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Student information about education regarding Corona

[Updated 2020-06-04] This information briefing to Karolinska Institutet’s students is updated continually as reports come in on the spread of the virus.

  • New New recommendations from July 2
  • New Reception activities for new students
  • New Student exchange
  • New Studies during the summer at some programmes

KI's common goal for all education programmes is to follow the recommendations that the universities have received by the government, and thus contribute to the societal mission not to spread infection. KI's goal is also that we, with the help of KI's students, will help meet the health care needs with capable personnel. It is also important to create the opportunity for our students to graduate at the planned time.

New recommendations from July 2

Foreign students welcome to Sweden this fall; New government decision exempts foreign students from entry restrictions
On 17 March, the Government decided to temporarily ban non-essential travel to Sweden from all countries except EU Member States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The entry ban was introduced  to mitigate the effects of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and reduce the outbreak of COVID-19 and has been extended several times.

On 2 July the Government decided to extend the entry ban until 31 August 2020. At the same time, the Government decided to ease the restrictions for more travelers. Certain nationals and people with essential need or function in Sweden will be exempted from the entry restriction. This includes for example people who travel for the purpose of studying. Please visit the Government website for detailed information.

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Swedish universities to inform our foreign students that some Swedish foreign missions/Embassies may be closed due to the pandemic. They intend to open as soon as the situation permits, and will do their best to allow the students to get their residence permit in time for the start of the semester, but unfortunately cannot guarantee that this will always be possible.

Earlier recommendations from June 15:

On May 29, the Public Health Agency announced new recommendations for higher education:

“Knowledge of covid-19 is constantly evolving. In view of the epidemiology and the current state of knowledge, the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) judges that the recommendation on distance education can be removed on June 15. Education providers can thus return to ordinary activities.

Based on the students' age, the situation at, for example, universities, higher vocational education (yrkeshögskolor), folk high schools (folkhögskolor) and various forms of adult education can be considered to correspond to a workplace. For these forms of education one can from now on refer to the regulations, general advice and recommendations that apply to the rest of society.

The appropriate way to follow the prevailing general advice in each case is up to the principal.

One option is that the education providers continue to teach distance education whenever possible, for example for theoretical parts, but resume teaching on site in the premises for practical parts." (The Public Health Agency of Sweden).

In light of the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, KI will gradually open up for teaching in KI's premises.

We will make the best of the situation under these extraordinary circumstances. Keep up-to-date with all the information.

The university management is monitoring developments on a daily basis via the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The health, wellbeing and safety of KI’s staff and students are our highest priority.

The university management has raised its preparedness level further and is working proactively. This information briefing to students is updated continually as reports come in. It is vital that you keep yourselves informed, as the situation can change suddenly.

We understand that students are worried about the situation and concerned about family and friends. We urge everyone to observe the following recommendations and to support each other wherever possible.

Reception activities for new students

With current general recommendations, the introduction kick-off (introduktionsinternat) is not deemed feasible. Reception activities for newly admitted students must be adapted to the recommendations and coordinated between the programs on each campus to avoid the risk of infection. KI centrally plans to conduct a digital welcome day for the new students. There will also be staffed information desks, both on the Solna campus and the Flemingsberg campus, which the new students can turn to with their questions.

Student exchange

With regards to incoming students, the situation for on-site training (VFU) is considered to be difficult during the autumn term. The Stockholm Region has turned to all universities with a recommendation and appeal to "during the autumn term 2020 refrain from receiving international students for VFU within the region's health care". Because of this, all exchange studies for incoming students on clinical courses and clinical rotations during the fall term are cancelled. For other courses and parts, the department with responsivity for the respective program / the program committee decides on the possibility of offering spaces to incoming students.

KI advises against the travel of outgoing students who have been nominated by KI and admitted to a foreign university for their studies abroad for as long as the travel restrictions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Public Health Agency of Sweden remain. If the situation gets worse, KI may decide to immediately withdraw the decision for approved leave for studies (studieuppehåll) for these international studies, based on compelling security reasons.

In case a course has a placement abroad (eller en international placement), this should not be completed during the Autumn semester 2020.

KI has gathered information for regarding exchange studies and studies abroad, related to the corona virus. NOTE the information is for spring 2020.

KI's international students

Who is the first contact for the international students?

  • Exchange students on site in Stockholm – contact the international coordinator
  • Other international students – contact the study counsellors / programme

International students attending full programmes (not exchange students)

Students who are considering going home or who are asked to return home can of course do so, but consider this information:

  • Nobody knows how long remote teaching/learning will continue. There may be rapid changes that cannot be foreseen now. It cannot be guaranteed that the student will be able to take part in all teaching and various examinations.
     
  • If the student returns home, there is a risk that it will be hard to return to Sweden and KI due to closed national borders, travel bans and issues with residence permits. The Swedish Migration Board has information  about what is currently applicable.
     
