The opening ceremonies of University of Jyväskylä’s academic year 2020-2021 was held on Wednesday 2.9. This year, the programme was held more remotely due to the corona situation. The program of the opening day included an opening ceremony, where the speeches of the Rector and the Chairperson of the Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä, JYY, were traditionally heard. In addition to this, opening devotion was held in the morning, some side program in Alvar Square and the opening day ended with live concerts, where Lauri Haav and Pariisin Kevät took the stage. Both the opening ceremony and the evening concerts were live recorded for university students and staff.

University staff were offered with opportunity to watch the live broadcast of the opening ceremony at some viewing points located across the campus. Pre-registration was arranged and safety was taken care off with safety distances and good hand hygiene. New ways of participating were well received. Ari Kiviniemi, a chemistry university teacher who visited the Ylistö viewing point, told that he was attending the opening for the first time. He also praised the facemasks offered for visitors and the good preparation required by the situation.

We also exchanged few thoughts about the start of the new academic year. Kiviniemi, who works at the Open University and the Department of Chemistry, says that the situation with coronavirus will not affect his work very much. He noted, however, that researchers may have a different situation. “Laboratory work will show how autumn goes”.

For students, the start of a new academic year has been reshaping of the routines already familiar from the spring. For new students there will be more teaching on the campus. Social contacts are needed, and the importance of everyday interaction in campus buildings and lectures has been recognized. At the same time, now is particularly important to take care of one’s own and others’ safety together.

The academic year 2020-2021 has now opened in an exceptional but bright atmosphere.

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