations can be carried out with thoroughly considered safety arrangements. However, this requires everyone to act responsibly and attend the examinations only in good health and in accordance with the safety instructions,' says Petri Suomala, who chairs the Universities Finland Unifi’s meetings for vice-presidents for education.

Safety instructions for applicants

When participating in entrance examinations, applicants must comply with current regulations issued by the authorities as well as safety instructions jointly prepared by the universities for all applicants. The instructions include advice on travel to the examinations and practices at the examination sites. The instructions are published on the universities’ websites and the joint application procedure websites. Universities will also provide applicants with more specific guidelines for individual examinations. It is therefore important for applicants to check the inbox of the e-mail address they provided in the Studyinfo service and check the universities’ and joint application procedure websites.

'By carefully reviewing both the entrance examination instructions and the general coronavirus guidelines by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)  in advance, applicants will ensure that the examination situation goes smoothly and the risk of infection can be minimised,' says Suomala.

The universities recommend that applicants avoid close contact for two weeks before and during their participation in the entrance examinations. Safety distances of two meters must be observed on arrival at the examination sites and during the examination. Universities require participants to wear masks during the entrance examinations.

Applicants who have been placed in official quarantine or isolation by the health authorities cannot participate in entrance examinations. The position of the universities is that those in self-imposed quarantine should not take part in entrance examinations either. According to the Communicable Diseases Act (1227/2016), there may be consequences for violating quarantine or isolation rules. There will be no further entrance examinations in spring 2021 for those in self-imposed or official quarantine or isolation.

Careful safety arrangements aim to ensure that all applicants can take their entrance examinations as safely as possible. Therefore, individual arrangements for protection against coronavirus cannot be offered separately to those in at-risk groups.

Answers to applicants' questions are available

The universities are compiling answers to the most common questions about entrance examinations. The article is published on the Unifi website, as well as on the universities’ and joint application procedure websites and will be updated during the spring.

For additional questions, applicants are instructed to contact the universities’ admission services. Aalto University's admissions email: [email protected]

The joint safety instructions for entrance examinations compiled by Finnish universities are published on the Unifi website, as well as on the universities’ and joint application procedure websites.

The second application round in the joint application procedure for Finnish- and Swedish-language higher education begins on 17 March and ends on 31 March.

'At Aalto University, entrance examinations in the fields of business and economics and technology and engineering will be organised in Otaniemi with strict safety arrangements. In the field of art and design, however, most of the entrance examinations will be conducted online. Applicants will receive further instructions through Opintopolku’, says Eija Zitting, Head of Learning Services at Aalto University.

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Media inquiries:
Petri Suomala
Chair of the meetings for vice-presidents for education
Universities Finland UNIFI
tel. +358 40 591 8044

Eija Zitting
Head of Learning Services
Aalto University
[email protected], puh. 050 364 7778

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