Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Updates coronavirus

The page contains the latest updates on the coronavirus.

Update 5 May - self-tests available

Starting 10.00 a.m. today, all students and employees in higher education can order selft-tests at www.zelftestonderwijs.nl. You can take the self-test to find out if you are infected with the coronavirus. By testing yourself, you can detect an infection (earlier) and prevent the virus from spreading unnoticed.

Using the self-test is voluntary. On campus, the current restrictions remain in place: keep a distance of 1.5 metres and always wear a mask.

Starting today, on 28 April, there are once again more opportunities for students and employees to come to our campuses. Your programme, team or supervisor will inform you about what this means for you specifically. In a video Jopie Nooren, Chair of the AUAS Executive Board, talks about how nice it is to be able to meet each other in person again and what that means for us in the months ahead.

Update 20 April: More opportunities for on-campus education from 28 April

During a press conference today, the outgoing Dutch coalition announced that it will be possible for higher education institutions to provide more on-campus education. The AUAS will make use of this opportunity as much as possible. Our motto is: "if it’s allowed, we’ll do it". Our degree programmes have been working hard on their timetables recently to ensure that students can spend a few hours a week on campus. Considering that 26 April is a mandatory day off at AUAS and with King's Day falling on 27 April, these new timetables will take effect from 28 April.

Timetables

A timetable has been prepared per programme to ensure that students can once again come to the campus for a number of hours during the week. The exact amount of time that can be scheduled on campus differs per programme. The possibility of organising this within the 1.5 metre distancing rule also differs per building. Students will be informed by their degree programme about the date and time that they will be welcome on campus again.

Employees

Employees will also be able to come to the campuses for a number of hours each week, starting on 28 April. For example, to prepare for the new academic year, or for training, necessary in-person activities or meetings. And of course, if working from home is not possible, there will still be a workplace available on campus. Discuss the possibilities with your supervisor and keep in mind that the situation differs per location.

Safety and measures

Measures have been taken on our campuses to ensure that you can study and work there safely. We gained experience during the period between September 2020 and the second lockdown concerning the layout and compliance of our buildings according to the Covid-19 measures.

Are you coming to one of the campuses? Please make sure you follow the safety guidelines: keep a distance of 1.5 metres, wear a face mask, wash your hands regularly and follow the instructions. Stay at home if you have health complaints or if you’ve tested positive for the coronavirus. Employees can find information here about working safely on campus. Students can visit this site for more information about returning to campus safely. Please also see this video.

Self-tests

The Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science offers students and lecturers free coronavirus self-tests. These tests give you, and others, peace of mind knowing that you are not infected with the Covid-19 virus. Testing is not compulsory. The self-tests will be made available through SURF. More information will be available in the coming weeks about how this works exactly. You can also refer to the frequently asked questions on the Dutch government’s website. Please note that the FAQ is currently in Dutch and will be available in English from Thursday, 22 April.

Rapid testing trial

Students participating in the pilot project for rapid coronavirus testing are requested to continue doing so. This trial is part of an important investigation into how we might be able to meet each other in the future without the Covid-19 measures, after taking a rapid test.

The outgoing Dutch coalition indicated during the corona press conference on 13 April that it intends to give higher education institutions more freedom from 26 April on. Whether this will actually happen, depends on the Covid-19 infection rate and the pressure on the healthcare system. The government will take a decision on 21 April. The AUAS is prepared for the potential reopening and is awaiting the government's decision. Furthermore, the government has announced that after-school child-care facilities will fully reopen on 19 April.

The government has extended the current measures related to curbing the spread of the coronavirus until Tuesday 20 April. This means that we will continue to primarily study and work from home during the coming weeks. The exceptions to the lockdown that have been in place so far will continue for the time being. Practical education and tests are permitted on campus. In specific cases, students and employees can use a study/work station in the Leeuwenburg building near Amstel Station. AUAS is ready to revert to the schedule that has been in place since last summer as soon as the restrictive government measures are lifted.

AUAS participating in Covid-19 rapid-test pilot

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) started a pilot this week for rapid COVID-19 testing. It involves four AUAS degree programmes at three campus locations. The objective of this pilot is to determine how we can safely return to offering on-campus education. The health of our students and lecturers will be continuously safeguarded.

International Physiotheraphy is the first programme to participate. They started rapid testing this week at the Nicolaes Tulp building. Forensic Science will also participate at the same location, once the programme has finishing moving to this location. Two other AUAS programmes will also participate, with testing conducted at the Kohnstamm building and the Dr. Meurer building. The pilot runs until the start of July. Students and staff who are eligible to participate in the pilot will be informed soon.


Objective

The AUAS is doing everything in its power to safeguard the quality and continuity of its education as much as possible during the corona period. AUAS Executive Board Chair, Jopie Nooren: 'Meeting one another, learning together on our campuses – it’s crucial for both education and research. We’re all yearning for this. It will take some time before the restrictions are lifted entirely. But what the government allows, the AUAS allows. These tests are important because they help us take a step in the right direction. Hopefully we’ll all be able to come to AUAS more often from April onwards. For now, we have to wait and see’.


Safety measures

The basic COVID-related measures currently in place are being observed within other ongoing pilots. Everyone on location is expected to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing of one and a half metres. The intention, if circumstances permit, is to use the pilots underway at educational institutions (MBO, HBO and WO) to explore conditions in which it might be possible to lift the social-distancing mandate in a controlled trial setting.

