Autumn term in Finland started in mid-August, as education providers at local level have set the starting day for basic education to fall between 11.8.–18.8.2020. Schools start in contact teaching, but are ready to switch to distance learning if the epidemiological situation requires.
Always contact the healthcare authorities by phone if you suspect an infection. The best way to get up-to-date information is to follow the health authority's website (link to Finnish institute for health and welfare below).
Prevention is crucial
During an epidemic it is essential to focus on preventing infections and the spreading of the virus. It is therefore vital to make sure that the instructions issued by the health authorities are followed also in education and early childhood education and care, and the instructions are discussed with staff, children and youth. This way we can slow down the spread of the epidemic and protect the vulnerable parts of the population.
Organising schoolwork in exceptional circumstances
Due to the corona outbreak, schools are operating with exceptional arrangements, with special attention being paid to ensuring good hygiene, avoiding unnecessary close contacts, and arranging teaching premises more spaciously than usual.
EDUFI advises and produces support material for education and training providers in Finland on how to organize teaching under the exceptional arrangements.
The Finnish National Agency for Education has opened an email address info [at] oph.fi for advice on the coronavirus and education services. The service is meant for education providers, schools and organisations taking part in international programmes, and it operates during office hours (8.00-16.00). In questions related to health, contact healthcare professionals and visit the website of the Finnish institute for health and welfare.
National certificates of language proficiency
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, no National Certificate of Language Proficiency (YKI) tests were organised in spring 2020. Tests have since been organised in late August and early October. It currently appears that, as a rule, YKI tests can go ahead in autumn 2020 depending on the regional situation (competence to make decisions on regional guidelines rests with the regional state administrative authorities).
Impact on international programmes
The epidemic affects international mobilities and projects as public services, schools and higher education institutions in many countries have been closed because of the epidemic. Many countries have also limited travelling to or from abroad.
Mobilities in the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes can be interrupted, carried out with another collaborative partner, postponed to a later date or cancelled in all countries and regions, also outside the epidemic area.
If you are participating in an international mobility programme financed with a grant, you can contact the Internationalisation services for higher education studies unit (contact addresses are provided below) in case you have any questions about how to deal with issues arising from the coronavirus with regard to your grant.
Erasmus+ and International Solidarity Corps give advise at the following addresses:
Erasmus+ for adult education: erasmus.aikuiskoulutus [at] oph.fi
Erasmus+ for general education: erasmus.yleissivistava [at] oph.fi
Erasmus+ for higher education: erasmus.korkeakoulutus [at] oph.fi
Erasmus+ for vocational education: erasmus.ammatillinen [at] oph.fi
Erasmus Sport: Sport [at] oph.fi
Erasmus+ Youth in Action: nuoriso [at] oph.fi
European Solidarity Corps: nuoriso [at] oph.fi
For other programmes and grants you can ask for advise at the following addresses:
- Creative Europe: kulttuuri [at] oph.fi
- Europe for Citizens: kansalaisteneurooppa [at] oph.fi
- Nordplus: kenneth.lundin [at] oph.fi, kristiina.savikurki [at] oph.fi
- HEI ICI programme: hei.ici [at] oph.fi
- EDUFI traineeship: kv-hakulomake [at] oph.fi
- EDUFI Fellowship, EDUFI Winter School and The Finnish Government Scholarship Pool: paivi.jokinen [at] oph.fi
- Public official exchange: ritva.ukkonen [at] oph.fi
- Finnish language and culture studies: skk [at] oph.fi
Events organized by the Finnish National Agency for Education
In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Finnish National Agency for Education will for the time being arrange all events online. If this is not possible due to the nature of the event, planned events may be cancelled or postponed.
Effect on international studies at Finnish universities
The coronavirus situation may also affect international students who have applied or are already studying in Finnish universities. More inormation is provided in the Study in Finland and Studyinfo web services (links below).