Students allowed back to university (with restrictions)
MAASTRICHT. The decision that students are allowed back on campus as of this week, comes when Maastricht University is in the middle of period 5. Transferring from online to hybrid causes too much unrest for staff and students, say the faculty managers. That is why education will remain online. Although people are now trying to make the faculty (even more so than it is) a place to meet up; to study, for mentor discussions, practicals or study association meetings.
From today, students may spend one day a week at lectures or other forms of ‘live’ education. The 1.5-metre distance must still be maintained, which means that there is a maximum to the number of students allowed in the buildings.
Education at Maastricht University will remain online for the rest of this period. A conscious choice aimed at avoiding disturbances, or as Mark Vluggen, programme director of bachelors at the School of Business and Economics, said: “Co-ordinators already have their blocks set for online education. We cannot expect staff to overturn things again in the middle of an ongoing course.”
As far as the next block – period 6 – is concerned: this will also remain online for most faculties. The exception is Psychology and Neurosciences, where the board is doing everything in its power to switch to hybrid education by June, says Petra Hurks, vice dean of education. Just like last autumn, a number of students will have tutorials at the faculty. The rest will be at home in front of their computers.
For the other faculties, the last period of the academic year will have little or no form of classroom education, like at Science and Engineering. “It is more project-oriented,” says dean Thomas Cleij. He hopes that in due course, he can arrange more project meetings on campus. “This, combined with lab activities [some of the FSE students are already working in the labs on campus, ed.], could make period 6 an attractive one.”
Even though many students will have to continue using Zoom until the summer holidays, faculties are expanding the possibilities for them to come to the building more often, for example to study in the study spaces especially created for that purpose. These are already used with great satisfaction, says Giselle Bosse, vice dean of education at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. “We see about fifteen to thirty students per day.” Furthermore, students are working in the building on the Grote Gracht on an extracurricular programme with yoga and meditation sessions, reading groups and film screenings.