The corona rapid testing pilot is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). The Amsterdam pilot, involving AUAS, is being conducted in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), ROC Amsterdam-Flevoland (ROCvAF) and the Amsterdam campus of Hotelschool The Hague (HTH).

Government extends measures for higher education until 29 March

The government has extended the current measures by three weeks, until 29 March. This means that the curfew will remain in effect for the time being. Students will also continue to study and work from home during the coming weeks.

The exceptions to the lockdown that have been in place so far will continue for the time being. Practical education and tests are permitted on campus. In specific cases, students and employees can use a study/work station in the Leeuwenburg building near Amstel Station.

The government indicates that higher education has priority and that it is looking into whether more on-campus education can be offered in the near future. This could be possible as early as 29 March. Whether this is indeed the case should be clear on 23 March. If the government-measures are lifted, the AUAS is ready to revert to the schedule that has been in place since last summer.

More information:

Curfew exemption for practical education

For higher education, only one thing will change: from 2 March onwards: students following practical education will be exempted from the curfew. A similar exemption had already been in place for tests.

The Executive Board of AUAS is disappointed that no further relaxation of the measures was possible for higher professional education at this time. In the coming weeks, we will again be working and studying from home, for the most part. Personal contact is very important for AUAS, its students and its employees, which is why we want to make the best possible use of the opportunities offered by the current set of measures. We are also actively lobbying with politicians to relax measures in higher education.

As in the previous months, practical education and tests can continue to take place on campus, while students and staff can, in specific cases, make use of the study or work stations in the Leeuwenburg building near Amstel Station. As soon as the current lockdown is lifted, the AUAS will revert to the schedule that has been in place since last summer.

More info:

Lockdown extended through 2 March

The government has extended the current lockdown until (and including) 2 March. A decision will follow at the end of this week concerning whether the curfew will be extended after 10 February. Primary schools and day-care centres will reopen on 8 February. This is not the case for higher education. This means that we will continue to study and work at home during the coming weeks. The only exceptions for us are those that are already in place for higher education. Practical education and tests are permitted on our campuses. In specific cases, students and employees can make use of a study or work station at the Leeuwenburg building near Amstel Station. As soon as the government lifts the current lockdown, the AUAS will revert back to the schedule that has been in place at our institution since last summer.

Additional information is available at:

Curfew: (only) testing exempted

Starting on Saturday, 23 January, there will be a curfew in the Netherlands from 21:00 to 04:30. This is one of the measures the government has taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus. There are few changes for the AUAS.

In principle we will all study and work from home. There are still exceptions for practical education, testing and for a specific group of students and employees. Tests scheduled in the evenings are exempted from the curfew. This curfew exception does not apply to practical education or to the usage of study or work spots. At the moment, these measures apply through 9 February.

Practical education will finish at 20:00 at the latest so that everyone can make it home before 21:00.

Anyone who has a long commute home should consult with their lecturer and/or colleagues concerning leaving earlier. Students who need to be on campus in the evenings for tests will receive a curfew exemption letter from their programme permitting them to travel after the curfew. Employees will receive this from their supervisor. Travel to and from abroad has been further restricted by the government. Please see the government.nl website for more information on travel.

It’s expected that an update will follow in early February concerning the period after 9 February.

Additional information is available at:

Lockdown extended: situation at AUAS unchanged through 9 February

The lockdown that is currently underway in the Netherlands will be extended through 9 February. Prime Minister Rutte announced this on Tuesday evening. The current situation at the AUAS will also be extended through 9 February. It is uncertain what will happen after that date.

In the coming weeks, nearly all education at AUAS will be held online. There are a few exceptions to this: exams that have already been scheduled and practical education. These are permitted to take place on campus. Employees will work from home unless they are involved in examinations or practical education. Access will also be granted to staff requiring research facilities that are only available on-site at the AUAS.

Students can reserve a study spot at the AUAS Leeuwenburg building (near Amstel Station) if absolutely necessary. They can do so by making an appointment with the Service Desk: (020) 5951403 or via servicedesk-fs@hva.nl. Employees who are unable to work from home can also work at the Leeuwenburg if they have agreed upon this with their supervisor. Everyone who studies or works at the Leeuwenburg will, of course, observe the standard protocol: wear a face mask, keep a distance of 1.5-metres from others, stay at home if you have health complaints, etc. When on campus it’s important to follow the instructions of AUAS staff.

Emergency childcare is available for teaching staff according to the rules of the Dutch government.

Government: study and work almost exclusively from home

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''.

Government: No changes in higher education at the moment

There are currently no changes to the situation at the AUAS and elsewhere in higher education. We will continue to study online and work from home. That was the message that Prime Minister Rutte announced last night during a press conference on behalf of the Dutch government. The corona infection rate is currently too high, making it impossible to ease restrictions. It is therefore important to remain cautious.

Government: no new education-related measures, but stay alert

The current situation for higher education will, in principle, remain unchanged until mid-December. However, further restrictions may be imposed at the regional level if necessary. Caution is therefore advised. This was the message that Prime Minister Rutte shared last night on behalf of the Dutch government.

Work from home as much as possible

The new measures do not directly impact education and research at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). The Prime Minister did however stress that it’s important that everyone works from home as much as possible. The maximum group size outdoors is two people (from different households). Until mid-January, people are advised to only travel abroad if it’s absolutely essential. Within the Netherlands, everyone should stay at home as much as possible.

