Dutch higher education to reopen without social distancing: Report
The research and applied sciences universities in the Netherlands will be allowed to reopen again at the start of the new academic year, without people having to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 meters. However, there will be a maximum number of students per lecture hall.
The Cabinet will announce this on Friday at the coronavirus policy press conference, sources told the political editors of RTL Nieuws. The precise details of the conditions that will apply to the educational institutions are still under discussion, according to the insiders. Sources told NOS that these will be the only changes announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge during a press conference on Friday evening.
The first higher education courses in the hogeschool system, or applied sciences universities, will start on August 30. The research universities open their doors on September 6. It will then no longer be necessary to keep a distance of 1.5 meters in educational institutions.
Sources said that a maximum of 75 to 100 students may be present per lecture hall. This will potentially be a major limitation for mass lectures in some studies, such as psychology or economics.
Other rules related to ventilation and one-way walking routes will apply, sources told broadcaster NOS. Continued voluntary coronavirus testing may also be encouraged.
The Cabinet will make the final decision during the Council of Ministers meeting on Friday. The press conference will follow at 7 p.m.
Reporting by ANP.