What will the new academic year be like?

9 Jun 2021 13:58 | Communication

As the end of the academic year nears we look forward to the summer holidays: a period to rest and seek new inspiration. It looks like the situation in the Netherlands will allow us to offer on-campus education at the AUAS again starting in September. We are all looking forward to that! What does this mean from September on?

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has drawn up four 'scenarios' (information is in Dutch) for the coming academic year. The most likely scenario is the 'basic scenario' in which restrictions for higher education are eased, the 1.5-metre distancing is no longer necessary and self-tests remain available on a voluntary basis. The government will take a final decision in early July. We’ve learned this past year that the situation and related measures are always prone to change depending on the infection rates. For the time being, we are assuming the situation will be as follows:

Studying on campus at AUAS

From September onwards, the normal compulsory attendance requirement will apply again for students, including international students. Degree programmes will only offer alternatives in special cases, for example for foreign students who are not allowed to come to Amsterdam due to travel restrictions. According to the ‘basic scenario’, the maximum number of people permitted in a space does not apply to examinations. This means that examinations can also be taken on campus again.

Blended AUAS

During the past two years, we’ve gained experience with online education, research and collaboration at an accelerated pace. We will continue to employ online learning methods, but education and interaction will in principle take place on campus. At each of our degree programmes we are aiming for a good, well-thought-out mix of online learning environments, face-to-face teaching, individual academic counselling sessions and practical training: so-called ‘blended learning’. Programmes are tasked with making their own schedules. We have integrated input from students and employees, which was provided via the crisis monitors, and are grateful for this feedback. Some of the classes that focus on knowledge transfer will be virtual rather than in-person.

Working at AUAS buildings

During the corona crisis our motto has always been 'if it’s allowed, we’ll do it'. At the moment, it looks like it will be possible to teach and work at AUAS locations again from September onwards. This means that teaching staff will once again be present to give lectures, lead tutorial groups, conduct research and carry out other activities. We think it’s important that there are opportunities and spaces available so we can work and meet each other on campus again. This applies not only to teaching and research staff, but also to employees in our staff and service departments. Each team will review the possibilities and needs of their particular group. The last year has shown us that working from home sometimes can also be very effective. This aligns with the feedback provided by employees in the crisis monitor – it’s important to offer a combination of working on campus and from home. It’s advisable to make clear agreements on this within your team.

Vaccination, self-tests and hygiene measures

The expectation is that all adults in the Netherlands should be vaccinated around the month of September. We hope that many people who study and work at the AUAS will choose to do so. Nevertheless, we would like to emphasise that getting vaccinated is a personal choice. We assume that some of the basic corona-related measures will still apply in the new academic year. The hygiene rules, such as avoiding shaking hands and washing them regularly will remain for the time being. Face masks will probably still be compulsory when walking through the buildings and we anticipate a maximum group size of 75 people for gatherings and lectures. Our hope is that these restrictions will eventually be lifted. If you have not been vaccinated, you can do a self-test before coming to campus. The self-tests are voluntary and will remain available via Surf. It goes without saying that you should stay home if you have health complaints and if you have tested positive for Covid-19.

More information about the academic year 2021-2022

For specific information, students and employees are advised to contact their own programme or department. Updates on the corona measures are available on this page.