UM and the corona crisis

UM and the corona crisis

The latest updates about the corona crisis: working at home

25-06-2021 · Liveblog


-Guidelines for working from home

The Taskforce Future of Working @UM, chaired by Jan Smits, dean of the Faculty of Law, has drawn up a policy framework for working from home. The general principle is: Working from home is possible and allowed, whereby the nature of the work determines the possibilities. In addition, the communication email states: Working from home is not an employee's right, nor is it an obligation. For the time being, the guideline is based on three days at UM and two days working from home in the case of full-time employment. Agreements about this are made with your own manager.


- Back to the office and corona test Inkom participants

From Monday 28 June, the doors of all UM buildings will open again for employees. Everyone is allowed to come back to the office - at least 1.5 meters away - for a maximum of 50 percent of the working time.

As of June 26, the mouth mask obligation will also largely expire. It remains mandatory only in the corridors of UM buildings, because the 1.5 meter distance is not always possible there. This also applies to all other activities where the 1,5 meters away is not or difficult to achieve.

Festive gatherings at UM or at study and student associations are permitted under certain conditions: permanent seats for everyone more than 1.5 distance from each other. Registration and health check are mandatory. For activities in areas where people do not have a permanent place (flow-through locations), a maximum capacity of 1 visitor per 5m2 applies.

Participants in the INKOM who have not (yet) been vaccinated and do not have a recovery certificate, must have a quick test taken in a government-approved and subsidized rapid test street. No test, recovery or vaccination certificate is requested for faculty introductions and education. Because these are educational activities, UM uses self-tests and calls on its own responsibility.


- Inkom with MECC-parties and other physical events

De Inkom - from 16 to 20 August - will again include physical events and parties. This is possible because the government will allow large-scale events again from the end of June with 100% visitor capacity and without 1,5 meters distance. Besides freshmen, also other students are welcome at the MECC-parties and the opening. For the time being, UM assumes that a test or vaccination certificate is required for participation.


- Further relaxation at the UM

The catering is open again at UM (maximum number of visitors per room: fifty). In the UM buildings, four people are allowed to gather again, but at a distance of 1.5 meters. Thirty spectators are allowed to participate in promotions and inaugural lectures, and another fifty people are welcome at graduation ceremonies. With fixed seats and 1,5 meters away. Working from home is still the norm. Study and student associations are allowed to organize activities for a maximum of fifty people, again with fixed seats at least 1.5 meters away. 


-  Fasos: tutorial groups on campus, lectures with more than 75 students online

No more 1.5 meters at the start of the new academic year, all tutorial groups on campus, lectures of more than 75 people online. This is what the education of period 1 at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will look like. Students who are not allowed to travel or who are in quarantine because of corona can follow their education online. "But we don't want too much hybrid education, because that doesn't work too well," member of the faculty board Giselle Bosse told the faculty council today.


-UM education in September mostly on campus

Education activities at Maastricht University will to a large extent take place on campus again after the summer. To a large extent, because it is likely that the number of people gathering in indoor spaces will still have a maximum by then. As before, all students will be expected in Maastricht, without the one-point-five metre distance but maybe with – should the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM) require such – facemasks, self-tests, walking routes and staying at home if you have symptoms.



- University sports center will open again from tomorrow

On Wednesday 19 May, UM Sport will open again at 1 p.m. From that moment on, thirty people are allowed to fitness at the same time. Maximum 1.5 hours. Reservation is necessary. The fitness is open on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Everyone with a UM Sports Card (regardless of membership) is welcome.

You can also swim again in the Geusseltbad from Wednesday. As for the outdoor sports lessons such as Strength & Conditioning and Aerobics, they just continue outside, although this is now allowed with a larger group: not four but sixteen people. Also here: registration required.



- 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 lecture hall allowed. That is the "basic scenario" that outgoing Minister Van Engelshoven outlines in a letter. With this scenario, universities can prepare for the new academic year.


-Self tests can be ordered online

In May, free self-tests can be ordered by post by students and employees, even if you live in Belgium or Germany. You can do this with your UM account via
The self-tests will supplement the existing corona measures at UM. The use of the tests is voluntarily and can be used at home as a precaution (without any symptoms).

For people without UM account who regularly have to be present in one of the UM buildings, a (limited) number of self-tests will be provided on location.



-Online education continues

The decision that students may again go to campus from this week, is made in the middle of period 5 at UM. Switching from online to hybrid causes too much unrest for students and staff, say the faculty boardmembers. Hence, education remains online. However, attempts are being made to create (even more) a meeting place for the faculty; to study, for mentor meetings, practicals or meetings of study associations. Read more.


- On campus education can start next week

From next Monday on, students are allowed to come to the campus of their university  again one day a week. For Maastricht University, which will be closed next Monday and Tuesday due to King's Day, this means that the campus will be open from 28 April.


- Unsure whether education on campus can start on April 26

It is not yet certain that the university will be able to partially open its doors on April 26, as previously announced by the government. Everything depends on the number of corona infections (these are still increasing at the moment), the condition in the hospitals (the ICs are almost full) and the vaccinations. Prime Minister Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge announced this during a press conference last night. The decision will be made next Tuesday, April 20.


- Minister: Also next year starting on a master’s without a bachelor’s diploma

Third-year bachelor’s students who have acquired almost all credits – a minimum of 80 per cent, or 48 of the 60 ECTS – may embark upon their master’s programmes in September. Just like last year. This relaxation of the rules has again to do with the COVID-19 crisis. Normally, a student can only start a master’s programme after the bachelor’s diploma is in hand.


-De Kindertelefoon starts helpline for young adults

A new helpline offers a listening ear if things get too much during the lockdown. The Everything Okay? Supportlijn is an initiative of De Kindertelefoon. Normally, this helpline only addresses children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18. But from now on, 18 to 24 year olds can also call a trained volunteer. This is possible every day between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m., for free and anonymously. And for those who find telephone a little too scary: you can also chat. (HOP)


- Curfew from March 31 to 10 p.m.

The curfew applies from Wednesday, March 31, between 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. An hour later than now. That is the only change that Prime Minister Rutte announced during the press conference on Tuesday evening. The earlier announced relaxation - higher education partly open, terraces open - will not take place. Universities and universities of applied sciences are not allowed to open their doors a little further before April 26. Students will then be taught on campus one day a week. Whether this actually will be true depends on the contamination figures.



 - No relaxation of measures

There is no official announcement yet, but the anticipated relaxation of the measures in higher education will not take place. The number of infections is too high. The doors of Maastricht University will therefore not be opened (further) next week. A great pity, rector Rianne Letschert feels, and “terrible” for the students. “But you don’t want to end up in a full-scale third wave.”



- First-year students: tuition fee of 542 euros 

First-year students will pay a tuition fee of only 542 euros for the coming academic year. Most other students - it was already known - pay half the normal rate: not 2,168 euros, but 1,084 euros.



- The university may be partially open from March 31

Much is still uncertain, for example, the number of corona infections may not increase any further, but if those infection figures go in the right direction, higher education may be partially reopened from 31 March. From that moment on, students would be able to attend classes on campus one day a week. Prime Minister Rutte reported this during a press conference last night. There will be a new press conference on 23 March, then it will become clear whether the partial opening will actually take place.


