Update 2 June: self-testing, meetings, and relaxed restrictions
We ask that you give extra attention to the use of self-tests in education. The current figures available for this are not encouraging. So far, only 16.7% of Avans students have ordered a self-test. Fortunately, those figures are a bit higher for employees at 56.6%, but we would also like to see more colleagues order and use the self-tests, especially now that we can work on location longer and more often (see further down in this update). Please be mindful of each other’s safety, and prevent the unnecessary spread of the virus.
With this message, we would like to ask you to communicate clearly about the use of self-tests. This could be done with a message on Blackboard or Brightspace, for example. We also have a discussion template, Coronavirus | Hoe spreek je elkaar aan? (coronavirus | how to approach each other), that you can share and use to increase awareness of self-testing. Talking about it is very important, and can also be done during lectures. It is a good exercise in thinking and acting ethically: after all, this is not just about you, but also about protecting other people!
This week and in the following period we will also use the Avans social media channels to recommend using the self-tests that are provided free of charge. There will also be communication about the self-tests in the buildings.
Incorrect Error Message When Ordering Self-Tests
Sometimes, an error message appears (“internal error”) when ordering self-tests online at zelftestonderwijs.nl. This error is not correct, and the order will be delivered as expected. You can check “My Account” to find out if the order has gone through correctly and what the status is. Please contact SURF if you have any questions about this.
Non-Education-Related Consultation or Meeting on Location
We are currently operating under the assumption that the majority of the coronavirus-restricting measures will no longer need to be applied in the new academic year. To begin preparing for this, it is now possible for employees to organise consultations or small non-education-related meetings on location again. These include brainstorming sessions and the like. However, it is essential that you coordinate this with management.
Relaxed Restrictions and Graduation Ceremonies
After a long period of different coronavirus measures, the cabinet has agreed to relax restrictions in the future, and this is of course good news for our students and for us. We also understand that the question of whether restrictions can be relaxed will arise at the different schools. The relaxation of restrictions will be communicated no sooner than 30 June, and that does not provide us with sufficient time to adapt the entire organisation and arrangement to the new situation. We would have to apply for field-lab status and require all visitors (who are not yet vaccinated) to be tested beforehand. There is no opportunity to adjust this for each individual school as there will not be enough time to make changes between graduation ceremonies. This is why we have chosen the current arrangement, as it guarantees a wonderful experience for all graduates and their guests, as well as safety, regardless of the scenario that applies at the time. Graduation will once again be a wonderful event!
COVID College Tour Special
The series of interesting COVID College Tours will be concluded with a special on Wednesday 23 June. During this special, we will briefly look back on the previous episodes and together we will extensively discuss the future of education, student life and well-being, and the events at Avans. The start of the new academic year is also an important theme. Students and employees can register via: Home | COVID College Tour (avans-evenementen.nl).
Access Testing in Case of a New Outbreak of the Coronavirus in the New Academic Year
If there is a new outbreak at the local, regional, or national level, Avans is planning to use access testing to protect education and prevent further study delays. Initially, this will apply to practical courses, as this type of education is most vulnerable and cannot take place online.
The pilots with self-tests at Avans to gain access to education sites have been running since early spring. The results of these pilots will help us to organise the access tests correctly and safely. We will reap the rewards for this later. It is now up to the Dutch Senate to approve the new temporary legislation that will make access testing in education possible.