Universities ready to postpone graduations and defenses to August

University of Tartu.
University of Tartu. Source: ERR

If the emergency situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak is extended, Estonian universities are ready to postpone graduations and thesis presentations to August. If high school final exams are to be canceled, students will still get a chance to apply to universities.

If universities are able to continue with in-person classes from May 1, concluding the semester would not prove to be a problem. If the emergency situation is extended, universities are ready to reschedule timetables, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reports.

Of major concern are practical subjects with no online support.

All thesis presentations can be video-broadcasted, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu Aune Valk said.

"If certain subjects will not be concluded on time because of practical work, we have proposed to defend the thesis first and then finish individual subjects later," Valk said.

"Admissions to master's can be done conditionally; we can admit a student based on their grades at previous level. After they receive their Bachelor's degree, students can commence their studies," Valk added.

Estonian University of Life Sciences (Maaülikool) is also considering postponing graduations and thesis presentations to August if necessary.

"If needed, the semester must be extended. If the active semester will end in the middle of May, work in laboratories must be concluded and if the situation permits, we are ready to do that in June," Head of Department of Academic Affairs Ina Järve said.

According to her, the university will guarantee access to laboratories on campus for students preparing their theses.

Regarding admissions to bachelor's studies, universities are ready to provide their own tests or later take into consideration the results of high school tests, which can in turn postpone the start of the new term.


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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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