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Only distance education, mass exams cancelled

Only distance education, mass exams cancelled

UM takes drastic measures to prevent further spreading coronavirus

MAASTRICHT. As of Monday, 16 March, Maastricht University will only provide distance education. Compulsory attendance has been abolished, mass exams – such as those in Mecc – for block period 4 have been cancelled. Employees should work from home as much as possible.

​These are the measures announced by the university in its latest coronavirus update, which appeared on 12 March, shortly before eight o’clock in the evening: online lectures, no events involving more than a hundred participants, no face-to-face academic education until 31 March. The latter was not mentioned by prime minister Rutte during his press conference earlier that day, which only referred to the cancellation of large-scale lectures, but it was stated in a letter to the Second Chamber that appeared later.

The UM’s international profile – with many foreign students and staff – has made the Executive Board decide to take additional measures. These are far-reaching, to the extent that no student needs to come to the university anymore. As of Monday, there will only be distance education, large-scale exams have been cancelled and will be postponed until June. Faculties are free to offer alternative tests, though. It is important to provide tailor-made solutions, the Executive Board writes, and “preventing the risk of study delays should be a top priority”.

There is a chance, the UM update says, that distance education will be extended into the next block period(s). The university library stays open. Students are discouraged from studying in the UL.

The university sports centre closes its doors as of 14 March. Studium Generale has canceled all events up to and including 2 April.

As for members of staff: they are asked to consult with their managers and work from home as much as possible and not to attend any meetings involving more than thirty persons. Internal meetings of more than thirty participants have been cancelled. Academic and PhD degree ceremonies cannot be attended by more than thirty people at a time.

So, formally this is not a closure, but looking at all measures together, it comes very close.

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