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Update 19 December: Education online except for practical classes and exams

19 December 2021 by Coronavirus

A hard lockdown. That is what the government announced on Saturday evening at the hastily arranged press conference. Unfortunately, we are again being confronted by the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 virus. This time, strict measures are needed to slow down the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Once again, that makes demands on our resilience. But once again, we will win.

Online education

The hard lockdown means that as from Monday 20 December we will have to return to a large extent to online education. The new measures for education apply at any rate until Sunday 9 January. The education sector has also been asked to take account of a possible extension of the measures, so we need to be prepared to continue online education as from 10 January.

Exceptions

Certain activities are permitted on the campus:

  • Practical education, where the facilities of practical classrooms such as a laboratory and workshop are needed
  • Exams
  • Assessments that cannot be done online
  • Students and staff who cannot study or work at home
  • Additionally, it will still be possible to use the library facilities. Students may order books and equipment and collect them at the campus. Orders can be placed via servicepunt.avans.nl.

Practice-based education

We define practice-based education as education that takes place in practical classrooms such as laboratories and workshops. If students have classes immediately before or after a practice-based class, they are permitted to follow them online, on the campus. They can then sit in the classroom where the class normally take place. The schedule remains unchanged. Students may work independently on assignments in the labs and workshops if they need the specific facilities and corresponding mentoring.  

Research

In consultation with supervisors, research activities may take place on the campus if it is essential to carry them out on site.

Changing the form of classes

The study programmes must change the classes to online education, in consultation with the OWL staff. The ICTOs should be able to assist by, for example, creating Teams links in BrightSpace.

The schools and study programmes will take care of communication to the students. Theory classes that take place immediately before or after a practice-based class can be followed online in the scheduled classroom. There will be no change to published schedules with respect to times and sequence.

Check laptop for digital exams

To be able to take exams, it is essential for students to have carried out the hardware check and Step Instruction Test (SIT) for the exam period. Consequently, the hardware checks and SIT checks that have already been planned will go ahead in the coming week. You can find more information about preparing for Digital Exams on digitaaltoetsen.avans.nl.

Mental health of students

Vulnerable students can arrange a discussion with a dean on the campus. Studying on the campus is also still possible in the case of a difficult home situation.

Mental health of staff

Discussions with staff of Health Services can continue to take place in person. With a special focus on working from home, Health Services has produced this magazine, which gives recommendations that help us all to cope with the measures.

Restaurants closed

Although the campuses will still be partially in use, the restaurants will be closed. Students will have to provide their own lunch when they come to the campus for practice-based education. The same applies to staff who need to be present in the buildings.

Collecting personal property and equipment for working from home

Both students and staff can fetch things that they need, emptying their lockers for instance, on 20 December. And lecturers who need things in order to give online classes can do so until 18.00 on Monday. It is also possible for staff to arrange and collect equipment for working from home, such as chairs and extra screens. They can be requested via veiligheid@avans.nl.

Social distancing still advised

Social distancing remains an urgent recommendation. We ask that everyone who comes under one of the exceptions, and who is therefore permitted to be on the campus, to practice social distancing whenever possible and to be considerate of other people. We recognise that this may not always be possible for practice-based education.

Work placements

The guidelines for students on work placement are those applicable in that specific sector.

Buildings open until

Most of the Avans campuses will close at 18.00 in the coming week. However, the opening times at Lovensdijkstraat remain unchanged in view of the practice-based education in the laboratories. On Christmas Eve the buildings will close at 16.00. 

We realise that this new lockdown and all the changes that it causes will have a major impact in this period, a time when we should be rounding off the calendar year and preparing for the Christmas holidays. We hope and trust that we can all once again cope with the changes and we wish you a wonderful and well-deserved holiday.

Last updated on 19 December 2021.