Update coronacrisis: 26 May 2020

Tuesday 26 May 2020

On Tuesday evening 19 May we watched excitedly as the Dutch government gave their latest press conference. Fortunately, a little more light was shed on how measures would be relaxed for higher education. As of 15 June, we will be able to hold certain tests and practical education on location. We will use these limited possibilities to prevent delays in study duration that cannot be otherwise compensated, for instance for students who are close to graduating. However, we remain realistic and expect the majority of education in the coming period to take place online.

Preventing delays in study duration

We announced in March that we would be providing only online education until at least 1 June. This date has been moved to 15 June. There will then be some possibility for carrying our certain tests and practicals on location. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that the buildings will then be open for everyone. Students will be invited personally if they are allowed to go to one of the buildings, and teachers concerned, will be informed by their supervisors as to when and how they will be able to work on location.

The focus remains on preventing delays in study duration that cannot be otherwise compensated, for instance by providing students with a handicap with the necessary facilities. Or by setting essential practical exams for graduating students. Timetabling will bear in mind possible congestion in public transport. It is good to know that Minister Hugo de Jonge has defined travel for a test as necessary travel.

Prospects

We would like to emphasize that we simply do not know what the world will look like in a few months’ time or what the effect will be on our education. We are therefore unable to make any definite statement. We do however expect the measures against the coronavirus to be relaxed gradually. This means that for each step, we will need to make difficult decisions, for instance, who gets priority when we’re allowed to be 25% or 50% open? We are in intense consultation on the matter so that we can enter the coming period as well prepared as possible.

For instance, we are looking at how we can give a warm welcome to our new students in September, so that they can quickly feel at home in our university of applied sciences. Students will be kept informed by their study program as to how their course will develop during this pandemic.