- Number of study places university library expanded during XXL weeks

The number of study places for vulnerable students - concentration problems, loneliness, physical or mental problems - will be expanded considerably in the coming week. As of today, 250 instead of 150 seats are available in the inner city library. From next Friday, the doors will also open at two UL locations in Randwyck: 150 places at the UNS50 and sixty on the Paul Henri Spaaklaan.

The extended opening hours are related to the XXL weeks, the weeks before and during the exam week in which the university library has longer opening hours. It is not yet certain whether the locations will remain open in period five.



- From 3 March, students up to the age of 27 can sport outside again

Young people up to the age of 27 are allowed to sport outside again from 3 March. Prime Minister Rutte announced this last night. A number of student sports clubs will be training outside again from 3 March. The members will be informed about this by their association. The University Sports Center will remain closed. All UM SPORT members can continue to use the alternative sports offer (including online lessons, personal training outdoor).




- Starting today: sixty extra study places at Tapijn

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.

Since the strict lockdown of December 14, only the university library in the city center has been open to vulnerable students to a limited extent. Think of people who suffer from concentration problems, loneliness, or a physical or mental disability. 150 places are available per day at the Grote Looiersstraat, divided over two time slots. Now sixty places on Tapijn have been added.

The other locations of the University Library are keeping their doors closed for the time being, says the vice-president of the Executive Board, Nick Bos. However, he is already examining with the building managers what is possible, should the government relax the measures. "In addition, it is a possibility that the number of students in a dire situation will also increase if the lockdown continues for longer." In that case, too, Bos wants to offer a “suitable solution”.



- Education from at least three faculties will remain online until the summer

The education of the faculties of Law, Arts & Social Sciences and Health, Medicine and Life sciences will remain online until the end of this academic year. But as soon as the lockdown rules allow it, the faculty buildings will be open to students: for, among other things, extra- curricular activities of, for example, study associations, for small project groups and for studying.

The other three Maastricht faculties - Psychology and Neuroscience, Science and Engineering and the School of Business and Economics - will switch to hybrid education at the beginning of April, at the start of period five, if the corona rules allow it.


-A working-from-home compensation of €40

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.


- Curfew extended until March 2

The curfew will be extended until March 2, various media report. Until then, no one is allowed on the street after 9 p.m. (and before 4:30 a.m.) without a valid reason. Last week, it was announced that the current lockdown - closure of restaurants and cafés and non-essential stores - will last until March 2. The primary schools and childcare have reopened today.


Lockdown until March 2, no decision on period 5 yet

The lockdown in the Netherlands will be extended until at least 2 March. Prime Minister Rutte announced this last night. Primary schools and childcare will open again from 8 February and products ordered from shops can be picked up from that moment. 

The universities will therefore remain virtually closed, except for skills training, practicals and the University Library (for a limited number of people). Contrary to what was announced during the University Council last week, there will be no decision yet about period 5 this week: will education remain online from April or will students be able to return (more often) to campus again? There are still things to sort out, the spokesperson said. The decision is expected next week.


- Working-from-home compensation

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. 
In November, a maximum of 254 euro after tax (in case of a full-time contract) was transferred to everyone’s bank account, as compensation for costs incurred from working at home up until 31 December 2020. Now that we are into a new period of working from home, the question arises if and what the university should compensate. 


- 535 euros back for master students who graduate before 1 September 2021

The cabinet foresees that many students will be delayed when they graduate. That is why all master students who have obtained or will receive their diploma between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021 will receive 535 euros back this academic year (three months of tuition fees). More info on website DUO.



- From Saturday: curfew from 9pm to 4.30am

There will be a curfew in the Netherlands from 9 pm to 4.30 am until at least Tuesday 9 February. It will start on Saturday January 23. From that moment on, the UM buildings will be closed every day from 19.30. Furthermore, a household may only receive one visitor per day.


-Stricter measures, curfew

The cabinet led by Mark Rutte has announced that it wants to introduce a curfew from 8:30 PM to 4:30 AM. For the introduction of this measure, the cabinet depends on the consent of the Tweede Kamer (Lower House). 
Furthermore, a household may immediately receive a maximum of one person per day.



-Lowering BSA standard

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.


- The lockdown in the Netherlands has been extended to February 9, period 4 online

Education will  remain online in period 4. The Dies Natalis on January 29 has been drastically modified. The awarding of the honorary doctorate to Prof. Jaap van Dissel and other prizes have been moved to the opening of the academic year on August 30, 2021. Promotions will remain online until February 12.



-Only a handful of students on campus

During this lockdown only some practicals will continue as usual, the UL is open to a limited extent. 



-New Year

No New Year's reception in the Bonnefantenmuseum as last year, but an online speech by Martin Paul, chair of the Executive Board, in which he looks back on 2020 and looks ahead. He also announces the winners of the annual Employee Award: Anja Ronken (test coordinator) and Tineke de Beaumont (IT functional manager at the University Library).



-Online education, buildings closed

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).

- Christmas webinar postponed

This afternoon's Christmas webinar in which the Executive Board would reflect on 2020 and look ahead to the new year is canceled. Yesterday, Prime Minister Rutte announced that universities must switch completely to online education until Tuesday 19 January. A new date will be set for the webinar in 2021.



The Netherlands will in any case be in a hard lockdown until Tuesday 19 January 2021 because the corona infections increase. All education, including universities, will be closed. Education only takes place online.
Tomorrow, Maastricht University's update will be published.

-Only supermarkets, butchers, bakers, drugstores, opticians and pharmacies will remain open. Clothing stores, garden centers and hardware stores, among othes, will close.
-Cinemas, swimming pools and other flow-through locations will be closed.
-Gyms lock their doors.
-Hotels will remain open, but no food may be served.
-Horeca still remains closed. You can, however, pick up food and drinks.
-You may be with a maximum of one other person (from another household) on the street. At home you can receive a maximum of two guests, except during Christmas on December 24, 25 and 26. Then three guests are allowed.
-For foreign travel, it is urgent not to book until mid-March, only if strictly necessary.


-Christmas closure

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.



-Home working allowance of max 254 euros

All UM-employees receive a one-off home working allowance of a maximum of 254 euros net (for full-time employment). This applies for the period 1 July to 31 December 2020. The amount will be paid at the same time as the November salary.


- Green light for exchange programmes
Maastricht University is allowing its exchange programmes and work placements abroad to take place this academic year. The UM’s foreign plans will have to meet certain requirements, says Martin Paul, president of the Maastricht Executive Board. “Safety above all." The colour code of a country must not be red. In addition, students may only travel to an orange-coded country if the exchange programme or work placement mostly takes place on campus. Courses that are entirely online must always be done from Maastricht (or the home country of the student). Read further.


- University Library will remain open, PhD ceremonies will take place under strict conditions

The new government corona measures have no influence on the opening of the university library. Farewell speeches, PhD ceremonies and graduation ceremonies also take place on location, albeit under the strict conditions: 1.5 meters distance, face masks when standing or walking, a maximum of thirty people present.


UM Sport: all activities canceled up to and including Sunday, except fitness

Due to the new corona measures, UM Sport will close its doors until Monday. Only the fitness room will remain open. At the moment, one hall and one studio are being converted into fitness rooms that are also accessible to students and employees with a SPORTS membership. From Monday on. Group lessons are prohibited for the next two weeks.


