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No education and exams; staff working from home

The new guidelines that have been issued by the Dutch national government to control the coronavirus situation, effect the University of Twente heavily with immediate effect. This is an overview of the most important measures and consequences. These have been formulated after consultation of the Central Crisis Team (CCT) and the university faculties.

No education till Monday 23 March

In the period till Monday 23 March, no educational activities will take place. This goes for all regular activities like (online) lectures, working groups and exams as well as for training, courses and colloquia. Students are asked not to meet at the educational buildings if they are not strictly required to be there. The TechMed Centre will be completely closed for students.

Staff members of the educational programmes will use the coming week to prepare themselves for offering online/distance education as well as possible from Monday 23 March onwards. They will initiate communication with the students on specific details.

Also, they will be the point of contact in case the new situation leads to for example study delay or other complex situations. As the different educational programmes offered at the UT are rather divergent, tailor-made solutions are required.

Research and other activities

Research and other activities scheduled for the coming period may be continued, taking into account other measures and consequences mentioned in this email or issued by other organisations. This can, for instance, affect meetings and appointments with colleagues elsewhere.

Work from home as much as possible

We follow guideline from the Dutch national government on encouraging working from home as much as possible. This goes for all UT staff, both scientific and support staff. There is no clear generic answer to when your attendance is needed. It is important to make agreements with your head of department/supervisor and your colleagues, at the level of the department, group or project. As the coronavirus situation affects us heavily and will require a good deal of improvisation and creativity, good coordination is essential.

We find it of utmost importance that you can work at home in safe and healthy conditions. For that, we have written an instruction form that may help you to arrange your digital working space from home.

Some employees will have to arrange childcare. One of the new measures is the closing of schools in primary and secondary education. Only limited childcare is available. We do understand that they might be needed at home. In case staff members have to take care of your children at home, they have to discuss with the manager or head of department what they can and cannot do. We have a shared responsibility to make sure that they can work safely from home and, at the same time, take care of their children.

Considerations for international travelling

For international travelling, we keep following the guidelines from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding which countries are advised to travel to. For the time being, try to avoid travelling when not strictly necessary. We would like to emphasize that travel advice by the government reflects the current situation, which may change overnight. It is good to take that into account when planning your trip. Cancellation of business travels can be decided upon by the faculty.

Limited availability of services

In the coming period, some service may have a limited availability or opening hours. For some facilities, it has been decided that they will be closed until further notice. This goes for, for example, the DesignLab, Student Services, Pakkerij, Watersportcomplex and Sports Centre (which will be open for physiotherapy only). Also, the food and drink facilities on campus will be closed.

The Bastille and campus library will be open. In any case, we will ensure together that there are no more than 100 persons at any location at any given time, in line with national guidelines.

Restrictions for events

All events with an attendance of 100 persons or more will be cancelled. This limitation is valid until at least 31 March 2020. We hope we can provide you with detailed information on the period afterwards soon. Event organisers have the opportunity to cancel or postpone their event or look for alternatives (like splitting up groups) to ensure attendance never exceeds 100 persons.

Providing information for study seekers

Having to cancel the Open Days this week resulted in not being able to inform all prospective students as desired. The staff of the educational programmes will, in collaboration with and support from the Marketing Communication Department of the UT, look at alternatives to ensure study seekers have to opportunity to explore their opportunities in a proper way.

Getting in contact

In case you have any questions that are urgent, please contact us. You may get in contact with us. There is a communication team answering questions and passing on your suggestions to the Central Crisis Team. You may contact them via info@utwente.nl. In most cases, you will receive an answer within four hours, the team is also available on weekend days.

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