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Coronavirus: updates

The corona measures change regularly. This may cause confusion. With these updates, we provide insight into what the measures mean for you and your work at VU Amsterdam.

You can find more information about the campus in times of corona:

This page will be updated every time the Dutch government has given a press conference.

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UPDATE 25 JANUARY 2022

During the press conference on 25 January, the Dutch government announced an 'open unless'. For higher education, an additional number of changes concerning the rules for quarantine have been announced in addition to the previously initiated relaxations. The group size, the use of face masks and basic measures will remain in place. The current educational and examination activities of P3 remain unchanged. 

The relaxations do offer more perspective for physical education in P4; more information about this will follow later.

For education on the VU campus this means physical education activities can take place on campus with the following measures:

- Follow the basic rules and do a self-test regularly. A positive test? Stay at home and go into isolation.

- A limitation of a maximum of 75 students per classroom.

- Wearing a face mask is compulsory in the buildings and classrooms of VU Amsterdam.

- The 1.5metre distance rule and the corona access pass do not apply to the buildings and educational activities. The 1.5 metre distance rule only applies in educational buildings as an advice where it is deemed possible.

- The advice of the Dutch government still stands: 'Work at home, unless there is no other option'. If this is not possible, always keep a distance of 1.5 metres at work. Where it is not possible to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres, it is advisable to wear a face mask. All work from faculties and services that is necessary to physically organise education can take place on campus without restrictions.

- The quarantine advice has been changed, for more information check the website of the Dutch government. 

The government's policy 'open unless' also creates more room for sport, culture and the hospitality industry. They can open within the guidelines that apply to them. We are glad that these activities can take place on the campus again.  

The previously introduced relaxations for academic ceremonies, graduation and information activities remain unchanged; these can take place with a maximum of 75 people per room.

Students from the Faculty of Medicine and ACTA will be informed by their faculty. 

The VU crisis organisation follows the developments closely and coordinates them on a regular basis with other universities, UVN and GGD Amsterdam. In case of new developments, an update will be posted on this page.

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Possible reduction BSA standard 2021-2022

For all first-year students, the standard for the Binding Study Advice (BSA) will probably* be reduced by 6 credits (6 EC). This applies to all students who started their Bachelor programme at VU Amsterdam in 2021-2022. With this reduction, we join the national agreement between universities to meet students because of the corona crisis: a difficult time in which it can be more difficult to pass the BSA.

We reduced the norm for most programmes from 42 to 36 EC. A reduction of 6 EC also applies to programmes with a deviating norm, of 48 or 54 EC.

In the week of 24 January, first-year Bachelor students of cohort 2021-2022 will receive a letter by post about their study progress in relation to the BSA norm. This letter still mentions the old, non-reduced norm, because it was written before the decision was taken. On 26 January they will also receive an e-mail at their VU email address about the reduction of the BSA norm. Other information about the BSA norm can be found here.

* Why does it say 'probably'? There is a reservation. The Faculty Board decides on the reduction, accompanied by advice from the Programme Committee. At the time of this report, this formal decision-making process has not yet been completed. When it is, the faculty will publish an addition to the Academic and Examination Regulations. We are communicating now anyway, because it is important that students are aware of the reduction, in view of the consideration to possibly deregister before 1 February - they will not receive binding study advice when they do so.


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UPDATE 18 JANUARY 2022

During the press conference on 14 January, the Dutch government announced relaxations for higher education. From Monday 17 January onwards, it will again be permitted to organise physical educational activities on the campus with a maximum group size of 75. For VU Amsterdam, this means that:

-there is a limitation of a maximum of 75 students per classroom;
-wearing a face mask is mandatory in the buildings and teaching rooms of VU Amsterdam. Wearing a face mask is also compulsory when keeping 1.5m.distance. You must keep your face mask on at all times. The Dutch government recommends a medical face mask*;
-the one-and-a-half metre rule and the corona access pass do not apply to buildings and education;
-the home working advice remains: work at home as much as possible, unless it is really not possible otherwise;
-all activities from faculties and services that are necessary on campus to physically organise education can take place on campus without restrictions.

