Information regarding the coronavirus

Here, staff members will find information concerning the university's work regarding covid-19 and coronavirus. This page is updated regularly.

Frequently asked questions

General information

When should I stay home from work?

All those with symptoms of respiratory infection, even if mild, are to stay at home. No exceptions!

If you only have mild symptoms and feel able to work, contact your manager and discuss if it is possible for you to work from home.

If you are ill and cannot work, please contact the Sercive centre and your immediate manager: sjukanmalan@miun.se or call +46(0)10-142 80 00, option 4.

According to the Communicable Diseases Act, each individual must be attentive and take reasonable precautionary measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. In addition, individuals who know that they have a communicable disease must take the actions needed to protect others from being infected. This is the case for all communicable diseases.

Please note that you have to be free from symptoms for two days before you go back to the university. 

Will the university close or activities be cancelled?

Effective from Wednesday March 18, there will be no on-campus teaching, exams or assessments at Mid Sweden University. We will introduce online teaching for all programmes and courses  as soon as possible. We are currently working hard to solve all practical challenges in this context. Affected students and staff members will be informed regularly.

The University Library and the Service centre in the G-building at Campus Östersund and the N-building at Campus Sundsvall are open for students who need our services.

How can I avoid being infected?

All employees are urged to stay updated and to follow the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden carefully.

 

According to the Communicable Diseases Act, each individual must be careful and do everything to limit the spread as far as possible. An individual who knows or suspects that he or she has a communicable disease must take appropriate actions to protect others from being infected.  This is the case for all communicable diseases.

As from 10 March each individual with symptoms, even mild symptoms, must limit social contacts in contexts where the virus might be spread, at work and in our private lives. The aim is to redece the spread of the coronavirus.

All emplyees and students are to follow that recommendation.

Please note that you have to be free from symptoms for two days before you go back to the university. 

The university buildings are locked. Does this mean I can´t get in?

You will need your Miun card and your code to access the buildings.

How does the university deal with the risks of the coronavirus outbreak?

The central crisis management team meets every day and analyzes the situation, to be able to update decisions and take action, if needed. The Administration will also re-prioritize its activities for a period of time and will establish a working group led by the Head of security. The group will be asked to answer questions and to support the activities.

 A risk analysis has been carried out together with the safety officer and trade unions. The risk analysis will be updated weekly.

The university monitors the development closely and acts in accordance with the responsible authorities. They update their information and recommendations regularly, and it is therefore of utmost importance that both staff members and students stay updates through their websites. 

HR questions

Do I have to submit a medical certificate if I am sick for more than 7 days?

The Swedish government has temporarily removed the “karensavdrag”, the first day of unpaid sick leave, as of 11 March due to the coronavirus. For employees, this means that compensation is paid from the first day of the sick period. The procedure for reporting sick leave stays the same.

The lifting of the requirement to submit a medical certificate from day 8 of a sick period is temporary, 11 March - 31 May 2020.

 

I am at higher risk for complications from an infection. Do I need to go to work?

Employees that themselves belong to an at-risk group or live with a person in an at-risk group should, after contacting their immediate manager, as far as possible be given the opportunity to work from home, even without symptoms.

If you belong to an at-risk group,it is very important that you talk to your immediate manager to ensure that you can work without exposing yourself to an unnecessary risk. 

How are employees updated about the current situation?

The university monitors the development closely and acts in accordance with the responsible authorities.  

All employees are prompted to stay updated via the miun.se staff pages, which are updated regularly in Swedish and English.

Mid Sweden University stays in contact with students and staff members who have recently left, or are leaving, affected regions for work or studies at Mid Sweden University. In case you have questions, please turn to your immediate manager.

 

When should I sign off sick?

Employees must sign off sick and stay at home, without exception, if they experience cold or flu-like symptoms. 

Contact your employer, as the university will pay for the first 14 days of your sick leave period.

Please notify your immediate manager and remember to send an email to sjukanmalan@miun.se or call +46(0)10-142 80 00, option 4. 

Work from home

May I work from my home office?

Staff members at both Campus Sundsvall and Östersund are recommended to work remotely.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden now recommends that employers ensure that staff and visitors keep an appropriate distance and that employees work from home and avoid any unnecessary travel. As a result, employees are recommended to work from home, if possible, and in consultation with their immediate manager.

