Students

In the light of the current situation, EPFL has decided to take further measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19.

We thank you for your cooperation in these troubled times.

These decisions are based on scientific data recalled by our experts in the video below.

Dear students,

The crisis we are currently facing is forcing us to make some major, and radical, decisions. So much has changed in the last week! I’d like to thank you for remaining calm and for your exemplary response to this situation.

You’ve been informed by email of the various education-related measures that we’ve taken. These include suspending semester projects, which has raised significant concern. Let me take a moment to explain the reasoning behind this decision.

As you know, a wide range of semester projects are taking place at EPFL. Under normal circumstances, this diversity is a real plus. These days, however, it complicates our work temporarily. We therefore decided to put these projects on hold out of fairness to you and to allow us to focus on getting all the classes and exercises online.

In many cases our School has reacted to this crisis without waiting for the government’s instructions – always in your interest, the interest of your loved ones, and the interest of society. Just a few days ago we announced that all of our courses – more than 700 of them! – would be put online. That’s now been done, although, as I write these lines, not all of these classes have already been given online. The Federal Council’s decision that led us to close the campus was made just a few hours ago. In reality, we don’t yet know what impact all these changes will have on how we do things, on how you learn, and on our teachers – who made a huge effort in less than a week. At this point we all need to catch our breath and save our strength for what promises to be a marathon, not a sprint. We’ll also need to get used to working from home and, for many of us, looking after our loved ones at the same time.

Once we have a better idea of these constraints, we will begin to map out the next step, which we will communicate to the entire campus.

In the meantime, I’d like to reassure you. Regardless of your situation, we will make sure you can finish the semester and take your exams without having to add on another semester. We have the creativity we need to deal with this and find solutions.

As you await further news, please focus on your classes. Stay home and maintain the necessary distance from other people in order to slow the spread of the virus. And, of course, take good care of yourself and your loved ones.

Prof. Pierre Vandergheynst

Vice-president for Education

Classes

From Monday, 16 March, until at least Sunday, 19 April 2020, all classes will be given online (live and/or recorded); the teachers will inform the students about how they can ask questions during class. The mid-term exams scheduled for these dates have been cancelled.

All practicals/lab sessions/semester projects that can be done online, without people having to get together, and without anyone having to come to campus to pick up equipment can resume on Monday, 30 March.

Some students may be unable to modify their practicals/lab sessions/semester projects so that they can be done entirely online. If they still need these credits, these students must take part in the Hackathon that’s being run by LauzHack the weekend of 5–6 April: https://covid19.lauzhack.com/. Once the Hackathon is over, they must choose an individual or group project defined during the Hackathon and submit it for approval by one or more teachers, and then by their section, so that they can work on it through the end of the semester and obtain the necessary credits. The number of credits awarded for Hackathon projects, and thus the associated workload through the end of the semester, must correspond to the number of credits the students need, bearing in mind that one credit requires around 30 hours of work.

All semester projects must still be submitted by the end of the spring semester

Master’s projects, as well as projects worth 30 ECTS in the basic sciences (SPH and CGC), must also be carried out online, replaced by another type of work, or postponed.

School equipment for practicals/lab sessions/semester projects cannot be removed from EPFL premises. Access to EPFL premises is prohibited until further notice.

The library’s resources are available online. If you can’t find what you need, please contact our librarians.

Since we had to put these exceptional measures in place so quickly, we cannot provide more details at this point. It is also too soon to provide information on the session examinations – we will let you know about them by 19 April 2020.

Travel, exchange and holidays

All travel for educational purposes – internships, exchanges, study abroad, conferences, etc. – is prohibited.

As of today, almost all regions of the world present a risk of infection by the new coronavirus. We strongly advise students not to travel during their holidays or other leave.

Please consult the recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Quarantines could be applied to places you travel to, which would complicate to continue your studies.

Students who were supposed to head off for an internship or a Master’s project with a company: If you are already abroad, stay where you are if possible and comply with the directives issued in that country. If you haven’t left yet, your internship has been postponed. If it is in Switzerland, comply with the instructions of the company that hired you.

Exchange students who decide to leave EPFL can still continue their semester by taking our online classes. However, we would encourage you to stay, in order to complete the semester and avoid traveling under the current circumstances, although we understand that some of you may wish to return home.

The Federal Council recommends that Swiss people abroad return to Switzerland. EPFL students currently in an exchange program who nevertheless decide to stay where they are must comply with the instructions of their host universities and take the appropriate measures.

Exchange students currently at EPFL who decide to go back or who are called back by their home universities can also take our online classes.

In order to complete their semester, these students likely will have to return to EPFL when the situation returns to normal and take their exams.

Please take into consideration the fact that some exchange students may later not be authorized to return to Switzerland, or their return may be subject to restrictions or conditions, depending on government decisions.

Bringing visitors to campus

No one is permitted to bring visitors to campus for professional or educational purposes until further notice. We also ask that you postpone private meetings on EPFL campuses. It’s better to postpone a meeting than risk spreading the disease to other people.

Questions

For questions about classes, projects and seminars, please contact your teachers.

For all other questions, including if you need support in connection with your well-being or personal situation, please contact Student Services by email.

Support

All relevant measures of support for students are listed below.

As usual, the Student Services desk answers to all questions from 9 to 18 on working days, but under the current circumstances per e-mail or by telephone. Questions beyond its field of expertise will be redirected to the relevant expert.

The EPFL social and psychotherapeutic consultations will counsel all students facing issues such as: depression, anxiety, isolation, loss of motivation due to remote study, lack of organisation, etc.   

The ban on entering the EPFL campus is still in effect, so all counselling sessions for students and doctoral students are done by telephone or video conference.

  • To make an appointment or for any question, please send an email to [email protected]
  • If you would like temporary medical support or advice, please contact the psychotherapeutic consultation service by email: [email protected]

More information on the Invidual support page.

Students with no income or substantially reduced income due to the sanitary emergency (student job or student assistant) may benefit from this new emergency financial support. The Student Services desk is the entry point for this type of demand.

The Housing Information team replies to all inquiries forwarded by the Student Services desk per e-mail and telephone.

The team will counsel all students but also act as intermediary between students and partners concerning issues such as: request for deferred payment, early contract termination, reservation cancellation, detection and coordination of quarantine cases follow-up.

The Language Centre still offers courses. They are highly appreciated as they give students a chance to maintain social contacts.

The Chaplaincy continues to offer spiritual support to the EPFL community.

All teaching staff has access to a complete overview of our student support measures on the Teaching guide.

The Agepoly has set up some measures to enable students to stay healthy and maintain social contact (e-mail “10 pieces of advice for confinement”, games, physical exercise in common, apéro, etc.)  

All coaches and student representatives are a point of contact and our listening ears on campus especially during this difficult time.

Lausanne University Sports offers tutorials, links, tips and live session that will help students stay in shape during this confinement period.