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Updated information – Teaching and studying to continue primarily remotely until end of summer

15
May

Dear member of the Aalto community,

The coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions put in force to control it in mid-March required significant changes in operations also at universities. At Aalto, the transition to remote work and studying has gone smoothly, despite it being implemented on a tight schedule. Our community has managed the enormous workload caused by this change very well. Thank you for your collaboration and responsible action in this situation.

On Monday 4 May, the Finnish government revealed its strategy for managing the coronavirus crisis and gradually lifting the restrictive measures. With the Finnish government’s gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions, so too is Aalto gradually reopening Otaniemi campus. From a university viewpoint, the most significant decisions were the recommendations to continue remote work until the end of the summer and remote studying until the end of the spring term. Additionally, the Finnish government decided to ease the restrictions on gatherings by raising the maximum number of people from 10 to 50 persons as of 1 June. The government’s recommendations still remind people to keep sufficient physical distance as well as protect themselves appropriately, while also highlighting the importance of tracing those who may be infected. The epidemic is not over. Experts have presented different scenarios of its progress, and universities too, have to prepare to take action accordingly.

In light of the government’s recent recommendations, Aalto University has updated its policy on working and studying on campus. The new policies enter into force on Thursday 14 May, more information from https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/information-on-coronavirus (if the link doesn’t work, you can copy the URL and paste it into your web browser). The policies may be revised if the pandemic situation or official recommendations by the authorities change.

Remote work and working on campus

In line with the government’s new recommendations, the Aalto University staff will continue to work primarily from home over the spring and summer. Buildings will also remain closed for the time being. We will re-examine the remote working policy by 31 July.

The premises leased by the University to outside parties can be used for working. Tenants have access to the buildings with access cards, and we request that only the main doors of the buildings or the company’s own entrance are used for passage to the premises.

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. We recommend working remotely if working on campus is not strictly necessary.

Hosting guests

As previously recommended, no guests are to be received on campus; instead, meetings and appointments should be organised to take place online when possible.

It is allowed to invite guests through the company’s own entrance or through common areas (A Grid, A Bloc, Vuorimiehentie 2, Rakentajanaukio 4), but the organiser shall arrange the reception of the guests themselves.

If the tenant’s premises are accessed through the university premises and it is necessary to meet on campus, we ask that the person in charge of the visit send a notification of the host, date, place and number attending to access@aalto.fi by 16.00 of day preceding the visit. The email sender will get a notification once the message has been received.

Campus services 

While most campus services are continuing remotely, some on-campus services are being gradually reintroduced. Postal deliveries continue in their current form.

‘A key task at this point is to see that the university has what is needed to restart operations under the exceptional situation. At the same time, we must look forward: how we can help society to emerge the stronger for having undergone this crisis, and how to build a more sustainable future. We will get through this period successfully by working together and supporting each other’, says President Ilkka Niemelä.

Ville Jokela
Managing Director, Aalto University Campus & Real Estate

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, as well as other key Aalto staff when necessary. 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 utilises the situational assessments of the Finnish authorities and experts.