Updating the instructions

Xamk updates this page with current instructions concerning the coronavirus situation. The first version was published on 4 March 2020.

Last updated: 7 April 2021. 

 

Advice for staff

Xamk staff are strongly advised to work remotely. Only tasks that are absolutely necessary and cannot be done remotely may be carried out on campus, such as printing, archiving, signing documents, or tasks that require special facilities or equipment.  Whenever visiting campus facilities, avoid close contact with other people and follow these instructions.

Practical exercises, laboratory work, simulations and Paja workshop training are arranged on campus, using the required protection.

More specific instructions relating to the employment relationship are available on Staff intranet, under “Henkilöstöasiat” (Human Resources).

Lates updates, 7 April 2021

 

Epidemic situation 7 April 2021

  • Kotka and Kouvola are in the spreading stage of the epidemic.
  • Mikkeli and Savonlinna are in the acceleration stage of the epidemic.

CAMPUS-SPECIFIC SITUATIONS IN TEACHING AND SERVICES

The main doors of all campus buildings are open from 8.00 until 16.00 during the weekdays. The side doors are locked until 11 April in Mikkeli, and until 18 April on the other campuses.

Mikkeli: Remote studying until 11 April 2021

  • In line with Essote’s recommendation, Mikkeli campus continues with remote teaching arrangements until 11 April 2021. This concerns all students and all theoretical teaching. Mikkeli campus switches back to the hybrid model of teaching on Monday 12 April.
  • The course teachers will provide their students with more specific information on the remote teaching arrangements.
  • Practical exercises, laboratory work and simulations are arranged on campus, using the required protection. In the simulation instruction of blended programmes in social and health care, the group size is limited to 6 students.
  • The self-study facilities on campus will be opened on Monday 12 April.
  • The gym and band rehearsal room are closed until further notice, and group sports activities are cancelled.
  • From 11 March to 18 April: Restaurant Kasarmina serves staff and students as Xamk’s and Urpola school’s staff restaurant and take-away restaurant on weekdays from 8.30 to 14.30. Restaurant DeXi is closed. Restaurant Talli and Restaurant Stadiumi serve as take-away restaurants on weekdays from 9.00 to 15.00. See more information (in Finnish) on the restaurants at xamkravintolat.fi.
  • Other campus services, including the library and the Exam rooms for electronic examinations, are open. See the changes in the library’s opening hours and services.

Savonlinna: Remote studying until 18 April 2021

  • In line with Sosteri’s recommendation, remote teaching on Savonlinna campus continues until 18 April 2021. This concerns all students and all theoretical teaching.
  • The course teachers will provide their students with more specific information on the remote teaching arrangements.
  • Practical exercises, laboratory work and simulations are arranged on campus, using the required protection. In the simulation instruction of blended programmes in social and health care, the group size is limited to 6 students.
  • The self-study facilities are closed.
  • The sports and other recreational facilities are closed.
  • From 11 March to 18 April Restaurant Kaari serves staff and students as Xamk’s staff restaurant and take-away restaurant on weekdays from 7.45 to 14.30. See more information (in Finnish) on the restaurants at www.xamkravintolat.fi.
  • Other services, including the library and the Exam rooms for electronic examinations, are open. See the changes in the library’s opening hours and services.

Kotka and Kouvola: Remote studying until 18 April 2021

  • In line with Kymsote’s recommendation, remote teaching on Kotka and Kouvola campuses continues until 18 April 2021. This concerns all students and all theoretical teaching.
  • The course teachers will provide their students with more specific information on the remote teaching arrangements.
  • Practical exercises, laboratory work, simulations and Paja workshop training are arranged on campus, using the required protection. In the simulation instruction of blended programmes in social and health care, the group size is limited to 6 students.
  • The self-study facilities are closed.
  • Campus services, including the library and the Exam rooms for electronic examinations, are open. See the changes in the library’s opening hours and services.
  • From 11 March to 18 April, Restaurant Junnu serves staff and students as Xamk’s staff restaurant and take-away restaurant on weekdays from 7.45 to 14.30.
  • From 11 March to 18 April, Restaurant Paja serves staff and students as Xamk’s staff restaurant and take-away restaurant on weekdays from 8.30 to 14.30.
  • See more information on the restaurants at www.xamkravintolat.fi.
  • The sports facilities on Kotka campus are closed.
  • There are no sports facilities on Kouvola campus. Students and staff members use facilities managed by Kouvola City. See the website of Kouvola City for information on the opening hours.