‘Take good care of each other’

During the press conference, Prime Minister Rutte also acknowledged that some people are struggling, particularly those who have been at home on their own for a long period now. He called on everyone to take care of each other. “A little attention and interest can go a long way”. Interim Chair of the AUAS Executive Board, Hanneke Reuling, echoes this sentiment and has an urgent request for the AUAS community: “Keep a close eye on your fellow students and colleagues. If you don't hear from them for a while, reach out to ask how they are doing. Take good care of yourselves and each other. This situation is far from ideal. However, the government is extending more possibilities to higher education than some other sectors. Let’s continue to make the most of this. Therefore: keep your face masks on, keep your distance, wash your hands often, stay home if you have complaints, get tested and so on. All so we can soon have more opportunities rather than fewer”.

Using the opportunities we have responsibly

On Tuesday evening, 13 October, the government announced strict measures to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus. This is a hard blow for many of us, but we can all help to ensure that this period is as short as possible.

(Higher professional) education is one of the crucial sectors where the government allowed more leeway within these stricter measures. This is because of its great social importance. The AUAS is pleased with this and wants to use the opportunities we have very carefully. That is why all students and staff are expected to consistently wear a mask when moving within an AUAS building.

Masks

The government's new measures currently have little impact on the educational and research activities of the AUAS. Online education and working from home will continue to be the norm, but on a small scale it will still be possible to organise scheduled education, tests or degree certificate ceremonies on location, to carry out location-based research or - if absolutely necessary - use a study or workplace. Sports activities that are part of the regular education curriculum can, in principle, also continue.

The maximum group size of 30 people does not apply to education, as long as everyone keeps a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other at all times and wears a mask when moving around. In principle, internships can also continue, but specific measures may apply at the internship location.

The government has decided that travelling via public transport should be limited as much as possible, but remains permitted for necessary activities. Higher education is included in the latter category. Staff and students can therefore continue to make use of public transport for learning and working. Keep in mind, the situation may change again if the government sees reason to do so.

Opportunity and responsibility

‘I am pleased that the government is giving education a special position and that some of the restrictions that apply elsewhere do not apply to us at the moment', says Interim Chair of the Executive Board Hanneke Reuling. ‘It shows how crucial our work is. It's a nice expression of appreciation, but it also brings with it a great responsibility for all of us. After all, we are only given that space as long as we can continue to guarantee everyone's health. That is why I urge everyone to do what the government is asking of us. Always put on a mask when you move around in our buildings and keep a minimum distance of one and a half metres at all times and everywhere. Only then will we be able to retain the opportunities that we've been granted right now.’

‘The current situation is, of course, far from ideal', continues Hanneke Reuling. ‘Many of our students and staff are sick and tired of sitting at home and are longing to work and study together again on location. Let's all do everything we can to make that possible again. Stick to the rules. And talk to each other about it if someone forgets for a moment. There are staff members in the buildings who help to keep everything on track. Their instructions help us all, so let's follow them carefully. Take care of yourself and each other.'

Update 13 October - 21:00

On Tuesday evening, 13 October, the government announced new, strict measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus. The government will allow education to continue as much as possible. The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is investigating what other consequences the new measures will have for education, research and support. The safety of students and staff is paramount. The AUAS urges everyone to wear a mask whenever moving around in the buildings (corridors, stairs, lifts). Further information will follow no later than Monday 19 October.

New corona measures: education can stay as it is

In order to limit the chance of large crowds and the number of social contact moments between people, the government has announced new national measures against the spread of the coronavirus for the coming weeks. The number of coronavirus infections in Amsterdam has already risen so high that the source can often no longer be traced. Therefore, Mayor Halsema has issued additional measures and advice for Amsterdam.

We realize that the impact of Mayor Halsema's message is great and we are concerned about the welfare of our employees and students. Nevertheless, we are pleased that there are no specific measures for education. All educational and research activities, including graduation ceremonies, can continue as planned. The mix of physical and online continues and education will still take place on campuses. Only together can we make sure that it stays that way and that everyone on the campuses feels safe.

Compliance with rules essential

On our campuses, measures have been taken to ensure that you can study and work safely. Compliance with the existing rules is essential. Communication about this is being intensified and measures have been taken to ensure that it is and remains safe.

Going to campus?

Are you coming to campus? Please make sure you follow the safety guidelines: keep a distance of 1.5 meters, wash your hands regularly and follow the instructions. In case of symptoms, stay at home. Here you will find all the information you need about working and studying safely on campus. Watch the movie

Effect of new corona measures

Even though there are no specific measures for education, the AUAS is of course bound by the new measures and advice relating to working and studying at home, wearing masks and events and meetings.

Working from home

Except for education and educational support, working from home is the norm. This is how we help to limit the number of travel movements. Employees who do not have workable facilities or circumstances at home will remain welcome on campus for the coming weeks.

Study at home

If you don't want to study at home, there are study places available at the AUAS that you can reserve. Please check your study space.

Masks

In line with the urgent advice of Mayor Halsema, we advise everyone to wear a mask when moving in the buildings. Of course, everyone is free to do the same in the classrooms and other areas. Please understand if anyone chooses to do so.

Events and meetings

Education related events are preferably postponed. If postponement is not possible, there is a maximum of thirty attendees. To limit the number of travel movements, other events and meetings will not take place in the coming weeks.

On Monday, 28 September the government as well as the Mayor of Amsterdam announced new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The AUAS is currently assessing how this affects the AUAS. Further announcements will follow tomorrow.

