Corona Q & A

Last update: 14 October 2020 15:00

In a press conference on Tuesday 13 October, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte announced that a law was being drawn up to make the wearing of face masks mandatory. For us at NHL Stenden, this means you will need to wear a face mask in between lessons and when in public areas, such as corridors and the canteen. There were no announcements concerning further changes to education. Restaurant Wannee (Leeuwarden) and Stones (Emmen) are closed as of 15 October.

In the press conference on 28 September a number of measures were announced that would take effect as of 6pm on Tuesday 29 September. Based on these new measures, we have modified a number of our questions and answers.

Many of the measures announced do not concern the education sector. For instance, we are exempt from the rule of a maximum of 30 people in a group. And travel to and from school is still considered to be ‘essential’ travel.

We have developed a handy flowchart to help you work out if you need to stay at home or if you can go to our locations. If you are still unsure, please contact the contactperson of your education.

As of 31 August, educational activities will be provided between 8.30am and 10pm and organised such that social distancing of 1.5 metres can be upheld. As a student, you will only be onsite for those times stipulated on your timetable. This means other students will also get a chance to come to the school. Please only work in the study landscapes if absolutely necessary.  

Regulations regarding staff working from home have remained the same. We will continue to work from home in as far as is possible even after 1 September. Consult with your team and manager to arrange who comes to the offices and when so as to keep within the 40% occupancy rule. More information can be found in our guidelines document.

The most important rule continues to be maintaining 1.5 metres social distancing, both indoors and outdoors. In addition, it is important that you wash your hands regularly.

Watch this film to find out how corona measures are being implemented at NHL Stenden.

Dear Staff and Students,

We understand that you may have questions regarding the coronavirus, so we have put together the most frequently asked questions and their answers. If you are still left with a question, you can refer to one of the useful websites below or use the contact information to ask for help.

Useful links:

If you need help or you have a question not covered by one of these websites:
Please get in touch on

For other questions, see below.


What measures have been taken?


Update 14 October


The following measures have been taken and have effect as of 10pm, Wednesday 14 October:

  • We highly value the face-to-face contact we have with our students and will, for the time being, continue to provide face-to-face lessons as timetabled. Aside from these lessons, you will continue to work and study from home. This means that staff in the support services, liaison units and support staff for the academies may only be on campus if absolutely essential for educational purposes. As was previously the case, attendance on campus is by invitation only. In addition, teachers may only come to the buildings if they are actually scheduled to teach face-to-face. If you have any questions regarding staying healthy and fit while working from home, then  please contact your manager.
  • The various onsite catering facilities, such as the canteens and coffee bars, will remain open. Of course, regulations concerning hygiene and social distancing will also be applied here. If necessary, we will change our services in line with new measures. 
  • If you have any of the symptoms related to those of the coronavirus, stay home and arrange a test in line with RIVM guidelines. See question on calling in sick.
  • Staff accounts due to expire during the closed period will be automatically extended.
  • Watch this film to find out how corona measures are being implemented at NHL Stenden.

Should the government further relax the measures in the meantime, then we will again look into what forms of education and testing can take place at our locations again whilst still adhering to the relevant guidelines.   

FAQ topics

  1. General
  2. Buildings/facilities that are open/closed and for who
  3. International students in the Netherlands
  4. Grand Tour / Study Abroad
  5. Erasmus+ grants (exchanges and internships)
  6. Information from the Immigration service: visas, travel ban, residence permit
  7. Future students – study choice
  8. Communication
  9. Online education and testing
  10. Illness
  11. Events and travel
  12. Other

Topic 1: General

How will NHL Stenden adapt the gradual relaxation of the corona measures?
We adhere to the latest guidelines issued by the RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) and will adjust measures where necessary. Specifically for NHL Stenden this means:

  • We will stay in touch with our students
  • We will provide a mix of online and offline educational activities
  • We will do our best to ensure the safety of our staff and students
  • We will look at what is possible

Help us to stop the spread of coronavirus. How?
Students do not have to attend school, but they probably want to meet up with each other. Help us to stop the spread of the corona virus by adhering to the corona measures.

