Last updated: 31/03/2020 at 14:00
COVID-19, better known as coronavirus disease, is a new strain that was first discovered in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019. After that, the virus has spread to every continent in the world, including Finland.
Please refer to our FAQ page about COVID-19 if you want to know how the epidemic affects Edunation’s applicants.
Spread of the epidemic in Finland
The most realiable source of information about coronavirus in Finland can be found on The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) website. Most reported cases have been in the Helsinki Metropolitan area, but the virus has spread to all other parts of Finland as well. The Finnish government has taken serious actions to prevent corona from spreading more in the country. This shows that Finland is taking the situation very seriously. And so do we at Edunation. We are still as committed as ever to have international students experience the quality of the Finnish education system. We are doing everything to ensure that students can still apply to Finnish universities through us.
Effects on new applicants to Finnish universities
The Foreign Ministry of Finland has made a statement on 19 March 2020 to suspend the reception and processing of visas and residence permits until further notice. This will also affect the processing of residence permits of students who are supposed to start their studies in August/September 2020. Residence permit applications that were submitted before 19 March 2020 are being processed normally by Migri, if the student has visited the Embassy or VFS Centre already.
Students who have not yet applied for the residence permit or visited the Embassy or VFS Centre are advised to prepare their finances and needed documents while waiting for the closures of Embassies to end. Students can already fill out and submit the residence permit application in EnterFinland.fi online portal. Your application will be accepted for processing once you have been able to visit the Embassy or VFS Centre. We will keep all our applicants informed about the upcoming developments once there is more information about the duration of the closure of Embassies.
Applications through Edunation will continue according to the original deadlines. Our partner universities are working to find solutions, for example online study modules, to offer for students who might be delayed from their autumn 2020 studies.
Restrictions imposed by the Finnish Government
The Finnish Government has declared a state of emergency in Finland due to the coronavirus outbreak. The number of restrictions that the government is imposing is extensive – however, all the precautions are done to stop the virus from spreading more. The regulations took effect on the 18 March 2020 and will be in force at least until 13 May 2020. The restrictive measures include at least the following:
- Closures of public spaces such as schools and universities, museums, theaters, libraries, hobby facilities until 13 May 2020.
- Cancellations of gatherings and social events of more than ten people. in the spring 2020.
- Finland’s state borders are closed until further notice. This means that all international travel is stopped, with the exception of Finnish citizens and residents who are traveling back to the country. The Government is urging all Finnish citizens currently abroad to return to Finland immediately.
- Anyone arriving in Finland from overseas is ordered to home-quarantine for 14 days.
- Travel inside Finland may be restricted. So far, only travel restrictions to and from the capital region Uusimaa have been put in place.
- Restaurants, cafés and bars are closed at least until 31 May 2020.
Information to our current students in Finland and those arriving in autumn 2020
Many students might now be worried about what will happen to the progress of their studies. Although all the university facilities in Finland are closed, teaching will not end! Finland has a great distance learning system and tuition is not dependent on contact learning. Finnish universities have several online platforms that enable taking classes from home. Finland is a highly technologically developed country and both students and workers can often work from home remotely. At the moment the autumn 2020 semesters at our partner universities are planned and scheduled to be starting normally.
The Finnish healthcare system is among the most advanced in the world. Public healthcare will continue corona-testing for only those people with severe symptoms. The reason why public healthcare doesn’t test everyone is that they want to guarantee fast and effective treatment to those who have a higher risk of getting severe symptoms. People with mild symptoms, such as cough, throat pain, muscle pain, or low fever, are instructed to stay home until the symptoms go away. This way, you are helping to protect the elderly and other vulnerable people, and you can prevent the health centers from getting congested and the coronavirus from spreading. If you still want to receive treatment without severe symptoms, you can turn to private healthcare providers.
During these uncertain times, we want to remind you that Edunation is always here for you. We understand every concern and if you have anything you would like to ask or talk about, please don’t hesitate to contact the Edunation team!