Amsterdam is one of the biggest coronavirus hotspots in the Netherlands. The Mayor of Amsterdam has announced new measures in response to this. These measures do not affect the AUAS. The mayor has however warned that even stricter measures will be taken should the infection numbers continue to rise. These measures could eventually impact the AUAS. To avoid this situation it’s crucial that everyone adheres to the basic rules. This applies on campus as well as throughout the city and at home.

From 1 August, travel restrictions on public transport will (mostly) be lifted. In addition to the national agreements, the municipality, the AUAS, UvA and VU and the transport companies have agreed to organise the timetables in such a way that students can come to the educational institutions, spreading attendance over the day and week. As a result, a limited part of the AUAS lectures can also start at 09:00.

LIMITED SELECTION OF MORNING LECTURES

These agreements are valid until 31 December 2020. Some of the faculties have already counted on this extension. Other faculties will use this extra flexibility to resolve any conflicts in the timetables. There is therefore no need to reschedule timetables at the moment. Due to the 1.5-metre measure, however, the capacity of the educational buildings is still limited. As a result, the majority of the education will still have to be offered online.

"These additional agreements allow us to use every possibility for physical education on our campuses", says Huib de Jong. "After all, a good education cannot be achieved without students meeting each other and their teachers. That is why I am pleased with the extension of the use of public transport and the agreements we have made about this. Also in the future we will continue our efforts to further expand our physical, or on-campus, education where possible".

SHORT COMMUTE? WALK OR CYCLE

Students are asked to come on foot or by bike, if they live relatively close to campus. The same is asked of AUAS employees. There was also an agreement made, which states that working from home should continue even when most measures are lifted, so that public transport will not become overly crowded. The faculties and departments are currently discussing how the available work spaces within the AUAS buildings can be used in the new academic year.

How will we start the new academic year?

The AUAS suddenly ended up in a worldwide crisis in March that forced us to switch from teaching on our campuses to studying and working entirely online. It was always our ambition to offer more digital education, but the corona crisis forced us to undergo this transition extremely quickly and under immense pressure. As a result, our premise of offering in-person education has been upended and we’ve lost the balance between on-campus and remote studying and working.

It is evident now, more than ever, that we need to meet on our campuses to guarantee the quality of our education and research. Moreover, it’s simply more fun and enjoyable to see each other in person rather than on our screens. We have to find a new balance. Fortunately, we’ve discovered lots of inspiring solutions for online education that will help us further develop blended learning in the future. There’s plenty of creativity at the AUAS, shown in all the ways we’ve managed to keep in touch with each other online.

Balance between online and face-to-face

Fortunately, the corona restrictions have been eased and more and more is possible. Step by step we are now looking at how we can tackle the coming year together. To start with, the first block. The big picture is now clear to us and we are currently working out the details.

The way it’s looking at the moment, the AUAS community can expect the following (in general) at the start of the new academic year:
- On-campus education will be organised at least once a week for every student. Students will travel as little as possible because capacity in public transport remains limited and we have less space available in our buildings due to the 1.5m rule. Teaching and examinations will therefore still primarily take place online, and an analysis will take place per programme to determine how the exact time and space will be divided between different groups. New students will of course receive special attention.

- Employees will be able to work at AUAS buildings more often. Further arrangements will be made for this within your team.
- Events related to education and research are possible again, but remain limited.
- It’s possible to (still) use research facilities, according to the current regulations.
- The libraries can be used by students. However, reservations are required.
- The canteens will remain closed. Other forms of catering will be available.
- For the safety of everyone, the buildings will be redesigned, taking into account the 1.5 m distancing. The ventilation systems have also been checked, so that we can be absolutely sure that they meet the requirements.

Students will hear, from their faculty or study programme, exactly what this means for them as soon as possible and definitely before the start of the academic year. Employees will be informed in advance by their supervisors. After all, even in the summer, the AUAS still wants to maximise opportunities and space for in-person meetings. Check mijnhva.nl for the latest information. Students can also visit amsterdamuas.com/startstudyprogramme and amsterdamuas.com/remotelearning.

New higher education measures from 1 September

Despite the many fine examples of inspirational distance education, it’s vital to good education that students can meet face-to-face with their peers and teachers.

The AUAS is therefore constantly looking for ways to maximise the available opportunities related to this and is pleased with the government’s announcement today about easing restrictions related to on-campus education.

The new guidelines offer more possibilities for in-person education and we are therefore looking into how we can work within these guidelines in the best possible way. In doing so, we will take into account the fact that we are already in the late stages of educational planning for next year. “We understand that the government’s positive message impacts everyone in the organisation. Students and staff naturally want to know where they stand at the start of the academic year”, says Huib de Jong, AUAS Executive Board Chairman. “We are therefore doing our utmost to inform everyone about this as soon as possible. This will happen both via the faculties and the degree programmes as well as via the MijnHvA/MyAUAS intranet and the newsletter”.

The AUAS has taken decisions concerning the international mobility of students and employees in the first semester of the 2020-2021 academic year. This includes three types of international mobility: degree-seeking students, exchanges and internships. This announcement explains the possibilities and restrictions. The Executive Board will take a decision about the second semester of 2021-2021 by mid-October 2020.

Degree-seeking students

Incoming mobility for students doing a degree (Bachelor’s and Master’s) is possible under certain conditions in the first semester of 2020-2021. The countries of origin must be colour-coded either green or yellow. The education must meet the regular quality standards and the student must be fully admissible. Finally, there are a number of rules pertaining to security, legality and the safeguarding of risks concerning the student’s visa application, insurance and accommodation in Amsterdam.

