Announcement – Update on Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences' Coronavirus Response Strategy
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences (WUAS) has successfully switched all its bachelor’s and master’s curriculum to online delivery to cope with the effects of the worldwide coronavirus crisis. WUAS’ aim is to ensure continued delivery, without a study freeze and minimising the risk of study delays for its students. We thank each and every one of our students and staff for making this possible. Below we outline some decisions we have made regarding the planning at WUAS until the summer vacation.
Coronavirus Crisis and Internationality
WUAS students represent more than 100 different nationalities and many students from outside the EU have a residence permit based on ‘study’, and the continued delivery safeguards this status. WUAS maintains contact with the immigration authorities about the issuing, renewal and safeguarding of its students’ residence permits. Although WUAS’ students are based in the Netherlands, due to the corona crisis in countries around the world many students are currently abroad, often not being able to return. Also, some new students who were not able to travel to the Netherlands have started their courses online ready to continue in the classroom when the crisis is over.
When will schools and universities in the Netherlands return to school?
The current closure of schools and universities in the Netherlands is planned to last until 28th April, which is during a vacation period, so effectively until 4th May. Although there is some discussion about reopening schools in May, there is currently no plan to do so. If universities are given the go-ahead to reopen in May or in June, WUAS will ensure that its buildings and study locations in Apeldoorn and Amsterdam will be accessible for students and staff as far as possible according to the regulations required to protect against the spread of COVID-19. The Munich campus will follow local German regulations.
Delivery will Continue Online, also in Block 7 (starts 18th May)
Opening building and locations in the coming months could mean that library access will be possible, with access to classrooms for study tutorials and meetings with supervisors, and teachers may be able to deliver their lesson sessions via Teams from the locations, rather than from home. However, WUAS must ensure that all its students, including those abroad can continue their studies at this time.
WUAS has a unique teaching system with compact modules delivered in 6 teaching blocks that span 6 weeks, allowing students to enter and graduate 6 times a year, and a greater flexibility in study planning.
WUAS has, therefore, decided to continue offering its Block 7 modules online, which means that until the summer break there will be no classroom teaching of modules. All classroom teaching is expected to return fully in Block 1 (24th August).
Retake Examinations for Block 3
Twice a year there are two ‘retake’ blocks of two weeks. In 2020, all Block 3 closed-book and open-book (type 1) examinations planned for the summer retake (Block 8) are moved to the Introduction Week of Block 1 (24th August).
Summer Graduation Ceremony Cancelled
It is with regret that the WUAS summer graduation ceremony, planned for 9th July, is cancelled. Students graduating in Block 7 will receive their degrees as planned, and all graduates from Blocks 5, 6 and 7 are invited to join the full gown ceremony in February 2021, or any other future winter and summer ceremony, as is normal practice at WUAS.
If possible, WUAS will organise an opportunity for graduates to pick up their degrees from the Spoorstraat location in Apeldoorn individually, at which time a photograph can be taken of the graduate in gown. This would be subject to the social distancing rules that are the norm at that time.
New Students Block 7
Students who have planned to start their studies in Block 7 (May) and are still abroad are given the opportunity to start their studies online or defer their entry until Block 1 (24th August 2020). New students arriving from abroad for Block 7 will start their studies online, and the registry and student support teams will provide extra and additional support to this group. Dutch and non-visa-requiring students can opt to start online in Block 7 or defer their start to Block 1.
Delivery Block 1 (starts August 24)
The new academic year and delivery in Block 1 is expected to start as planned at all locations. If social distancing measures are still in place, WUAS will establish protocols regarding classroom delivery, and make classroom timetabling changes where necessary, supported by the usual online materials and reading.
Admissions and Applications for Block 1 (August 2020), Block 2 (October 2020) and Block 3 (November 2020).
The Admissions Team continues to receive and process applications as normal for entry into WUAS double-accredited bachelor's and master's programmes. At WUAS all students can start 6 times a year in all BBA, MBA and MBM programmes. For students requiring a study visa, if there is any delay in processing the visa, entry can easily be deferred to the next starting block. For Frequently Asked Questions regarding admissions please see the FAQ page on our website.
by Peter Birdsall
©Wittenborg University Press