We ask that everyone does what they can to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Please regularly check the latest guidelines issued by the RIVM and keep to them. And make sensible decisions about social activities and visiting busy places. Keep to the guidelines by not meeting in groups and by keeping a distance of 1.5 metres from each other (including from guests in the home).

What should I do if the press or media contact me?
To avoid confusion and false reports, all questions must at all times be referred to the press office on +31 6 512 25 196). Our press colleagues have the latest information and are in close contact with the NHL Stenden crisis team.

What hygiene measures is NHL Stenden taking?
The general hygiene measures set by the RIVM < > are important in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Within this institution, we adhere to these measures.

I see people wearing face masks. Is this necessary?
It is strongly advised that you wear a face mask in indoor public spaces, and this will soon be changed to being mandatory (once the law has been passed). This means that when you are on campus you will have to wear a face mask in public areas such as halls, corridors, the canteen, etc. You will also have to wear a face mask between lessons. In addition, the basic rules continue to apply: stay at home if you have symptoms of a cold or flu and get tested, stay 1.5 metres away from other people, avoid busy places and maintain the hygiene measures.

The Dutch Government website includes comprehensive instructions for making, using and looking after face masks. We assume that everyone will carry a face mask with them. For emergencies, there are face masks available from reception (for as long as stocks last). 

Will NHL Stenden be suspending the Binding Study Recommendation?
Yes. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has advised universities of applied sciences to postpone giving binding study advice (BSA) until the next academic year. NHL Stenden will follow this advice once it has been confirmed. It will then apply to students who started their studies on 1 September 2019. The situation for other students (for instance, those who had already received an extension) will be considered on an individual basis.

Are our international campuses closed?
Yes, our international campuses are closed on request of local authorities. All campuses continue to provide education online.

The date of closure per location are as follows:

  • Qatar – closed at the beginning of March until further notice
  • Thailand – closed as of Tuesday 17 March until further notice
  • Bali – closed Wednesday 18 March until further notice
  • South Africa – closed Wednesday 18 March until further notice

All locations are continuing to provide online education.

Is there still public transport?
Train services are running a normal timetable. Check for the latest travel information before you start your journey. As of 1 June but passengers will be required to wear a non-medical face mask. If you are not wearing a face mask, you could be fined. The measure has been implemented as it is not possible to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres in public transport.

In collaboration with public transport services, we have been able to alter the number of students we can have on campus at any one time (and created a little more space). We will now look into how we can use this opportunity to provide more face-to-face teaching.

Topic 2: Buildings/facilities that are open/closed and for who

It seems really quiet in the buildings. I thought face-to-face lessons were taking place (to 40% building capacity).
Some colleagues and students have said that they consider our buildings to be still relatively quiet. They feel that it is as if the face-to-face teaching that is being given is well under the 40% occupancy allowed. Let us explain the situation: the lesson times have been arranged such that as few students as possible have to move from room to room at any one time. In addition, we’ve also borne in mind busy times for public transport. We have since been in touch with the public transport services and we are now able to provide more face-to-face teaching as there is more room in the buses and trains. We are currently looking into how this can be combined with room availability and safe movement between locations.. 

If the buildings are open, then I can get in as a student, right?
You can only enter a building if you have a lesson (timeslots for students). Schedules have been drawn up for staff per department/programme to show when you can work onsite. These must be adhered to.

We really insist that everyone does all they can to stop the spread of the coronavirus. You can help by adhering to these measures and carefully reading the instructions on posters and screens in the buildings.

I have an appointment with a student counsellor. Can this still take place?
All appointments with student counsellors will take place by phone or via skype. Our student counsellors will contact students to make arrangements. Naturally, new appointments by phone or skype can also be arranged.

