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Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 26 February 2021)

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What happens to new students?

Taking on university studies can be an exciting new start to a bright future. But to do so during the outbreak of COVID-19 can raise a fair few questions. This page hopes to answer some of those questions. Please rest assured that we are here to help you through these difficult times.

COVID-19 in Sweden

What are the expectations on me while staying in Sweden?

Everyone in Sweden are expected to follow the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Government to help reduce the spread of infection. Mainly, you are expected to

  • Stay at home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Maintain your distance from others and avoid crowded settings. 
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly or use hand sanitizer.

Protect yourself and others from infection (Public Health Agency of Sweden)

Thank you for your valuable help in reducing the spread of infection!

Learn more about the restrictions and guidelines applicable in Sweden

What are the current regulations at Umeå University? 

Umeå University follows the recommendation and regulations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Government regarding COVID-19.  

Umeå University urges students and staff to protect themselves and others from spread of infection by following the regulations and general advice on avoiding infection issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden. 

The University is taking precautions to follow the recommendations and prohibitions by the Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden related to COVID-19, including to abide by the social distancing rules. 

This page summaries the current guidelines at Umeå University  

If you have any questions during your studies, please consider contacting us by email or phone instead of meeting in person.

Admissions and education 

Will my studies be campus-based?

The university’s campuses are currently open but a majority of teaching takes place online to follow the guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Government and to help reduce the spread of infection.

Programmes and courses at Umeå University are still bound to the stated location, Umeå in most cases, but instruction now takes place with increased online solutions. This means that you may have lectures and compulsory course components that cannot be conducted online and for which you have to be present on campus to complete. Depending on how the pandemic develops and what guidelines the authorities give, teaching can also take place on campus again in the future. If you choose not to come to Umeå, or other location of study, and hence choose not to participate in a compulsory course component, you need to consider how this affects your opportunities for student finance, scholarships, your exchange or ability to meet the entry requirements to following courses.

For more detailed information regarding your specific courses, please contact the department of your studies.

Learn more: Continued restrictions on campus until the summer

Learn more: Education, exams and premises

Can I defer my admission?

If you are an exchange student, please see next question. 

If you have been admitted to a course or programme, but due to valid reasons are unable to take your place in the semester when the course or programme starts, you have the possibility to defer the start of the studies for a later semester.

Valid reasons include severe health problems such as recovery after an operation, care of children under the age of one, military or civic service, student union assignments or that your employer has denied or postponed your application for leave for training. Deferment can be granted for up to 18 months. 

Any hindrance caused by the COVID-19 pandemic itself, such as not being able to pay the tuition fee or not being able to travel to Umeå, is not an accepted reason for being granted a deferment.

Please note that we never grant a deferment if you have not paid the tuition fee (applies to students with citizenship in a country outside the EU/EEA, or Switzerland). 

If you want to apply for a deferment, please fill in this form and follow the instructions carefully:

Application for deferment

I am an exchange student – Can I defer my admission?

It is the department responsible for the exchange agreement that decides on deferments. Ask your coordinator at your home university to contact incoming.io@umu.se to discuss a deferment.

Residence permit and travel 

Will the COVID-19 situation affect my chances of getting a residence permit to study in Sweden?

Residence permits are processed by the Swedish Migration Agency. You can find the general requirements to obtain a residence permit on their website:

Studying and researching in Sweden

If you are a first-time applier for a residence permit to study in Sweden, you can submit your application as usual to the Swedish Migration Agency. If, at the time of your application, your studies are expected to take place on campus, and if the other conditions (see above) are met, the Swedish Migration Agency will be able to grant you a residence permit. This also applies if the majority of your education will be conducted on campus, but certain parts or components will be conducted online learning.

Read more at the Swedish Migration Agency website

Any changes to the Swedish Migration Agency’s procedures will be communicated on their website and we recommend that you visit it regularly or contact them directly for updated information.

Information from the Swedish Migration Agency regarding COVID-19 –
Contact the Migration Agency

Please note that in Sweden, universities cannot contact the Migration Agency on students’ behalf, nor are we allowed to influence the Migration Agency’s decisions or procedures. The Swedish Migration Agency is not allowed to share details of your application with universities, due to confidentiality.