*Additional clarification regarding face masks
The Dutch government has announced that it is compulsory to wear a face mask at universities: ‘for everyone when moving around the campus and when sitting or standing somewhere’. This means the following for students and staff:

Students: 
-Students wear a face mask at all times: the mask must be put on upon entering the building and may only be removed once the student leaves the building. Even when the student is studying, the face mask must remain in place. 
-There are exceptions, namely when an unsafe situation may arise during the educational activity, such as during practicals involving chemical substances. The faculties concerned will assess which practicals are involved and inform the students. People who are physically unable to wear or put on a mouth mask because of their disability or illness are also excluded from the face mask obligation. If a teacher can keep 1.5m distance from students, the teacher is allowed to take off the face mask during the teaching activity. This also applies in the situation where the student presents in front of the class and can keep 1.5m distance.

Employees: 
-Employees have to wear a face mask when moving around in the buildings;
-If a teacher can keep 1.5m distance from students, the teacher may remove the face mask during teaching activities. Students must keep the face mask on. Unless the student is presenting in front of the class and can keep 1.5m distance;
-When working in an office environment, it is recommended to wear a face mask if a distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained. 

Teaching activities
Teachers were asked last December to prepare their lectures for P3 online. Now that there is a relaxation, lecturers are asked to let students know via Canvas whether the remaining lectures in P3 will take place online or physically (with max 75) on campus. Students will therefore be informed via Canvas. The schedule remains unchanged. For location-based courses (labs, practicals, etc.) nothing changes and these will continue with a maximum group size of 75 as scheduled on the campus.

Examination week P3
In principle, the exams in period 3 (31 January - 4 February) will take place remotely. This decision remains unchanged. With the expectation that infections will increase, and the risk that many students will not be able to take their examinations due to a quarantine obligation or that there are not enough people available in the organisation, the decision has been taken to have the examinations in period 3 take place remotely as much as possible. Setting up alternatives simply takes time and cannot be organised last minute.

Study facilities
Studying on campus is possible, for example, if students get stuck with connecting online and physical educational activities due to travel time. The study spots are spread across the campus and these rooms have a capacity of less than 75 persons per room.  

Library
The library is open. Click here for up-to-date information on the services of the University Library.

Work 
The advice of the Dutch government still stands: 'Work at home, unless there is no other option'. For VU Amsterdam, this means that all work from faculties and services that is necessary on campus to physically organise education and support business operations on campus (safe, clean, etc.) will take place on campus without restrictions (of working from home or travelling).  For other activities, the rule remains: work at home, unless it is absolutely necessary. Necessity can also be motivated by the well-being perspective and offering the employee the possibility to work on campus. Consult with your manager if you need to carry out necessary work outside of education on campus.

Research 
Research is scaled down to the minimum necessary level. Research activities can continue on campus if they are strictly location based.  

Meetings 
Academic ceremonies, graduation ceremonies and information activities can take place with a limitation of maximum 75 persons per room. Receptions before or after a meeting are not allowed. Please note that the face mask must remain on even when you are seated.

Other meetings such as seminars will not take place physically as long as the advice 'Work at home, unless you really have to' applies. 

Open days 
Small-scale activities in the context of information may continue to take place on campus. Other activities will take place at a distance. 

Study associations 
The educational activities on the VU Campus that are (partly) organised by study associations are in principle study-related and categorized as educational activities and can therefore take place on campus. Activities that focus on meeting/entertainment cannot be organised on campus. 

VU Sports centre
For the use of sports facilities at VU Amsterdam the existing regulations apply. The indoor and outdoor sports locations of the VU campus are open. For indoor sports locations, a COVID-19 access pass is required for everyone 18 years of age or older.

Canteens - catering establishments
Canteens for students and staff are open under the existing conditions and with observance of the applicable corona measures. For public venues that also welcome the regular public, the consequences are currently being determined.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator 

Corona - FAQ

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