With this, the Executive Board of Maastricht University is responding to the increasingly louder cry of students. With last Wednesday evening, September 15, during an emotional townhall meeting (initiated by city council member Alexander Lurvink, who cares about the fate of 'homeless' students) as a highlight. Students don't know what to do anymore. Some still do not have a decent roof over their heads, pay lots of money to stay in a hotel or temporarily sleep on a couch with friends. Others pay high travel costs because they are forced to live in rooms in Heerlen or kilometers across the border. The call for online education became more and more intense during the evening. Just like the anger about the lack of help from UM.
The university is now taking measures. Students who are experiencing major problems due to the room crisis can attend their tutorials from a distance. This concerns the group that has serious issues in coming to the faculty on time and frequently, according to UM spokesperson Koen Augustijn. With this, the Executive Board is expanding the rules that were made at the start of this academic year – namely that only students who have to skip the tutorial due to corona (travel restrictions, vulnerability, illness) may join digitally.
To see if a student qualifies, an appointment must be made with the study advisor. “Online education remains the exception.” Because, according to Augustijn, the “load and workload of teachers, who therefore have to switch even more”, must not be lost sight of.
Students who face financial difficulties due to the many costs, for example because of the combination of travel and housing, may also turn to the study advisor. But then it really only concerns “demonstrably distressing” cases. The emergency fund is used for this. This was set up during corona to help students with acute financial needs.