Europe After the Pandemic is the title of the Schuman lecture that will be held online this year on Monday 10 May. The speaker, political scientist Ivan Krastev (1965, Bulgaria), has been concerned for years about the growing distrust of European citizens in politicians.
MAASTRICHT. Sidewalk cafes are allowed to open up across the Netherlands, so also those at the clubs of the Maastricht student associations. "The students are really happy to see each other again,” says KoKo chairperson Maaike Hooghiemstra. Only Saurus that has to wait a while. The city authorities still have to give permission, because officially it is a sports canteen, not a pub.
MAASTRICHT. The chairman of the Examination Board of the Faculty of Law has resigned after ‘meddling’ by the faculty board with the way in which a first-year block exam was held. Dean Jan Smits strongly denies that pressure was exerted.
MON 3 MAY
- September: back to campus with mouth mask
In September, students can come back to the campus again, without the one meter and a half distance. But the masks are still there and there are no more than 75 students in the lec...
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.
What has changed in five hospitals in Limburg over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic? A lot, according to a study conducted by Maastricht University researchers Daan Westra and Bram Fleuren. Hospitals closed departments, introduced twelve-hour shifts, set up screening tents, and began to provide psychosocial support for struggling employees. But, even more importantly, how did these changes affect hospital employee health? And what are the takeaways for future healthcare crises? The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) gave the researchers half a million euros to find the answers to these questions.
Student organisations bring students together, but how can you do that during a pandemic? How can you create a spirit of community when meeting in real life is not an option? Various student organisations in Maastricht reported similar problems dealing with online events; people are done with online meetings, don’t always show up when they say they will, and are reluctant to look for activities outside their own social circle. They had to come up with creative ideas to substitute real-life activities – with varying degrees of success.
MAASTRICHT. “We are sitting apart!”, a guy shouts this Wednesday afternoon to a city enforcer in the park. The guy sees a hole, jumps up and runs away. His friends get a ticket: 95 euros per person.
THE NETHERLANDS. First-year students will pay only €542 in tuition fees for the next academic year: a quarter of the standard rate. This decision by the Ministry of Education represents almost 100 million euros.
MAASTRICHT. There are too few study places at Maastricht University. The student delegation of the university council wrote this in a letter to the executive board this week. Even before the letter was discussed in the council, the number of study places had already been expanded.
They are reasonably satisfied about the online education, but if they were allowed to come to the university tomorrow, they would be straight there. In her third session with students from various faculties, rector Rianne Letschert spoke to second-year psychology students last Monday. “You have almost no spontaneous interaction anymore. Even having coffee with a friend has to be pre-arranged.”
MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University wants to uphold the flexible transition between the bachelor’s and master’s study for next year too. Rector Rianne Letschert said to the University Council last week that they were waiting for the minister to approve. That approval is expected by mid-March.
MAASTRICHT. “So much fun, our first training again. It is strange to be in the boat with so many people ”, it sounds on Wednesday afternoon at the jetty at Saurus. The four rowers and the steer in the boat are looking forward to it. As of today, young people under the age of 27 practice sports together again.
How can you predict which COVID-19 patients will become seriously ill? And what are the chances of survival in patients who have been admitted to the ICU? From the beginning of the pandemic, doctors have been trying to find answers to these kinds of questions. Prediction models can help with this. But which model works well? Statistician Laure Wynants (Care and Public Health Research Institute CAPHRI), together with a team of forty researchers from the Netherlands and abroad, started a living review to review and appraise all published papers on this topic. She was awarded the Edmond Hustinx Prize 2020, that goes to a Maastricht researcher every year, for her work.
MAASTRICHT. No text messages and e-mails in the evenings and at the weekend. To lower work pressure Maastricht University (UM) wants to create more restful and recovery moments. It is also considering a shorter academic year and fewer exams.
MAASTRICHT. Social contact, some more social contact and preferably a little social contact. There is a great need for this among Maastricht students. Any other conclusion was impossible last carnival Friday. Rector Rianne Letschert had a discussion with the chairpersons of a number of study and student associations as well as a few University Council members, teachers and an UM psychologist via Zoom about student well-being.
She does the same things every morning: she has a cup of coffee, does her skincare routine, and meditates. This positive way to start the day is helping first-year student of Global Studies Alina Timosenco through the lockdown. Timosenco, who is from Moldova, is facing a dilemma. Will she stay in Maastricht or return to her native country? “Sure, I could stay here, but what’s in it for me right now?”
MAASTRICHT. From today, Monday 22 February, vulnerable students can also study in Loods V at Tapijn. There is space for a maximum of sixty students. Study places may also become available at other locations of the university library soon.
After 35 years of being a secretary, Nanny Bakker felt it was time for a change. She switched jobs within the university library but now she has to share the ‘office’ with her husband at home. Well, you know, COVID-19. “I tend to get involved in his telephone calls.”
Once in his life, Jan Haverman, second-year student of European Studies, went skiing at carnival. “My family and friends never forgave me for that,” he laughs. “They still comment on that, even now.” Normally, Haverman starts carnival on Thursday and has his last beer on Tuesday.
For schmalzy pop singer (and department secretary) Eveline Horsch, carnival should be the busiest time of the year with two or three performances a day. Unfortunately, COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works. Horsch, carnival celebrant in heart and soul, certainly misses the party hubbub, but the citizen of Kerkrade is not gloomy. This should not become a lamentation, she emphasises.
MAASTRICHT. All Maastricht University employees will receive a working-from-home compensation of €40 net per month until June 2021. This includes €30 for Internet expenses and €10 for the so-called ‘free space working expenses regulation’. The compensation paid by the UM is higher than the €25 that Dutch universities mutually agreed upon.
She still has residual symptoms from Covid-19, which struck her in autumn. Coughing, short of breath. Yes, she is also fatigued, “but is that because of the virus? Who isn’t tired?”, Sarah Stutterheim, assistant professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences winks. She is an optimist. “I look for as many silver linings as possible.” Gratitude is one of them, as crazy as that may sound. “The various roles that people play have become more visible: mother, father, daughter, son, employee. I think that this has created more understanding.” So, Stutterheim is not embarrassed to make her meatballs during an informal Zoom meeting with colleagues.
