Coronavirus - updates

Utrecht University is closely monitoring national and international developments concerning the coronavirus. On this page you can read the most current news on the subject in relation to Utrecht University.

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27-03-2020: Online education and testing for whole block 4

We have decided that all university education and the testing of block 4 will also take place online as much as possible after 1 June. In the week of 6 April at the latest, instructors will inform their students whether the course and the associated test(s) will take place entirely online, or whether this is not possible for the education in question. If this is not possible online, a decision will be made at a later date regarding the manner in which the course and/or test will take place. International students who have already returned to their home country or intend to do so in the near future will be given the choice of whether or not to return to Utrecht for courses where completion is not possible entirely online. For students who do not return to Utrecht, an alternative will be sought where the student can stay in the home country.

Binding study advice
First-year UU students who are unable to meet the BSA standard due to the coronavirus will be granted a postponement as follows:

  •  If you obtain a sufficient number of points (45 EC or more), you will, as usual, receive a positive binding study advice (BSA).
  • If you achieve more than 7.5 EC but less than 45 EC (and are still enrolled after February 2020), you will receive a so-called 'binding study advice'. This means that students will still receive a positive study advice if they have obtained at least 60 EC at the end of the second academic year, of which at least 45 EC in first-year courses.

First-year UU students who have attained 7.5 EC or less will receive a negative recommendation. The study delay of this group cannot (only) have been caused by the COVID-19 virus. 

Deadline for admission of non-EU students
The application date for non-EU residents wishing to apply for a Bachelor's or Master's programme remains 1 April to ensure that there is sufficient time to arrange a residence permit. We are accommodating for students who are not able to hand in all documents on 1 April, in order to deliver them at a later date.

Read here the latest email that has been sent with more extensive information and other updates.

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25-03-2020: Online education and working from home extended until 1 June 

On Monday evening, the Cabinet announced a series of new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. All public meetings will be banned until June 1st. 

Based on the Cabinet's measures, we as Executive Board - in consultation with the other universities - have decided that all university education and testing will be offered online until June 1st. Studying and working from home will also be extended until 1 June. For the consequences and how we will deal with this we refer to the e-mail that was sent about this. 

University council; elections postponed 

The elections and candidature for the university council, faculty councils and other councils are postponed. We are working on a proposal for a timetable and how new elections can take place. In the meantime, meetings with continue, but will take place digitally. 

The University Library offers access to physical publications in urgent cases. 

Do you urgently need a (physical) publication from the collection of the University Library for your study or research? Then the University Library offers you the opportunity to consult a publication. More information can be found on the University Library website

Read here the latest email that has been sent with more extensive information and other updates.

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24-03-2020: Events, Doctoral Ceremonies, and Inaugural Lectures cancelled until 1 June 2020

Events, doctoral ceremonies, and inaugural lectures taking place in person are unfortunately not possible until June 1, instead of the aforementioned April 6 date. We are looking for digital solutions to allow doctoral ceremonies to take place, in spite of these circumstances. We ask you, please, not to plan any new meetings until 1 July.

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23-03-2020: Keep your distance. However, keep in touch - Leave and meetings

Keep your distance...
Yesterday, social psychologist Kees van den Bos shed light on why some people are slow to understand the seriousness of the situation. His answer can be found in Het Parool (in Dutch; a local newsletter, for those who don't know). We have the impression that staff members and students of our community are adhering to the RIVM's directives, but once again we would like to stress emphatically: stick to the guidelines of the RIVM, stay at home, and keep your distance. Or as our own medics at the UMC Utrecht would rightly say: 'we stay at our post for you, please stay at home for us'. Let that sink in a moment.

However, keep in touch...
Just because we want to keep our physical distance doesn't mean we can't be social. Especially now, it is crucial to stay connected as a community. This certainly also applies to our international students and colleagues. Ethicist Ingrid Robeyns, put it very nicely yesterday after a call through the social media channels. "Do everything you can to stay connected." You can see the rest of her message here. Fortunately, UU has many initiatives to exchange experiences and help other people. Here's how you can participate.

Read here the latest email that has been sent with more extensive information and other updates.

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20-03-2020: Binding Study Advice - adapted application deadline - Childcare for crucial professional groups

Binding Study Advice (BSA)
Students who are unable to meet the BSA standard due to the coronavirus will be able to postpone. They will have the opportunity to meet the standard in the academic year 2020-2021.