 

RECOMMENDATION TO WEAR A MASK ON CAMPUS

Students

Xamk strongly urges all students to wear face masks, either cloth or disposable, on campus.

Xamk has purchased cloth masks (two pieces / person) for its degree and open study path students. If these are not enough for the whole day, students may collect disposable masks from the campus info or the office of Student Union Kaakko.

In simulation and laboratory instruction, Paja workshop training and other similar activities, everyone must wear a disposable mouth and nose mask provided by Xamk. The hygiene instructions issued separately must also be followed.

Staff

In accordance with the rule issued under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, staff members are required to wear a face mask on campus at all times. This rule is valid until further notice. Cloth masks (two pieces / person) have been provided to the staff members. If these are not enough for the whole day, staff members may collect disposable masks from the campus info. New employees can also collect their two cloth masks from the campus info.

A mask must be worn also when wearing a face shield, which is discretionary additional protective equipment.

When working alone in the office, wearing a mask is not compulsory. Employees who cannot wear a mask due to health reasons should contact their supervisor to make the necessary arrangements.

 

 

Xamk monitors the national and regional recommendations concerning the wearing of masks and will specify its own recommendations in more detail as necessary.

For more information on the coronavirus situation in Finland, see the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Follow these instructions on campus

  • Don’t come to campus if you are ill or have symptoms, not even to visit student health care.
  • Observe the mask recommendation.
  • Wash your hands as soon as you arrive on campus, and many times during the day.
  • Disinfect your hands, if washing them is not possible.
  • Keep a distance of 2 metres to other people at all times.
  • Cough and sneeze into a paper handkerchief or your sleeve.

Use the koronavilkku app

We strongly recommend the use of Koronavilkku app which helps tracing coronavirus exposures. You can download the app to your smart phone free of charge from an app store.

WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF CORONAVIRUS EXPOSURE OR SUSPECTED CORONAVIRUS INFECTION

If you develop coronavirus symptoms or receive a notification of coronavirus exposure from the health care authorities or the Koronavilkku app, follow the instructions given by the app or the authorities.

Leave campus immediately and take the online symptom check-up at www.omaolo.fi. You can also call the Medical Helpline 116 117 for further instructions on getting tested. If needed, get tested in publich health care.

Report the exposure and test result, if available, to Xamk in accordance with the instructions below.

Instructions for students

  • Switch to remote studying.
  • Report potential exposure by SMS to Student Wellbeing Advisor Kirsi Kämäräinen, tel. 040 709 4836, with your campus city, name and group code details. Reporting is voluntary.
  • If you get a posivite test result, also report this to the Student Wellbeing Advisor by SMS. Reporting is voluntary.

Instructions for staff

  • Notify your supervisor of potential exposure and switching to remote work. If you get a positive test result, also report this.
  • You can return to campus after 10 days from exposure at the earliest, if you don’t have any symptoms and your test result is negative.
  • Before returning, you must also have a minimum of two days without any symptoms.

Vaccinations

The hospital districts organise coronavirus vaccinations for the entire population free of charge. The vaccination of those belonging to the risks groups has begun in several hospital districts. Region-specific instructions are available on the websites of the hospital districts.

SERVICES ON CAMPUS

Effort is made to keep the libraries, Student Affairs Offices, Exam rooms, self-study facilities and Xamk’s recreational facilities (gyms, sports halls, band rehearsal room) open, observing social distancing and a high level of hygiene.

The epidemic situation and the associated official recommendations and regulations may vary between the campus cities and influence the availability of services on campus. Xamk students and staff are informed separately of any changes in these. For information on the changes, please see above.

Exam rooms for electronic examinations

If the Exam rooms are open, remember to keep a safe distance to others and follow the instructions given by the authorities and Xamk. For information on any changes, please see above. The general guidelines on the use of the Exam rooms are available on the Exam page.

Recreational facilities

If the facilities are open, remember to keep a safe distance to others and follow the instructions given by the authorities and Xamk. For information on any changes in the opening hours, please see “Campus-specific situations in teaching and services”.

