Update following press conference on 13 April 2021With great expectations we watched the press conference on 13 April of Prime Minister Rutte and Minister of Health, De Jonge. Unfortunately the statement we had all been hoping for, further relaxation of rules for higher education, has not yet been made. However, it was confirmed that it is still the government's aim to allow this as of 26 April but that the final decision has been postponed by one week. It will not become clear until 20 April whether the announced relaxation of the rules will indeed take effect on 26 April or later.
We have chosen to prepare to the possible relaxation of rules from 26 April, that students are allowed to visit the locations 1 day a week. This does not include practical training and testing, which are already permitted. All programmes will prepare for relaxation of the rules within their own capabilities. For each programme, the teams will look at how the online programme is currently structured and what activities can be done on location or would be supplemental to that, and what is still possible from an organisational point of view. In doing so, we will do our best to fulfil as much as possible our students need for in person education.
Should it become known next week that the easing will not take effect on 26 April , but will take effect later, then the situation will remain as it is now.
Self-testing & a safe environmentIn the media, the (erroneous) image is often given that taking self-tests will be conditional for being allowed to follow in-person education. That is not correct - the introduction of self-tests in higher education is not directly linked to the broadening of the possibilities for in-person education. Regular self-tests, both in education and in other sectors, help to reduce the virus but it is certainly not the case that providing a safe educational environment depends on self-tests.
You can safely come to the campus to be educated , because we maintain 1,5m social distance from each other, we all wear face masks when moving through the campus, we are paying attention to our hygiene, and are not coming to the campus if we might have any possible symptoms of Corona. These ground rules continue to apply even after the self-tests are in place.
Together with our partners in this process, we are still busy organising the complex logistics regarding the self-tests. We will inform you as soon as more information about this is available.
Obviously, the fact is that if more students come to the campus to follow education so more employees will have to be present as well to make this possible. We know that, in addition to those who are allowed to come to the campus in order to make education possible, many other colleagues would also like to come. Unfortunately the situation for them remains as it was: work from home as much as possible.
On behalf of the Crisis Management Team
Hans Camps, Rajash Rawal