- Outside: only with the two of you
The cabinet has announced stricter measures. The motto for the next two weeks is: stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary travel.
-Travel and booking trips abroad are not recommended until mid-January, unless strictly necessary.
-Inside and outside a group consists of a maximum of two people from different households. This means that students who leave the faculty after, for example, a hybrid tutorial group must ensure that they do not violate this rule.
-For everyone from 18 years, sports are only allowed at a distance of 1.5 meters and only individually or in a team with no more than two people.
-In addition to the catering industry, all publicly accessible locations will now also be locked, such as museums, theaters, sex clubs, casinos, cinemas, amusement parks, zoos, swimming pools and libraries.
-It is also still not allowed to carry or consume alcohol in public areas between 8:00 PM and 7:00 AM.


- Face masks compulsory at UM from Thursday 15 October onwards

From tomorrow, Thursday 15 October, onwards, all staff and students will have to wear a face mask in the UM buildings. Under the motto: while walking or standing, the face mask stays on, when you sit down, it can be taken off.

- Face masks: from urgent advice to mandatory

As of today, there is a nationwide urgent advice to wear a face mask in all higher education-buildings, and that urgent advice will become mandatory as soon as everything is settled legally. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced this during yesterday's press conference. 

"In fact, we are going into a partial lockdown," said Rutte. He announced a series of strict measures, such as closing cafés and restaurants. There was no other way, was his message; the number of Covid-19 infections is increasing far too fast. The measures will take effect tonight at 22.00h.


Minister predicts face masks in higher education

There is a good chance that urgent advice will be given to wearing face masks in universities, says Minister Van Engelshoven in an interview with the HOP. She expects the cabinet to announce this tomorrow, 13 October. “It is of course not ideal if a university of applied science and university in the same city pursue a different policy,” says Van Engelshoven. This is the case in Leiden, for example: the university of applied sciences requires masks, the university does not.

- Homework allowance for all employees UM

In the short run there will be a home working allowance for all UM employees. This was said by Nick Bos, vice-chairman of the executive board, during a committee meeting of the university council last week. It is not yet clear when it will take effect and how high the amount will be.

Bos prefers to have a scheme that is the same for all universities, but he is still discussing this. When the allowance comes, the compensation for travel expenses will be stopped.


- Fasos urges everyone to wear a face mask 

The Faculty of Arts and Social Science (Fasos) urges students and staff members to wear a face mask. It's not  formally mandatory. It's more nuanced than that, dean Christine Neuhold says. "When you say it's mandatory, people expect penalties. We will not have those." 


- Recommendation UM: wear a face mask where 1.5 distance is difficult

As of today, UM is asking everyone to wear a face mask in places where the 1.5 meter distance is difficult to keep: for example when leaving classrooms, congestion in corridors, in mensa and queues. This is in line with the cabinet's urgent advice to wear masks in public areas.

In places where the 1.5 meter distance is not a problem, you do not need to wear a face mask.


- Advice: wear face masks in public places

Wear a face mask in all publicly accessible indoor spaces. This new advice was announced by Prime Minister Rutte during a major corona debate yesterday. “It's about almost everywhere you don't see the sky,” he said. "In shops, museums, town halls, stations, airports, parking garages, gas stations, restaurants, cafes, theaters and concert halls, unless you are seated."


Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences will make face masks mandatory

If the participation council agrees, the Hogeschool Rotterdam will introduce a masking obligation as soon as possible. Until then, the “urgent advice” is to wear one. “This is to promote clarity and enforceability.” Many institutions, including UM, are awaiting further guidelines from the government.



-Pubs and student societies close at 9 pm

Tonight, the cabinet announced the new national corona rules. At 9 pm no one is allowed into the café and at 10 pm all guests have to go home. This also applies to student societies. Furthermore, fewer people are allowed to gather for the time being: a maximum of thirty in one room, with groups of no more than four people at one table. A maximum of 40 people may sit outside, for example on a terrace. The new rules will apply in any case for the next three weeks.

- Face masks for all students who work in hospital Groningen

The University Medical Center Groningen will require all students who work there to wear a surgical face mask. So far, the UMCG is the only one of the eight UMCs in the Netherlands to take this measure. In recent weeks, there have been many corona infections among Groningen students, says the UMCG spokesperson. Since 1 August, 40 employees have contracted the virus, of whom about 25 are students. "To prevent them from spreading the virus further to our patients and employees, we have decided that all students should wear face masks from now on."


- Number of infections

A total of 52 UM students have been or have been infected with COVID-19. Part of this group is now virus-free and out of quarantine. The exact number of students is not known at UM.


New infections in Maastricht and other student cities

Last Friday the counter stood at 46 positively tested UM students; part of this group is no longer contagious. The virus is also spreading in other student cities. The number of infections with Covid-19 among students is increasing not only in Tilburg and Wageningen, but also in Delft and Groningen. Just like in Nijmegen, where three student cafes have now closed. At the beginning of this month, mayor Bruls closed the first student café. Since then, more than 50 visitors have tested positive for the virus and 230 had to be quarantined.


- Study rooms in Mecc for exams

During the so-called XXL weeks, the three weeks around the exams at the end of October in which the University Library and other study places at the university are open longer than normal, UM will rent rooms in the Mecc where students can study. FHML director Winnie Bosch announced this during the Faculty Council. In this way, the university wants to compensate for the library's limited capacity due to corona.


- UM: seven million to absorb corona bottlenecks

More teaching assistants and extra university teachers, but also money for the appointment of corona stewards (who draw the attention of students and staff to the half-meter distance rule, among other things), a health counselor, extra study advisers, and more resources for scientific research.

Maastricht University is investing approximately 7 million euros to better cope with bottlenecks caused by the corona pandemic. Faculties and service centers could themselves indicate where that money should go. Expanding educational capacity is number one.

- 38 UM students tested positive

According to the GGD, 38 UM students have now tested positive for COVID-19. Part of this group is no longer contagious.


- Belgium gives Limburg code orange

Limburg has received code orange from the Belgian government, Non-essential trips to Maastricht, among other places, are not recommend. But neccessary trips, to work or to the tutorial group, are possible. Belgian citizens who stay in Dutch Limburg for more than 48 hours must complete a health declaration before returning to Belgium.


- Lecture on the stairs

UCM students are not allowed to congregate in groups of more than five people inside the building. Prof. Maarten Doorman came up with a creative solution to be able to give his lecture 'Enlightenment and romanticism' in person. He moved the 'lecture hall' to the stairs between St. Jan and St. Servatius, with the Purgatory in the background. "Every now and then a tourist would join for some free education." Photo: Jacqueline Graff


- No additional financial aid for students

The cabinet will continue to support the economy for another nine months. But students with temporary jobs are left out in the new aid package that the cabinet announced on Friday. Ailing companies can receive financial support for their wage costs until mid-2021. As of October, the support is 80 percent of all salaries, 70 percent from January and 60 percent from April. This involves 5.4 billion euros. That is good news for students with a permanent job. But many students are flex workers. The package does not help that group. The scheme for flex workers was closed on 27 July and will not be continued.