Student services

Whenever possible, use online services – you can print registration certificates and transcripts of study records from Peppi. Any necessary customer contacts are organised in a safe way.

Student wellbeing services

The services of our student wellbeing advisors, special education teacher and study counselling psychologists are available for the students, primarily online in Teams, over the phone and by email. Please contact them if you feel your studies are not progressing or are experiencing problems in remote studying. See Student intranet for more information (requires login).

Library and restaurant services

There are changes in the opening hours and services of the libraries. See the changes here.

Most of Xamk’s restaurants serve from 11 March to 18 April as staff and take away restaurants. This means that they are only open to Xamk students and staff. In addition, they sell take-away meals to other customers. See the campus-specific information.

TEACHING AND EXAMS

The hybrid model of teaching continues until 30 May 2021. However, the hybrid model does not apply when the authorities make remote-teaching decisions, for example due to infections and exposures. The guidelines applicable to teaching concern not only degree studies but also open UAS, continuing education and commissioned education. 

Hybrid model in brief

  • Students who started in January 2021 or autumn 2020 study on campus (contact-teaching). An exception to this is the Degree Programme in Information Technology, which is taught remotely.
  • Theoretical instruction for continuing students is arranged remotely. Practical instruction, including simulations, laboratory work, Paja workshop exercises and similar, are organised on campus also for the continuing students. Anyone participating in these must wear a mask.

Effects of the epidemic situation on the hybrid model

The epidemic situation and the associated official recommendations and regulations may vary between the campus cities. As a result, it may not always be possible to arrange teaching in line with the hybrid model. If one of our campuses must temporarily switch to full remote studying, information of this will be provided to the students and staff members. Campus-specific information is available at the start of this page, under “Campus-specific situations in teaching and services”.

Safe theoretical instruction

  • The safety instructions of the authorities are followed in all contact teaching.
  • The primary safety precautions include keeping a 2 metre distance to other people, maintaining a high level of hand hygiene and wearing a mask.
  • Teachers employ working methods that do not require close contact with others.
  • The maximum group size in contact teaching is 50 students per room. Larger groups are divided into more than one room.
  • Xamk strongly recommends the use of face masks.
  • The course teacher decides whether it is possible to attend the contact classes using a remote connection.

Safe practical instruction

Practical teaching (practical exercises, simulations, laboratory work and Paja workshop exercises) in both full-time and blended programmes will continue to be arranged as contact teaching in groups.

In the simulation instruction of blended programmes in social and health care, the group size is limited to 6 students. The simulation exercises in this field are of a special nature, because they involve close contact with other people during nursing and treatment procedures. The group size decision was made since students in blended degree programmes do not meet each other frequently and come to contact teaching from many different locations.

A 2-metre social distance is also kept in practical instruction. Disposable mouth and nose masks provided by Xamk on the premises are used in simulation, laboratory and Paja workshop facilities, and similar.  See here for more information on how to use the masks.

Advice for risk groups

If you belong to a risk group for serious coronavirus disease (see THL’s website for the risk groups), contact your student wellbeing advisor (see Student intranet for contact information) to agree on any special arrangements. You need to present a medical certificate showing you belong to a risk group.

HYBRID MODEL TEACHING ARRANGEMENTS FOR DIFFERENT GROUPS

1. Degree students who started in autumn 2020 or in January 2021 (Bachelor’s and master’s programmes)

Students who have either started their studies in autumn 2020 or in January 2021 in degree programmes taught in Finnish or in English, attend contact teaching in accordance with the plans made for the academic year. The only exception is Information Technology, which is taught remotely.

For information on the temporary changes resulting from the coronavirus epidemic, see the section “Campus-specific situations in teaching and services”.

2. Degree students other than those who started in autumn 2020 or in January 2021 (bachelor’s or master’s programmes)

Theoretical instruction for continuing students is arranged remotely. The course teacher will provide more specific information on the remote teaching arrangements to the course participants.

If necessary for particularly compelling reasons, theoretical instruction may also be organised on campus for continuing students. This requires a decision by the Director of Education of the degree programme concerned.

Practical instruction, including simulations, laboratory work, Paja workshop exercises and similar activities, are organised on campus (contact teaching).

For information on the temporary changes resulting from the coronavirus epidemic, see the section “Campus-specific situations in teaching and services”.

