Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Government: study and work almost exclusively from home

14 Dec 2020 19:48 | Communication

Tonight, the Dutch government announced measures intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus. These measures affect higher education. Starting on Wednesday (16 December) through Sunday 17 January 2021 we are required to study and work almost exclusively from home.

Two exceptions to online studying and working

For students, the government-mandated measures mean that nearly all education will move online. There are two exceptions to this. In principle, scheduled tests can take place on location. And the same applies to practical education. The degree programme will inform students and employees concerning the timetable. Students who are really unable to study at home can reserve a study spot. This is only possible in the Leeuwenburg building near the Amstel Station and does not apply to the other buildings. Concerning internships, the rules and protocols of the host organisation must be adhered to.

All employees must work from home. This applies to lecturers, researchers and support staff. The exceptions to this rule are people who are involved in exams or practical instruction on location. And researchers who rely on research facilities in an AUAS building. Employees who are really unable to work from home may incidentally visit the Leeuwenburg building after gaining the approval of their supervisor. Personnel required for educational activities are considered to have a ‘crucial profession’, which means that child care is available to them.

Gatherings are not permitted on-campus in the coming period. This also applies to graduation ceremonies. AUAS buildings are only accessible for the purposes described above. The Leeuwenburg is open from 8 in the morning until 6 in the evening for those who have reserved a study spot or signed off on this with their supervisor. The on-campus restaurants are closed. Everyone is required of course to wear a face mask in the buildings.

‘Meeting each other is at the heart of education’

Interim Chair of the AUAS Executive Board, Hanneke Reuling, responds to the new measures: “It is unfortunately necessary, but indeed very far-reaching. Meeting each other in person is at the heart of education. It’s very frustrating for all of us that we’ve had so few opportunities to do this for a long time now. We are doing everything we can to make the most of the limited options available to us. Let's work together to try to guarantee the continuity of education and research. Try to focus on what is possible and seek out alternative ways to solve things online if necessary”.

Despite the current circumstances, Reuling remains hopeful. “Our students have truly done their best during the past few months. Most of them have managed to keep up with their studies under difficult circumstances. This is fantastic. The tremendous efforts of our lecturers and support staff also played an important role in this. This dedication and quality make me confident that we will succeed in getting through the coming period. Stay strong. And take good care of yourselves and each other''.