  • If the student returns home and cannot take part in teaching / examinations, students have the right to take part in it at a later date, provided that there are course places available. Ordinary rules apply when it comes to resumption of studies.
     
  • Questions about scholarships should be answered by your scholarship organization.
     
  • Questions about tuition fees: please contact the responsible officer at Karolinska Institutet.
     
  • The student should stay informed about what applies to insurance when traveling home.
     
  • The internet connections needed for participating in distance education may have different functionalities in different countries.

Exchange students from abroad who are at KI

  • Same rules as for regular students
  • The students who go home have the right to take part in teaching / examination etc. The same risks as for other international students (see above)

KI Housing

KI Housing has gathered information about the corona virus for KI Housing tenants.

Studies during the summer at some programmes

In order for students to continue their education, Karolinska Institutet has decided to make it possible to, during the summer, provide courses and activities that due to the prevailing pandemic could not be completed during the spring term.

The syllabus applies

The default is that everything stated in the syllabus, e.g. existing examination forms and learning objectives, applies as usual. However, how the syllabus and courses are implemented in practice may need to be modified if resources are needed elsewhere. For example, it may be necessary to give fewer lectures so that the teacher has time to work on doing more exams or otherwise adapt teaching and examinations to the new current situation.

Should the examiner assess there is a need, and possibility, to change the examination form, the examiner will make a specific decision on this.

What can teachers do?

The course syllabus should be followed as closely as possible. However, in the event of changes in examination forms, etc., content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected skills, knowledge and abilities may not be changed, removed or reduced.

Information for students

KI’s central administration will inform students regarding what applies to the implementation of the courses, about hygiene routines etc. The departments will provide information about what applies specifically to each course.

Examinations

To the greatest extent possible, ordinary examinations should be carried out digitally and remotely instead. If the course cannot be adapted for digital or remote examination, the examination may be cancelled and students will be referred to the re-examination occasion. Compulsory scheduled practical components/proficiency training or practical examinations that are impossible to administer via distance but necessary for the achievement of the course objectives can be carried out, if special care is taken in order to minimize the risk of infection, individually or in very small groups. If the above criteria are met, the activities may be carried out at KI's premises.

Find more information on digital examination in the document information to students regarding written digital examination via distance.

On-site training (VFU) and internships

Students who are currently doing an internship or are in on-site training (VFU) should follow the instructions they receive from their respective employers. When working in health care, for example, it is important to stay at home if you have symptoms of a cold or flu.

The Department should be prepared to handle cases where the internship or on-site training (VFU) cannot be carried out due to workplace closure. In all cases, the learning objectives must be met and the examiner decides whether the entire period needs to be repeated or only the remaining time in order to complete the internship or on-site training (VFU).

If a student is sent home from the workplace for any reason, it should be evaluated if there is a suitable course that he/she can attend instead, so the student does not lose his/her study funding.

On-site training in elderly care services

Department of Social Care has received the question regarding how the activities in elderly care services should involve students who will do their on-site training/VFU in the spring.

Students have the same rules of conduct as all employees in elderly care. They should follow basic hygiene practices and stay at home if they have the slightest symptoms of respiratory infection or fever. Knowledge of the spread of infection and basic hygiene practices is included in the curriculum and is, of course, even more relevant at the moment.

The students are future employees and it is important that they are allowed to perform their internship in the care of the elderly. As long as the Public Health Institute does not advise otherwise, it is the city's assessment that the on-site activities will continue to receive students even when there is coronavirus in the community.

The University Library

This page gather current information about the library services during the outbreak of the Corona virus.

Insurance

Information from Kammarkollegiet regarding insurance.

Distance learning

KI has gathered useful links, tips and inspiration for distance learning.

FAQ

I belong to a risk group I am worried about being at VFU

You have to decide for yourself if you can currently practice. If you need to carry out the VFU at another time, contact the student counsellor or VFU coordinator.

I am doing my VFU and feel like I might have a cold, but it's all right I think. What should I do?

Get in touch with your supervisor. If you attend but you are sick, you can be sent home and in worst case there may be a decision to suspend the VFU due to a risk of patient safety and/or risk for patients' faith in the healthcare system to be demolished. It will then become a used examination and as a rule the number of examinations for the VFU is limited to two. If you are told to stay at home, the examiner will then decide on the possibility of supplementing or implementing the VFU later. You do not use an examination during the latter conditions.

What should I do if I suspect that I have been infected with covid-19 during my VFU?

Submit a report in the KI incident reporting system and contact your course coordinator for more information.

If you want to talk to someone about your concerns, contact the Student Health Centre.

I am/will be an exchange student and I am worried, what should I do?

KI has gathered information for those who carry out exchange studies abroad until June 2020, related to the corona virus.

Can I get extra help or support from the student health centre?

If you’re worried you can turn to the student health centre for support. The centre is not, however, offering tests or taking any other medical action related to Covid-19.