Are the libraries open?
As of 14 September, the library in Leeuwarden will be open at the following times for book collection:

Monday 9am – 1pm
Tuesday 9 am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 1pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm (Rengerslaan 10, 10am - 7.30pm)
Friday 9am – 1pm

The library is only open for borrowing books, returning books and picking up reserved items. It is unfortunately not possible to study in the library.

Library items can also be returned outside opening hours using the collection point located at the side of the library on Rengerslaan 8.

Regular opening hours for book collection apply for the libraries in Assen, Emmen and on Terschelling. The libraries in Groningen and Meppel have not yet re-opened.

If you have any questions, please mail or contact the information specialist for your academy or study programme. 

Are the canteens and coffee bars open?
The various onsite catering facilities, such as the canteens and coffee bars, will remain open. Of course, regulations concerning hygiene and social distancing will also be applied here. The coffee machines located in the corridors are also operational again. Restaurant Wannee in Leeuwarden and Stones in Emmen are closed as of 15 October due to the new measures announced in the press conference on 13 October.

Is Student Info open?
Student info can be reached by phone from 9am to 4.30pm each day and the desk at Rengerslaan 8 will then also be open. Student Info at Rengerslaan 10 will remain closed. All planned appointments will take place by phone. You can contact Student Info on 058 244 1155 or at

Topic 3: International students in the Netherlands

Is there additional care for international students?
You are more than welcome to join our platform on studying in times of Corona, In addition, we have a platform for international students. (Please see the link here Corona Platform International Students.) We hope that this platform will give our international students another way of getting in touch with fellow students, sharing mutual concerns, and also practical tips and support.

On request, we can organise online meetings, during which we can elaborate on the decisions we have taken as a university of applied sciences, and how these decisions will affect you as an international student.

I am currently in my home country (or about to return to my home country). What will happen, after the summer when classes start again and I am not able to come back to the Netherlands as a result of travel restrictions?
Many lessons will also be offered online. It is not yet clear if NHL Stenden will be able to provide regular classes again onsite as it depends on the situation and the regulations and advice in place regarding Covid-19. In addition, there may indeed by travel restrictions that mean you will not be able to join the regular classes onsite. Please get in touch with your module coordinator and your study coach to inform them about your situation. If there are alternatives, and what these alternatives could be, is up to your study programme and will also depend on your personal situation and overall study progress. Unfortunately, no guarantees can be given at the moment as everything is still uncertain.

What are the consequences for my residence permit if I do not meet my study requirements?
Education is being offered online. In addition, NHL Stenden is doing its utmost to limit any negative consequences for your studies as much as possible. Should you be worried, please contact your study coach/contact person to discuss your concerns and explore possibilities to reduce any possible study delay. The IND has not yet indicated that they will become more lenient despite the current situation, so we strongly advise all our students to stay enrolled and continue their studies online.

I am an international student in the Netherlands and would like to see a doctor. Where can I go?
In the Netherlands, you must consult a family doctor before a hospital examination is possible (with the exception of emergency admissions).

For students in Emmen and Leeuwarden, more information about healthcare can be found below, including useful phone numbers of General Practitioners in the area:

  • If you need medical care in Leeuwarden
  • If you need medical care in Emmen[TK2] 

I am feeling socially isolated as there are so few opportunities to meet up. What can I do?
We realise it must be hard for you to be away from your families and loved ones, especially in times like these. It is a difficult and challenging time for all of us. Our first priorities are your health and wellbeing, and your study progress.

Regarding your social wellbeing there might be some options for you to explore and get (re-)connected:

  • First and foremost, continue your studies, and stay in touch with your fellow students
  • Check out our  Corona Platform International Students, to let us know what support you need and what we can do to help you
  • Central Perk, the NHL Stenden community for all students, are now also available online, check the link: Central Perk community online
  • Join the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) via facebook
  • Bewegingscentrum (BCL) have some instruction movies available online: Youtube BCL
  • There are a variety of other apps available and online content on Youtube
  • If you are a member at a gym or other club, they too may continue their activities online
  • Join expat communities online
  • Join the online network ‘welcome to the north’, and ‘northern times’. see the links below:
  • Get in touch with your study coach or one of our student counsellors (you can make an appointment via student info +31 58 244 1155) and discuss your concerns and challenges you are facing.


