Keeping fit, discovering new hobbies, baking cakes, making music – these are some of the fun, interesting activities students have been using to cope with stricter social distancing measures necessitated by the Dutch government to curb the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. And of course, keeping up with their studies with the help of Wittenborg's ever improving online resources.
Creating a virtual "coffee table" for staff to touch base every morning and keep spirits high, while many are working from home in the midst of the Corona COVID-19 virus, is one of the coping mechanisms introduced at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences as it adjusts to offering its education programmes online, still keeping the wheels of administration turning.
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has shown its agility by quickly moving its education to online delivery, even for new students who were supposed to arrive for the March start, and who cannot yet travel. Within a short period of time, since the announcement to 'work from home' on March 14th, WUAS has published new timetables for block 6, implemented a link between the online material in Moodle with Office365 and Teams, and increased its support for the online delivery of its modules in Block 6.
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences will continue offering its programmes online until at least 17 May, and has taken extensive pro-active measures to make sure the education schedule is not disrupted, and both students and staff are fully informed and equipped to continue as normally as possible in the abnormal situation created by the coronavirus COVID-19.
The Dutch government has suspended the collection of all long-stay visas (MVVs), needed by international students who wish to study in the Netherlands, until at least 6 April. It has also put a hold on short-stay visas, "forced by COVID-19" to temporarily close all its consular desks of embassies and consular generals, as explained on the IND website.
This is an important message to all students and staff at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences regarding the delivery of education in the coming period, as a result of the COVID-19 virus situation in the Netherlands.
Based on this advice the university is operating within the guidelines of the Dutch government and making its own decisions regarding Education Delivery. There will not be any freeze in education – arrangements for education delivery will be outlined in a Policy Update tomorrow (Friday 13th March).
We appreciate that the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) outbreak, the growing cases in Europe including the Netherlands, and the growing risk of a potential global pandemic, is a continuing cause for concern for students and their parents and supporters as well as for all WUAS staff.
The welfare of our staff and students is WUAS’ highest priority. We are continuously monitoring the situation, on a day to day and sometimes hour to hour basis and liaising closely with the public health organizations GGD (regional health authority) and National Institute for Public Health (RVIM) acting in line with their latest advice at all times. In Germany, at our Munich campus we are also monitoring the situation in the same way: updated information from the German Ministry of Health can be found here.
As the Netherlands confirmed its first coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, and the number of countries affected rises, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has sought to reassure and support its students and staff who represent well over 100 nationalities, while at the same time making contingency plans should the situation escalate.
Chinese students and staff at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, who have fallen victim to discrimination fuelled by the coronavirus, are among more than 57,000 people who have signed a petition denouncing such behaviour.