In the event that degree-seeking students are unable to travel to the Netherlands, or if on-campus education is not possible, the degree programme will arrange alternative education. Please see this announcement from AMSIB (one of our main English-taught programmes) concerning its decision to offer education entirely online in the first semester.


Exchange students

Physical exchanges will not be offered in the first semester of the 2020-2021 academic year. This applies to both incoming and outgoing students, as well as EU and non-EU countries. Degree programmes will take their own decisions concerning whether international minors will go ahead. They will also look for suitable substitutes for those students who are unable to do an international minor at the AUAS.

Exchange students who have stayed in the Netherlands since the onset of the corona crisis need permission from their dean to continue their studies at the AUAS during the first semester. This group of students must comply with the (relevant) requirements related to insurance, housing, visas and residence permits.

For outgoing AUAS students, the programmes are striving to move the exchanges to the second semester of 2020-2021. This is in consultation with the students and the partner institutions.


Internships

International internships are suspended for the first semester of 2020-2021. The only international internships that are permitted are those that form an obligatory part of the curriculum and for which there is no reasonable local alternative.

The conditions are as follows:
- Guidelines from the government, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), and the country’s 'colour code' (only green and yellow are allowed);
- The country is deemed safe by the government, the degree programme and the student;
- In consultation with the degree programme, the student draws up an academic plan that guarantees their safety, sufficient insurance coverage and the quality-level of the education;
- The student accepts the (potential) risk and related costs, acknowledging that repatriation expenses will not be reimbursed by the insurer/AUAS if the pandemic resurges and the colour code changes to ‘orange or red’;
- The academic plan is approved by the dean.


Clarity

Via this decision, the Executive Board aims to provide clarity to students, degree programmes and the rest of the AUAS organisation. Student safety is at the heart of this decision, as well as the quality of the learning/student experience, the reciprocity of exchanges and the possibilities for tailor-made education at our programmes. Furthermore, the governmental guidelines and decisions taken by the European Commission concerning Erasmus+ mobility take precedence.

Other factors influencing these decisions relate to the fact that the AUAS is discouraged from facilitating too many international trips, the desire to avoid study delays and the knowledge that the available space on our campuses will be very limited in the first semester.

A coulance arrangement is in effect for all international target groups mentioned in this announcement, in the event of distressing circumstances. The faculty dean for the degree programme in question will take a decision on these cases.

Online education and working from home will remain the norm for the rest of the academic year.

Starting on 15 June, it will be possible to come to the AUAS to use specific facilities for practical education and research, and for other activities that are impossible to do online. Buildings will open their doors for those purposes. Students will be informed by their programmes concerning whether this applies to them specifically.

The government wants to prevent public transport from becoming overcrowded. That is why AUAS is organising some on-campus education between the hours of 11:00 and 15:00 so that everyone can travel before the evening rush hour. Travel after 20:00 is also permitted.

It is possible, in specific circumstances, to occasionally use study and work spaces in the Wibaut building, Nicolaes Tulp building and Leeuwenburg. This is not possible in the other buildings.

This evening, the government announced that higher professional education, just like secondary vocational education, will be allowed to open their doors for educational activities from 15 June on, to a limited extent. This applies in particular to practical parts of degree programmes. Further preconditions have also been formulated for this limited opening, considering reduced mobility during ‘rush hours’.

At the AUAS, we are pleased with this development. We will decide as soon as possible how to make use of it, considering the public transportation restrictions. Because we want to limit any potential study delays as much as possible, we will prioritise those activities that enable students to complete the final phase of their studies ahead of graduation. Activities that ensure that students can start the new academic year with 'a clean slate' in September, as much as possible, will also be prioritised.

At the end of March, the government explained that even in the most positive scenario, a return to the 'old situation' for higher education would take time. Tonight's announcements by the government make it clear that being able to provide education on campus will, again, take longer than students, lecturers, and staff would like. For the time being, the possibilities within the guidelines of the government and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment are and will remain limited. In the interests of public health, the government wants to prevent large groups of people from travelling via public transport. Nevertheless, the AUAS continues to look for opportunities to solve urgent issues in education and research in a safe manner and within the set conditions so that we may start the new academic year as optimally as possible. In the coming days, the Executive Board will consult with the deans of the faculties about what this entails. Further information will follow in mid-May.

The Dutch government has announced that the current measures for higher education will continue after 28 April. The AUAS is doing everything in its power to ensure the continuation of education and to prevent study delays, and is therefore working within the existing guidelines to resolve urgent bottlenecks in the field of skills education and assessments that must take place in labs or spaces intended for practical education. In the meantime, the situation remains the same: there will be no on-campus education until the end of the academic year, and unfortunately it is not possible to conduct assessments on campus.
The fact that the situation for the AUAS remains unchanged also means that some work will continue on-campus in order to safeguard crucial operations: the Leeuwenburg, the Wibaut building and the Nicolaes Tulp building will remain open on weekdays from 08:00 to 18:00. In these buildings study and work spaces will remain available for students and staff who, due to circumstances, are unable to study or work at home. Bring your AUAS-ID and follow the instructions of the AUAS staff on the premesis.
Many thanks to everyone for their cooperation so far, commitment, stamina as well as the team collaboration and support.

The Dutch government has announced that the current measures will be extended until (and including) 28 April 2020. It’s also evident that it’s going to take some time for normal life to resume, if, in the most positive scenario, this is possible after 28 April.

