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UEF offers free studies for coronavirus unemployed

Published : 06 May 2020, 19:26

  DF-Xinhua Report

Photo Source : University of Eastern Finland by Heiskanen Varpu.

University of Eastern Finland (UEF) offers free university studies for people who were laid off due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the university said in a press release on Wednesday.

The COVID-19 crisis has been causing many kinds of changes in everyday life in Finland, particularly, many Finns have lost their jobs. According to Statistic Finland, in March, the number of unemployed was 197,000 -- 6,000 more than one year earlier.

To help jobless people develop their competence and new skills while coping with changes in their daily lives, UEF has offered its open university studies to them free of charge.

"The studies are genuinely open to everyone. There are neither age restrictions nor basic education requirements," said Tapio Maatta, academic rector of the UEF. The only requirement for the entrance is unemployment.

The application for the free studies should be made between May 4 and Dec. 31. The benefit includes the teaching organized by the open university itself, but does not cover those provided by partner institutes, said UEF.

"Contact teaching has now been transferred to the internet, so even when exceptional circumstances continue and contact teaching is not provided, studies are well available," said Leena Leskinen, director of education at the open university of UEF.

For mapping study opportunities and choosing subjects, students can get help from study counselors and subject planners at UEF.

Open university studies are part of a university degree in Finland. Many fields of study also have a so-called open pathway, which means that after a certain amount of studies, a student can apply to become a degree student without an entrance examination.

In addition, open university studies also offer an excellent opportunity to expand and deepen the skills needed in working life. An unemployed job-seeker can, under certain conditions, study part-time or even full-time without losing his or her unemployment benefit.

UEF has two main campuses in Joensuu and Kuopio, both in eastern Finland. It was formed in 2010 by a merger of two previously independent universities.