MAASTRICHT. There will most likely be clarity about the second one-off working-from-home compensation this month, said vice president of the Executive Board Nick Bos when asked. This will not be a regulation that makes it possible to claim the cost of a babysitter at home, as the University of Amsterdam created.
MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University would prefer to stop with online proctoring - online testing under camera surveillance - and switch to alternative testing options. Rector Rianne Letschert said this last Wednesday during the latest meeting of the university council.
The new lockdown brings new challenges for Olga Penninger, study advisor at the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences. “We are showing a new colleague the ropes but not everyone can work as hard as normal because of their personal circumstances, so I now have extra work.” That is, as far as is possible, because Penninger and her partner Mark are also responsible for the distance education of Ise (11) and Arne (8). The morning walk – which is how she started every day in spring – has now been moved to the evening.
A curfew has been introduced, starting this weekend. Between nine o’ clock in the evening and half past four in the morning nobody – with a few exceptions – is allowed outside. This won’t make much difference to club life, say the chairpersons of the Maastricht student associations. For student life in general, they feel that this is a completely different matter.
Since the lockdown in March, she has only been to the faculty a couple of times, to print or collect something, and once for a meeting. She hadn’t planned it that way. Aline Sierp, Assistant Professor of European Studies, had wanted to come to the campus every week from September 2020.
NETHERLANDS. The lockdown will last at least three more weeks. The Ministry of Education wants to roll out rapid testing of students in a number of cities as part of a trial to see whether in-class teaching will be possible in the near future. Groningen will get the ball rolling next week.
NETHERLANDS/MAASTRICHT. In view of the corona crisis and the recently extended lockdown, the 14 Dutch universities, including Maastricht University, are nevertheless lowering the standard for binding study recommendations (BSA) by 10 to 15 percent this academic year.
MAASTRICHT. Since the Netherlands will stay in lockdown until at least 9 February, Maastricht University has decided that education will continue to take place online in period 4. The program for the Dies Natalis - the 45th anniversary of Maastricht University - has been thoroughly stripped down.
Bart Penders, Associate Professor of Metamedica at the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), misses the informal chats at work, with colleagues, but also with students. About how things are going, but also about professional literature. But this period also has positive aspects. Penders spends more time with his daughters (8 and 6 years old) and he has a new hobby: going around the neighbourhood together with his daughter, a cart and a pricker to pick up rubbish.
What do you do when a student mutes your voice in order to listen to music? “Remain empathic and calm,” says Eline Schmeets, PhD researcher at Maastricht working on Europe and lecturer at University College Maastricht. Online education has its own set of challenges. Still, she likes working from home. “A more pleasant, gentler rhythm has evolved.”
MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University, like the rest of educational institutions in the Netherlands, will 'close' due to rising Covid-19 infections. Education is now completely online, at least until the end of the third block (end of January).
Thursday 8 October 2020, the Court of Maastricht. Two public prosecutors – one of whom is Dave Mattheijs – are presenting their closing arguments, arguing why the accused Jos B. should be sent to prison for years. “A highlight”, reflects Mattheijs. “So much had been said about Nicky Verstappen’s case in the press, by so many people, some of whom hardly knew anything about it. And they increasingly seem to say, ‘The case is doomed, there isn’t enough convincing evidence’. I was itching to respond. It felt so good to finally be allowed to.”
Mark Vluggen, director of the bachelor’s programmes at the School of Business and Economics, has been in crisis mode for over a year. It all started in November 2019 with civil protests in Chile. Anxious SBE students on exchange asked if they could come back home. Not much later, similar requests arrived from Hong Kong, where protests had escalated into violence. “After Christmas, I suddenly noticed I was receiving very few emails”, he chuckles. And the COVID-19 pandemic was yet to begin. What is his way of coping with everything? Walking ten thousand steps per day and “seeing optimism as a moral duty”.
No, 2020 was certainly not an easy year, admits Nick Bos, vice chair of the Executive Board. But – barely a minute into the interview – he also says that he doesn’t want this to be the story of a board member complaining about long working days and high work pressure. On the contrary. “I realise all too well that I’m in a privileged position: my children have already moved out, my home situation is simple. It’s very different from that of the lecturers who, last spring, had to move their teaching online overnight, with two or three children to homeschool, sometimes in small houses. It was and still is very difficult for everyone. We’re asking a lot of our staff and students. At the same time, I’m proud of how we all managed to ensure the continuity of our teaching and research together. I’m grateful that the students are quite content despite everything, even if the situation isn’t ideal.”
Vera Schriebl (26), master’s student in the Medical Doctor-Clinical Researcher programme, was one of the medical students who signed up to help out at the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past year, she learnt a lot about being a doctor, but also about herself. Her 2020 in a nutshell: guilt, loneliness, work experience and gratitude.
Was it 8:30 PM? 9 PM? He had no idea. It was mid-September, it was getting dark, and because he didn’t have a torch or a phone on him, he crawled into his sleeping bag. He had only just settled down under the open sky when the forest around him came to life. He heard wild boar, deer, an owl. All his senses were on high alert. That’s when he heard a rat nearby, or at least he thought he did. “I was petrified with fear. That always happens when I’m really scared. I immediately realised, ‘I can’t spend four nights like this, I won’t be able to handle it.” What to do? Pierre Schröder, HR adviser at Maastricht University for almost thirty years now: “I decided, ‘If I hear anything, I will scream.’ I didn’t care if anyone heard me. It helped, it made me feel calmer.”
MAASTRICHT. Work pressure has been a theme at Maastricht University for years. But since the start of COVID-19, it has increased exponentially across the University, both for academic and for support staff. Young lecturers at University College Maastricht seem to be having an extra hard time. There are times when they have up to four tutorial groups in a row on campus and all with the same content. Boring and exhausting, they say. At the weekends, they hold voluntary Zoom sessions for students. The dean is struggling to find a balance between the well-being of his students and lecturers. But for him the interest of the first group weighs heavier.
MAASTRICHT. ‘Cancer won’t wait until COVID-19 is over’. It is the name of the campaign by a group of organisations that focus on the care of cancer patients. Their appeal: go to the doctor if you have symptoms. Considerably fewer cases than expected have been diagnosed nationally, but also in Maastricht, this year. Also, research into the disease has taken a back seat to COVID-19.
MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University will close its doors on 21 December, rather than 25 December. An extended ‘Christmas closure’. Why? “To give employees extra time to recuperate and rest,” the Executive Board wrote in a communication e-mail last week. Four extra days off? Yes, but at the expense of regular holiday leave.
