Dutch universities close over Covid-19

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, universities and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands will offer no physical education for the rest of this month. Exams in lecture halls are canceled, as are other educational activities, the associations involved announced. 

As part of extra measures announced in the fight against Covid-19 on Thursday,  Rutte called on higher education programs to cancel classes in lecture halls, and to find alternative means for teaching students. And the higher education institutions are giving heed, the Association for Universities and the Association for Universities of Applied Sciences said to NU.nl. 

"We support this measure from the Ministry of Education. Combating the coronavirus is now the first priority in society," chairman Maurice Limmen of the Association for Universities of Applied Sciences said. 

There will be no more physical lectures for the rest of this month, exams in lecture halls are canceled, as are other educational activities, the Association for Universities said. Internship activities can continue - the intern and work placement provider must assess the situation themselves. 

How the higher education institutions will continue teaching is not yet clear. That is being examined per institution. 

The Hogeschool van Amsterdam said that lessons are continuing as usual on Friday, as the university prepares for continuing digitally. From Monday the college will be closed until March 31st. 

The Erasmus University Rotterdam told AD that it will focus on online education, though some work needs to be done before the university is able to teach its about 32 thousand students online.

The Hanzehogeschool in Groningen said that all its physical lectures and exams are canceled with immediate effect, and students will be informed about further measures. 

Utrecht University canceled all classes and exams for Friday, and is preparing to "offer education digitally as much as possible starting Monday, March 16," the university said on Twitter.

The five major student associations in Leiden - Minerva, Augustinus, Quintus, Catena and SSR - are also closing their doors for the rest of the month. 

Primary- and secondary schools will remain open for the time being - a fact that has parliamentarians from both the coalition and opposition parties worried