Dutch universities are preparing for a return to campus life without the need for social distancing when the new academic year starts in late August. Cabinet has indicated that from 16 August the 1.5-m social-distancing rule implemented will probably be lifted, but a definite decision will be made on 13 August.
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has received its first shipment of corona self-testing kits which will be available from this week to students and members of staff who want to take the test. Wittenborg will return to hybrid teaching in two weeks, on 17 May, which means lessons will be offered in-person as well as online.
The number of international students in the Netherlands is expected to rise about 33% in the next 6 years, according to estimates published this week by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. In general, the number of students expected to study in higher education is much higher than what the government anticipated - especially at research universities.
The Netherlands is slowly but surely re-opening after a long period of lockdown which saw higher education move almost entirely online. From next Wednesday, April 28, the government will finally relax of some of its corona measures, like the re-opening of restaurants and shops - albeit it under certain conditions
Everyone in the Netherlands who wants to be vaccinated will get their first shot by at least 1 July, according to the Dutch government's calculations. This includes international students who are currently residing in the country. The announcement was made by the Dutch health minister, Hugo de Jonge, earlier this week. Provided the vaccines are delivered on schedule, De Jonge added.
High on the agenda at Wittenborg's annual Students and Staff Conference held online this year was mental health issues as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff policy around working from home and how the pandemic is shaping the future of education. Proposals emanating from the conference will be presented in a report to management next.
Now that the Netherlands has started its vaccination programme, what does that mean for education at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences in the coming weeks and in the long-term? A recent survey among students and staff has shown that the majority of them are in favour of taking the vaccine.