If your duties do not allow you to work remotely, you are asked to sit as far apart as possible. Key functions are asked not to sit together. If staff members who can work remotely do so, this will decrease the number of social contacts of the staff members who do need to be present on campus. The purpose of these measures is to reduce the risk of the virus spreading through social distancing.

Information for staff members who will start working remotely can be found in the FAQ for employees under ”Work environment and regulations when working remotely".

All buildings will be remain shut with the exception of house G and N where the library and service center are located. MIUN-card and code will be required to access the buildings.

Can Mid Sweden University deliver my computer to my home?

No, you must make your own arrangements to get the computer home. If you need help with this, contact your manager.

What do I need at home for it to work?

Simply connect to your home Wi-Fi network and you will have access to most services. However, some services (e.g. Ubw) require that you connect to our VPN.  You will find a guide (in Swedish) here.

Can I bring my display screens home?

Yes, as long as you bring them back once you return to the office.

What do I do if I have a desktop computer?

Contact Helpdesk and they will lend you laptop. 

Work environment and regulations when working remotely

What do I need to think about when working remotely?

The employer has the main responsibility for your work environment irrespective of location. As an employee, you also have a responsibility to contribute to a good physical and psychosocial work environment, be attentive and report any risks, incidents or accidents.

·       Maintain normal routines as far as possible even when working remotely.

·       Create a workspace at home, a place where you want work with as few distractions as possible.

·       Ensure that you sit correctly, that you have a comfortable chair, preferably with lower-back support, and a table at a suitable height.

·       Place your computer as a suitable distance. Avoid glares and reflections on the screen and poor lighting since it can increase the risk of strain and eye problems.

·       If you have separate keyboard, display screen, pointing device and/or armrest we recommend that you bring these home to your workspace.

·       Be mindful of your posture and avoid sitting with your neck and arms extended for long periods of time.

·       The height of the display screen should be arranged so that the top of the screen aligns with your eyes.

·       Remember that it is good to vary your working positions and that it is good to stand up and work if possible.

·       Remember to take breaks to move around and to have lunch as normal.

·       Maintain digital contact with your colleagues and your manager/head of department e.g. through regular phone calls and skype-fika.

More information can be found on the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s website:

https://www.av.se/en/

https://www.av.se/en/health-and-safety/mental-ill-health-stress-threats-and-violence/

https://www.av.se/en/work-environment-work-and-inspections/publications/foreskrifter/ergonomics-for-the-prevention-of-musculoskeletal-disorders-afs-20122/

Working hours

Working hours during remote working are regulated in the same way as in your regular workplace. The same regulations and working conditions apply. Any overtime must be authorised in advance by your manager/head of department. It is important that everyone takes responsibility for maintaining a good work-life balance.

Insurance

If an accident occurs while you are working from home you may be covered for workplace accidents according to the Compensation for Personal Injury Agreement*(Swedish: personskadeavtalet, PSA). This applies if there is a direct correlation between the accident and the work being done on behalf of your employer, something which will be assessed based on the circumstances in which the accident occurred.

*Compensation for Personal Injury Agreement (PSA)
You are covered by an agreement via your job. The agreement is a complement to the financial support you can recieve from e.g. The Swedish Social Insurance Agency. (In Swedish: Personskadeavtalet)

Information security

Information security must be the same as in the regular workplace and you are responsible for ensuring that information is protected and that no unauthorised parties gain access to it. Legislation and policies regarding public access to information and confidentiality also apply to remote working. 

The handling of public documents during remote working must be of the same quality and security as it would be in the regular workplace. All public documentation, incoming as well as created, must be registered and made available to the public in line with standard practice.

Availiability

You availability is the same as in your regular workplace. Your duties are the same and you participate in meetings as before, just via phone or your computer instead. Remember to maintain social contact with your colleagues through digital means instead of in person. All leave and absence (holiday, sickness, care of a sick child etc.) will be managed as before and in agreement with your immediate manager/Head of department.

Support for teachers

Who can I call if I need ad hoc teaching support?

We are introducing a new phone number for ad hoc teaching support for teachers, regardless of whether you are teaching at campus or in another location.

The number is: +46(0)10-142 84 65

Support for issues that are not ad hoc: distanssupport@miun.se

Filming lectures


We are currently offering additional support for teachers who need to film their lectures etc. Please contact distanssupport@miun.se for support.

What technical solutions and support are available to change the course format from on-campus to digital solutions?

Currently, we are working to create good conditions for the transition from campus courses to digital options. As a first step, the university may prioritize support to distance education with planned, on-campus, course units.  

