Covid-19 has changed our lives in many ways during the past few months. In the field of education and research, it has forced us to search for alternative ways to work under these exceptional circumstances. In this blog, we will give a brief update on how the new semester will be starting at LUT University.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, both of the LUT University campuses (Lahti and Lappeenranta) will open with special arrangements this autumn. This means, for example, that only 50% of the seats available in campus facilities may be occupied and all of the students and staff members have been instructed to use an electronic access control key when entering the campus. The main priority for our university is to ensure safe working conditions for everyone while keeping our campuses open and functioning for as long as possible.
The coursework will mostly be based on a hybrid teaching strategy. All lectures and teaching events on campus that can be streamed live or recorded will be streamed or recorded. Some of the teaching events that cannot be arranged remotely and require attendance (e.g. laboratory work) will be implemented as safely as possible. Lectures will take place in roomy classrooms where social distancing and sufficient ventilation is possible. If keeping social distance is impossible, the university will provide masks for all students and staff members. Basically, students have the freedom to decide whether they want to study online or attend classes. Exams (sit-in or virtual) will take place on campus according to normal schedules.
This autumn, first-year bachelor’s and master’s students will start their orientation on campus in smaller groups than normally. Part of the orientation programme is online to avoid large crowds of people gathering together. However, attending orientation remotely is also an option because all of the new students have not been able to arrive in Finland or have to stay at home because they have an elevated risk of getting sick. The university will do all it can under these circumstances to make sure that every new student has a chance to meet other students and integrate into LUT’s scientific community.
All in all, the new semester at LUT University will be starting in a curious and hopeful mood. LUT has always been remarkably good at making quick decisions based on the latest information, and that is a huge advantage for us. LUT’s community has prepared to change its policies rapidly, but we all hope that it won’t be necessary. At LUT University, we are more than ready to make this year a good one no matter what.