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is here. How are staff members at Maastricht University doing? A barking dog, a squawking lovebird: Chantal Mingels, who works in the Education Office of the Faculty of Law, has exchanged her office on Kapoenstraat for her own living room. She is working remotely, “which is going well”, but she misses “the hustle and bustle” of the faculty building. She’s very happy that she is still allowed to come into work four hours per week. In the meantime, Mingels has discovered hidden talents: building an outdoor pool.
MAASTRICHT. Next Thursday, medical interns throughout the country are going to post selfies of themselves wearing facemasks or maintaining 1.5 metre distance. With the hashtag ‘#CotijdensCovid they want to appeal to their fellow students to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations and give them a glimpse of what their lives look like at the moment.
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is here. How are staff members at Maastricht University doing? Mark Govers, associate professor at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) and member of the University Council on behalf of the academic staff, misses his colleagues and work environment. At the same time, he is enthusiastic about educational innovations that are being introduced as a result of COVID-19.
MAASTRICHT. Second wave or not, Maastricht University is allowing its exchange programmes and work placements abroad to take place this academic year. Contrary to Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam, who feel that the uncertainty is too great. The UM’s foreign plans will have to meet certain requirements, says Martin Paul, president of the Maastricht Executive Board. “Safety above all.”
We are into the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. How are things for Maastricht University employees? Working from home actually suits Jessica Alleva, assistant professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences (FPN), very well. After her father-in-law spent weeks in the intensive-care unit with COVID-19 last spring, she realised what was really important in life: family. “It is not about how many articles you’ve published.”
MAASTRICHT. A lot of obscurity, so there were many questions in the University Council about the Covid-19 security protocol. The latest version was discussed during the University Council meeting last Wednesday afternoon. What is the penalty for not wearing a facemask? Who is going to monitor this? And is this legally watertight?
A complete closure, never again: that was the general sentiment in care homes after the lockdown in March. The measure had much too negative an effect on inhabitants, their loved ones and employees. Some described it as ‘inhuman’. Now that the second wave is in full swing, the collaborative academic elderly care work places (Samenwerkende Academische Werkplaatsen Ouderenzorg), which includes AWO Zuid-Limburg, asked 76 care homes whether they still allow people to visit. And if they do, how do they keep it up.
It’s not just the tutorial group meetings and lectures that are different because of the COVID-19 pandemic; exams have also been adapted. Hundreds of students together in the MECC is now impossible. And online proctoring? That can be used if there is really no other alternative, the Executive Board of Maastricht University emphasises. Compared to the proctoring (digital testing under supervision) in spring, it has now been outsourced to the American company Proctorio. Surveillance software is used to analyse student behaviour. Students from the University Council are critical.
MAASTRICHT. The first exam period is nearly upon us, but it will be very different from previous years because of COVID-19. Maastricht University had already pared down the maximum number of students allowed in the MECC from 1,800 to four hundred. For most exams an alternative was already sought in the summer, for example in the form of essays or presentations. For 79 tests, use will be made of online proctoring: supervised digital exams. Checking for fraud has been outsourced to American software company Proctorio.
MAASTRICHT. Online education is far from ideal, say Maastricht students. The quality of problem-based learning is suffering, whether it is purely online or in a hybrid form. There is less discussion, students are less likely to speak out and for newcomers it is difficult to get to know others. These are some of the outcomes of a round of questions by Observant. But demonstrating (online) with students from across the country last Friday for more face-to-face education, was a step too far for most of them.
Give every student five tacks and a jar during a tutorial group meeting. Each time someone says something, a tack disappears into his or her jar. After five times, they are out of speaking time. “This gives quiet students the opportunity to als...
“Hello everyone, may I have your attention please,” student steward Artur Klatka asks a (COVID-19) filled lecture hall in the new UM building on the Paul Henri Spaaklaan. “I could see from outside that you were standing too close to...
MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University is dealing with an increasing number of corona infections. The counter now (31 August) stands at 18 students who tested positive for Covid-19. The cause could be sought in student houses where the rules have not always been observed.
This year, the Inkom, the introduction week by Maastricht University, took place mainly online. Was it worth it? Did the first-year students meet new people? Has Maastricht become their city? We asked four freshmen.
MAASTRICHT. At the moment six foreign students are in voluntary quarantine in the Annadal Guesthouse. They 've arrived from an orange or red area in the world. None of them is showing any symptoms or have tested positive for corona at the moment, says Roel van der Nat, manager of the Guesthouse. The ‘isolation corridor’ is empty. “Let us try and keep it that way.”
MAASTRICHT. No Inkom in the MECC this year, but this Tuesday afternoon three doctors to be and a psychology student will be having their own ‘party’ in white protective suits. Well, it certainly isn’t a party, although things are quite relaxed in the GGD (local health authority) Zuid Limburg’s new testing facility, it being very quiet. In the MECC’s multi-storey car park on the Paul-Henri Spaaklaan, throat-and-nose swabs are taken for Covid-19 research. Students test students.
MAASTRICHT. Definite figures or growth percentages are not being given, the situation at the moment is “still too unsure,” say interim spokesperson Fons Elbersen. But it is no secret that Maastricht University can bank on more enrolments this academic year.
MAASTRICHT. Now that the COVID-19 measures have been somewhat relaxed, larger physical gatherings can take place during the INKOM, from 17 until 21 August. This means that each participant will be given the opportunity to attend the evening meetings at least once and freshmen can also become personally acquainted with their group during registration. However, the digital programme will remain key.
Covid-19 changed a lot for everybody, but for the second-year students of the International Medicine Track, it changed the content of their entire course. Instead of learning about drug development, they dived into all the research that has been coming out about the new virus worldwide.
MAASTRICHT. "Do we actually have a chance of changing any of your decisions or are we just here to listen to hear you explain them?” Last Friday afternoon, the School of Business and Economics held an online town hall meeting via Zoom for worried, angry and disappointed students who did not pass the first-year subject of Quantitative Methods 2. The exam was declared invalid because of fraud. The Faculty board is at a loss with the situation and is trying to find solutions where possible. Students (among 160 were present during the meeting) have questions. A lot of questions.
For the time being UM Sports is taking things outside now indoor sports are still not allowed. As of 1 July, sport centres may open their doors again, but UM Sports does not have official approval yet, they report on Facebook.
