Questions and answers regarding COVID-19

We know that you have been looking forward to come and begin your new studies at Uppsala University in a few months’ time. In these uncertain times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that you may have a lot of questions. We are here to assist you. Below you will find questions and answers regarding COVID-19 that are relevant for you as a newly admitted student.

How is Uppsala University handling the situation?

On 18 March, Uppsala University temporarily switched to online teaching. Most of our employees are also performing their work from home. This does not mean that the University is closed. The goal is for operations – education, research, administration, study guidance and libraries – to keep going and be available as usual, though remotely. We hope to be able to switch back to normal on-campus teaching in the autumn semester 2020. However, some programmes may begin the autumn with online teaching. Please check with your programme coordinator as some programmes have already made a decision.

Uppsala University is monitoring the situation and following the information and recommendations issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. These authorities are continuously updating their information and recommendations. Find out more about the university's general recommendations on COVID-19.

I am admitted to studies starting in the autumn 2020, will the university be open as usual then?

We hope to be able to switch back to normal on-campus teaching in the autumn semester 2020. However, some programmes may begin the autumn with online teaching. Please check with your programme coordinator as some programmes have already made a decision.

If the programme I’m admitted to is offered online in the autumn of 2020, will my tuition fee for that semester be reduced?

The shift in the type of instruction for the programme does not mean that the cost for Uppsala University is less than it would have been by offering the programme on campus, and we therefore cannot reduce the tuition fees.

How should I proceed with my residence permit application when there are travel restrictions in place?

The application can be submitted online. This way, you can still apply for your residence permit as usual on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website. As it normally takes up to three months to receive a decision and an additional month to get the residence permit card, we strongly recommend that you apply as soon as possible once you received the confirmation that we have received your tuition fee payment.

You should only submit a complete application, or otherwise it will take longer for the Migration Agency to process your application. However, if you are unable to collect all the required documents by the end of May, such as bank statement, due to a lockdown in your region, you can still submit your application, but in the online application form, please explain why you have a missing document. The Migration Agency may give you a chance to complete your application later.

After you have received a positive decision, you will need to visit a Swedish foreign mission to provide your biometric data for your residence permit card. However, due to COVID-19, several foreign missions may be limited in their capacity to assist in this process. Additionally, please also refer to your national authorities for information regarding any restrictions to the freedom of movement that may prevent you from visiting a Swedish foreign mission. This may change as the situation evolves. Kindly keep yourself updated with the latest information.

If you are citizen of a country where visa is not needed to enter Sweden, you can provide your biometric data after you have arrived in Sweden. However, you should still apply for your residence permit on time and wait for the decision before you enter Sweden. There is currently a temporary ban on all non-essential travel to Sweden due to COVID-19. This temporary ban is set to last until 15 June.

Will your programme begin with distance learning in the autumn? Or do you have any other doubts about residence permit? Check out the Swedish Migration Agency's webpage for frequently asked questions

I have received my invoice for the tuition fee for a programme starting in the autumn 2020, what will happen if I cannot begin my studies because of COVID-19?

We understand that you are worried about the situation regarding COVID-19. Our hope is that the situation will become better and that it will be possible for you to arrive safely to Uppsala University and begin your studies as planned. If you plan on commencing your studies in the autumn 2020, you must pay the tuition fee for the first semester by deadline. Or otherwise we will not be able to guarantee you a housing offer and you might not get your residence permit on time.

We can however assure you that Uppsala University will have a generous policy regarding refunds of tuition fees. For example, you have the right to reimbursement of the tuition fee if you are prevented from leaving your home country, or from entering Sweden, due to COVID-19. The same applies if you, due to health reasons, are prevented from starting your studies as planned. Find out more about tuition fees and the regular refund policy at Uppsala University.

Below you will find some scenarios and what refund policy applies in the respective cases:

  • If you have not received your residence permit or if you got it rejected before the start of the autumn semester, and you decide to not commence your studies, you can receive a full refund of your tuition fee. You should apply for a refund as soon as you have received the decision from the Swedish Migration Agency before the start of the autumn semester.
  • If you decide not to attend your programme because it will be carried out on distance, you can receive a full refund of the tuition fee if you apply for the refund before 31 August 2020.
  • If your residence permit application is rejected after you have started your studies through distance learning, and you are therefore unable to come to Sweden for the second half of autumn semester that will be held on campus, you can receive a refund of tuition fee for the on-campus courses that have not started. We cannot reimburse the courses that have already began at the time you apply for the refund. You can, of course, continue taking these courses and complete them.
  • If your residence permit application for the spring semester 2021 is rejected after you have completed the entire autumn semester, you cannot receive a refund of tuition fee for the autumn semester 2020. We cannot reimburse the courses you have commenced. You can, of course, continue to finish these courses that are not refundable.

If the spread of COVID-19 prevents me from commencing my studies in the autumn 2020, can I defer my admission to the autumn 2021?

If you are admitted to a programme and want to postpone your studies, you can apply for a deferral of studies. According to the university policy, deferrals can only be granted when personal and extraordinary circumstances occurred specifically to an individual student, which absolutely prohibit the particular student from commencing the studies, for example illness, family crisis or compulsory military service. We always make assessments on a case-by-case basis. However, non-individual reasons such as regional travel restrictions or limited travel options due to the spread of COVID-19 are generally not grounds for a deferral. In such cases, we recommend applying again next year.

Fee-paying students must have paid the tuition fee for the first semester in order to be granted a deferral. If you have been awarded a scholarship from Uppsala University, the scholarship cannot be deferred.

If you do not meet the conditions for deferral, you cannot keep your place in the programme. However, if you must decline your offer of admission you are always welcome to apply again next year. We cannot guarantee that your application will be successful again, as it depends on the quality of other applicants' applications, but the fact that you were not able to accept your place in the programme this year will in no way affect the outcome of your new application.