Minister "optimistic" about partly opening higher education next month
Despite the high number of coronavirus infections, departing Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven is "optimistic" that it will be possible to partly open colleges and universities next month, she said on Friday, ANP reports. Her comments were made before it emerged that the number of new daily coronavirus infections was likely to hit 7,400 on Friday, the highest in nine weeks.
According to her, higher education needs to open because students are struggling with the isolation brought on by the coronavirus lockdown. "Going to university or college one day a week is an important step," she said. "I think it is very important to take that step."
This weekend, the cabinet will meet with experts from the Outbreak Management Team at Prime Minister Mark Rutte's residence in The Hague, to discuss the pandemic and how to proceed. Opening higher education will be part of that discussion. Van Engelshoven thinks that it will be possible, but she added that "it must be possible to do it safely and responsibly."
Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge will give a press conference on Tuesday.