Will the COVID-19 situation affect my chances of travelling to Sweden?

Negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden

Foreign nationals have to present a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection upon entry into Sweden, regardless of where they are arriving from. The aim is to reduce the risk of spreading the new variants of the COVID-19 virus that have been detected in a number of countries. This applies from 6 February until 31 March, but can be extended. Some exceptions apply.

For details about testing and entering Sweden, please visit the Swedish Government’s website. Please note that the conditions and exceptions can change, so please stay updated on reliable sources.

Information regarding negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden

Entry ban into Sweden

Beside the requirement of presenting a negative test result upon arrival, there is also a temporary ban on non-essential travel to Sweden from all countries except from EU countries and a few others. The aim of this ban is to mitigate the effects and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The entry ban does not apply to people with an essential need or function in Sweden. The Swedish Government has announced that people who travel to Sweden for the purpose of studying can be considered to have an essential need or function and therefore may be exempted from the entry ban. 

The travel ban is enforced by the Swedish Police Authority at the border control point. The decision in each individual case will be made upon arrival at the border control point based on the presented documentation. The Swedish Police Authority does not issue any kinds of pre-approvals or notifications.

For further details regarding the exemption for students, please visit the Swedish Government’s and the Swedish Police Authority’s websites before beginning your travels to Sweden:

Information from the Swedish Government about the travel ban

Information from the Swedish Police Authority

If you are unable to travel to Sweden due to travel restrictions in your country of residence, we encourage you to stay updated on developments in those restrictions.

Do I have to be quarantined when I come to Sweden? 

There is currently no quarantine requirement for travellers to Sweden, with some exemptions (read below). However, make sure your stay updated as this may change. Airline operators may require passengers to show a health statement but this is no general requirement for entering Sweden.

Foreign nationals traveling from the United Kingdom must be able to show a negative test result before being allowed to enter Sweden.

New variants of the virus that causes Covid-19 have been discovered in the UK, Brasil, South Africa and Norway. If you have been in those countries recently, you should:

  • stay at home for at least seven days
  • avoid contact with others as much as possible
  • get tested as soon as possible after arriving in Sweden and get a follow-up test after five days.

You can find updated information about entry requirements to Sweden at krisinformation.se/en and specifically the page about international travel restrictions

If I need to cancel travels due to changes in my studies,  can I get compensation from the university for my travel costs?

The university unfortunately does not have the opportunity to reimburse students for their travel costs when education or similar is cancelled or otherwise changed.

Tuition fees 

If I am unable to begin my studies due to COVID-19, can I have my paid tuition fee reimbursed?

Reimbursement of a paid tuition fee is possible only under the circumstances listed in the Tuition-fee terms and conditions.

If your programme is cancelled due to COVID-19, you will be fully reimbursed.

If the studies you are admitted to change from on-campus to mainly online instruction before the beginning of spring semester 2021, you will be eligible for a refund. This exemption only applies to payments for spring semester 2021.

Reimbursement for other reasons will be decided on a case-by-case basis, based on the regulations outlined in the Tuition-fee terms and conditions. Due to the current situation, we are aiming to be very generous in our review of applications for reimbursement of paid tuition fees.

Please note that students who register for courses and who have not applied for early discontinuation within three weeks of beginning of the semester have forfeited their right to reimbursement for the registered course(s).

Does Umeå University withhold any kind of administrative fee in case of a reimbursement of paid tuition fee?

No. Umeå University has made a temporary exemption from the administrative fee for reimbursements for autumn semester 2020 and spring semester 2021. This means that if a reimbursement is approved, it will be a full refund of the paid tuition fee. The exemption is valid for all approved reimbursements related to autumn semester 2020 or spring semester 2021, regardless of reason.

Due to the current situation, I am unable to pay my tuition fee invoice before the due date. Can I pay at a later date?

Students will need to settle their tuition fee invoice in full before they can register for and take part in courses. In case of non-payment, you may lose your spot on the course/programme.

Tuition fees and scholarships