Universiteit Leiden

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Gradual return to in-person teaching expected from 26 April, looking ahead to the new academic year

15 April 2021

On 20 April the government is expected to decide that we may resume in-person teaching at the university from 26 April. The government is talking about ‘every student going in to university one day a week.’ We are going to look per programme and annual schedule at how we can provide the best possible teaching and what the maximum options are within – and alongside – the timetable. In this update we detail our plans and the preconditions for these. The plans will, of course, only go ahead if the government gives us the green light, and the measures from the campus protocol will still apply. 

Limited return to in-person teaching

All of our degree programmes will try to give each student the option to come to the campus. We will prioritise practicals, work groups and other small gatherings, and student supervision (tutor groups, for instance). Lectures will most probably be online until the summer. Alongside scheduled teaching, extra activities will also be possible at university locations. This could mean guest lectures, Career Services events or study association activities. Study advisers will be able to meet students in person once again, and, where possible, more study spaces will be available. We will therefore give as many students as possible the option of meeting up in person once again. Lecturers will be able to book a room for extracurricular activities with students, and study associations will be able to do this via the assessor. 

One-and-a-half-metre distancing and corona check still apply

The number of contact hours will remain limited in the coming period – mainly because 1.5-metre distancing will apply to all our teaching and other activities. This means that some things will still not be possible, but we are pleased with the options, if limited, of meeting face-to-face once again. The campus protocol rules will continue to be extremely important and you will still have to do the corona check before you come to the university.

Extra safety with self-tests

An extra option that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will offer is self-testing. Self-tests will be available from the start of May, and students and lecturers will be able to order them free via SURF. As soon as we know more, we will let you know in an update. We would urge our students and staff to make use of this option because it will increase safety at the university. Self-testing will be the responsibility of the students and staff, and will not be mandatory. Nor will the university provide self-tests.

Gradual lockdown exit

Like the whole country, we are gradually emerging from lockdown. As the number of people vaccinated increases and the number of infections decreases, we will move away from no, unless to yes, provided. If events are permitted once again, more people may be welcome to attend PhD defences, inaugural lectures and degree ceremonies. We hope that from August/September we will all be able to return to our university locations once again with few or no restrictions. 

Looking ahead to the new academic year

We assume it will be safe for all our students to come to the campus and that much of our teaching will be in person once again. Studying is about collaboration, about working together on research questions and about lively debate with your lecturers and fellow students. Although we’ve seen over the past year that online teaching can work well too, we realise that meeting your lecturers and other students in person is crucial to the excellent education that we as a university stand for. Read more about the new academic year

Keeping the best of online

We therefore want to return to ‘normal’: meeting one another without restrictions. But we would like to keep the best of our online contact and options from the past year. Read more in our interview with our rector magnificus, Hester Bijl.

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