The University of Amsterdam does not expect to relax safety measures, in place due to the coronavirus, before the summer. However, according to a post on its intranet, the assumption is that, ‘on-campus education will be possible without restrictions’ in the new academic year.
Currently, a large number of international students are studying online from their home country. There are also a number of UvA teachers who are teaching from abroad. According to the post, however, they would all be expected to return to Amsterdam in September as digital education will no longer be facilitated on a large scale by the university.
On-campus education will most likely not be possible in the coming months as the one-and-a-half-meter distance rule will continue. Only practical courses will be offered in the second semester. Any future relaxation of the rules will be used as an opportunity by the university to ‘use the campus as much as possible (and creatively) for more study places’ also outside of the libraries. In addition to study places, there may also be room for ‘small-scale and practical education, project work, meetings, 1-on-1 supervision, testing, room for employees/research, and for the activities of study associations.’
Physical academic year
The UvA is already planning timetables for the next academic year, and choices have to be made. ‘We want to go back to campus, to physical education and to being with each other,’ reads the briefing. ‘That is why we are now making the choice to start in September as a “normal” academic year.’
The university notes that there are, of course, uncertainties. For example, the Faculty of Economics & Business states that if a choice has to be made between classes being offline or online, small lectures and tutorials will be given priority over big lectures and exams.
‘Of course education depends on developments surrounding the coronavirus,’ the report continues. And any changes are to be communicated ‘on time’. ‘But the premise is: back to normal.’