  • First-year UU students who have obtained sufficient points will, as usual, receive a positive binding study advice (BSA).
  • First-year UU students who have failed to earn sufficient points due to the coronacrisis (and who are still enrolled after February 2020) will receive what is known as an 'adopted recommendation'. This means that students will still receive a positive study advice if they have obtained at least 60 points from the first academic year at the end of the second academic year.

Adjusted application deadline
The regular application deadline for prospective students with a Dutch preparatory programme for a bachelor's programme is postponed from 1 May to 1 June. For master's programmes and students with a non-Dutch prior education, the current deadlines remain in force for the time being. For current bachelor students who wish to switch courses next year, the deadline of July 31st will remain in force until otherwise stated.

Childcare for crucial professions
The government has determined which people perform a crucial profession and are therefore allowed to use childcare. This applies, among others, to UU lecturers and ICT staff. 

Today, the Executive Board has decided that veterinarians and animal care personnel are also eligible for this. You can find more information about this and how to apply for an employer's declaration on the website.

Read here the latest email that has been sent with more extensive information and other updates.

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19-03-2020: Students and Staff Abroad – Education block 4 - Timetable Public Transport adjusted

Students and Staff Abroad
We are in contact with many of you and are trying to offer you support. We may have lost a few of you. Are you abroad? Do you need help and are you not in contact yet? If so, please reach out by mailing coronavirus@uu.nl.
The following applies to foreign students in the Netherlands: The counsel we gave earlier is in full force and effect.

Education
We have already indicated that in view of the developments, we should start to consider that no in-person lectures or seminars will take place (on campus) in block 4. We are already asking professors to think creatively about how education and testing in block 4 can be designed remotely. Before we make our final decision, however, we would like to await the decisions from national consultations on this matter. We expect to be able to give a definitive answer on the design of block 4 in the week of April 6 at the latest, hopefully sooner.

Timetable Public Transport adjusted
For people in vital functions, at the UMCU and for students living at the USP, it is relevant that the public transport timetable will be adjusted. Amongst others, the tram will no longer run from Friday 20 March. For more information: https://www.u-ov.info/.

Read the email that has been sent with more extensive information and other updates.

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18-03-2020: childcare for higher education staff - events - working safely from home

Childcare for higher education staff
OCW has stated that lecturers at universities fall into the category of vital professions. The same applies to IT supporters who have to facilitate online education. This is the basis on which people can claim child care. See the VSNU website for more information.

Events
A lot of questions have come in about events. We advise not to plan any events until 1 July, to cancel already planned events on time and not to attend events elsewhere. For questions about costs in case of cancellations please contact your department.

Working safely from home
We're asking you to access the O and U drives via VPN. There is sufficient capacity available. This is the safest option, as it requires two-step verification unlike other digital options such as webdav.

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17-03-2020: large part of buildings closed from Thursday - promotions cancelled

UU buildings closed
A large number of UU buildings will be closed from Thursday 19 March until at least Monday 6 April. A few buildings will remain open to carry out animal care and/or essential lab work, or other operations that are deemed vital. This also applies to the Ruppertgebouw (access via main entrance of Educatorium), where teachers can record/stream teaching activities. 

Doctoral degree ceremonies cancelled
Until 5 April 2020 all doctoral degree ceremonies will be cancelled. In very exceptional, acute cases, at the request of the PhD candidate, it will be explored to what extent it is possible to do the doctoral degree ceremony online entirely. 

Internships suspended
All (scientific) traineeships in UU buildings are suspended until at least April 6. This also applies to residencies at the Faculty of Medicine until at least April 20.

Read the email that has been sent with more extensive information and other updates.

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15-03-2020: Advice to Dutch students abroad: return back home

Due to the increasingly uncertain situation abroad and the fact that countries are rapidly closing their borders, we strongly advise Dutch students who are currently abroad to come back.

We advise international students who are on exchange at our university to contact their home university to discuss whether returning home is desirable.

We advise international degree students, who are currently visiting their family in their home country  not to travel and follow distance education from next week on. 

We advise international degree students, who are in Utrecht to stay here and follow distance education from next week on.

If you are an international degree student and you are abroad for your study, you should contact your study advisor to discuss the best option for you.

UU students who have additional travel expenses as a result of this (in addition to costs covered by their travel insurance) are eligible for reimbursement of these costs by the UU. Internationals who are on exchange at the UU are advised to contact their home university.

Employees abroad
In view of the increasing uncertainty of the situation abroad and the fact that countries are rapidly closing their borders, we urge employees who are temporarily abroad to consider returning to the Netherlands. In doing so, you should consider possible (future) travel restrictions and/or health care facilities in the country in which you are currently residing. Consult with your manager if necessary. Any additional travel expenses can be reimbursed. If you are an international employee and you are currently staying in your country of origin, we leave the choice up to you. However, please do contact your manager about this.

