Update 14 December: Resumption of online teaching and learning, exams and practicals/lab work on campus
On Monday, the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, announced a nationwide lockdown for the Netherlands. This will affect all of us, at both a professional and personal level. For higher education institutions, including Avans University of Applied Sciences, this means all teaching and learning activities will be online again. Fortunately, there are a few exceptions. The following educational activities will still be permitted to take place on campus (provided they follow the coronavirus guidelines):
- practicals and lab work
- education for vulnerable students
Research may only be conducted at the university if it is not possible to do this at home.
The coronavirus measures will come into force on Wednesday 16 December 2020 and will apply up to and including Sunday 17 January 2021. It goes without saying that any external teaching venues, such as the BIC and the Koepel, will be subject to the same measures.
How this affects Avans
Avans will be subject to the measures described above from this Wednesday onwards. This means all educational activities, apart from the activities specified above, will take place online.
Generally speaking, all scheduled educational activities will go ahead as planned, but lectures and tutorials will occur online instead of in person. Students will receive more information about online lectures and tutorials from their study programmes.
Practicals and lab work
Practicals and lab work will go ahead as specified in the timetable.
No changes will be made to the exam timetable for January. Most exams are online exams, but any exams scheduled to be on campus will still be held there. This also applies to any exams held at external venues, provided they stay open. We will discuss this with the venues in question and get back to you on this as soon as possible.
Studying on campus
Students will no longer be allowed to use the university campus for individual study or group assignments. However, students who are not able to study at home, due to personal circumstances, will still be welcome at Avans. They will need to discuss this with their study development counsellor or student counsellor. They will then be given permission to study in the Xplora. The study development counsellor or student counsellor will inform the manager of the building by email (and a copy to the student) that the student will be studying there.
All staff will be required to work from home again, if they weren’t doing so already. Exceptions will, of course, be made for staff who have a job that can’t be done remotely. Staff members who are unable to work from home will be permitted, after consulting with the Board, to work in one of the Avans buildings. We will provide more information on which buildings will be made available for this purpose at a later date.
Work placements/graduation assessments
Work placements and graduation assessments will be subject to the same rules that apply to the particular industry/sector the student is specialising in. This means that if an industry’s activities are allowed to continue during the lockdown, the work placement or graduation assessment will also be allowed to continue on as normal.
Childcare organisations and primary schools will provide emergency childcare to parents who belong to one of the key worker groups. Staff who are responsible for educational activities are considered to be key workers. To find out more, please visit: rijksoverheid.nl.
You may find you have further questions after reading the information in this update. We will try to answer as many of these questions as possible in the coming days, and we will post our answers on coronavirus.avans.nl.
Adapting to life in lockdown
Even though the growing number of infections have been a cause for concern for a while now, the lockdown has probably come as a bit of a shock for everyone. It is a shame that we have to go back to online teaching and learning, but it’s necessary to get the number of coronavirus infections down and to ease the pressure on the hospitals. We are pleased, however, that exams and practicals/lab work can still go ahead on campus as scheduled, and that we can continue teaching vulnerable students in person.
It is clear, in any case, that we will need to be flexible and resilient in the coming period. And we have all shown that we possess these qualities over the past couple of months. We recommend completing all necessary tasks in the next few days so that you can make the most of the Christmas holiday and really recharge – although we understand this may not be feasible in all cases. Please do not hesitate to ask for support or help if you need it.