Coronavirus cases identified among exchange students – Tampere University and TAMK provide enhanced guidance and support to all exchange students
Since the turn of the year, Tampere University has welcomed some 200 exchange students and Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) a little under 70. The exchange students have arrived in Tampere under the established Erasmus+ student exchange programme.
After consulting with the public health authorities on 22 January 2021, Tampere University and TAMK have decided to suspend the arrival of international exchange students for the duration of the spring semester. This decision was made to protect the health and safety of our students and staff amidst the quickly changing scale of the pandemic. The 70 students affected by this decision have been personally contacted.
Guidance and support offered to exchange students through multiple channels
Tampere Universities were informed by the public health authorities on Wednesday 20 January that a number of coronavirus cases have been identified among our exchange students. A special response team was immediately set up to develop an overall picture and manage the situation. The team comprises the top management of the University and TAMK and specialists in safety, international mobility and communications. The special response team has been closely working together with the public authorities and student housing providers. On Friday 22 January, the team decided to contact a private provider of coronavirus testing and offer tests to all exchange students who are yet to be tested for Covid-19 under the current situation. Mass testing was carried out over the weekend. The situation seems to be calm.
All international exchange students were contacted by email on Wednesday and instructed to strictly adhere to the coronavirus instructions issued by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). We have maintained daily contact with our exchange students via email.
All exchange students were contacted by phone between Thursday and Friday to offer them support and provide detailed information about the necessary safety precautions and the instructions issued by the public authorities.
On Friday, an information session was held for all exchange students via Teams to keep them up to date with the situation. An information session has also been scheduled for Monday 25 January to remind students to act responsibly, offer support and answer any questions they may have.
We have also set up a Covid-19 hotline to support our exchange students. The hotline is open daily from 8 to 18, with twelve international mobility specialists available to answer calls. In addition, exchange students can send any questions to the dedicated email address for coronavirus queries.
The International Mobility Services of Tampere Universities will get in touch with foreign partner institutions to look into the situation of our outgoing students.