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13-3-2020: Face-to-face education/exams (on campus) cancelled until Monday April 20th

All educational activities such as lectures and tutorials, labs, and exams will not take place on location until the end of the current block (April 20th). The cabinet has asked the university to offer education only from a distance for the time being. We want to heed such a call. We intend to ensure that students can nevertheless successfully complete the courses of this block, which is near its conclusion, without physical meetings taking place. This requires customization per subject. Teachers and students have been informed today. Read the email sent with this information and other updates.

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13-03-2020: University Libraries closed

Both our University Libraries will close as of tomorrow, until at least 31 March. Access to scientific material and other library services will continue in the best way possible. We want to ask all our students to study at home. Yesterday, the cabinet called upon us to suspend large gatherings. Utrecht University will of course comply with this directive.

Study spots, spaces for receptions and meetings and catering locations in the libraries are not available during these measures.

Access to digital sources
Students and staff of Utrecht University can get access to digital scientific sources online. Find out here how to get access to these sources, even from home.

Access to our physical collection
During these measures it is not possible to search for or pick up books or other material in the library. A service in which the library will digitalize physical materials on request is under construction

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12-3-2020: educational activities and events suspended
All educational activities at Utrecht University are cancelled on Friday 13 March 2020. Utrecht University is responding to the government’s call to higher education to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Education
Face-to-face classes (on campus) are cancelled untill 31 March. We will endeavour to offer educational systems digitally where possible from Monday 16 March. To prepare for this, all educational activities such as lectures, labs, and exams will be cancelled on Friday 13 March. Further information about the way in which alternatives will be used will follow tomorrow.

Events cancelled
Events with more than 100 visitors will be cancelled until 31 March. This includes the Dies celebration in the Domkerk on Thursday 26 March, the "Dies Dialogue", the University Day for alumni on Saturday 28 March and "Meet the Professor" on 25 March. Inaugural lectures will also be cancelled until 31 March. In principle, PhD defenses will continue with a maximum of 100 people. If you are organising an event or meeting with a maximum of 100 visitors, estimate whether it can continue and to what extent additional measures are required. Use the event assessment framework for this.

Work from home when possible
Students and employees may only come to the university if they do not have any health complaints related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the Cabinet's guidelines, we ask our employees who can work from home to do this as much as possible in consultation with their manager.

Libraries and research work
The university buildings, including the libraries, will remain open. Research activities (for example in laboratories) can continue.

Traveling abroad is not recommended
Utrecht University adheres to the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In light of the coming uncertainty, students and staff are advised not to go abroad. Students and employees who still want to travel for work or study are only allowed to do so after consultation with and permission from their manager or study advisor.

Advice for students and employees abroad
With red / orange: return immediately. For yellow / green: keep an eye on advice from local authorities and contact your manager or study advisor. Are you a student abroad or do you study as a foreign student in Utrecht and do you want to go home in light of the uncertain situation, then you can travel home if you wish to do so. This applies regardless of the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We will do our best to help you avoid a study delay. If you do experience a study delay, you can appeal to the profiling fund.

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10-3-2020: updated advice Noord-Brabant, Italy. Take your laptop home

Advice for students and staff from Noord-Brabant
On the 9th of March, the Cabinet instructed people living in the province of Noord-Brabant to work from home until Monday 16 March, if the nature of the job permits it. However, all educational activities will continue. UU follows these new guidelines.

  • Are you an employee of UU and do you live in Noord-Brabant? We ask you to work from home if that is possible. Consult your manager to discuss your situation.
  • We value the continuity of our education. Lectures and tutorials etc. will continue. Are you a teacher and do you live in Noord-Brabant? If you have no complaints, you can continue to teach. Do you rather work from home? Consult your manager to discuss this.
  • Are you a student and do you live in Noord-Brabant? Then we advise you (provided you have no complaints) to continue your education. We value the continuity of our education. Lectures and tutorials etc. will not be cancelled. If a teacher is ill, education will be cancelled.
  • Evidently, the advice still applies that if you are a student or employee from Noord-Brabant and you suffer from a cold, cough or fever, you are asked to stay at home. If you are an employee of UU, call in sick with your manager. Are you a student, and do you have an obligation to attend an educational activity or exam? Please contact your faculty's student desk.

Advice for all employees: take your laptop home with you
Considering the rapidly changing circumstances, we ask all employees to take their UU laptops home with them at the end of the working day if they have one, as a precautionary measure.