No coughing the past few days? No temperature or runny nose? Nor any roommates with such symptoms? Good, says the girl at the entrance to the Koko grounds, to the rear of the railway lines on the Gebroeders Hermansstraat. The visitor subsequently receives a dose of disinfectant spray on his hands and is allowed to continue. Just like the rest of the catering industry, student association bars are open again. How does that work? Observant visited Koko to have a look.
Albert Vijghen and Jim Bemelen studied Econometrics together at Maastricht University, after which they both became teachers. Vijghen teaches at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and Bemelen at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. In additio...
She had been looking forward to it all year: spring, the moment when she would only have to write her thesis and would be free to explore the Netherlands. But two weeks before her last exam, the country went into lockdown. Now, master’s student...
I sharpened all my pencils. Cleaned and neatly organised my desk. Requested permission to access all Google docs and Zoom meetings. A tingling in my stomach affirms it: My second semester in Freiburg starts in two days and I am excited!
In March, master’s student of Strategic Marketing Belén Sánchez Ortigosa was faced with a difficult dilemma: should she get on a plane to Madrid to be with her family, or stay in Maastricht during the lockdown? She chose the second option. &ldq...
THE NETHERLANDS. The University of Amsterdam (UvA) can continue to use surveillance software during online exams. This is the outcome of preliminary proceedings brought before the Amsterdam District Court by two student councils and a UvA student.
MAASTRICHT. Online proctoring, or testing with an invigilator who can see into the student’s room. It was introduced in great haste in three Maastricht University faculties. Students were consulted at the very last moment, but not in public council meetings. Privacy objections? Dean Thomas Cleij from the Faculty of Science and Engineering: “Should I have said to five hundred students: Sorry, but because of privacy reasons you will have to add a year onto your study? I don’t think so.”
Sabine Kemper, master’s student of Healthcare Policy, Innovation and Management, was supposed to be doing a research internship at the hospital right now. It would have been the perfect opportunity for her to gain practical experience. Due to t...
MAASTRICHT. A student of the School of Business and Economics wants Maastricht University to introduce a "no detriment policy" due to the corona crisis. He has started a petition and hopes that the average grade that students have achieved so far will not decrease if they score worse for the upcoming exams.
Face mask or not? A separate room for visitors or can they just come inside? Nursing homes deal very differently with the corona rules for visitors, it appeared from initial observations by the Academische Werkplaatsen Ouderenzorg, (Academic Work Places for Geriatric Care) across the Netherlands.
MAASTRICHT. Exams at the School of Business and Economics involving large groups of students, will not take place with the use of proctoring. That was the Faculty Board’s conclusion after the so-called stress test. Organising large-scale online exams in which dozens of employees need to be at hand to act as proctors appears to be a bridge too far.
Work placement, thesis, study, politics. These are just a few of the things that keep Jonathan Felix, master’s student of Law and Labour, busy at the moment. Even during the pandemic, he has his hands full. “Three days a week, I do a dist...
Kennedy d’Abreu de Paulo is a master’s student of Biomedical Sciences, specialising in neuromodulation. “Neuromodulation is about making adjustments to the brain or nervous system, for example through deep brain stimulation, where e...
Like many of you (I assume), I feel like a criminal about to rob the cashier whenever I enter the supermarket for some cherry tomatoes. I've already looked into sticking Frozen stickers on my huge mask to demonstrate my goodwill. After all, no on...
At the School of Business and Economics, it is keeping to the right as much as possible in the corridors and sometimes it is better to look to the right as well. Certainly if you are passing the toilets near the university restaurant on your way to t...
MAASTRICHT. Many researchers have to combine their education and research with caring for children. That causes friction. It is mainly women who have too little time for research and subsidy applications. They are left with the short end of the stick, says the FEM network at Maastricht University. That is why they have addressed the issue with subsidy supplier NWO.
MAASTRICHT. The University Library in the city centre has re-opened. The first 75 students found a place at the library on the Grote Looiersstraat 17 last Monday.
Months ago, I wrote a paean of praise for the Mensa Canteen here in Freiburg. Needless to say, I was shaken to my core when I heard that its doors shut weeks ago due to the ongoing Corona pandemic, and a tear still manages to escape from my eye when ...
MAASTRICHT. Student party Novum has started a petition against online proctoring of exams at Maastricht University. Three faculties apply this form of digital examination, in which students are supervised by webcam. A considerable breach of privacy, which Novum feels is not allowed. In the petition, the student party refers to this type of examination as “unlawful and unconstitutional”. These are “Orwellian developments”.
In expectation of the re-opening of Dutch cinemas – due to happen on 1 June – Observant is taking a weekly look at films offered online. This week, it’s IDFA’s turn (International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam)....
THE NETHERLANDS/MAASTRICHT. The current crisis has thrown the allocation of research funding by the Dutch Research Council into chaos. But when it comes to shifting deadlines, the action group Athena's Angels fears female scientists are at a disadvantage.
MAASTRICHT. The Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering has come up with an original way to motivate students for the exams, which will start in two weeks. Students can download motivational posters with their favorite teachers. Ass...
Strawberries are red, the sky is blue,
Sadly no visitors, but people are thinking of you!
With these types of cheerful poems and other uplifting messages, the students from the ‘Maastricht Chamber of Associations’ (Circumflex, Trago...
It almost seems impossible to have a ‘perfect’ day in these times of frustration, restrictions and isolation. In a way, it even seems wrong. But the truth is, the Corona Virus is no longer the first topic I talk about to friends when I &l...
THE NETHERLANDS. The government is allocating €200 million to support students during the current crisis. These funds will be deployed to benefit students in vocational education and training (MBO), higher professional education (HBO) and university education.
THE NETHERLANDS. Universities and universities of applied sciences will most likely be able to open their doors for essential practicals and exams in mid-June. But students should minimise their use of public transport.
MAASTRICHT. Unless the government throws a spanner in the works, all students will come to Maastricht again after the Summer, as far as the UM is concerned. Education activities will take place partly ‘on campus’ and partly online. Students who cannot come to Maastricht (yet), for example because they are not allowed to leave their country or are sick, will receive a “full-scale online offer”.
