University lecturer quits due to "irresponsible" coronavirus measures
Lecturer of Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Matt Cornell quit his job after eight years because he found the relaxation of coronavirus measures in universities irresponsible.
The government announced in a press conference earlier this month that students and teachers in higher education will no longer have to follow social distancing rules from August 30 onwards. The number of students permitted per lecture hall was restricted to 75.
“What lesson are we teaching our students by endangering the most vulnerable in our society?”, Cornell questioned in an opinion article released in the student magazine Folia.
The UvA has set a few rules for the coming academic year. For example, people must wear a face mask inside unless they are sitting in class and there are walking routes through the buildings.
The literary lecturer called the hygiene rules for the upcoming academic year a “hygiene theater” and a “joke”.
Only those who are fully vaccinated should be allowed on campus, according to the lecturer. Those who refuse to get vaccinated should continue their education online, Cornell stated.
“Like many other financially-minded businesses in the Netherlands, the UvA has chosen to focus on what is allowed rather than what is responsible”, Cornell stated. The UvA is complicit in the negligent way with which the Cabinet has handled the coronavirus crisis, according to the literary studies lecturer.
"We think it is extremely important to be able to offer lectures on campus again after 1.5 years of online education. Physical education is indispensable for the quality of education and the well-being of students", the UvA stated in response.
Cornell is not the first university lecturer to speak out against the way higher education is dealing with the corona pandemic. Last week Femke Nijboer, lecturer at the University of Twente, argued in the student newspaper U-Today for only vaccinated students to be admitted to the campus and lecture halls.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.