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LUC The Hague: Corona update: Expectations for Block 1 of AY 2021-2022

20 May 2021

As we are moving towards the end of this academic year, we need to start looking forward to next academic year, in particular semester 1. Please find below an overview of the information that is currently available regarding the start of next academic year:

 LUC Corona update: expectations for Block 1 of AY 2021-22.

·         Block 1: mostly on campus with some restrictions, with online options for students (yet) unable to be present.

·         Expectations to return to fully on-campus model hopefully by Block 2

Teaching in Block 1

At the moment of writing, Leiden University expects that it will be safe to teach and study on campus again in September, and that much or most of the teaching will be in person. The Ministry of Education communicated earlier this spring that they expect that programs will largely resume their regular (pre-COVID) teaching, most probably without the 1.5m rule but with (voluntary) self-testing and with maximum group sizes. However, it is as yet unknown what the exact measures in place will be at the start of the new semester. The University expects to communicate more about the expectations for Block 1 by 15 June 2021. Even then, any guidelines or regulations will of course be subject to change depending on the national situation after summer break. The University does foresee a transition situation for Block 1, in particular for programs such as LUC with international students, who in exceptional cases due to travel restrictions and/or quarantine may not yet be able to be on campus.

This means that for Block 1 we will have to prepare for a hybrid situation, combining on-campus teaching with online activities catering for students who are not on campus. For on-campus teaching, this will mean a situation comparable to the first semester of the current academic year (fall 2020) with maximum ca. 10 students per classroom. In case the 1.5m rule is indeed dropped, normal classroom use will be possible with a full class but there may still be limitations on the number of people in the Auditorium. Regarding the number of classes and assessments, LUC will return to the normal (pre-COVID) rules from the start of Block 1.

Returning to Campus

We expect that if developments continue to be positive, the University will return to a fully on-campus model in Semester 1. We therefore expect all students and instructors to aim to be back in The Hague at the start of the semester, so that we can offer as much of the program as possible on campus and hopefully transition back into a fully on-campus situation without online options during the semester (most likely as from Block 2). We will of course always prioritize the safety of our community.

We urge all staff and returning second and third year students, to return in a timely manner to accommodate for at least 10 days of quarantine before the start of the block depending on your country of departure, meaning in practice a return before 20 August for the start of the Block on 30 August. Students and staff required to quarantine are barred from coming to campus within 10 days of arrival. We do understand that some students or staff may face travel restrictions in their countries of departure, preventing them from being on campus.

The first year cohort will move in to AvB over a period of 3 days starting on Friday 20 August. Like last year, this will again be a logistical challenge seeing that many students will come in from abroad and that the corona situation everywhere is constantly changing. We expect quite a few incoming students having to quarantine for 10 days. Introweek will start on Monday 23 August and will be completely online to accommodate for the fact that many students will not be able to attend on-campus activities yet. During the month of September once all students are settled in, we will organize several in-person introductory activities.

3D Community

We hope this is helpful for now, especially in arranging your travel plans. Of course we will have to await national developments to see how the situation will develop in practice, but we are very hopeful that we will be able to go back to being a 3D community soon!

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