No reason for drastic measures yet
MAASTRICHT. The University of Antwerp has been locked down, Denmark has closed all schools and universities, the university sports centres of Tilburg and Eindhoven will remain closed until at least Monday, 16 March, and the TEFAF art fair was discontinued prematurely last night. The Executive Board of Maastricht University sees no reason for drastic measures yet, but is preparing for a variety of scenarios.
The crisis management team is investigating what is required to offer scheduled lectures and tutorial group meetings online for the next block period (block 5). The UM realises that this means extra work for many members of staff, who are already under great pressure because of their work, says the latest coronavirus update. But the “alternative – closure of the university and stopping all education activities, which then need to be scheduled at a later time– is even less desirable”.
Hasselt University, the nearest sister institute, has already taken strict measures. Education meetings as well as events involving more than fifty participants in a single room, are banned. This also applies to student parties on UHasselt’s premises. “This may be followed by a general ban on organising parties by order of the city authorities,” says the press release that was sent on Wednesday afternoon. “Non-essential meetings where participants are physically present, are not allowed either”.
Exams will be held, but the university will ensure that the “social distance” between students is appropriate.
RWTH Aachen University, just across the border in Germany, is still open too, but as of 14 March, it will close its sports centre and study places. Some university cafeterias have already been closed, but meals are still being served in the Mensa Academica.
Tilburg and Eindhoven
In Tilburg (UvT) and in Eindhoven (TUE) - Brabant currently being the province with the highest incidence rate in terms of coronavirus infections – the university sports centres will remain closed until at least Monday, 16 March. The same applies to some of the university cafeterias in Eindhoven. Members of staff have been asked to work from home as much as possible, but the education activities are taking place as planned.