-11 students UM tested positive

Maastricht University is dealing with an increasing number of corona infections. The counter now stands at eleven students who tested positive for Covid-19, says interim spokesman Fons Elbersen, who has been informed about this by the GGD (public health agency). The cause could be sought in student houses where the rules have not always been observed.


- More students welcome UL

The University Library is increasing the number of available study places again. When the UL in the city center carefully opened its doors after the lockdown, there was room for 75 students a day. That number has now multiplied. Since last Monday, five hundred people have been welcome; 150 of them are for people who walk in spontaneously and the other 350 must be reserved.
The UL in Randwyck will open again next Monday with four hundred places (250 reservable). The first hours can also be made in the other UL locations from next Monday. There are a total of 286 study places in the sports center, the computer landscape in Randwyck and on Tapijn.

A complete overview and a reservation button can be found at


-Infected with Covid-19
Two students who participated in the Inkom, digital and "on campus", tested positive for Covid-19. The GGD is conducting a source and contact investigation.


- 'Isolation rooms' Guesthouse empty

At the moment six foreign students are voluntarily quarantined in the Guesthouse on Annadal. They've arrived from an orange or red area. Nobody has any complaints or has tested positive for corona, says Roel van der Nat, manager of the Guesthouse. The 'isolation corridor' is empty. Keep on reading.

- No more fraud in online exams

This year, students did not cheat en masse when they had to take exams at home on their laptop, says Minister Van Engelshoven. At least, they didn't cheat more often than usual.


- Testing location is moving

The GGD Zuid Limburg wants to move the temporary corona testing facility in a parking garage of the MECC to the Demertdwarsstraat in Heer, a former football accommodation. Target date is the second week of September.

- No infections in first batch of tested students

Of the 100 students who were tested for corona in the parking garage in the MECC on Monday, no one was infected, says Christian Hoebe, head of infectious disease control at the GGD Zuid Limburg and professor at Maastricht University.


- Student associations get green light for face-to-face events after all

Student associations will be allowed to host introduction events for prospective members after all. After some initial hesitation, the Dutch government conceded to pressure from the House of Representatives.

- Testing location opened

The GGD (local health authority) Zuid Limburg’s new testing facility in the MECC’s multi-storey car park on the Paul-Henri Spaaklaan has been opened. It's the second site in Zuid Limburg, in addition to the drive-through facility in Urmond. Everyone showing symptoms that might indicate COVID-19, such as coughing and a fever, is welcome. Students from an orange or red high-risk area are advised to drop in anyway, even if they have no symptoms. Monday, more than a hundred students came by. Today, approximately half that number. Photo: Joey Roberts


- Very few physical meetings at Inkom

In consultation with Maastricht University and the student associations, the Working Group Inkom has scrapped almost all physical meetings from the program. Only the information market on Monday and activities organized by third parties, such as the City Walk and the Movie Night, will take place. The participants are not allowed to go there with their mentor group, but they must register individually.


- Inkom further restricted

The Dutch government has decided that the student introduction weeks may continue, but with further restrictions. The entire introduction must take place online as much as possible, physical meetings are only possible if it concerns informational matters, hazing of student associations is prohibited, meetings of sports and study associations must take place in small groups, keeping 1.5 meter distance, without alcohol and until the latest 10:00 PM. Last but not least, the entire program must have the permission of the university's Executive Board and the chairman of the security region committee.


-Exchange programs continue

UM has decided to continue the exchange programs in the autumn semester 2020 (start date September - October). There are, however, conditions. For example, the country of destination must have a color code green or yellow (travel advice from the Dutch government). The partner institution must also confirm that the student can be physically present. Exchanges to partner institutions within the EU are expected to be often possible. The number of exchanges to countries outside the EU may be limited.
The final decision will be made on August 1. More information (scroll to 'outgoing exchange students')


- As of today more than 400 study places available again

The number of study places in the university library in the city center has increased from one hundred to 350 today. Students still have to reserve a time slot via the website, says University Library Director Ingrid Wijk. "And where students now choose from one of three short time slots, there will be two longer ones from July first, both of which can be reserved at once." There will also be a number of study places in the computer area in Randwyck, 41 to be precise. Finally, fifteen spots have been created at the School of Business and Economics. Students can make reservations for the latter two locations via the Education Online website.



- Students are allowed to travel during rush hour again after the summer

Students will travel again during rush hour on 1 September, so the class times can be extended. The cabinet will announce the relaxation tonight. Since 15 June, lessons and practicals can now start and end between 11 am and 3 pm, or only after 8 pm. Students' travel rights are not limited, but if education doesn't start until 11am, most won't get on the train or bus at 8:30 am, the idea is.


Tuition fee reduction for delayed non-EU students

Students from outside the EU who are delayed by the corona crisis and therefore unable to graduate this academic year, do not have to pay the high institutional fee after the summer. They may complete the missing curriculum component on payment of the (much lower) statutory tuition fees that Dutch and EU students pay. The messure, which applies to all Dutch universities, is intended for third-year bachelor's and first-year (for a one-year master's) and second-year (for a two-year master's) master's students. The practical details at UM are currently being worked out in more detail. Students who qualify for this will receive a message.



- Extra five million to reduce workload

Maastricht University will invest at least an extra five million to reduce the workload and combat the negative consequences of corona. The amount comes from the reserves. An investment program will be launched in the very near future, the Executive Board and the deans have decided this week, which focuses on those places within the university where the need is currently greatest. With this initiative, as stated in the press release that was published today, the UM board wants to express its appreciation for the commitment and flexibility of the employees, not only during this corona period, but also in recent years when the workload was also high .


- UM SPORT started outdoor sports activities last Monday.

- Until September 1, working from home is still the starting point at Maastricht University. To a limited extent and under strict conditions, buildings at Randwijck and in the city center are opened up, either for employees or for students. Click here for an overview (for example, the Skillslab is limited open to third-year medical students in preparation for their clinical skills assessment programme. Skills trainings can also be planned here from 29 June).



-Physical meeting is crucial for university education. The timeslot between 11:00 and 15:00 is really too tight for that, the joint rectors of Dutch universities argue on Science Guide (in Dutch). "Give students the space they need in this crisis period to develop."


-Since 1 June, everyone living in the Netherlands with (mild) corona-like complaints can have themselves tested at the GGD for COVID-19. You can make an appointment via telephone number 0800-1202. There are two test locations in Limburg: in the car park next to the Van der Valk hotel in Urmond and on the Nijmeegseweg in Venlo (students who have difficulty reaching the test locations can contact their study advisor). The results of the test will follow within 24 hours. For more information, see:

-The central student council of the University of Amsterdam is instituting summary proceedings against the university for the use of surveillance software during online exams. The case will be held on Thursday 5 June and could have consequences for the whole of higher education. HOP


- Studium Generale starts their first online lecture series tonight. Philosopher René Gabriëls will be discussing Philosophy in Times of Corona (in Dutch) every Tuesday for the next three weeks. The title of the first reading? Apocalyptic representations. The lectures are free, registration is required.


