Dutch Universities to Welcome More Students at Campuses


University libraries and study places across the Netherlands will open for all students as the country is gradually relaxing COVID-19 measures for higher education.

Thanks to this relaxation of measures, more students will also be allowed to return to campuses again, Erudera.com reports.

The President of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), Pieter Duisenberg, expressed delight that university libraries are opening again, claiming that studying together brings students more satisfaction and is more enjoyable for the latter.

“It is an important step that students can really come back to university and meet other students,” Duisenberg said, adding that such an action is a huge stimulation for the country’s students.

A press release issued by VSNU underlined that Dutch universities are committed to offering more in-person education as early as possible, adding that the first lessons had already been held at several universities last Monday. At the same time, other universities are expected to begin more face-to-face lessons at the beginning of May.

In order to protect students, universities will continue to apply the distance rule of 1.5 meters and are expected to use only between 20 percent and 30 percent of the buildings’ capacity, hoping that this distance measure will also be removed next academic year.

“Our goal is for the 2021-2022 academic year to be a normal year again in which we can let go of the 1.5-meter rules. In the interest of the well-being of our students, we ask the government to clarify this as soon as possible. Universities are already preparing for this scenario”, Duisenberg added.

All students who will attend in-person lessons are obliged to show COVID-19 negative test results as well as respect all other Coronavirus measures.

The lecture halls have reopened in several universities across the country since April 26. The  Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven attended the first in-person lesson at the Utrecht University.

Similar to the Netherlands, other universities across the world are planning to return students to campuses this fall. The University of Alberta (U of A) has announced it will combine the study programs, holding more than 80 percent of classes in-person and 20 percent online.

Whereas, most recently, the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, announced that Portuguese universities and colleges had returned in-person classes as of April 19.

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