Last Thursday, the AUAS Executive Board decided that on-campus education will be halted until the end of the academic year (31 August 2020) and that employees will work as much as possible from home. The AUAS will make the most of the opportunities offered within the guidelines mandated by the government and the RIVM. This means that when the time comes, the AUAS will decide about the timing and conditions for the safe, phased return of students and employees to campuses, based on these guidelines.

We expect to take further decisions at the end of April, mid-June and at the end of August concerning this.

Distance education in principle until the end of the academic year

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences will carry on with working from home and offering distance education after 6 April. In principle, there will be no on-campus education for the rest of the academic year (31 August 2020). Employees will continue to work from home, insofar as possible.

The AUAS has opted for this measure in order to offer our students and employees peace of mind and clarity. “We are now rapidly moving towards offering distance education. That costs us blood, sweat and tears. We don't think it is responsible to leave students and employees in a position of uncertainty about how we are going to organise education in the upcoming period,” says Huib de Jong, AUAS Executive Board Chairman. “Not everything can be achieved easily at a distance, so we are looking for tailor-made solutions for situations where this leads to insurmountable problems, such as practical training and other forms of skill-based education and testing. We do this, of course, within the guidelines of the national government and the RIVM.”

The AUAS realises that the decision is once again a very far-reaching measure for both students and employees. “I have enormous respect for the flexibility the AUAS community is showing in order to keep our institution up and running,” says Huib de Jong, who stresses that help and support is available for students and employees. “You are not alone, we are here to help you.” De Jong emphasises that free time and breaks should therefore also be scheduled. Not only for your own vitality, but also to help you combine work or study with private life. “Take good care of each other and yourself, and make sure you take the time to rest.”

Exam week

Many programmes have an exam week scheduled, starting Monday 30 March. Each programme is currently checking to see which exams can be taken digitally. Your programme will share this information with you. We want to apologise for not having this information ready on the original deadline of 20 March. For now, it is important to note that the information will become available as soon as possible, if you have not already received it.

The AUAS and Minister will soon discuss what yesterday’s press conference will mean for us. Current rules will stay in place until then. Check our FAQ on amsterdamuas.com/coronainfo .

The AUAS suspends the BSA (binding study advice). The AUAS allows education and exams to continue wherever possible. The programmes are working hard to ensure this. Nevertheless, it cannot be ruled out that students risk a delay in their academic progress due to the corona crisis. As a result, students will not meet the standards for their binding study advice. That is why the rules surrounding the binding study advice are now as following: every current first-year student will be able to continue their programme next year. Still, it is important that everyone continues to follow the education and passes exams. This will help with passing the propaedeutic year in the next academic year. It will also help avoid the considerable costs of study delay. Students who have doubts about continuation can appeal to advice and guidance.

Visit the FAQ on coronainfo.mijnhva.nl/en to find out how the suspension of the BSA works.

A message for our international students

Considering the exceptional circumstances due to the corona crisis, the AUAS understands that our international students may prefer to be at home with loved ones during this time.

If this applies to you, we advise you to return home. It’s important to be aware of the entry requirements of your home country, including potential quarantine measures.

In the event that you face difficulties arranging your travel, we strongly advise you to visit your embassy as soon as possible. They will assist you concerning the next steps to take.

At the AUAS, we are currently working hard to find solutions so all of our students can complete their studies this academic year within a reasonable timeframe. At the moment we are looking into the possibilities of remote examinations but unfortunately cannot guarantee this will be arranged. Discussions are currently underway with the examinations boards at our faculties concerning this matter.

We can assure you that we will do everything in our power to avoid study delays for AUAS students.

The exact details that apply to your specific situation will be communicated to you in due course by your faculty.

If you have questions in the meantime, please contact the international office for your faculty.

Additional information will follow as soon as possible.

In order to help all students whose academic progress has been affected by the coronavirus, the AUAS will be postponing the provision of a binding study advice (BSA) until the end of the second academic year. The AUAS will communicate the exact procedure regarding this delayed BSA as soon as possible.

The government took new measures yesterday to prevent the coronavirus from spreading futher. For the AUAS, this means that there will be no on-campus education until after 6 April. Please find updates below concerning the impact on our university of applied sciences.

AUAS to close some buildings

Considering that it’s not possible to offer on-campus education during the next few weeks, there is no need, nor is it desirable, to keep all of the AUAS buildings open. In some places, however, work continues on-site to ensure that crucial operations are guaranteed. This morning, the Executive Board decided that the Wibaut building (WBH), the Leeuwenburg (LWB) and the Nicolaes Tulp building (NTH) will remain open. The other buildings will be closed with effect from 18:00 on Tuesday 17 March. For buildings that do remain open, adjusted opening hours apply: from 08:00 – 18:00. The libraries will close yet remain open online. The public study spots will remain available in the open buildings (WBH, LWB and NTH).

Education: continuity and quality require our flexibility

The AUAS is doing everything in its power to guarantee the continuity of education. In doing so, we cannot - and will not - make any concessions to the established quality standards for tests and examinations. This requires a great deal of flexibility and improvisation on the part of the lecturers and degree programmes.

