Dutch Universities Go Back to Online Lectures Due to Rise in COVID-19 Cases

Netherlands Europe COVID-19 Higher Education News by Erudera News Nov 15, 2021

Netherlands (2)

Universities in the Netherlands will be operating under new restrictions due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has announced.

According to VSNU, among the new measures, is limiting the number of students gathering in a classroom to 75 students, Erudera.com reports.

VSNU chairman Pieter Duisenberg said that it was expected that the cabinet would take new measures following the increase in cases. He said that now some lectures will have to be delivered online again but pointed out that the good thing is that the education will still continue for the most part.

“Physical education is extremely important for the well-being of our students who suffered from stress, loneliness and anxiety due to the previous period of limitations,” Duisenberg said.

According to him, universities in the Netherlands have managed to provide safe in-person instruction, and the vaccination rate among teachers and students has been high.

In his statement, Duisenberg also said he is hopeful that the measures will not have to apply for a long period, and education will continue again without any restrictions.

According to the VSNU media release, the following measures are expected to apply for the next three weeks:

  • A maximum of 75 students will be allowed to gather in a room
  • Exams will not be held
  • Education programmed to be held in the evening can continue

Other measures include remote work, meaning that work at the university will only be allowed if there isn’t any other option. However, researchers and lecturers are permitted to visit their university if needed for research or for education that should take place at the university.

The face-covering requirement and self-tests up to twice a week are still in effect.

According to data by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), as the pandemic started to ease, the number of international students at Dutch universities increased 10 percent after a drop noted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of student applications came from China, India, the United States, Turkey, and Indonesia.

Provisional figures by VSNU revealed that some 340,700 students pursuing Bachelor and Master degrees, 23 percent of whom international students, have joined Dutch universities during the 2021/22 academic year, marking a four percent increase compared to a year earlier.

Following this increase, universities have been struggling to accommodate students, and Duisenberg said that the increasing number of international students can have an impact on the country’s universities.

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