3. Students attending open UAS, continuing or commissioned education

Non-degree studies starting in spring semester 2021 are implemented in accordance with the respective plan, either on campus or online. Integrated and open path studies are arranged in accordance with Xamk’s general coronavirus instructions applicable to degree programme studies.

For information on the temporary changes resulting from the coronavirus epidemic, see the section “Campus-specific situations in teaching and services”.

4. All students arriving from abroad

As recommended by THL, all degree students (both Finnish and foreign) arriving from abroad are advised to enter self-quarantine for 14 days before coming to campus or starting practical training. Incoming international degree students and those international degree students who have started their studies earlier, attend teaching sessions in accordance with Xamk’s policies and the plans of the degree programme concerned. This also applies to double degree students who have started their studies earlier. See the instructions on student exchange.

For information on the temporary changes resulting from the coronavirus epidemic, see the section “Campus-specific situations in teaching and services”.

Exams and maturity tests

Xamk applies the restrictions on gatherings, issued by the hospital districts and regional authorities, to face-to-face exams because they bring together students who would not otherwise be in contact with each other.  As a result, students participating in face-to-face exams are divided into different rooms, if necessary.

The Exam rooms are open and social distancing is observed. With respect to exams and maturity tests, students should follow their teacher’s instructions, student email, the Learn platform and Student intranet. The primary locations for completing maturity tests are the Exam rooms for electronic examinations on Xamk campuses.

During the coronavirus pandemic, students can also complete a maturity test as a supervised online exam in Teams.

Maturity test in Teams

  • Contact your teacher to agree on the test arrangements. While doing this, remember that you give your consent to the supervision of the maturity test through a video connection.
  • Make sure you have a quiet place (at home or elsewhere) and the required equipment and network connections for taking the test.
  • In carrying out remote supervision, Xamk may primarily use live image or login, activity and log information collected by the information systems. In justified cases, video and audio recordings may also be used.
  • The teacher may check your identity for the purposes of the test.
  • When participating in remote supervision, you also agree to keep your camera on. You may blur the background, if you wish.
  • You have the right to interrupt the supervision during the test, for example due to an unexpected situation, but this will result in the rejection of the test. In processing personal data, Xamk’s information security and data protection instructions are observed.
  • The teacher will give you more specific information on additional details related to the test (such as materials that may be used during it)

Self-study facilities

Wash or disinfect your hands before and after using the equipment. Wipe all equipment and accessories (computer keyboards, remote controls, and other tools) that you have used with the cleaning cloths available.

Transport

Special attention to the safety and hygiene instructions must be paid in study-related transport (such as joint transport to fieldwork teaching sessions). The students must use the mouth and nose masks provided by the teacher as instructed.

Practical training in Finland

Xamk follows the recommendations issued by the Government. According to them, practical training can be organised if it is possible for the employer, and if Xamk and the employer consider it to be safe for the student.

However, if the risk of contracting the coronavirus at the workplace is high, it is recommended that the practical training or other training period be interrupted until the risk no longer exists.

Students may request more information by sending an email to korona@xamk.fi. From this address, the message will be forwarded to the people responsible for the degree programme in question. At Xamk, the Directors of Schools issue instructions on field-specific training periods.

More information on teaching arrangements

Students should contact their group or course teacher for information on the teaching arrangements. Information is also available through Xamk’s communication channels (Student intranet, Tuudo, student email) and study platforms, such as Learn. Teachers are advised to contact their own supervisor for more information.

Students’ insurance coverage in remote studying

If the authority, municipality or educational institute has established that – resulting from the coronavirus situation – studying should take place remotely, (usually) at home, the insurance is valid when the student participates in a teaching session and/or completes the so-called in-class tasks assigned by the teacher. As a rule, assignments performed at the time indicated in the schedule are covered by the insurance.

However, the insurance is also considered valid for completing assignments at other times, provided the assignment or activity concerned is included in the remote instruction.

The insurance is not valid when the student completes homework assigned by the teacher, or during other activities regarded as leisure time. In case of an accident, the policyholder must file an accident report and confirm that the accident occurred in activities performed in accordance with the curriculum.

 

International mobility

Students

Due to the current situation and as an anticipating course of action, Xamk has suspended all international mobility until 31.12.2021. The decision concerns both incoming and outgoing student mobility (studies, internships and double degree programmes). The application round for exchange studies, internships and new double degree programmes in the autumn of 2021 has been cancelled.  