The Executive Board acknowledges the difficult dilemmas that students, lecturers and degree programmes are facing and sympathises with them. What should we do if, under the current circumstances, it is not possible to complete the required education and exams within the regular period? Do we adjust the annual planning accordingly? And if this means that students must study longer than previously planned, what does that mean for study financing? How do we deal with first-year students who, due to the current situation, are unable to meet the norm for binding study advice? We don’t have any immediate answers to these questions at the moment. The Executive Board is currently in consultation with the degree programmes, examinations boards and national bodies/institutions to ask for understanding of these circumstances and to discuss how we can best represent the interests of students and staff. More information will follow later concerning this.

Online teaching and remote testing

Degree programmes are currently working hard to figure out how they can use online education to keep our primary processes going. This requires a great deal of effort and creativity, and it is time consuming. It is not possible to do this 100% everywhere at short notice. However, it looks like we are going to largely manage to pull this together and that is a great achievement.

Last weekend we opened a special website with a lot of information about distance education (in Dutch).

A test period is planned for early April. An inventory is now being made per programme to discern whether - and how - the tests can be taken digitally. Students will be informed by their programmes about this.

ICT systems and infrastructure are heavily burdened under the current circumstances. This applied not only at the AUAS, but also across the Netherlands and around the world. This is a unique situation. We cannot rule out the possibility that some parts of the national infrastructure will be affected by this and perhaps temporarily unavailable from time to time. The AUAS has prepared itself well in advance for this, by strengthening its systems and ensuring we have additional infrastructure available. A team of specialists is working day and night to keep everything on track. Should disruptions nevertheless occur, we kindly ask for everyone's understanding and patience. We ask degree programmes to limit their use of live streaming because this requires more network capacity compared to pre-recording videos and posting them online afterwards.

Working from home

The following applies to all employees: in principle, everyone must work from home. And we keep travel to a minimum. We only come to the AUAS when necessary to safeguard crucial processes and facilities. At the same time, primary and secondary schools are also closed, so many children are at home. This requires some improvisation from colleagues who have children at home. If this leads to problems, please discuss this with your supervisor.

Do not travel

Due to the increasing uncertainty about the situation abroad and the fact that countries are rapidly closing their borders, the AUAS does not permit travel abroad for study or work during this period. In terms of incoming travel, students and employees from abroad should also not travel to the AUAS. Students or staff who are already abroad for study or work are urgently advised - in consultation with their degree programme or department head - to return home as soon as possible. Private trips, which are not related to study or work at the AUAS, are at individual’s the discretion. Nevertheless, the AUAS also advises against travel in these instances.

The cancellation of educational activities has been extended up to and including 6 April.

SPECIAL EMPLOYEE WEBSITE LAUNCHED FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION

A new site launched today: digitaalonderwijs.mijnhva.nl. It contains lots of useful instructions for how to work with various applications within Brightspace.

The site is therefore an important resource for helping you to offer some education at a distance. This is particularly important at the moment since we are unable to offer on-campus education up to and including 6 April, due to the coronavirus.

Explore the site, find out how distance education works and make use of the possibilities to offer your students education online. The site is a work in progress: new information will be added regularly in the coming period. This could include additional instructions about useful applications or information about the didactic aspects of distance education.

Please note that the site is only available in Dutch at the moment.

Do you have questions about distance education? A list with contact details for additional support is also available on the site: digitaalonderwijs.mijnhva.nl.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus and the government's current measures have far-reaching consequences for everyone. This situation demands flexibility and understanding from all of us. We cannot give a suitable answer to all questions at this time. Let's seek the best possible solutions together. We rely on your understanding, cooperation and support.

Education not on campus, but online

The planned educational activities (including exams) offered on-campus will not take place this month.

We will try to let as much as possible continue through online channels. This means that distance learning will take place wherever possible. We are working on finding alternatives for educational activities that cannot take place through these online channels. Your own degree programme will keep you informed regarding any programme-specific information. We advise you to keep an eye out for any further information posted on coronainfo.mijnhva.nl/en and/or amsterdamuas.com/coronainfo .

The AUAS will do everything in its power to ensure that this stillstand of educational activities on-campus has as little influence as possible on students’ academic progress. A clear line of communication between the students and their programmes is of utter importance at all time. After all, these conditions can change rapidly.

Internships

Students who are currently doing their internships can discuss their course of action with their work placement company and their degree programme. Any questions and/or issues can be discussed with the programme that actively keeps its own students and employees informed.

Test week: more information will follow later

Many programmes have a test week scheduled, starting on Monday 30 March. All on-campus exams scheduled on/before Tuesday 31 March will not take place. At this time, we are not able to confirm whether any exams scheduled on/after Wednesday 1 April will take place. Further information about this will follow no later than Friday 20 March.

Events and educational meetings cancelled

Educational meetings and other events in AUAS buildings will not take for the rest of the month (March). This also applies to events organised by study associations.

Employees: working from home

Employees are advised to work from home as much as possible and arrange for meetings to be taken place through online channels. Try to continue crucial meetings (if possible, online). It is important to consult with your own department and other colleagues on the best way to proceed. Anyone with a cold, cough or fever must stay at home. Anyone dealing with the care of vulnerable people will take the appropriate measures, in consultation with their degree programme/supervisor/colleagues.

Buildings will remain open

The AUAS buildings will remain open in order to guarantee operations on several crucial issues provided by the supporting organisation. The canteens will be closed. Several AUAS buildings may still have to be temporarily closed. Further information will follow as soon as possible should this happen.

General health guidelines

It is important that all Dutch people adhere to the health guidelines set by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. Read them carefully and adhere to them. Regularly check for updates on their website .

Today, 13 March, all educational activities (classes and exams) will take place as scheduled, with the exception of any lectures with more than 100 people.

