No further reopening of universities

The cabinet decided today that the closure of secondary vocational education institutions and research and applied sciences universities will be prolonged. A new decision moment is scheduled for January 14.

photo Maderla / Shutterstock

After the cabinet took the decision in mid-December that the Netherlands needed to enter into a hard lockdown, there was hope that institutions of higher education would be allowed to reopen on January 10, sooner than other sectors. Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) chair Pieter Duisenberg: “Unfortunately, the Outbreak Management Team advised the cabinet that a reopening at this point would be unwise. This is another setback for our staff and students, obviously. But we’re glad that students can continue to attend physical exams, and that university libraries will remain open. In addition, we will do our utmost best to organize online teaching activities again. We hope that more and more on-campus activities will soon become possible again during the coming weeks. The situation will be reassessed on January 14.”

The exams for which students have prepared themselves, will take place as planned. Practical classes and laboratory work can continue as well, and vulnerable students will continue to receive supervision. Other in-person teaching activities won’t take place for the time being. University libraries will remain open with a maximum group size of 75 persons per room and in compliance with the familiar hygiene measures.

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