The coronavirus pandemic forced universities of applied sciences to rapidly shift from classroom to distance learning. The South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences has unwaveringly faced the challenge, and presently 93% of the scheduled courses, starting from 18 March 2020, are being carried out by means of distance tuition.
In all, 1,369 of the total of 1,468 scheduled courses are currently being completed by means of distance learning. The remaining 99 courses, equaling 7% of the total, have been re-scheduled for the autumn semester 2020.
– Our staff have done a good job in making this shift to distance tuition. We haven’t had to cancel a single course scheduled for this academic year. The shift has been particularly smooth with language and engineering studies whereas the situation in the fields of culture and arts and social and health care has been more challenging since the culture and art studies involve a great deal of workshop practice, and many of the studies in the sphere of social and health care entail practical training in groups. Because of this, the graduation of approximately 20 students will be postponed until later, says Heikki Saastamoinen, the CEO and President of Xamk.
In the Open University of Applied Sciences, most of the courses are designed to be instructed and completed by means of distance learning. If in-class lessons are included, they have been re-scheduled for the autumn semester or replaced by online tuition.
In Xamk, distance learning has been part of the modus operandi for a few years already, and teachers and students have a good deal of experience in it. The teachers have been provided with suitable tools as well as appropriate training and support, for example, by digi mentors and help desk teams specialised in distance learning. During the coronavirus pandemic, also the students’ wellbeing is supported by means of online resources.
Today, Xamk offers tuition in 63 bachelor’s degree and 28 master’s degree programmes on four campuses in the cities of Kotka, Kouvola, Mikkeli and Savonlinna with a total number of approximately 10,000 students completing their studies in Finland or abroad.
South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
Heikki Saastamoinen, CEO and President
050 312 5151, heikki.saastamoinen @ xamk.fi