Update 8-6-2021 – perspective for the new academic year

Not only is the sun shining more often, but also developments surrounding the pandemic give rise for a cautiously positive mood. In the run up to the summer holiday, more and more staff members are getting their vaccination and students will soon also be able to register to be vaccinated. Already the number of infections and COVID-related hospital admissions are decreasing, the increasing vaccination levels will only reinforce that. This gives the government more room to ease more measures.

That offers perspective for the new academic year. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has advised us to assume the baseline scenario for the new academic year, within which the 1.5 meter rule can be abolished. There will still be a maximum of 75 people in a space, which means that lectures in semester 1 of the new academic year will still take place online. 

The instructions that applied last academic year for the timetables, the interim cleaning of the classrooms and spreading student movements as optimally as possible over the day, will no longer apply in the new academic year. 

Fortunately, there are more options to organise physical activities for the introduction activities in the new academic year. Unfortunately, however it will not be possible to organise (overnight) camping.

A safe THUAS remains our joint responsibility

THUAS is a safe environment and each of us, staff members and students, have a responsibility to contribute to that. That safety is safeguarded by following the applicable corona guidelines. Up to the summer holidays, and thereafter according to the baseline scenario, the following rules will remain in force for students and staff members:
  • Wash and/or disinfect your hands often.
  • Cough and sneeze in your elbow.
  • Wear a face mask when moving through communal spaces at THUAS.
  • Before coming to THUAS, preferably take a self-test.
  • If you have symptoms, stay at home and schedule an appointment to get tested by the GGD. If you have shortness of breath and fever, your housemates must stay at home too. Respect the quarantine rules. 

Blended is the future

We may be returning, step-by-step, to the world as it was pre-COVID but that does not mean that our education will completely return to how it was. In the past 1.5 years, we have gained a lot of experience with various forms of online education and of course, we want to continue with the things that work well. Blended and hybrid forms of education are the future, and they will be developed further and anchored within all degree programmes, each in their own way. 

But how do you take advantage of the insights gained in the times of corona, and use them in a purposeful and sustainable way in the future? How do you combine old and new in a way that does justice to what students need? A small group of educational innovators from THUAS has been tackling these questions in a think tank in recent months. They made an initial perspective of our education of the future, based on our experiences and on national research. A perspective with flexibility and adaptability at its core. 

This perspective is currently incorporated in a discussion document that will be discussed at various places within the organisation in the coming weeks.

In the coming weeks, we will be finishing this academic year and with this year  behind us, it seems that we can also leave the worst of the pandemic behind us too. That is a beautiful and very welcome prospect. 

The Executive Board
Hans Camps, Albert Cornelissen, Rajash Rawal