Coronavirus: No activities at VU campus until 1 June

Read the latest update of Friday 15 May.

05/15/2020 | 4:38 PM

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- Exams with online proctoring

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  • No activities will take place on the VU campus until 1 June and employees will work from home until then. 
  • Until 28 June, students will only follow education online.
  • Until 1 September all defence ceremonies are held online and all orations are cancelled.

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UPDATE: FRIDAY 15 MAY - 16.30 HRS

Conditions for going from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s published today

Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘BSc-before-MSc rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

Master’s programmes at VU Amsterdam have therefore examined how an exception to the rule can be made possible for the 2020-2021 academic year, so that students do not get stuck in the transition from Bachelor’s to Master’s because of the corona crisis. For each programme it has been examined how students who are lacking credits for no more than a few courses, under certain conditions, can start their Master’s at VU Amsterdam next year. The missing credits must be completed during the 2020-2021 academic year, in other words no later than 1 September 2021.

Some Master's programmes with multiple start dates have chosen to recommend a start date later in the 2020-2021 academic year. For a number of other Master's programmes, an exception to the rule turned out not to be feasible after all.

Today, students can find the specific conditions for starting on a Master’s programme on the relevant page at masters.vu.nl.

International students

  • All EEA students are subject to the same admission conditions. However, completing a Bachelor’s in your home country while starting an intensive programme of study here will be very difficult, and we do not recommend it.
  • This rule does not apply to non-EEA students. Non-EEA students must have obtained their Bachelor’s degree (when studying outside of the Netherlands) before starting a Master’s degree at VU Amsterdam. For questions, please contact the International Office at international@vu.nl.

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UPDATE: MONDAY 11 MAY - 12.00 HRS

During the press conference on Wednesday 6 May, the government announced a step-by-step softening of the coronary measures - all with the warning 'if possible'. The softening offers the necessary perspective, especially on a personal level, because we are allowed to go out a bit more and primary and secondary schools will reopen. 

In the case of higher education, it has been indicated that the softening of measures will be investigated in more detail. It is possible that new measures will apply from 15 June. This will be accompanied by restrictive measures in public transport and on campus. In preparation for this, we are investigating what is possible within these new standards for working and studying on campus.

What do the new guidelines announced by the government currently mean for you as a student or employee?

Location-based education
For higher education, the restrictions will remain unchanged until 15 June. Before that date, the government will provide more clarity about the possible softening of the current measures 15 June.

We are working on new guidelines whereby the education to be provided on campus (such as practicals) can be restarted. As soon as there is more clarity about this, we will report this immediately. Education that is not location-specific will in any case be offered online until 29 June, in accordance with the guidelines previously used for educational blocks 5 and 6.

Working from home
Working from home remains, despite the softening of measures, the norm for the time being. An exception applies to employees involved in vital processes on campus. We are currently working on new guidelines whereby education and research that is location-specific can also be restarted on campus as soon as this is permitted. It is expected that there will be a 'hybrid situation' over a longer period of time in which working from home will be combined with limited use of the campus.

Study at home
Students also have to study at home for the time being. For students who do not have the opportunity to study at home or make exams, we have created workstations on campus. These are specifically designated study places. You can read the working method on VUnet. The study facilities in the University Library are still closed. The University Library does offer its services online. It is also possible to receive books at home.

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UPDATE: FRIDAY 8 MAY - 14.00 HRS

Exams with online proctoring during the corona crisis

During the corona crisis, VU exams will be held with online supervision, or online proctoring. This only happens if the Examination Committee has established that no other form of testing is possible. 

We want to make sure that students are delayed as little as possible. Now that regular exams at VU Amsterdam are not possible, we are looking for alternatives to allow exams to continue. It is important that sufficient measures can be taken against fraud, because we want to guarantee the quality and value of our diplomas. After consultation with the examination committees and after careful consideration of students' concerns about privacy, it has been decided to use online proctoring for exams that cannot be replaced by an alternative form of testing such as a paper or open-book exam. 

Experience with online proctoring
We have already gained some experience with online proctoring within the framework of a European Project. Until now we have worked with ProctorExam, a Dutch proctoring company. We have decided to also conclude a contract with Proctorio as of 1 May, so that larger groups can also participate in proctored tests. 

Concerns about online supervision
We understand our students' concerns about online proctoring. Students who due to special circumstances have difficulties participating in an online exam at home can contact us via this form. Students are not required to participate in an online exam; they can choose to wait until exams can be taken on campus again. They will have to wait until the next physical examination opportunity, however. In the current circumstances, we cannot yet indicate when this will take place.

All students have received an email explaining this, including information on how we deal with online proctoring, privacy and fraud. Read more about taking exams with online proctoring at VU Amsterdam.

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UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 6 MAY - 16.30 HRS

All our educational activities will take place online until the end of the semester (29 June). But what will this look like after the summer? VU Amsterdam is currently looking into that question. In any case, we are going to make sure that students receive the education they can count on in the new academic year as well. But it remains uncertain to what extent we will be able to use the campus. At the same time, we also want to offer prospects for the longer term.

On campus if you can, online because you can
The measures and RIVM regulations remain leading for VU Amsterdam. For this reason, the Dutch universities are devising various scenarios for providing and following education. On campus, if possible. But also: online, because it is possible. 

Based on the above, VU Amsterdam is currently investigating how education can be organised in the coming months. National press conference with (possible) new decisions concerning the corona crisis will be important moments in this respect. After 15 May, we will be able to tell you more about what our education will look like in the summer period (after 29 June) and the academic year 2020-2021.  

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Contact and frequently asked questions
What are the consequences of the coronavirus for working and studying at VU Amsterdam? Read our frequently asked questions. The FAQ will be updated as soon as there is new information to share. If your question is not listed, employees and students of VU Amsterdam can contact their information points

Information about the new coronavirus
You can find the most up-to-date information about the new coronavirus on the website of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The RIVM is monitoring the situation in the Netherlands and has a questions & answers page available about the coronavirus. VU Amsterdam is following the advice of the RIVM closely, together with other Dutch universities.

Travelling abroad
Under the current circumstances, business trips and trips for study, internships and research abroad are not considered necessary by VU Amsterdam and must be postponed or cancelled. Employees can contact their manager for advice and students can contact the International Office (international@vu.nl).

What can people do to prevent the spread of coronavirus?
The most important measures that people can implement to prevent the spread of coronavirus are quite simple. It is important to implement them, as they apply to all viruses related to the flu or cold:

  • Wash your hands with soap regularly
  • Cough and sneeze on the inside of your elbow
  • Use paper handkerchiefs
  • Don't shake hands
  • Keep a good distance from other people (at least 1.5 metres)