Universiteit Utrecht
Coronavirus update 20 March
Dear students and colleagues,

As we promised yesterday, today we will respond to the decisions of the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science and our own measures with regard to these decisions.


Binding Study Advice
Students who are unable to meet the BSA standard due to the coronavirus will be able to postpone and will have further opportunities to meet the standard in the academic year 2020-2021. Last night, the Minister of Education requested this after consulting with the VSNU, at the universities. Utrecht University is happy to comply with the request. In concrete terms, this means the following:
  • 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.
In accordance with the regulations of our university, an exception may be made, given the exceptional circumstances. And the situation with the coronavirus is indeed an exceptional circumstance. We hope that this decision will provide sufficient clarity and take away our students' concern. We also hope that, despite the corona crisis, everyone will be able to continue their studies as well as possible. For current second-year UU students who already have an adhered advice follows customization through their own study programme.

Adjusted deadline application
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. This gives time to (future) students who were unable to register in time due to the coronavirus. It is possible that certain forms of the study choice check cannot take place because it requires the physical presence of the student. 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.

Students financial problems
Students may find themselves in financial difficulties because their income from a secondary job, for example, is now disappearing, while the costs of rent continue. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is well aware of this. DUO is making every effort to help students and will take their personal situation into account. Students can make use of DUO's loan possibilities and increase their loan. If necessary, retroactively from the beginning of the academic year. In addition, students can apply for tuition credit. Students can arrange this themselves via myDUO. If this is still insufficient, students can contact DUO for a customised solution.

In the event of a study delay that cannot be prevented as a result of the corona crisis (e.g. because an internship or practicum cannot be replaced), the profiling fund can be used. You may only apply once your study delay has already increased, i.e. at the earliest from academic year 2020-2021.

Student organizations
Student organizations have indicated that they need (communication) guidelines. We have asked you to let us know via coronavirus@uu.nl. A set of guidelines for (cancelling) events / study trips and their financial consequences can be found on the website.


Education block 4
We see that a number of universities have decided not to provide in-person education until the end of the academic year. We understand that you would also like this self-same clarity. We are currently mapping out the consequences if we were to complete the whole year without physical meetings for teaching and testing. We are looking at the problems that this may cause, given that block four is traditionally a block with many internships. We are also looking at what we can learn from our alliance partners, for example, and at opportunities to expand our own facilities for online proctoring (online supervised tests). We will make a decision no later than 27 March.

Now that it increasingly seems that (new) research activities and PhDs ceremonies cannot take place on location for a longer period of time, we are investigating whether a (larger) part of the PhDs promotions can take place digitally after 6 April. Naturally, we will closely monitor the situation and we will consider whether the RIVM's recommendations will at some point offer the possibility to give more researchers access to their workplace and/or library. At the moment, the rule as far as we know it is: only vital functions, this is, of course, because we want to contribute as much as possible to curbing the number of researchers.


Childcare for crucial professions
The government has determined which people perform 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.
Follow-up communication
The situation is changing rapidly. It is difficult to inform you directly about all developments. We are doing our best. The website is constantly being updated. Starting next week, we will send an e-mail three times a week with the most important updates, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
We wish you good health and a good weekend despite the difficult circumstances.

The Executive Board of Utrecht University

Anton Pijpers - President
Annetje Ottow - Vice President
Henk Kummeling - Rector Magnificus

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