Update 14 April: clarity on-site education, drive-thru's and home-testing
Clarity next week regarding on-site education
At the government press conference on 13 April, the Prime Minister expressed the hope that more on-site higher education would be possible from Monday, 26 April. But he also made it clear that no definite decision would be made until next week. Whether students not involved in practicals and lab work will be allowed to return to university one day a week from that date also depends on coronavirus infection rates. Education will still be safely organised in line with RIVM guidelines, which of course have been in place for quite some time at Avans. The current scheduling will continue to apply, with part of the scheduled online education being given on site if the government’s one-day-a-week plan is given the go-ahead.
Introduction of home-testing
Next week we expect further details on the home-test kits to be made available to higher education by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Perhaps most importantly, we will find out how staff and students can obtain these rapid-testing kits. However, it is generally being assumed that they will be distributed free of charge. We emphasize that students or schools will not be in a position to order or distribute these tests independently.
The use of the home-testing kits made available by the Ministry is entirely voluntary. In other words, they will not be used as a mandatory test for granting admission to education. However, we do support the message that testing yourself for Covid-19 on a regular basis will certainly contribute to a safer society and safer education.
In Period 4, a number of study programmes and schools will also participate in home-testing pilot schemes. These pilots will serve as experiments that will enable us to be better prepared for the coming academic year. They will involve use of the online test site and supervised testing. The results of the behavioural study led by Jessica Nooij (Institutional Research) and John Dierx (professor at Avans) will help to shape the approach taken. Three schools have already begun: Life Sciences and Environmental Technology, Social Studies in ’s-Hertogenbosch, and Marketing and Business Management. We will make further arrangements with other schools once the behavioural study has been completed in early May.
Drive-thru diploma presentations
After last year’s success, this year’s Avans graduates will be awarded their diploma at one of the drive-thru presentations in the week beginning 5 July. We are happy to report that over 4000 students will be awarded their diploma at one of these special graduation ceremonies. These will take place at two locations: Maaspoort in ’s-Hertogenbosch and the ice rink in Breda. We look forward to shining a spotlight on all our graduates on this special day!