MAASTRICHT. No stands in the university buildings, no flyers to hand out, no chance to speak directly with passing fellow students. It will be a lot more difficult to campaign now that it must be done digitally, expect the student parties participating in the university elections from 25 to 28 May. That is when the new student members will be chosen for the Faculty Councils and University Council. “You are dependent on the people who already follow you on social media, it is difficult to reach the wider audience.”
Although Britt Schuurman began her master’s degree in Medicine in March, she has yet to do any clinical rotations. She was supposed to be doing a rotation in the Department of Surgery at the Laurentius Hospital in Roermond right now. “I w...
MAASTRICHT. Student sports association Saurus is (partially) open. Single-person boats (skiffs) are permitted in the water again. The rowers must adhere to a strict corona protocol. With this, Saurus is the first Maastricht student association to get going again. It is expected that other associations will follow soon.
That a train stopped at the seemingly abandoned train station Höxter-Lüchtringen surprised me even as I entered it to start my 6-hour long journey back to Freiburg. And not only because this was the first time that I was surrounded by anything other ...
Downheartedness and self-pity. Those are the prevailing emotions in the Vluggen household at the moment. The reason is that this is the week when we invariably made our way to the Côte d’Azur for the annual highlight on a film lover’s cal...
The Election Magazine can only be viewed online this year. Normally, the magazine goes along with the paper Observant two weeks before the university elections, this year from May 25-28. Because Observant is not published due to the Co...
It has been a strange academic year for Femke de Haan, a third-year student at University College Maastricht. Last September, she went on exchange to Canada. Soon after her return to the Netherlands in January, Maastricht University closed its doors ...
MAASTRICHT. The UM Guesthouse is currently half empty. “About 450 students have left early. Some of them even left behind all their belongings”, says Maurice Evers, head of department at Maastricht Housing. As of this week, students at the Guesthouse who decided to stay despite the coronavirus crisis and students who decided to leave early will be given the option of extending their stay for a maximum of twelve months so that they can complete their degree or exchange.
MAASTRICHT. How many international students have already enrolled to study at Maastricht University next academic year? Is there cause for concern, or no reason to worry? The Executive Board won’t publish the numbers. “The situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic is exceptional, complex, and very uncertain”, says interim spokesperson Fons Elbersen.
MAASTRICHT. Bachelor’s students who have gained almost all credits – at least 80 per cent, or 48 ECTS – of their last year, may - contrary to the norm – embark on a master’s programme at the UM in September, the Executive Board has decided.
Olsi Sokolli is a bachelor’s student of European Studies. His original plan was to go into self-quarantine at home with his family in Altamura, in southern Italy. He had already bought his ticket, but his flight was cancelled at the last minute...
The plans to reopen were at the ready, but Dutch cinemas will remain closed till June 1. And anyone casting a glance at the release list for the coming months, will see that film distributers also don’t expect cinemas to be up and running fully...
MAASTRICHT. If the universities can no longer open for the foreseeable future and students stay away, there is a chance that some could collapse. Student cities could also be badly hit, warns Rianne Letschert, Rector Magnificus at Maastricht University.
Universities are doing their level best to provide online working groups and lectures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The question is whether up-coming students want distance education. Is studying during the pandemic worth the bother?
It certainly ...
THE NETHERLANDS. International students still want to come to Europe, but more than half want to delay it by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the outcome of a large survey by the QS Intelligence Unit.
Bernardo Centofanti from Rome is a master’s student of International Business who works as a tutor teaching the course Finance 1.5. Just before the university closed, he moved out of his semi-studio flat and into a student house with five other...
THE NETHERLANDS/ MAASTRICHT. “We must be able to take a blow, which also applies to this generation of students. If their first reaction to the corona crisis is ‘How will I be compensated?’, then I think that is very sad. ” That is what rector Rianne Letschert said last Sunday evening during a television debate with experts about life after the corona crisis.
The many deaths, the family that is not allowed to visit, all this has left its mark on doctors and nurses. At MUMC+, the so-called psychosocial team keeps a close watch on the healthcare workers. “Society can applaud for you as hard as they can but, in the end, it comes down to the support from your colleagues.”
Jeanine Brouwer teaches three courses: a research practical and an academic writing course for psychologists, and a course on Addiction to third-year students of the Faculty of Health, Medicine & Life Sciences. She sometimes feels like her studen...
THE NETHERLANDS. Corona crisis or not, students from outside Europe must find a job within a year after graduating. Otherwise they will be sent back to their own country, the ministry of Justice and Security confirmed.
MAASTRICHT. And then suddenly, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands appears in the Zoom tutorial group meeting. That happened to the students at University College who were taking the Macrosociology block. What was that like? “Great!” “Quite an honour.” “That I get to experience that as a foreign student. I will never forget it.”
THE NETHERLANDS. Having your webcam on while you take an exam? Preferably not, say young politicians and students. They have serious objections against ‘online proctoring’ and demand an alternative.
Alexander Carlo teaches Financing Emerging Markets, a second-year course in the bachelor’s programme International Business, as well as Corporate Finance in the master’s programme. Things have been going well so far, he says, although it ...
In the following email exchange two sisters, who work in very different fields, reflect on how gradual deconfinement affects their work and lives. Christine Neuhold works on EU affairs at Maastricht University and lives in Brussels. Stephanie Neuhold is Head Doctor in charge of the ‘Covid 19 intensive care unit’ of a Viennese hospital.
Anja Dekanski works as a tutor at University College Maastricht. This block, she’s teaching a first-year course called Research Methods 2, as well as a course called Strategy & Negotiation for second- and third-year students. “Within ...
Arriving at the airport in Singapore accompanied by 80s radio tunes was surreal, to say the least. I felt like the whole world except for me discovered how to teleport, making airports obsolete and leaving them deserted. Seeing another human being in...
(Wo)man at work. That was the name of a series about students and the jobs they do, published last academic year. How are they doing during the corona crisis? Can they do anything for their employers or have they been sent home? Aside from the students in the series, we will also hear from others. This time: Emmy Maas, master’s student of Medicine. Having returned from three months’ travel in Asia, she is now –“getting used to” – staying with her parents.
Nici Friedman, third-year student at University College Maastricht, still lives in her student house in Maastricht. She went to her parents for Eastern. But she couldn’t go home for a longer period of time even if she wanted to, she jokes. &ldq...
