Students, universities happy with reports of no social distancing
Colleges, universities, vocational institutions, and their students are delighted with reports that they will be allowed to reopen with no social distancing in place. The cabinet is expected to announce this in a press conference on Friday.
"If that one and a half meters can be removed, I will be very happy," Han van Krieken, rector magnificus of Radboud University Nijmegen, said on radio program Nieuws en Co. "I think students will be much happier with it."
Student union ISO is relieved and hopeful about the possibilities for the coming academic year, it said in a reaction to NOS.
Student union LSVb said it is "relieved and happy" that social distancing is disappearing. "The fact that students are finally liberated from their student room after a year and a half, we will wave the flag for that," chairman Ama Boahene said on Nieuws en Co. She pointed out that many students were lonely this past period. "Online education means that you sit in front of your computers screen day in and day out, miss contact with your friends and fellow students. It is more difficult to ask questions, more difficult to collaborate and you feel lonely," she said. "All the students I speak to say: we just can't do it anymore."
Pieter Duisenberg of the association of Dutch universities VSNU, spoke of "good news for our students and lecturers".
HBO institutions start the new academic year on August 30, universities on September 6.
The cabinet is expected to announce other measures higher education institutions will have to take to make sure their students and staff are protected against the coronavirus. Sources told NOS that things like one-way traffic in buildings, proper ventilation, voluntary testing, wearing a face mask, and a maximum of 75 to 100 students per lecture hall are expected.