International students who have arrived at Xamk earlier can complete their study period here. This also applies to double degree students who have started their studies earlier. Similarly, Xamk students currently on student exchange abroad can also complete their exchange period.  

Summer School 2021 will be arranged online instead of contact lectures. 

Staff

International staff exchange has been cancelled until the end of 2021. This applies to both incoming and outgoing staff exchange to and from Xamk.

TRAVELLING

Xamk follows the national guidelines and recommendations on travelling. If you arrive in Finland from a country subject to travel restrictions, you are recommended to enter self-quarantine for 14 days following arrival in Finland.

Self-quarantine means that a person avoids close contact with people not living in the same household whenever possible, and stays in their home or place of accommodation. It is possible to shorten the period of self-quarantine by getting tested. More information on this is available on THL’s website.

Travelling to campus cities to work or study

Travelling to Xamk campuses for working or studying is possible also from areas that are in the spreading stage of the epidemic. All leisure time travel should be avoided whenever possible.

Work-related travel (staff)

International work-related travel of Xamk staff is suspended until further notice.  In terms of domestic travel, remote meetings are preferred. Only absolutely necessary travel is allowed, observing the travel guidelines.

Visits to Xamk by foreign lecturers and guests should not be organised until further notice.

 

 

Events

The spring graduation ceremony of 28 May 2021 will be held virtually only.

Xamk follows the recommendations concerning restrictions on gatherings issued by the competent Regional State Administrative Agencies. Xamk will not organise events in which the number of participants exceeds the limits or recommendations given by the authorities.

The following limits are currently in force:

  • Kotka: 6 persons
  • Kouvola: 6 persons
  • Mikkeli: 6 persons
  • Savonlinna: 6 persons

The restrictions concerning public events do not apply to instruction.

Events and meetings are held remotely, if possible. If you are planning an event, contact Head of Security and Safety Jussi Jokivaara.

Please also follow the official safety instructions in your freetime activities.

PREPAREDNESS AND COMMUNICATION AT XAMK

Xamk monitors the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic and updates its guidelines as necessary. The related activities and instructions are managed by the Management Team, under the leadership of Heikki Saastamoinen, CEO and President.

The development of the coronavirus epidemic is reviewed twice a week at the meetings of the Safe Return working group and Management Team. The Management Team decides on any new instructions and restrictions.

Returning to campus

Xamk wants to resume normal activities, with everyone present on campus, but only when it is safe.

General rule

Once the situation settles and it is possible for for all Xamk staff members and students to return to campus, the Management Team will convene and make the associated return decision. The students and staff members will return to campus four weeks after the decision. This four-week translation time will give staff members enough time to make the necessary teaching arrangements and timetables and help students organise their daily living and schedules.

Exceptions

When the authorities decide or recommend that the students of a Xamk campus should switch to remote studying, these instructions and the timeframe given by the authorities are observed. The switch to remote studying is effective immediately following the official decision or recommendation, and similarly, when it expires, Xamk returns to the teaching mode that was in use previously.  In this case, there is no transition time of four weeks.

Communication

Until further notice, Xamk issues information related to the coronavirus in the following ways:

  • by sending updates to supervisors on any sudden changes in the coronavirus situation by email and the Secapp application
  • by producing a news update (Staff and Student intranet, Tuudo application, staff and student email) as necessary
  • by maintaining information and advice on the website (students and staff members are directed from the intranets to this site)

An email address at korona@xamk.fi is available for Xamk staff and students. If you have a question concerning the coronavirus and Xamk’s activities, please send it to this address.  Representatives from different units process the incoming emails between 8.00 and 18.00, Monday to Friday. Effort is made to reply to the messages within 24 hours.

Please see the list below for other ways to request further information.

  • staff members: contact your own supervisor
  • students in Finland: follow Xamk news updates
  • students abroad: contact the International Services
  • remote teaching arrangements: contact your course teacher

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Media contacts

Heikki Saastamoinen, CEO and President
tel. +358 50 312 5151
heikki.saastamoinen@xamk.fi

General questions about coronavirus and Xamk

korona@xamk.fi

Xamk’s coronavirus bulletins

All Xamk bulletins on coronavirus are available on the Current issues page.