To do so, we need to have a readiness in terms of the extent, to which our systems can handle such a change. A designated team focusing on digital solutions will repeatedly follow up this work. 

Support for teachers

Education

As a teacher, can I use the teaching premises?

Yes, teachers have normal access to the teaching premises, and you can use them for distance education. 

What happens if students do not follow the university rule to isolate themselves after a visit to a risk area?

The Swedish Higher Education Authority, UKÄ, answers:


Supported by the discipline regulations of the Higher Education Ordinance, the university can suspend students from studies if they do not follow the university´s code of conduct.

If needed, can we change the examination form for a specific course? Can we, for instance, change a written examination to a take-home examination, even if the course syllabus says written examination?

The Swedish Higher Education Authority, UKÄ, answers:


The course syllabus contains legally binding regulations on examinations, which must be followed by the university. However, The Agency will not criticize a university that urgently has changed the examination form due to the risk of spread, without changing the regulations first.

Can students use group rooms and open spaces on campus if they need to?

Yes, if they need to to be able to study, but it is of utmost importance that all students stay at home if they show flu-like symptoms, even if the symptoms are mild. Follow the recommendations issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden. Students need their Miun card and code to access the buildings and group rooms can be booked. 

Formats in which courses/ a course unit is offered

If we wish to offer a course or course unit in another way, such as part of a distance education that is supposed to take place on campus, and offer a digital option instead, what are we allowed to do/ what can we offer?

The format, in which a course or a course unit is offered is connected to the course instance, not to the course syllabus. As the Swedish Higher Education Authority, (Swedish: UKÄ) has decided on how they will respond to a change in the examination format, we wish to apply the same solution for changes in the distance education format. This means that the format, in which a course or course unit is offered, can be changed. One example could be that a course is offered online insted of on campus. 

To do so, we need to have a readiness in terms of the extent, to which our systems can handle such a change. A designated team focusing on digital solutions will repeatedly follow up this work. 

The course unit we wish to offer as a digital alternative demands campus presence - what are we allowed to do?

In this case, the presence can be online or on campus. The relevant part of the mandatory course unit is not the physical presence, but rather active participation in the course unit. 

Please note: There may be course units in labs, or similar, that demand physical presence. In cases where the course unit cannot be offered, it is up to the activicty to decide whether or not the examination can be postponed to the next course date, or if an extra examination date must be decided on, and when this could be done.  

Examination

The government has recommended a temporary transition from written exams to other examination formats that do not require physical presence learning. How does that affect me?

According to the decision, Mid Sweden University will deviate from the regulations and from the examination format of the course syllabi. The new decision came into force on 18 March.

It is up to each course/programme to find the right alternative examination format and to communicate it to the students. If the format is not changed because the exam will take place in the next days, it can be cancelled and instead be offered at the next planned examination sitting. 

The dialogue between Head of departments, course and programme representatives and Directors of studies, as well as documenting all changes, so that course syllabi may be officially changed afterwards, in line with UKÄ requests.  

 

 

What do course representatives have to do in order t follow the regultions when moving to online education?

It is important to carefully document the changes in the course syllabus, when changing the course format, examination format etc.

Only the syllabus content needs to be updated. 

UKÄ requires us to documents all the changes we make, but it can be done afterwards, for instance by means of a decision by the Head of department.

Is a student entitled to an extra examination sitting if he or she cannot or decides not to take an examination?

No. A student who cannot, or chooses not to, take an exam, we will offer a retake and later on an extra examination sitting. 

The decision to change the examination format does not mean individuals or smaller groups will have extra examination sittings.  

Students who are taking the examination show symptoms of cold/ flu, or have been to risk areas, but still come to the examination hall. Can we tell them off, and if yes; based on what criteria may we do do?

In this case, we may refer to the regulations the Swedish Council for Higher Education, UHR, has proposed for the SweSAT this spring. It means that the Vice-Chancellor can decide on a code of conduct that come into effect in cases like these, where we deal with an active, communicable disease.

The students taking the examination must be informed that if they are ill or have visited a risk area, they ahould not come to take the examination. In cases where they come anyway, the Board of Discipline may suspend them afterwards for doing so.  

If a student travels to campus or to a learning centre only to find out that the examination is taken digitally; do we have to pay for the travel expenses?