Topic 4: Grand Tour /Study Abroad

Are our International Campuses closed?
Our international campuses have been closed since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak and will remain closed during module period 1 for Grand Tour students. The Grand Tour minors are being offered online.

What about my study abroad for module period 1? Can I go on Grand Tour?
Since our International campuses remain closed until further notice and due to the many travel restrictions imposed by many countries in the world it has been decided that joining the Grand Tour programme at our Grand Tour locations, during module period 1 will not be possible. Instead, the Grand Tour programmes for module period 1 will be offered online.

What will happen with my outgoing Exchange programme in semester 1 of the next academic year?
Onsite education at a partner university is only possible if the partner university has indicated this and if the travel advice issued by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is yellow or green.

For more information and FAQs, see knowledge and services – study abroad – study abroad during times of corona (

Topic 5: Erasmus+ grant (exchanges & internships)


When am I eligible for an Erasmus grant?
You are eligible for an Erasmus grant if you study abroad onsite at a partner university for at least 3 months or have an internship abroad for at least 2 months. You will not receive a grant for virtual mobility.

Topic 6: Information from the Immigration service: visas, travel ban, residence permit

I heard that an entry ban was established for the Netherlands. Can I enter?
If you, as a student, have a valid residence permit or authorisation for temporary stay (mvv), then you may travel into the Netherlands, even if you are a resident of a country with an entry ban.

Travellers arriving in the Netherlands from certain countries and regions are strongly advised to self-quarantine. For more information, see

I need a visa. Can I still apply for one with the IND?
NHL Stenden can arrange a residence permit or authorisation for temporary stay (mvv) for you provided you meet all the conditions. Not all embassies are open so it may not be possible to collect your permit. Whether or not your embassy will open soon depends on the local situation.

For more information, visit  

 I have collected my mvv and I cannot travel now. Can my mvv be extended?
If necessary, the embassies, as soon as they have started rendering services again, may extend the validity of the mvv. In due course, this may be taken up with the relevant embassy directly.

*An mvv is a regular provisional residence permit

I have a valid residence permit, I am currently abroad and cannot return to the Netherlands. Will my residence permit be evoked now?
In cases like these, when, under normal circumstances, the residence permit would be evoked, the IND will provide custom solutions, dependent on the circumstances. If you expect to remain out of the Netherlands for longer than 3 months (from your date of departure), then please contact

My residence permit has expired and I cannot leave the Netherlands now. What will happen?
If possible, apply for an extension. If this is not possible, the student may request a return decision at the counter. With this return decision, the student is granted an extra 28 days to leave the country. Appointments at the counter may be made as usual, please take into account limited services at the IND counters or call 088 - 043 0430 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). The IND is currently harder to reach by telephone. 

My residence permit document is ready, can I collect it?
At the moment, appointments can only be made for biometric information (passport photo, fingerprints and signature). If you have received a letter from the IND requesting biometric information, then you can schedule an appointment online at an IND desk.

See for more information.

Topic 7: Future students – prospective students

If you have any questions about choosing a course or, for instance, about how the university of applied sciences is going to organise Open Days, then…
Check out the Q&A that has been made especially for prospective students[TK3] 

What’s happening with the Open Days?
The Open Days will also take place online in as far as possible.

The cancellation of the onsite Open Days meant we now organise alternative Online Open Days (OOD).

The programme aims to meet the current needs of prospective students and include:

  • Information videos on courses
  • Chats per course using WhatsApp
  • Webinars
  • Study choice chats with the Study Advice Centre
  • Answers to general questions by StudentInfo
  • Films and photos to give you a taste of NHL Stenden life
  • Live student talks on the Grand Tour, exchanges, design-based education, etc.