MAASTRICHT. To Zoom has almost become synonymous to video calling. Maastricht University has recently taken out a licence for professional use of the video and meeting app. No worries, the institute said, with the necessary precautionary measures using it is safe. But is that the case? It is true that Zoom is a user-friendly app – that is why it is so popular – but it is regularly in the news because of privacy and security problems.
THE NETHERLANDS. Four of the five biggest Dutch pension schemes have been hard hit by coronavirus-related panic on the financial markets, and their coverage ratios have shrunk to around 85%, according to first quarter figures.
Friday the 10th of April, 7 am, Singapore. A small group of three headed over to the bus station, wearing face masks and desperately trying not to touch their faces that nowadays seem to start itching as soon as you set foot outside. Fifteen minutes ...
THE NETHERLANDS. Family doctors have made 360,000 fewer referrals to hospitals since the government first brought in measures to stem the spread of coronavirus on March 12, the national health council NZa said on Monday.
MAASTRICHT. The first sixty applications by students in financial difficulties are being dealt with by the University Fund, SWOL. Two weeks ago, the fund started a crowdfunding venture for students who were skint because of the corona crisis. More than 34 thousand euro has been collected since then. A maximum of 1,500 euro is awarded per application.
It doesn’t look like the cinemas will be reopening their doors any time soon, albeit that market leader Pathé has been working on a plan for ‘one-and-a-half-metre cinemas’. NRC published an article on the subject: only one...
(Wo)man at work. That was the name of a series about students and the jobs they do, published last academic year. How are they doing during the corona crisis? Can they do anything for their employers or have they been sent home? Aside from the students in the series, we will also hear from others. This time: Roel Niemark, master’s student of Forensics, Criminology and Law. He is student member of the Faculty Board, student tutor and clerk at the court of justice.
Let’s go on a short time travel journey: the date is February 2020. A time when the Corona outbreak has not reached a global pandemic level yet. I am working slightly stressed but focused towards my master’s degree, screening the job mark...
MAASTRICHT. Not in the usual small hall but online: last Wednesday (8 April), the University Council had a meeting via Zoom for the first time since the corona crisis. It was especially the student fraction that is worried about the impact.
(Wo)man at work. That was the name of a series about students and the jobs they do, published last academic year. How are they doing during the corona crisis? Can they do anything for their employers or have they been sent home? Aside from the students in the series, we will also hear from others. This time: Cyriel Huntjens, master’s student of Forensics, Criminology and Law. His work at Centre Ville is on hold for the moment.
(Wo)man at work. That was the name of a series about students and the jobs they do, published last academic year. How are they doing during this corona crisis? Can they do anything for their employers or have they been sent home? Aside from the students in the series, we will also hear from others. This time: Kristel Zaal, third-year student of Psychology. She took a break in patient catering for the moment.
Formulating research questions, obtaining funding, joining forces with other universities – before the coronavirus pandemic, these kinds of things took forever. Now, they seem to be achieved overnight. Studies related to COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus are springing up like mushrooms all over the world, although their quality sometimes leaves much to be desired. What are UM researchers currently working on?
MAASTRICHT. Today (9 April) there are still 24 Maastricht students who are stranded abroad and want to return home. It concerns students who were on an exchange visit outside Europe. Last Wednesday, the number was 36 people.
Law student Leonie Frissen is one of the students who live in the building used by Lux ad Mosam, the Christian student association in Maastricht. Although many students have left the city, Frissen’s student house is still quite full. “Ele...
MAASTRICHT. The Maastricht University psychologists have noticed that it is tougher to reach students who are not actually present at the university. “They are receiving a lot of information, you can tell that they are focussing mainly on their education,” says team leader Mieke Jansen. The students that do come to us have remarkably few corona-related questions.
Thierry Bleijswijk, master’s student of Public Policy and Human Development, has been a volunteer with the Netherlands Red Cross for four years. He usually works at music festival Pinkpop or André Rieu concerts, but he’s currently doing v...
Spring has come with the best and sunniest days in a while, yet we are still in quarantine, trying to slow down the spread of the virus. At the same time, restaurants and bars are still shut down and students still struggle to make ends meet. In this video we have Michael Keith, a third-year student of Arts and Culture at the Faculty of Arts and Social sciences, who is faced with an uncertain future.
Second-year student of Psychology Victoria Ebert has “gone back to her childhood days”, she says via Skype, laughing. She has returned to her father’s vineyard house, where she lived until 2011. “After that, I went to school a...
MAASTRICHT. The School of Business and Economics has adapted its schedules for 120 foreign students for period 5 (starting on April 14) in order to prevent those students from having to attend tutorial group meetings at ungodly hours. The students concerned are exchange students – from countries such as Australia or the US – who live in different time zones.
We’re all looking forward to the day that we don’t have to live in the constant fear of COVID-19 anymore. The day that our hearts don’t make a jump when our phones ring because we suspect that, in the end, someone we love did get in...
MAASTRICHT. Online drinks, answering pupils’ questions, and challenging each other through Instagram challenges: all activities having been cancelled, student associations are attempting to keep in contact with their members through all kinds of ways in order to keep spirits up. The reduced activity will have no influence on the boards’ subsidies, says Pascal Breuls, director of the Student Services Centre.
MAASTRICHT/NEW YORK. From Tuesday, 14 April, Nils Kok, associate professor at the School of Business and Economics, who lives in a suburb of New York, will set the alarm for two o’clock in the morning. Half an hour before the first of four tutorial groups starts. His teaching day finishes at around twelve o’clock in the afternoon, local time.
Jasmina Peneva, a research master’s student of Cognitive Neuroscience, travelled back to her home country of Bulgaria last Sunday. She’s not staying with her parents, but in a family friend’s flat. “As the Netherlands is a &ls...
Two sisters that come from very different fields, shed light on how Covid 19 has changed their work and lives. Christine Neuhold is professor EU Democratic Governance at Maastricht University (FaSoS) and lives in Brussels, where she directs UM Campus Brussels. Stephanie Neuhold is Head Doctor in charge of the Intensive Care Unit of Infectious and Tropical diseases of the Kaiser-Franz-Jozef Hospital in Vienna, and as such working in the ‘Covid 19 intensive care unit’. This tale of two sisters comes in form of email messages between Vienna and Brussels.
These are very difficult days for Maja Niekrasz, first-year student of European Law. “I have struggled with depression and anxiety all my life. I tend to overthink everything. I got help a couple of years ago and I’ve made a lot of progre...