- Given the nice weather, another measure announced yesterday by Prime Minister Rutte is also interesting: the terraces will open again on June 1st. If you belong to the same household, you don't have to sit a meter and a half apart. By the way, the residents of a student house are not seen as one household. This has already led to fines if, for example, housemates sat together on a lawn in front of their house. HOP

- Cambridge University looks more than a year ahead in the corona crisis. Until the summer of 2021, all lectures are online, the university has announced. It is the first top university to make a decision about this. Most other institutions are not yet officially looking beyond the first semester of the new academic year. Keeping a distance will remain the norm for the time being, the British university expects, so it wants to give its students clarity about this. Small working groups may be able to meet​.

- Prime Minister Rutte confirmed yesterday evening that colleges and universities will be open again from 15 June for practical lessons, exams and supervision of vulnerable students. Things are still going in the right direction with the fight against the corona virus: there are fewer patients and fewer IC recordings. Higher education may again partly take place on campus, as previously stated. However, most education will remain online for the time being. Students can only come to the campus if there is no other option, such as during practicals. The educational activities and exams must take place between 11 am and 3 pm or after 8 pm so that students can travel outside rush hour. But customization is possible, according to information from the national government. HOP

"Open on campus when possible. Open online because it’s possible."
All Dutch universities are doing what they can to continue to offer the high quality that is at the very heart of higher education. Read more about UM's approach: #connectuniversitiesNL

— Maastricht University (@MaastrichtU) May 20, 2020



- Last Thursday, the Faculty Council of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN) discussed what education at the faculty will look like after the summer. There are still some hurdles to overcome. The tutorial rooms in Randwyck will only fit 5 people if you have to keep 1.5 meters distance, so four students and a tutor. Is that enough for a good tutorial group? And where do you get the time, space and tutors for all these small groups? So maybe partly online, partly offline is better? But then a dichotomy between Dutch and foreign students, if the latter cannot travel to Maastricht, lurks, teachers fear. Do the online participants really belong to the group? Will the international classroom be guaranteed in this way? Those are the dilemmas that FPN will be addressing in the coming weeks.

- Can non-EU students receive a discount on their tuition fees if they follow online education? Nokhez Usama, student member of the Faculty Council of FPN, presented this idea Thursday during the council meeting. “They pay 8000 euros more than EU students. If they cannot come to Maastricht and the education goes online, it is a completely different experience. ” Read: a less intensive experience abroad. According to Usama there should be a different price tag.


- Students who graduate between September 2020 and the end of January 2021 will receive three months' tuition fees back. For students at universities and colleges, this is 535 euros. The ministry assumes that many of these students would be ready faster without the corona crisis. But that is not determined per student: so the dawdlers among them are lucky. 
The cabinet has also looked at students with an additional grant and / or basic grant. If they lose their right to this scholarship in July, August and September, they will receive an allowance. For HBO and WO students, this is a one-off 1,500 euros.


- The Election Edition of Observant is out! And can only be seen online because of the corona crisis (normally the newspaper goes with the paper Observant two weeks before the university elections, this year from May 25-28). The candidates for the Faculty Councils, University Council and Service Councils introduce themselves. Click here to read the edition.

- Although the libraries in the country may open again, this does not apply to the University Library (UL) of Maastricht University. When asked by a student council member about the ULs yesterday during a university council committee, Rector Rianne Letschert answered that there is a difference between the functions of regular libraries where mainly books are lent and the University library where students mainly want to study. In principle, online education will continue to take place at UM until 1 September, although a Smart Start Up working group is now working on the (re) opening and making UM buildings 1.5 meters proof. Priority is given to the lab functions, especially for PhD students and students who must use them for their graduation.

- A working group led by Prof. Nanne de Vries (FHML) is currently making an inventory of the various costs involved in the corona crisis and 'closure' of the university buildings. Rector Rianne Letschert cannot yet provide an overview, she says to a student council member in a university council committee, on Wednesday afternoon, when asked. "An initial analysis will come soon." For example, hiring an external agency for the technology of online promotional ceremonies, licenses for video calling programs, an external spokesperson, the delay of PhD students and postdocs, the gift of 50 euros to all employees and temporary workers as compensation. On the other hand, the 'revenues', such as trips and conferences that are canceled, lunches that are no longer there. However, Letschert makes clear that those revenues are nothing compared to the cost item.


- The corona crisis also has consequences for the new Collective Labor Agreement (CAO) of the Dutch universities. The negotiators want to reserve 0.45 percent of the total wage costs at universities to fund "bottlenecks related to Covid-19," the VSNU press release said. This could, for example, be an extension of temporary contracts for researchers and lecturers.
Furthermore, a structural wage increase of 3 percent is on the table as of 1 June 2020. In addition, on the basis of full-time employment, employees receive a one-off payment of € 750 gross. The supporters have yet to approve the agreement.


- 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.

- Despite the relaxation of the measures, UM still adheres to the motto 'we work at home as much as possible'. In the meantime, it is being examined how the UM buildings - with the 1.5-meter rule in mind - could be used again as a workplace and where education could take place at the same time. From 25 May, a pilot will be set up for this purpose at the Tongersestraat 53.

- Student organizations LSVb, ISO and the Erasmus Student Network are concerned about international students in the Netherlands. They often lose their side jobs, a joint press release states. Some also cannot fall back on the support of their parents if they also lose their jobs in the crisis. This makes it increasingly difficult for them to pay tuition and rent. The organizations argue for one central, up-to-date, English-language website with good information about covid-19.
Government party D66 asked parliamentary questions last night about the position of international students and highly skilled migrants. (HOP)


- For coffee, a new desk lamp, or the extra electricity. UM gives all employees, whether they work part-time or full-time, have a permanent or temporary appointment, a one-off fee of 50 euros as a contribution towards the costs of working from home. Working from home was introduced overnight in March by order of the government. About 4,500 people receive the compensation.


- The emergency fund that was created in early April by the Limburg University Fund / SWOL for students with money problems due to the corona crisis has now paid out approximately 35 thousand euros. The vast majority (90 percent) of the students who received aid come from abroad. In total, 55 of the 80 applications received loans of up to 1,500 euros, which are converted into a gifts upon graduation or re-enrollment at UM. The fund still has more than 35,000 euros in cash for new or current applications.


​- Universities make every effort to prevent study delays. About 93 percent of all higher education continues as usual: "That is no small feat," said the Minister of Education. Anyone who is currently delayed in studying can still make up for it in later years. She therefore did not respond today the opposition's call to reduce tuition fees or extend the supplementary grant for a few months.

- Coming Sunday, rector Rianne Letschert will take part in an expert debate about the corona crisis on Dutch television (19:15, NPO2). All sections of society will be discussed, such as education (Letschert), economics (Rabobank-director Barbara Baarsma), mental health (psychiatrist Damiaan Denys) and science (professor Louise Fresco). The debate will be conducted by journalist Coen Verbraak. The recording is today, in the opera building in Amsterdam.


- Minister Van Engelshoven wants to financially compensate final-year students for the study delay they suffer as a result of the corona crisis. According to Dutch newspaper NRC, the scheme focuses specifically on students in their final year. "First-year students who are delayed can catch up later," the newspaper quotes the minister's spokesperson. “But we really have to compensate students who would graduate before the summer and who have to enroll again in Corona in September.” It is not yet known exactly what the scheme will look like and how many students it concerns.


