Higher education students return to class starting Monday
Higher education students will be able to physically attend classes at universities approximately once per week starting on Monday. All students attending lessons need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test to gain entry, and all of the coronavirus social distancing measures remain in force at all facilities.
“In all the conversations I have had with students in recent months, there was only one wish at the top of their list: to study together again. I am very happy that the colleges and universities can open their doors, at least partially, to their students again. Get out of your room for a day, away from the screen and study together and attend lectures,“ said Caretaker Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven.
To ensure reopening is done in a safe and responsible manner, basic rules enforced to combat the spread of coronavirus will remain in force. A distance of 1.5 meters must be maintained during the lessons and students are asked to wear masks when inside buildings. Additionally, the government previously announced that coronavirus self-test kits would be made available to higher education institutions in May to help with the early detection of infections.
After weeks of saying it would be likely higher education facilities would be allowed to open their doors on Monday, it was finally re-confirmed on April 20. The decision was met with relief by The National Student Union (LSVb) who said that it was crucial for research and applied sciences universities to reopen as planned.
“The students are being pushed to their limits. They have been sitting inside on their laptops since December. We will not find it acceptable if the reopening is postponed again,” said LSVb chair Lyle Muns while awaiting the decision.
On April 28, the Netherlands will enter the first step of a gradual lockdown easing. On that day, the curfew will be eliminated, and outdoor cafe terraces will be able to serve customers on a limited basis, and more non-essential shops will reopen.