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Foto: Jorn van Eck (UvA)

UvA cancels lectures and exams due to corona, ‘continue education online’

Redactie Folia,
13 maart 2020 - 10:05

Lectures and exams at all universities in the Netherlands are cancelled as of today (Friday). ‘The cabinet calls on all institutions to continue education online where possible.’ The Dutch government chose not to close schools or universities, arguing the measure would be too disruptive.

According to the Association of Universities (VSNU), Dutch campuses will remain open where possible and events can go as planned if there are less than one-hundred attendees. The VSNU has repeated the cabinet’s call to ‘work from home if that’s possible’.

What’s cancelled?
  • Lectures, workgroups and other forms of education that require students to travel to UvA campuses; 
  • Offline exams;
  • Inaugural lectures; 
  • Conferences; 
  • Study association activities; 
  • The Bachelor’s Day (March 14); 
  • Lessons at the University Sports Centre; 
  • Events at cultural student centre Crea; 
  • Events at debate centre Spui25. 


This is not cancelled: 

  • Online education; 
  • Online exams; 
  • PhD defence ceremonies (small ceremonies); 
  • Internships; 
  • Libraries are opened, but students are not encouraged to study there. 


You can find the latest updates here and on Canvas. Read our stories on the coronavirus here in Dutch. 

The UvA campuses will remain open as much as possible, although employees and students with symptoms of illness are asked to respect their peers and teachers and stay home. All events, with the exception of promotions, will be cancelled. This concerns, for example, inaugural lectures, but also events organised by study associations. Promotions can proceed if the ceremony is ‘small’. The UvA will publish all relevant information on Canvas. 


On Thursday, the Dutch government advised universities to provide online lectures to help limit social contact and the spreading of the virus. Unlike governments of many other European countries, the Dutch government chose not to close schools or universities, arguing the measure would be too disruptive. The UvA states that the virus, ‘should not effect study progress’ and that, ‘we will do our utmost to find a suitable solution’. 


Events cancelled

Debate centre Spui25, cultural student centre Crea and the University Sports Centre (USC) will close


The university has also canceled the Bachelor’s Day, an open day for prospective students. The UvA expected over 12,000 people from around the country and abroad to attend, and reported that according to the ‘recently drawn up National Governmental framework for events,’ it was therefore considered a high-risk event. The university hopes to provide the relative information online instead. 

The UvA states the virus should ‘not effect study progress’

Shortage of mouth masks

A conference on the coronavirus that was planned in the Amsterdam UMC building has also been cancelled, as have all lectures of the Faculty of Medicine held in the building. The hospital will remain open for regular care. Hospital employees are advised not to go to international conferences or on holiday to areas flagged by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment as ‘risky’. Employees who return from risk areas and have physical complaints must report this to the hospital and stay at home. Healthy hospital employees can continue their work but must avoid contact with patients with immune disorders.


At the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (Acta), only urgent cases will be treated due to a shortage of masks. Checkups, hygienist appointments and restoration work will not go ahead until further notice, states local TV station AT5. The mask shortage is predicted to last until summer. At Acta, all treatments require dentists to wear a mask.


A spokesperson for the Amsterdam UMC has stated that it has ‘thousands of masks’ left, but that staff should use them only if it is medically necessary. ‘If we suddenly receive one hundred patients, our stock will be gone in no time’. Agreements will be made for the mouth mask policy to prevent shortages at academic medical centres.