- D66 and CDA want the cabinet to identify which students are in trouble because of the corona crisis and then do what it takes to help them. The parties tabled a motion to this effect that was passed by the House of Representatives. Universities are making every effort to keep their education running during the corona crisis. However, it seems inevitable that some students will experience study delays. Prime-minister Mark Rutte first wanted to see what other arrangements are already available for students with study delay. "If there is still a residual category, we will try to solve it with some leniency," he said. Minister Van Engelshoven is now in conclave with the institutions and students about this 'residual category'. The House hopes that the motion will speed up this process. (HOP)


- More rooms are empty due to the corona crisis. The supply has risen by 53 percent in the past four weeks, housing platform Kamernet reports on the basis of its own file, with the largest growth in private supply in Amsterdam. The corona virus also affected the number of house hunters. In the first two weeks after the announcement of the corona measures, the number of Dutch home seekers declined, initially by almost a quarter. It has now almost recovered to the level of 2019. The number of international home seekers on the Kamernet site fell by no less than half. That is also rising again. (HOP)


- The PAS (Pleasure, Art and Science) festival, which was scheduled to take place on 4 and 5 September, is canceled this year. Organiser Studium Generale has decided this together with the Executive Board. The uncertainty and risk are too great, writes head Rob van Duijn on the festival's website. Studium Generale hopes to be able to offer the rest of their program normally again from the beginning of the new academic year.


- The renovation of Universiteitssingel 40 and 50 cannot begin earlier. Nanne de Vries, vice dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, reported this on Tuesday at the Faculty Council. It had been hoped that, for example, construction on the lecture halls could be started earlier, since they are now empty due to the corona virus. But changing the timeframe means starting a new tendering procedure, and since a procedure is already underway, that would actually slow things down rather than speed them up. De Vries now hopes to be able to negotiate with the contractor with whom UM will eventually join forces.


- The INKOM 2020 will be different than usual. There will be no "normal" entrance (planned in August) this year with large-scale parties and events. UM announced this in the latest update today. The university takes into account that there will be a ban on large-scale events even after 1 June and will also not endanger the safety and health of current and new students in any way. An alternative is now being sought, which could for instance be a mix of small-scale meetings and new interactive digital events.

- Students who are still in Maastricht and do not have internet or a good place to study can use a special facility in the building at Minderbroedersberg 6a. That said the Vice President of the Executive Board, Nick Bos, to the University Council last week. You cannot just walk in, he emphasized. Students must register via the website. The student section of the University Council reacted very interested. Although it has been brought to the attention through various channels - the website, a corona update and the online student portal - no students have used the workplaces until today (April 15), interim spokesman Fons Elbersen says.


- Due to the corona crisis, students make little use of their public transport student card. They often no longer travel up and down to their university and visits to the parental home are also discouraged. That is why they can travel with it for three months longer, reports the Ministry of Education. Temporarily stopping the card is not an option. Students who are going to study abroad may temporarily stop their public transport card. They will then receive an OV reimbursement of EUR 98.72 per month.

- The work of some UM employees has come to stand still during the corona crisis. On the other hand, it may be extra busy in some departments. They could use some extra hands. A job bank (in Dutch: klussenbank) was established at the beginning of this month to bring them into contact with each other. "The project is still in the starting phase," says Marlou Tijssens of the Staff Career Center. "So far, eight employees have volunteered to help." At the number of jobs offered, however, there is still room for improvement. Only the university library has supplied one. "The people are ready to help, we just need more jobs."

- The majority of the 55 courses at the Maastricht Summer School will be canceled this summer due to the corona crisis. A selection of eighteen courses that also come into their own online will continue. If there are at least enough registrations.


- There are still 24 students from Maastricht who are stuck abroad and want to go home. The UM is very busy with helping them to get back, said Martin Paul, chair of the executive board, during the latest meeting of the university council. Last Wednesday there were still 36 people stuck abroad.

- Three Belgian educational institutions from just across the border ask landlords from Limburg to adjust the rent for student rooms or not to collect it at all. "We receive harrowing stories about income that disappears partially or even completely, from students or from their parents," write the rector of the University of Hasselt and the directors of colleges PXL and UCLL. Many students from these institutions have a room in Dutch Limburg, but are now back with their parents. "Paying the rent for a room that is not currently used is regularly quoted by them as a heavy financial expense."


- Today, Wednesday April 8, 2020, the first fully online promotion took place at Maastricht University. Doctoral candidate Leon Skottnik and his supervisors Rainer Goebel and Bettina Sorger from the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience had the scoop. Skottnik defended his dissertation Understanding and improving neurofeedbackguided self-regulation: On the neuropsychological mechanisms of neurofeedback across mental tasks and time via the Zoom platform. In his dissertation he describes what happens in the brain during neurofeedback training and how the underlying learning process can be supported.

- The online test period started last week and the first fraud cases also surfaced. Ten SBE master's students were charged with plagiarism after the 'plagiarism checker' discovered that they had answered in exactly the same terms. They now have to go to the examination board. Everything seems to be not so bad at the other faculties. Until now, as far as can be seen, there have been no more cases of fraud than usual.


-Controls at the Dutch-German border have been tightened. For the time being, the UM card is sufficient to identify why you have to cross the border.

-Those who are in arrears with DUO student finance need not be afraid of bailiffs and seizure in these corona times. "We do not use the Central Judicial Collection Agency for new cases during the corona crisis," says a spokesman for DUO. "That fits within the leniency that goes with this exceptional situation."
The regular repayment of student debts continues as normal. If this is not possible due to the corona crisis, (former) students can temporarily stop the repayment by using a repayment-free period via MijnDuo. If they can no longer make use of this or if they cannot comply with a current payment arrangement, a tailor-made solution will be sought.


- Via "Zoom" the supporters of the Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg have chosen a new board. The candidates come from Leiden, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Nijmegen and Enschede. The ISO is rooted in the participation councils of universities and colleges. The members elect a board to represent them in politics and in consultation with the minister and the umbrella organizations of universities and colleges.


- The university elections of 2020 will not be postponed because of the corona virus. As planned, it’s possible to vote for the service councils and the student sections of the university and faculty council(s) between the 25th and 28th of May. That has been decided after consultation with the chair of the U-council and the student parties, says Niels Harteman, secretary of the central electoral committee. Physical voting offices wouldn’t have been there anyway, voting is only possible online. “The only thing will be different this year, is that promotion must be digital.” Moreover, postponing the elections until September or October would for example mean that “there will be other voters and that the current councilmembers will be in the council longer than their terms”.
The nomination of the candidates will, as planned, also take place online. Students and staff who are interested can register here between April 6th and 14th.

- The crowdfunding campaign for "students in financial distress", which was started this week by the University Fund-SWOL and UM, has already raised more than thirteen thousand euros from more than two hundred donors.

Professor Martin Paul, President of Maastricht University, explains our new crowdfunding campaign in this video. Help UM students in dire financial straits due to the corona crisis! Go to: #umcovid19 #umcrowd

— UniversiteitsfondsL (@UFLSWOL) April 6, 2020


- From April 8, it is possible to obtain a PhD online at Maastricht University. The candidate must indicate that it will be an online session at least five days before the meeting - after consultation with the promotor and the committee. The audience can watch live via Zoom. The role of the paranymphs no longer applies in this setting. Mary Kaltenberg from UNU-Merit  received her doctorate online from UM on 18 March. 