If we have acted carelessly, thus causing the situation, we may have to pay a reimbursement, but normally not. The carelessness is the difference in this case. If we have caused the student economic loss by taking unnecessary measurements and not informing the student of this, thus giving him or her the opportunity to adapt to the decision. Looking at the measures taken in the rest of the country and globally, we consider these losses to be minimal, and we cannot be considered to be overreacting to the threat of the coronavirus. 

VFU/internship

What happens to students currently on a placement (Swedish:VFU)/ internship where the placement/ internship is cancelled for some reason, in the current situation?

Students who currently have a placement period/ VFU/ internship should follow the instructions of their employer. In the healthcare professions, for instance, it is vital to stay at home if one has got symptoms of a cold. In the case of VFU at schools, the students should follow the school´s instructions and stay at home if the school closes. 

The department should have a plan to handle cases where VFU/ internship cannot be completed because the workplace is shut down. 


Please consider the following questions:

  • To what extent is the placement period completed, i.e. can a mark be given? If a mark can be given (pass or fail), this can be done although the period has not been completed.
  • If the placement period must be cancelled earlier due to the closing of a workplace and there are not material enough to support a mark, the placement period needs to be retaken later on. The department should have a plan to handle this and must offer a new placement period later on. 

The programmes must also be prepared to change the studies to individual study plans for students. If a student is sent home from the workplace for some reason, it should be investigated if there is an appropriate course the student could take instead, to avoid losing the student finance. These solutions may differ from one student to another. If a student must cancel a placement period, it may be an option to look into if there is an appropriate course the student could take instead, to continue receiving student finance.  

Schedule

If staff members wish to change the format from a lecture or a course unit to a digital alternative, for instance zoom, how can they change the schedule information?

Teachers can change the information in the schedule itself, as a note. They do not have to contact the scheduling staff. However, the scheduling staff members are available for support or to answer any questions the teachers may have. 

Travel

Will the university contact staff members who are currently in the risk areas?

Mid Sweden University stays in contact with students and staff members who have recently left, or are leaving, affected regions for work or studies at Mid Sweden University.

I have a planned business trip this spring to one of the risk areas, what should I consider?

Any non-necessary business trip abroad, from today and until the end of April, is to be cancelled.

Business trips in Sweden must be approved by your immediate manager, except for trips between the campuses. 

For necessary trips and business trips after April: business trips to the areas and countries the MFA advices against travelling to, or that is on the Public National Health Agency list of risk areas, will not be granted.
For business trips to other regions or countries: book the trip via our travelling agency and consider paying extra for a travel cancellation coverage.

 

I have visited one of the risk areas. Can I go to work?

Mid Sweden University acts in accordance with the information issued by the Swedish government, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, MFA, and the Public Health Agency of Sweden. This is why Mid Sweden University has decided that all planned trips to, or visits from collaboration partners/guests from affected areas/regions/countries that the MFA has advised against travelling to due to the coronavirus, or areas considered to be high risk areas by the Public Health Agency of Sweden, are to be cancelled until further notice.

Currently, the MFA advises against travel to the Hubei province and other affected mainland Chinese regions, as well as non-necessary travel to Iran and Italy and to the cities of Daegu and the province of Gyeongbuk in South Korea.

The Public Health Agency´s list of risk areas also includes the rest of South Korea, the Austrian state of Tyrol and Hong Kong, although the MFA has not advised against travelling there.

Staff members who have recently visited affected regions are recommended to work from home for a period of two weeks after having returned to Sweden. Please contact your programme representative or your Head of department/ immediate manager. Furthermore, you are asked not to attend any event.


If you suspect that you have been infected during your trip to the risk area, please call 1177.

Visits

Will the university cancel bigger events?

If you plan an event or a campus visit, you are the one who decides if the visit, or event, should take place, or if they can be replaced by digital solutions. Mid sweden University has cancelled a number of events such as our Open Days. 

Each organizational unit decides if their planned events should be cancelled or not.

Please note that gatherings of larger groups (more than 500 people), are forbidden in Sweden until further notice. 

Our Head of security, Lennart Johansson, will guide you, if needed.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has published a guide (in Swedish) to help you. You will find it here.

We have a planned visit/ expect students from a country where there are cases of coronavirus, but which is not on the MFA list of countries we should avoid travelling to. Should be have the visitors, or cancel?

All planned trips to, or visits from collaboration partners/guests from affected areas/regions/countries that the MFA has advised against travelling to due to the coronavirus, or areas considered to be high risk areas by the Public Health Agency of Sweden, are to be cancelled until further notice.

At the moment, the MFA advices against any unneccessary travel to all countries.