MAASTRICHT. Now that the first online exams have been made, there are also the first cases of fraud. For example, ten out of the hundred master’s students who did the take-home exam for the subject of Behavioural Finance this week, used exactly the same words to answer a number of questions. They will get a NG (No Grade) for their exams and each will be asked to individually provide an explanation to the Examination Board.
The peak in the number of those infected and fatalities will most likely come in April, or possibly in May. Because of the corona measures taken, the epidemic is not growing exponentially, but it is growing, says professor Christian Hoebe, member of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) that has been advising the government. That is why the measures have been extended until 28 April.
Being right in the middle of the COVID-19 storm, everyone is hoping for a quick fix such as a vaccine. In his blog Martin Paul suggests that finding a magic bullet has the highest priority. We, the Global Health Team at Health Ethics and Society of M...
THE NETHERLANDS. Special measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands are to be extended until April 28 at least, prime minister Mark Rutte told a press conference on Tuesday.
Elisabeth Hiller, a second-year student at University College Maastricht, spent the past two weeks at a fellow student’s house in The Hague. “She invited me to stay with her so I wouldn’t have to be alone if a total lockdown was ann...
It’s quiet in the student house where Lars van Laar, second-year student of Psychology, lives. “Twelve people usually live here, now there are only four. We buy groceries for each other to reduce unnecessary trips to the supermarket. If t...
THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch ministers, health experts and other officials are meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss how long the Netherlands will extend what prime minister Mark Rutte has described as an ‘intelligent lockdown’ in the country’s bid to get coronavirus under control.
Master’s student of Policy & Human Development Maren Slangen took her final written exam without even knowing it. “I was supposed to take two more, but the programme directors decided to assign us an online oral exam and a take-home a...
With the new threat of the COVID-19 many restaurants and bars have closed leaving many people without a job. But what about the students of Maastricht who support themselves and are on a zero-hour contract? European Studies student Gabriela Štěpková is one of them and she is the first of this series of video interviews to share her story with Observant.
THE NETHERLANDS. The number of people who are or who have been hospitalised with coronavirus almost hit 4,000 overnight, the public health institute RIVM said in its Monday update.
Just like my colleague reviewer Mark Vluggen, I am not a fan of streaming services and organisations such as Netflix or Disney Channel. As far as I am concerned, film belongs on a large screen or else on DVD or Blu-ray. But as has been said, necessit...
The coronavirus has the world in its clutch. Not only does it have its own name (SARS CoV2), and its own disease (Covid-19) but more importantly it has been coined as a Pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The health emergency of the disease ha...
MAASTRICHT. You can't replace a multiple-choice exam for 800 students by a take-home exam. Marking would be unfeasible. So, what then? Postpone the exam and hope that it can take place in the Mecc before September after all? Or look for alternatives? The UM Examination Boards are focussing on dilemmas like these and are searching for solutions almost every day. The exam period for block 4 is scheduled to start on Monday, 30 March.
Eline van Gorp, second-year student of Medicine, has been assigned a new tutor. Her usual tutor is an infectious disease specialist; she’s too busy working in the lab to lead any online tutorial sessions at the moment. Tutorials are going very ...
Communication advisor Caroline Roulaux was looking forward to a quiet touring holiday – “enjoying some nature, taking it easy” – when she and her hubby boarded a plane for Costa Rica on 10 March. Yes, the corona virus was already finding its way to places outside China, but cancel the trip? No, the couple felt that that would be an overreaction. One week later, everything accelerated. The travel organisation advised them to return to the Netherlands. “Not because of the virus but because people expected the country to go into lockdown, as was the case in surrounding countries.”
MAASTRICHT. All Maastricht education is to be carried out remotely until the end of the academic year. But what does that mean for staff and students? Tutorial groups work through Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Blackboard; lecturers are working on online lectures. But what about large-scale exams in the MECC? What are the alternatives?
Is 2019/2020 a “lost year” because of the crises Maastricht University has had to face? Will all this affect the intake of new students in September? Will students get their tuition fees back? Will UM continue to offer online education in...
The Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences and research institute CAPHRI and have discontinued nearly all their research. CARIM is running a few ‘vital processes’ and are doing their utmost to keep laboratory animals and cells that are being cultivated alive as well as possible. At UNU-MERIT in the city centre, it is largely business as usual, so most researchers are continuing to work. From home of course.
“Pretty much all of my friends have left Maastricht”, says Hayden Bunn, a second-year student of the European Law School programme. He also considered going back to the United States, but ultimately decided to stay. “At first, it wa...
Add structure to your day, find a balance between working, studying and relaxing, keep in touch with others online, and give yourself some time to figure out how to go about all of this. Those were the main takeaways from the webinar 'Dealing with anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic', which was broadcast on YouTube and other social media channels last Thursday. About a hundred people attended the webinar, watching a panel of experts offer tips and answer questions from the studio (at an appropriate distance from each other) or via Skype.
Until two weeks ago, second-year student of International Business Hadia Arab lived in an apartment in Maastricht. "I subrented that place and could arrange something with the main tenants." Now, she is living with her parents in Heerlen ag...
THE NETHERLANDS. The government has prohibited all gatherings until 1 June because of the corona crisis. But the ministers were non-committal with regard to education.
MAASTRICHT. Almost all research at the Caphri institute, most of which focusses on public health and care innovation, has been halted. This means that nearly three hundred researchers are now at home, many of whom will face delays. “At the moment, we cannot estimate the financial consequences,” says scientific director Maurice Zeegers.
Not a day seems to pass by anymore without at least three new e-mails updating me about how Corona is affecting my life. By the time I'm writing this, Maastricht University has sent out its 15th Corona update. My current University in Freiburg co...
Sahander Nur Ozdil, a first-year University College Maastricht student, has several suitcases in her room. They belong to her father. “He was here two weeks ago to give me moral support. He had to leave for Turkey in a hurry when the Turkish go...
In the past days, there has been unrest in my neighbourhood. Many people are upset that children are playing outside, people are going for walks, and customers stand too closely at the supermarket. In contrast, many say we’re exaggerating, we s...
MAASTRICHT. The research group led by Peter Peters, professor of Nanobiology, is to set aside some of its regular research, in as far as there are people in the lab, in order to free up time to research the coronavirus. Specimens of the virus will be studied in the lab in the hope of setting the next step in the development of a medicine or vaccine.