From 16-31 March, there will be no on-campus educational activities or events. The AUAS will adhere to the nationwide coronavirus protocol. Like other institutions, we will use today to prepare for this upcoming period.

Government takes measures to stop spread of coronavirus

On Thursday, 12 March, the Dutch Cabinet and the RIVM announced new measures to stop spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands. The Minister for Medical Care, Bruno Bruins, has called on higher education institutions to provide remote education until 31 March. The AUAS is also following these instructions. This means:

1. The AUAS strives for continuity of its activities and simultaneously seeks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

2. Education will continue as much as possible. The AUAS is currently investigating how we can respond to Minister Bruins' call to only offer remote education.

3. Where possible, students and staff will limit their contact and will avoid working in close physical proximity to others.

4. For vulnerable people (with weakened immune systems), the following applies: avoid large gatherings and public transport. People in general are urged to limit visits to vulnerable persons. Those who live with and/or share workspaces with vulnerable persons should take the necessary precautions, in consultation with their degree programme and/or supervisor.

5. Lectures, exams and other gatherings where more than 100 people are present will not take place. Our degree programmes are looking for alternatives. Students will be informed about this by their programme.

6. Where possible, students and staff will work from home. The AUAS has expanded the capacity of its (IT) networks for this purpose. Always consult with your supervisor first when working from home.

Students and staff can access additional information via coronainfo.mijnhva.nl .

Government press conference

The AUAS is currently considering how we will deal with the new measures announced by the Dutch Cabinet to curb the coronavirus.

​The expectation is that we will know more concerning this by the end of the day. Keep an eye on coronainfo.mijnhva.nl for the latest information and frequently asked questions.

Government and RIVM: Work from home in North-Brabant

The Dutch Cabinet and the RIVM have called on residents and people working in North-Brabant to work from home as much as possible. What does this mean for AUAS students and employees?

Internship or work in North-Brabant?

The Cabinet and RIVM (Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) are urging people from North Brabant to work from home as much as possible. AUAS students who are doing an internship in this province should refrain from going there. They should discuss what to do with the internship provider and their degree programme. The same applies to employees of the AUAS who have work commitments in North-Brabant. The advice is: do not go there. Try to conduct your meeting by telephone or in some other way.

Are you from North Brabant?

Students or employees from North-Brabant who study or work at the AUAS should stay at home if they have a cold, cough and/or fever. If the symptoms worsen, contact your general practitioner by telephone and inform your degree programme. This is the official RIVM advice. The same applies to those who live in North-Brabant and want to pay a working visit to the AUAS. If you have health complaints, stay at home and inform the department in question.

If you come from North-Brabant and have no health problems (no cough, cold or fever), you can in principle come to the AUAS for study or work purposes. However, caution is advised. If possible, everyone from North Brabant should try to study or work at home as much as possible. Be sure to always consult your degree programme or department concerning your situation.

Measures in effect until 16 March

This advice from the Cabinet and RIVM will remain in effect for the next seven days, until Monday 16 March.

Any questions?

For general questions: see coronainfo.mijnhva.nl

For questions or to discuss a specific situation: contact your degree programme or department.

For other questions: send an email to coronainfo@hva.nl

Should I come to the AUAS or not?

If you have a cold, a cough or a fever, should you still come to the AUAS or should you stay home? What should you do if you’re from Brabant? The answers to these frequently asked questions are included below.

The AUAS − just like all other colleges and universities – adheres to the RIVM guidelines. For people from the province of North-Brabant stricter guidelines currently apply. In order to prevent the further spread of the virus in this province, residents of North Brabant experiencing complaints such as a cold, a cough or a fever are advised as a precaution to limit social contact with others. This means: do not go to school, work or places where many people gather. In that case, do not come to the AUAS either.

I live in North-Brabant: should I stay at home?

If you have complaints of a cold, cough or fever, don't come to school, work or other places where many people gather. And in that case don't go to the AUAS either. 24 hours after the complaints are over, you can return to normal life. If you don't have any complaints, you can just come to the AUAS as usual.

I have a test or an exam tomorrow and I'm from North-Brabant: what should I do?

The AUAS follows the advice of the RIVM. If you come from North-Brabant and have complaints of a cold, cough or fever, you should stay at home until you feel better. A day after the complaints are over, you can come back to school. Please inform the examinations board in advance of your absence and the reason for this. The normal AUAS rules for students who miss an exam due to illness also apply here.

And if I'm not from North-Brabant?

Then you should also follow the guidelines of the RIVM. This means that you can come to the AUAS, unless you have recently returned from a high-risk area, such as Northern Italy. You must also stay at home if you have a cold and/or fever, until you are healthy again. If your symptoms increase, contact your family doctor by telephone.

How is the AUAS dealing with the coronavirus?

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is following the spread of the coronavirus closely and will take appropriate measures as required.

We adhere to the guidelines provided by the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BuZa), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Netherlands Public Health Service (GGD).

For the time being, this means that we do not have to take extra measures concerning our students and staff. However, we do ask everyone to take care of their personal hygiene.

We can imagine you have questions or concerns. Visit the Coronavirus Info site on MyAUAS for relevant information and an overview of frequently asked questions and answers.

The most up-to-date information about the novel coronavirus is available on the RIVM website. The RIVM monitors the situation in the Netherlands and provides ongoing advice. The AUAS and other Dutch educational institutions are collectively keeping a close eye on these recommendations.

Published by  Communication 5 May 2021