The events page for the online Open Days can be viewed at

Topic 8: Communication

How will the university of applied sciences keep students and staff up to date?
We are doing our best to share the latest developments as quickly as possible. If it is urgent, we will send an email to your NHL Stenden account so keep checking your mail. We are also posting the latest developments on intranet, blackboard and internet. This may not always be as quick as we would like, but it is essential that we work with accuracy.

We also organise short webinars for the following target groups:

  1. Students: frequency depends on needs and developments. Register at  You can also use this link to view previous webinars.
  2. Staff: the last webinar was on Monday 28 June. This and previous webinars can be watched on  
  3. Teachers and students wanting help with online education

The webinars take place via Microsoft Office Teams. During the webinar, a number of people, including the Executive Board) lead the discussion while others ask their questions using the chat tool.

Watch out for fake news and phishing mails. If in doubt, check with your study programme or supervisor.

Will you be informing the professional field of developments?
An email was sent earlier this year by the various academies to inform all internship places and businesses of the situation.

How do I get help with providing online education?
Several webinars are provided each week for teachers who require help in providing online education, covering subjects such as Blackboard and Microsoft Teams. Check out the schedule.

If you have a particular question, you can request a personal explanation at a time that suits you best. Request a personal explanation here

Topic 9: Online education and testing

Do you have questions about online testing?
Check our dedicated Q&A for online testing. Please note that there are Q&As for specific target groups.

If you are a student, click here:

If you are a teacher, click here:

Will the tests for period 1 also be given online?
Some of the tests for period 1 will be given online, others will be offline. Schedules will follow shortly.

Where can I find information on how to give online education?
You can find more information on organising online education on our website, including practical information, instruction videos, and manuals for using Microsoft Teams and Blackboard.

Where can I find information of following online education?
You can find more information on following online education and how to prepare for it on our website, including practical information, instruction videos, and manuals for using Microsoft Teams and Blackboard.

I need help in providing online education
There will be several webinars provided each week for teachers who require help in providing online education, covering subjects such as Blackboard and Microsoft Teams. Check out the schedule.

I need help in following online education
Information for students is available at If you have a particular question, you can request a personal explanation at a time that suits you best. Request a personal explanation here

How can I securely share large documents?
If you would like to share a large document with others, such as a video you have recorded, you can use SURFfilesender. It enables you to send large files securely and with encryption providing added security. For more information, check the website.

Topic 10: Illness

When should I stay home?
If you show symptoms of a cold or flu, have difficulty breathing and/or have a temperature, you must stay at home or work from home. You should also get yourself tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible through your local GGD (Municipal Public Health Service). The situation regarding the coronavirus changes daily, so we ask you to use your common sense and if you are unsure, to take those precautions necessary for your personal situation.

In general, the following applies:
If you have flu or cold symptoms, are short of breath and/or have a temperature, then you must stay at home or work from home.

In addition, there is a standard guideline for students and staff concerning what they should do if they have symptoms of the virus and what preventative measures should be taken. This is in line with the policy issued by the RIVM. You can find this policy on

Staff or students reporting sick
Even in these exceptional circumstances, if you are sick you must follow normal procedures. Despite the situation, we assume that you will be continuing to work or study. If you are sick, follow the usual procedure and notify your study programme’s examination committee. Or, for member of staff, report sick to your supervisor.

Can students from infected areas study or do an internship in the Netherlands?
This is a difficult matter as there are various aspects to bear in mind:

Travel/country of departure – Students in infected areas must adhere to the measures in place locally. Follow the advice of the country you are currently in.
Travel/country of arrival – If you may travel in the country you are in, then you should look into what the advice is for travelling to the country you want to go to. And what the advice is once you are there.
Health – How do you feel? Have you been in contact with anyone infected with the coronavirus? If you have any symptoms such as a cold, breathing difficulty and/or a fever, then you must stay or work at home.

Businesses/institutions – Consult with the university of applied sciences, business or institution where you will study or do your internship. What is the situation there? The NHL Stenden buildings will be closed to students from 16 March and educational activities have been cancelled.

For up-to-date travel advice, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The RIVM is also looking into specific advice for particular regions.