Advice for students and staff for Italy
In response to the extended nationwide precautionary measures and travel restrictions for the entire country of Italy taken on 9 March, Utrecht University strongly advises all students and employees as follows:

  • If you are in Italy, travel home as soon as possible.
  • If you have planned a trip to Italy, do not leave.
  • If you are expecting guests from Italy, ask them to cancel the visit. Ask them to do the work digitally or to move the work to a later date.

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8-3-2020: advice for students and staff for Northern Italy

After the updated travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Dutch) for Italy, Utrecht University strongly advises all employees and students as follows:

  • If you are in an area marked red by the ministry, travel home as soon as possible.
  • If you have planned a trip to a red area, do not leave.
  • If you are expecting guests from a red area, ask them to cancel the visit. Ask them to do the work digitally or to move the work to a later date.

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7-3-2020: advice for students and staff from Noord-Brabant

Utrecht University urges all students and staff from Noord-Brabant to follow the latest RIVM advice to stay at home if you have a cold, cough or fever.

  • If you are an employee of UU, call in sick with your manager. 
  • Are you a student and do you have an obligation to attend an educational activity or exam? Please contact your faculty's student desk by phone. 
  • If you don't have any health complaints, you can just come to work.

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2-3-2020: existing hygiene measures expanded

The existing hygiene measures at Utrecht University are expanded with an additional precaution, namely that we ask everyone not to shake hands. The most important other precautions you can implement to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are:

  • wash your hands thoroughly regularly (with soap and water) according to RIVM instructions (text in Dutch; for an instruction video, scroll down);
  • use hand sanitizer if there is no water and soap available;
  • cough and sneeze in your elbow, not in your hand;
  • use paper handkerchiefs and throw them away immediately after use.

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1-3-2020: sharpened advice in case of respiratory complaints

Stay home to recover and not to infect others if you:

 - Have health complaints (coughing or shortness of breath or a fever) ánd have visited an area where COVID-19 is widespread in the past two weeks (see RIVM for an overview);
 - Or if you have health complaints (coughing or shortness of breath or a fever) ánd have been in contact with a known patient with COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

If the symptoms (coughing, shortness of breath or fever) get worse, call your GP or the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) .

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28-2-2020: Travelling from yellow, orange or red zones, what to do?

Have you recently been abroad to an area with a yellow, red or orange travel advice according to Nederland Wereldwijd? Then in some cases we ask you to contact UU. Find out when on this page.

Are you planning on travelling abroad? UU is following the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please always check the travel advice on Nederland Wereldwijd before departure and read more about travelling abroad.

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25-2-2020: Spread of coronavirus in northern Italy

In northern Italy, the coronavirus has spread in several municipalities. Additional measures were taken by the Italian authorities on 24 February 2020.

The following municipalities in the north of Italy, in the provinces of Lombardy and Padua, are currently subject to an entry and exit ban:

  • Lombardy: Casalpusterlengo, Codogno, Castiglione d'Adda, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano.
  • Padua: Vo'Euganeo.

Access roads are being checked and the local authorities are carrying out medical checks at border crossings and airports. In certain areas large public events have been cancelled and public institutions (such as museums but also schools and universities) have temporarily been closed.

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20-2-2020: Governments of countries surrounding China are also taking measures

The Chinese Government - as well as the governments of surrounding countries such as Japan, Singapore and Taiwan -  is taking very strict measures to prevent further spreading of the coronavirus. As a result, public life throughout China has come to a standstill; schools, public facilities and many other organisations have been closed until further notice.

Please take into account possible additional measures by the Chinese authorities as well as the governments of surrounding countries such as Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, including measures with more far-reaching travel restrictions and territorial entry and exit restrictions.

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31-1-2020: UU strongly advises not to travel to China

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reinforced the travel advice for the whole of China on Thursday 30 January. The university is taking the situation in China very seriously. Following this advice, UU strongly advises students and staff not to travel to China.

The Chinese Government is taking very strict measures to prevent further spreading of the coronavirus. As a result, public life throughout China has come to a standstill; schools, public facilities and many other organisations have been closed until further notice.

Please take into account possible additional measures by the Chinese authorities, including measures with more far-reaching travel restrictions and territorial entry and exit restrictions.

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28-1-2020: Consequences of the coronavirus for UU students and staff

There has been an outbreak of a new coronavirus in the city of Wuhan in China. Most patients suffer from pneumonia. The Chinese authorities are currently investigating the coronavirus and the source of the infections. 

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, our partner universities in several Chinese cities are currently closed for education and research. UU is in contact with as many students and staff as possible who are already in China.