- The University Fund Limburg / SWOL has started a crowdfunding campaign for the UM student in dire financial straits. They hope to raise a total of 40 thousand euros. On Wednesday morning the counter was at 2050 euros. The Fund wants to use the money to help students who have seen their income evaporate due to the corona crisis and whose parents cannot help. It is considered on a case-by-case basis who is entitled to the grant, the intention being that the money goes to where "the need is greatest."


-Dutch government has extended the anti-corona measures until April 28 (this was April 6). Restaurants and sports clubs, for example, will remain closed until that date. Schools will be closed until the May holiday (first week of May). It is also still the case that people should travel as little as possible, try to work from home and keep at least 1.5 meters away from each other outdoors. Maastricht University had previously decided to organize all education online for the rest of the academic year.

What does this mean? Anything that is closed until April 6th will remain closed until April 28th. That includes bars, restaurants, museums and hair dressers.

— DutchNews.NL (@DutchNewsNL) March 31, 2020

-Most bachelor's programs at Maastricht University have a new registration deadline of 1 August. Look here on the UM site for precise information. The deadlines for the master's programs have not been adjusted. UM has a special website with all information about the application process.

- An international student from the University of Amsterdam is very concerned about the financial position of students and has started a petition. She calls on the government to help students in need of money by, for example, a monthly rent contribution or relaxation of the rent allowance. Most studens are not entiteld to this now because they do not have an independent home. Almost 11 thousand people have already signed the petition

- The Inkom will continue as planned for the time being. "Of course we keep in mind that this can change, but for now, it looks like we can have a normal Inkom," says Milou Berdenis van Berlekom, chair of the Working Group Inkom. The WGI is experiencing few problems so far because of the corona crisis. “We work from home and are more active on social media because, for example, when looking for volunteers we will mainly communicate online. We have been in contact with the locations and the artists for a while, so we do not run the risk of them moving something that was planned for the coming weeks to the Inkomweek.”


- SSH & COVID-19 has been launched: "The expertise portal for social sciences and humanities in the Netherlands." According to the Amsterdam initiators, the SSH knowledge and expertise with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic will become available through this platform. Those looking for an expert can also go there. 

- Travel as little as possible up and down from your student house to your parental home. Do you have a relationship? Then try to live at one address as much as possible. And if someone is sick in your student house, stay in quarantine with the whole house until everyone is free of complaints for 24 hours. The Landelijke Kamer van Verenigingen (national chamber of associations) is taking additional measures to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus (only in Dutch). 

Als aanvulling op de richtlijnen van het RIVM hebben wij handvatten voor studentenhuizen opgesteld -> #StayHome #StayHealthyEveryone #COVID19

— LKvV (@LKvV) March 30, 2020


- Most of the staff and students who were abroad at the start of the corona crisis have either gone home or somewhere safe. UM has contact with thirty students and ten employees who have problems getting home. Main cause: canceled flights. This is what UM reports in their last update.

- The strict separation between the bachelor's and masters's programs may disappear a year now that the corona crisis causes study delay. The universities are in consultation about this, reports the association of universities, VSNU.

- Students who are in financial distress due to the corona crisis - think of the loss of the side job - can apply for an extra loan, the minister of Education decided last week. The Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) does not have the impression this is happening. There has not yet been an increase in the number of applications.


- In the past few weeks, about five hundred students have reported to the corona crisis hotline of the National Student Union (LSVb) and the FNV. All of them have work-related problems. Temporary workers have been made redundant, students with zero-hour
contracts are no longer scheduled. The loss of income can amount to hundreds of euros per month. The two unions have set up a hotline to help young people.

-The Minister of Environment and Housing and the landlord organizations have agreed not to evict anyone now. In addition, the minister comes with an urgent law to extend temporary lease contracts. The Woonbond and the LSVb support this. Read the statement here, in Dutch.



- The student representatives of Fasos have started a Quarantine Café where FASoS students and staff can talk and share experiences in times of corona. You can register here

The FASoS student representatives created an online quarantine cafe, to make this time a little less lonely for all of us. Check out the online community via

— FASoS Maastricht (@FasosMaastricht) March 23, 2020

- UM Sports has asked their instructors to make video recordings of workouts. The sports centre shares them on their social media channels. They also refer to fun YouTube workouts from others. Members get access to FitSnacks.TV, an online platform that offers classes that UM Sports normally offers, such as Power Yoga, HIIT and Circuit Training.


- "Be kind to your fellow students, tutors and other university staff. These are strange and difficult times. We don't know everyone's personal situation." Some students and staff are far from home, others are concerned about elderly relatives, some have to look after children." FaSoS gave the bachelor student ten tips to "help you as we re-start education". 

-The Executive Board (Rianne Letschert, Nick Bos and Martin Paul) performs in a webinar. They tell about their own experiences during the corona crisis and answer questions. The webinar starts today at 2.30 pm and can be found on UMfacebookInstagram en Youtube.

Tune in this afternoon for our live Webinar: Q&A with the Executive Board.
Staff and students can submit their questions in either English or Dutch to the Executive Board. #umcovid19 #wijzijnopen #weareopen

— Maastricht University (@MaastrichtU) March 24, 2020


-The work of the UM psychologists continues 'normally'. They are available for appointments via Skype. They still have a lot of room for appointments on the short term. You can make an appointment online in the usual way. The psychologists also hope to introduce a telephone consultation hour this week.

Group services will be made available online in shorter pieces. This week, students can attend an online lecture on resilience (Tuesday), a live online meditation session (Wednesday) and an online meeting on beating the corona blues (Thursday). For more information, please see

-On Sharing is Caring Maastricht, a petition is circulating from students (not UM) who want to persuade the government to provide temporary rent contribution for all students in the Netherlands (especially the group of foreigners). According to the initiators, students should be protected if they can no longer pay their rent due to lost income.
They hope to achieve a monthly government contribution to rent payment or an extension of huurtoeslag's eligibility so that it includes non-self-sufficient housing as well. Secondly, they hope for a law that would protect tenants from being evicted for late rent payment during the time of the coronavirus crisis. Furthermore, they ask the government to freeze the requirement for international students to work for at least 56 hours a month to be eligible for the student loan and travel product for the time of the coronavirus crisis.

-The deadline for applying to a new study programme, which until now was 1 May, is being extended. For prospective students from countries that do not belong to the European Economic Area (EEA), for now 1 June will be the new application deadline. For students from the EEA a new application date has not yet been set (but not earlier than 1 June), possibly even later. 

-As of today, the municipality of Maastricht will place digital warning signs at the Stadspark, De Griend and in the Tapijnpark. The text: #corona keep distance 1.5 meters.

Intussen circuleert de volgende foto op Fbook... 'Waarom zoeken/zieken we elkaar niet op in het Stadspark?'#coronavirus #afstand #SocialDistancing

— Observant Maastricht (@observantUM) March 20, 2020


-Employees living in Germany or Belgium and working from home for 25% or more of their working hours, will normally be subject to the social security legislation of their country of residence. However, due to the exceptional situation, Member States have decided that working from home will not have any impact during the coronavirus pandemic. Read here a blog on the UM-site about this topic.

