Covid-19 update 17 April 2020

It has been just over a month since we had to decide to continue our work almost completely in digital mode. So far, we have achieved a great deal and we are extremely proud of all your hard work and dedication. We would like to inform you about the most recent developments.

Towards a gradual opening of lab facilities

At the moment, a considerable amount of laboratory-related research at the UT is still on hold. Considering the positive trend nationwide in controlling the coronavirus, our role in society, the importance of continuity and positive experiences with staying safe so far, we are currently exploring the possibility to allow additional activities to take place again in a controlled and dosed way.

In the coming period, we strive to gradually resume lab activities that are considered critical and urgent. Key in this will be adhering to the RIVM guidelines and securing people’s safety and the safety of our campus. In close consultation, faculties, institutes and service departments are currently assessing the feasibility of resuming lab work, and - if this turns out positively, how to implement with attention to clear, balanced and transparent decision-making. The portfolioholders research of the faculties are the first point of contact for researchers.

We understand the desire of many researchers to be able to use the lab facilities again and it is great to feel your enthusiasm. At the same time, we realise that not everything can be done at once and that difficult choices need to be made. We will be closely monitoring the development of the gradual opening of our labs, and considering which lab activities could be gradually taken up, also in light of changing indications from national authorities.

Smooth transfer from bachelor's to master's

This week, a decision was reached to ensure that the transfer from bachelor’s (or pre-master’s) to a master's degree will go as smoothly as possible. To this end, the so-called harde knip - the requirement that the bachelor’s or pre-master’s must be completed before starting a master’s degree - was eased. The students to whom this may apply have already been informed by e-mail. Programme-specific conditions may apply. A temporary scheme is now being set up for current UT students. Before 15 May, there must be clarity for students who want to enrol from another university or university of applied science.

Privacy guidelines for the use of online education applications

Various types of digital tools are being used for teaching online in an effective and attractive manner. It is important that the applications used are carefully tested for security and privacy aspects. As you may be aware, some applications do not meet such requirements.

Together with our Data Protection Officer, the TELT team (Technology Enhanced Learning & Teaching) supports you in checking the reliability of teaching tools. So get in touch with them when you want to use a new application. Our university is also in close contact with other universities to maintain similar guidelines as much as possible.

Refrain from using Zoom

After thorough consideration, we have decided to disallow using the Zoom application for UT purposes. In this, we also consulted other organisations and universities that we work with and who use apps like Zoom for digital meetings. Unfortunately, the terms of use are not in line with the privacy regulations of the University of Twente. Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams are some of the alternatives that can be used. In case you have to continue to use Zoom because of the demands of external organisations, please adjust your settings and do not share personal data, sensitive or confidential information via the platform. More information can be found in the Privacy Regulations FAQ.

Safety and security on campus

The number of activities on campus is currently kept to a minimum: it is predominantly maintenance work that is taking place. We have had employees collect necessities from their office earlier this week. Unfortunately, the absence of staff and students also attracts visitors who do not belong on campus. If you observe any suspicious activity, please report it immediately to Security, available by phone (053-489 2134).

Online Open Days

To support prospective students in choosing a master or bachelor programme, we are organising Online Open Days in close collaboration between the faculties and the Marketing & Communications department. These will be held on Wednesday 13 May and Friday 15 May. The programme on Wednesday may also be helpful for current bachelor students at the University of Twente to help them in choosing the right master programme. More information will follow soon on the website.

Crowdfunding campaign Twente University Fund

We are overwhelmed by the great number of donations made to the crowdfunding campaign of the Twente University Fund. The campaign has been set up to support students in financial distress, as various causes have a great impact. The fund foundation has decided to double the first ten thousand euros raised. The campaign is still open for donations.

More information

On www.utwente.nl/wall, you will find some personal experiences shared by members of the UT community. We have an updated FAQ with more detailed information on various topics pertaining to the corona crisis, on www.utwente.nl/corona. If you cannot find the answer to your question there, please contact us via info@utwente.nl.

L.P.W. van der Velde (Laurens)
Press relations (available Mon-Fri)