My housemate has returned from an area infected by the coronavirus and has health problems. Should I now stay at home too?
You need to follow the current guidelines issued by the RIVM. Keep a close eye on your own state of health and follow the hygiene measures.

I am at a higher risk because of other health problems (asthma, COPD, diabetes etc.). What should I do?
Follow the basic hygiene measures and keep clear of sick people. We recommend you contact a study advisor from your study programme for personal advice.

If you become unwell, particularly if you have a temperature and/or respiratory problems, you must contact your doctor. For more information, refer to the advice issued by the RIVM.

I am an international student in the Netherlands and would like to see a doctor. Where can I go?
Compared to other European countries, the Dutch people are conservative with medication. Relatively few patent medicines can be bought without a doctor’s prescription. Unless the doctor prescribes something, most Dutch people prefer to use their own natural remedies. Doctors often treat their patients with advice rather than medication. In general, you may be told more often than you are accustomed to, “go home and rest and give your body time to heal itself”.

In the Netherlands, you must consult a family doctor before a hospital examination is possible (with the exception of emergency admissions).

For students in Emmen and Leeuwarden, more information can be found below:

  • If you need medical care in Leeuwarden
  • If you need medical care in Emmen

Topic 11: Events and travel


Will graduation ceremonies still take place?
Individual graduation ceremonies may take place provided there are no more than 30 people present. Discuss this with your study programme. For more information and if you have any questions, please contact your study programme. It is important that the social distancing rule of 1.5 metres is upheld.

Can we still travel abroad?
The situation changes daily. You should refer to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for the latest information.

Can events still take place?
Events are currently taking place online or have been cancelled. We follow the rules issued by the central government. Look for the current situation on the website of the Rijskoverheid:

What if a trip is cancelled but it is insured?
That depends on the trip, so we have drawn up a flowchart to guide you through the process of cancelling an insured business or study trip.  Open the flowchart. If you have any further questions on the matter, please contact Finance & Control on

Topic 12: Other


I rent a space in one of the NHL Stenden buildings. Does my business/institution have to close too?
The buildings were closed to students as of Monday 16 March and our staff are working from home as much as possible. As of 1 July, some staff are at work in the buildings in Leeuwarden, Emmen and Terschelling. It is essential that you consult with your supervisor before working onsite, so that we do not exceed the maximum capacity for building occupancy. If you have any questions, please call 088 9917000.

Who can I contact if I’m feeling uneasy or worried?
If you are feeling uneasy, lethargic, pessimistic or anxious, or you are worried about your lifestyle, contact your student counsellor or you doctor for advice. If you’d rather ask for advice online and anonymously, you can use one of the self-help modules offered by Mirro to get that little bit more support you may need. (

If you are feeling lonely or isolated because of the corona crisis:
Even with the relaxation of the measures in place during this intelligent lockdown, life is still nothing like it was before the corona crisis. It is still difficult to meet up with family and friends, and situations in which you naturally meet people, such as on café terraces, at sports clubs or nights out, are still limited. This can create a sense of isolation and loneliness and feel very oppressive.

It is therefore very important that you stay in touch with your study programme. Try to follow the online courses as much as possible and initiate online social contact, such as in the ‘Central Perk’ online community.

Do not lock yourself away but find things to do outside the home and stay active, for instance by going for walks with someone. Check out this link for tips on staying mentally and physically healthy.

Having few distractions means you have more time for worrying. If you are prone to worry, it can eat away at you and lead to even more inactivity and lethargy. What you then need to pick up an activity that will give you energy. Play sport, do something creative, go outside. What do you enjoy doing and what do you need to do so that you can do this activity during the pandemic? Try to involve others.

Worrying can be such a problem that you need to do something about it, so find out about relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, mindfulness and yoga. The aim is to quieten your thoughts. You can find tips and links here as wells as Mirro’s online self-help modules on worrying, stress and sleeping problems. You can also find lots of information and tips on


Questions and answers for prospect students