Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 17 June 2020)

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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 assure that we are here to help you through these difficult times.

Admissions and Education 

Will students be offered distance education instead of campus-based teaching during the autumn term 2020?

Plans for campus-based education to start again on August 31 are in full swing at Umeå University. The University’s premises will open again for students from August 10. At the same time, 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.

The Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden have announced that students of Swedish universities can return to on-campus studies from 15 June. This means that universities will be able to conduct somewhat more normal campus-based education again from this autumn term. If the situation should change, the Government is prepared to take further actions and the University will adjust accordingly.

Learn more: Education, exams and premises.
Learn more: Gradual return to campus this autumn

Can I defer my admission to the autumn term 2021?

Exchange students, 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 term when the course or programme starts, you have the possibility to defer the start of the studies for a later term.

Valid reasons include severe health problems such as recovery after an operation, care of children under one year of age, 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 related to COVID-19, such as not being able to pay the tuition fee, 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 to the Spring term 2020 or autumn term 2021?

It's the department responsible for the exchange agreement that decides on deferral. Ask your coordinator at your Home University to contact to discuss deferral. 

Residence permit and Travel 

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

Residence permits are handled 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 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 as distance 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

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

In response to the European Council and Commission's recommendation, the Swedish Government previously decided to temporarily ban most trips to Sweden from countries outside Europe, to mitigate the effects and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On 2 July, the Swedish Government announced that people who travel to Sweden for the purpose of studying may be exempted from the entry ban. The exemption applies from 4 July.

At this time, we have not received any further details regarding in which situations and for which students the exemption applies. We recommend all students to stay updated on current regulations by visiting the Swedish Government’s website before travelling to Sweden:

Information from the Swedish Government about the travel 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. The Swedish Police Authority does not issue any kinds of pre-approvals or notifications. For more information, please visit:

Information from the Swedish Police Authority

How long the travel restrictions will remain and how it will affect students arriving for the autumn term is currently uncertain. We recommend all students to keep themselves updated by frequently visiting:

What will happen upon my arrival in Sweden? 

Umeå University follows the recommendation of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Government regarding incoming travellers.

Umeå University urges students and staff to protect themselves and others from spread of infection by following the General advice on avoiding infection 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. 

Precautions necessary to abide by guidelines for social distancing when opening up campus again

If I need to cancel travels due to cancellations 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.

Tuition fees 

If I am unable to begin my studies autumn term 2020 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 programme you are admitted to is changed from on-campus to mainly online before the beginning of autumn term 2020, you will be eligible for a refund. This exemption only applies to payments for autumn term 2020.

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.

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 normal administrative fee for reimbursements for autumn term 2020. 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 term 2020, 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?

Tuition fee invoices carry a 20-day deadline, followed by a reminder with an additional 10 days to pay in full. Not paying your invoice within the 30 days' deadline will have consequences.

In case of non-payment, you may lose your spot on the course/programme. This is especially true if the course/programme you are admitted to has a reserve list with students waiting to be admitted. Further, the Swedish Migration Agency will not process your application for a residence permit until payment of tuition fee is confirmed.

If you are unable to pay your tuition fee on time for practical reasons due to COVID-19, such as banks being closed, we ask that you contact us at the email address provided on your invoice. We are not able to provide a specific extension period but we are working to be as flexible as possible due to the ongoing situation.

Tuition fees and scholarships

If distance education instead of campus-based teaching is offered during the autumn term 2020, will my tuition fees be reduced?

No, Umeå University will not reduce the tuition fees.