MAASTRICHT/THE NETHERLANDS. Maastricht University and Leiden University have cancelled all face-to-face education for the rest of the academic year. Other universities and universities of applied sciences are considering doing the same.
MAASTRICHT. All Maastricht first-year students who find themselves with too few credits at the end of August and therefore do not meet with the requirements of the binding study advice (BSA), will be given respite, the Executive Board has decided.
Sara Mazzini, a student in the research master’s programme Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, has nowhere to be, but she is trying to maintain some sort of routine in this time of corona crisis. “I was following a Dutch language course,...
After the cyber crisis at the turn of the year, Maastricht University must now face the coronavirus. Again, a crisis management team (CMT) has been set up, and again Vice President of the Executive Board, Nick Bos is its leader. “With the cyberattack we were alone and had to find our own way, now it is a worldwide crisis and we can lean partially on the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Area Health Authority (GGD).”
Pabita Kister, a second-year UCM student, has been quarantined in her parents’ home in Düsseldorf since last Saturday. “It’s unclear whether I’ve been infected”, she emphasises. “I’m not showing any symptoms ...
MAASTRICHT. Many students want to contribute towards the containment of the corona crisis. Also in Maastricht where here and there sheets of A4 with telephone numbers have been hung up. Professor Christiaan Hoebe, head of Infectious Disease Control Zuid Limburg Health Authority (GGD), is impressed by the help offered, but would like to inform the students that the RIVM guidelines must be observed: 1.5 metre distance, place shopping on the ground and have money ready (or pay by bank card).
All PhD ceremonies have been postponed because of the corona measures, although soon it will most likely be possible to conduct these online. Gwen Noteborn would sign up for that. Also, because it fits in seamlessly with her thesis about IT innovations in education. And it is a topical matter: her American co-supervisor is confronted with a travel ban. An interview via FaceTime.
MAASTRICHT. As the lecture halls remain empty, the corridors of Guesthouse UM and The Student Hotel are growing quieter and quieter as well. We don’t yet know exactly how many students have left, but last weekend at least a hundred of them checked out of the Guesthouse early. This number is only expected to increase in the days to come, says Maurice Evers, department head Maastricht Housing. There are also students who don’t want to go home because they are afraid of increasing their family members’ chances of getting infected.
Samuele Livraghi, a first-year student enrolled in the Maastricht Science Programme, is from Lombardy in northern Italy. Although no one in his family has yet been infected with the coronavirus, the situation back home is “quite stressful. New ...
MAASTRICHT. As of Monday 16 March 2020, UM has shifted completely to online teaching. How exactly are faculties going about this? Have they come up with alternatives for large-scale exams that needed to be cancelled? Will exams be postponed to the summer, potentially ruining both lecturers and students’ holiday plans?
NEDERLAND. It’s better not to organise parties, nor is it a good idea for five people to watch a film on a two-seater sofa. Students need to use common sense in this crisis.
MAASTRICHT. What do the preventative measures that have been taken to curtail the spreading of the coronavirus mean for student associations and organisations? Observant asked the four largest – Koko, Tragos, Circumflex and Saurus – and found out that they immediately closed their doors on Thursday. Initially, Saurus wanted its rowers to continue training, but cancelled that as well on Saturday. The associations have also asked their members not to come together anywhere else, but to stay at home. Board members work from home as much as possible.
European Law School student Mashid Mojabi attended her first online tutorial session last Monday. She’s happy that her faculty is continuing to provide education via the Internet. “I’m a fourth-year student. I’d like to get my...
MAASTRICHT. The Executive Board has decided to postpone all academic sessions, at least until April 6.
MAASTRICHT. Observant will only be published online for the next few weeks (www.observantonline.nl) and not in printed form. This has to do with the measures taken to curtail further spreading of the coronavirus as much as possible: students are no l...
NETHERLANDS. Dutch Research Council and funding organisation NWO is not conducting any interviews with applicants for research grants for the time being. Applicants will most likely have to wait a few anxious months more because of the corona crisis.
UPDATE: University Library closes its doors, all UM buildings closed for students and staff as of 16 March.
MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University has closed its doors for students with effect from 16 March. This includes the University Libra...
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.
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.
MAASTRICHT. Last Tuesday, three Italian students launched a petition in which they urge Maastricht University to close its doors because of the coronavirus. Within twenty hours, it was signed more than a thousand times. But for the time being, closure is not on the cards. Students in Randwyck are already noticing the effects of the stricter measures in the hospital. They are called on to avoid the MUMC as much as possible; interns are not allowed in the operating theatres until further notice.
The amount of coronavirus infections is increasing in the Netherlands, but according to the government we are still in the ‘containment stage’. Rigorous decisions have therefore not yet been taken. What do Maastricht scientists think of the actions of the National Institute for Health and the Environment (RIVM)? According to the book? Or far too weak, as twitterers suggest.
MAASTRICHT. While Maastricht University is not cancelling any education activities, exams or events yet because of the coronavirus, MUMC steps up measures by calling off all meetings and receptions until 1 April. In addition, students who are doing internships are not allowed inside the operating theatre for the time being. Nor are they given any other tasks that require the use of face masks. The latter is because of the scarcity of protective materials.
MAASTRICHT. A member of staff from Maastricht University’s department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering has tested positively for the coronavirus. This was confirmed by the South Limburg Health Authority on Thursday, 5 March. The person concerned lives in Aachen and has stayed at home by way of precaution, having probably contracted the infection in Germany. At that time, he or she did not yet show any symptoms.
MAASTRICHT. So far, 25 students from Maastricht University have reported sick for education activities. They will stay at home because they are sneezing or coughing or have a fever in combination with having recently returned from a high-risk area for the corona virus, such as Northern Italy. In such cases, the UM advises to remain at home for two days and see how the illness progresses. No student or member of staff has yet been diagnosed with the so-called Covid-19 virus.
THE NETHERLANDS. Wash your hands, sneeze in your sleeve and use paper tissues. Beyond that, says the Dutch government, there’s little students and schools can do to stop the coronavirus.
MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University advises its students and staff not to travel to the Chinese province of Hubei, with Wuhan as epicentre of the outbreak of the corona virus.
Read everything that happens at MAastricht University during the Corona crisis here.