-Martins blog. Martin Paul, chairman of the Executive Board and clinical pharmacologist (and regular columnist in newspaper De Limburger) has started a blog where he shares his thoughts. It is about personal opinions in which he wants to separate the facts from the fables. Scientific evidence deserves attention and not the hypes, bizarre or even dangerous stories. He wants to give his blog readers food for thought, says the UM update.

- Students who have lost their job due to the corona crisis and get into financial difficulties may borrow extra, the Minister has determined. Those who already borrow to the maximum can request an extra loan. DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs) will assess who is eligible. The two national student organizations are critical. In their view, the student must absorb the financial blow of the crisis, while others in society - companies, freelancers, industry - do receive support.

-The National Student Survey is cancelled this year. That is the annual questionnaire in which students can give their opinion on education. The Keuzegids is partly based on the results of the NSE.

-All physical education will be cancelled for the rest of the academic year. The attendance obligation for students therefore does not apply in periods five and six. However, an exception is made for practical and skills education; if that is possible as of 1 May, students can start working in the faculty.

-The Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences has called back all its exchange students. Maastricht University has advised students who are still abroad on an exchange visit or who are doing a work placement and who are worried about the situation, to return to Maastricht or an alternative home address. The Executive Board also advises people to check their travel insurance to see whether extra costs will be reimbursed. Should this not be possible or even only partially, students can contact the university. However, this does not mean that UM is necessarily paying. That must first be discussed internally (with the six faculties) and externally (with the other universities and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science), spokesman Fons Elbersen says.
Students who have to cut short their work placements or exchange visits abroad will be given an alternative study assignment in order to still gain credits.

-More cancelled events: the Eurovision Song Festival that was to be held in Rotterdam this year, has been cancelled. It is most likely that Rotterdam and therefore the Netherlands will be given a second chance in 2021.

An official statement from the European Broadcasting Union on the #Eurovision Song Contest 2020.

— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) March 18, 2020

-In Belgium, where a ‘light’ lockdown has been announced, you may only travel if it is strictly necessary as and from today 12:00 hrs (18 March). Commuter traffic is permitted. It is unclear exactly how the Belgians will check this. The UM is drawing up a digital declaration for cross-border workers stating that the person in question is 'needed' at work. This will be available from tomorrow, Thursday, 19 March, (inquire with your manager).

-The first virtual PhD ceremony at UNU-Merit!

In progress now. I particularly like the background as if the candidate is actually in #Maastricht @UNUMERIT @MaastrichtU

— Franziska Gassmann (@gassmann21) March 18, 2020

-All events have been cancelled for the time being, what has been called off at the university and in Maastricht?
* Studium Generale has cancelled all events until 2 April. A number of lectures planned after that time has also been cancelled, such as the one on Central Banks by Andrew G. Haldane on 20 April and the (Observant) interview with Janine Abbring on 21 April. Studium Generale will try to reschedule events in Autumn, if possible.

* The Experience Days, where school-leavers can spend a day at the university (was to take place in MARCH)

* All alumni meetings 

* King’s Day (27 April). Maastricht was to host the king and his family this year, but is unable to arrange the programme under the present circumstances. There is still a lot of uncertainty as to what will and won’t be allowed by that time.

* The ‘Groene Loper run’, in which many students and members of staff were to participate, on 13 April has been postponed. A new date is not yet known.

* Museum Night, when thirteen museums in Maastricht open their doors at night, has been rescheduled for October 30.

Naar aanleiding van de laatste ontwikkelingen en landelijke richtlijnen m.b.t. het Corona-virus heeft de organisatie besloten de nacht te verplaatsen naar het najaar: 30 oktober 2020. Update:

— MuseumnachtMstricht (@MuseumnachtMaas) March 12, 2020


-All internships have been stopped. This concerns work placements in the hospital, GP practices and other care institutions such as nursing homes.

-MUMC & RIVM messages: face masks can be used twice because of plasma sterilisation. 

Onderzoek in het Maastricht UMC+ en het @rivm heeft aangetoond dat medische FFP2-mondmaskers volledig kiemvrij gemaakt kunnen worden door zogeheten plasmasterilisatie. Zo kunnen de mondmaskers tot maximaal twee keer worden hergebruikt. Lees meer via:

— Maastricht UMC+ (@MaastrichtUMC) March 17, 2020

-The Executive Board has decided to postpone all academic sessions, at least until April 6. It concerns PhD ceremonies, inaugural lectures and farewell speeches, about twenty in total. An exception can be made in special cases, but this is only possible after consultation and approval by Rector Rianne Letschert. For all exceptions, the session can take place online or with a limited number of attendees (maximum thirty). Read here the interview with Gwen Noteborn. Her PhD thesis fits in seamlessly with current affairs: ICT innovations in education. Her PhD ceremony is planned for 1 April, but may take place online.

-University Library closes its doors, all UM buildings closed for students and staff as of 16 March. Employees should work from home as much as possible.

Thuiswerken en thuis lunchen in het zonnetje!

— Carijn Beumer (@CarijnB) March 17, 2020

— John Parkinson (@profparkinson) March 13, 2020

-As of Monday, 16 March, Maastricht University will only provide distance education. Compulsory attendance has been abolished, mass exams for block period 4 have been cancelled. Employees should work from home as much as possible. So, there will be no online lectures, no events involving more than a hundred participants, no face-to-face academic education. The latter was not mentioned by the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte during his press conference earlier today, 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 four large student associations Koko, Tragos, Circumflex and Saurus have closed their doors with immediate effect. The associations have also appealed to their members to not meet up somewhere else, but to remain at home. Board members will work from home as much as possible.

Dutch higher education will, as yet, not close its doors because of the coronavirus. Although the government does want universities and universities of applied sciences to offer lectures for more than a hundred students online. They are also advising everyone to stay at home as much as possible.

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.

-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. 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.

-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.

-A postdoc from the department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering has tested positively for the coronavirus. She lives in Aachen and has stayed at home by way of precaution, having probably contracted the infection in Germany.

-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. 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.
On top of that, there are about twenty students who aren’t ill, but did recently came back from an ‘infected’ area and reported themselves out of precaution. “We advise them to participate in education”, says Nick Bos, vice president of the Executive Board, who heads the crisis management team.

-So far, seventeen students from Maastricht University have reported to the special check-in point as being absent. 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. The areas deemed risky by the RIVM, include Northern Italy, China, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Iran. The German border region Gangelt has been specifically added for Limburg. Christian Hoebe, UM professor and head of infectious diseases control for the local health authority, GGD Zuid Limburg (responsible for the fight against the corona virus and monitoring people), says that the municipal health services have everything under control for now. “With all the people who have been infected, the links can be made back to the source and as long as we can do that, there is no widespread transfer of the disease, like in Northern Italy.”

-The UM advises everyone to wash their hands regularly with soap, to cough and sneeze into the inside of the elbow, and to use paper tissues instead of cotton ones. Shaking hands is also advised against.

FRI 31 JANUARY                                       

-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. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for China. There is a negative travel advisory for the province of Hubei. Travelling to the rest of China, including Hong Kong, is discouraged, unless it's absolutely necessary.

Author: Redactie

Illustration: Simone Golob

Categories: news_top
Tags: virus,Covid-19,lockdown,liveblog

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