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Yesterday we received more clarity about the scope we will have to resume education and research on location from 15 June.

Dear students,

Yesterday we received more clarity about the scope we will have to resume education and research on location from 15 June. For the time being, small-scale educational activities can only begin or end between 11:00 and 15:00 or after 20:00 and research activities are only permitted on a limited scale. The cabinet is calling on everyone to continue working from home.

We understand this is difficult, that there is a great need for study spaces and that it is time to return to ‘proper’ lectures and seminars. At the same time, we also need to keep 1.5 m distance in our buildings, the available number of square metres is limited and education can only take place outside of peak hours. This means we need to make sensible use of limited space. We have tried to provide an outline of what this means for the UvA below.

First phase – from 15 June

Priority will be given to lab courses, graduation assignments, (joint) fieldwork, examinations and some tutorials from 15 June. The priorities will be decided by the Faculties and it will be determined what the possibilities are for each building; mutual agreements will then be made on this basis. So keep a close eye on your programme page.

Small-scale research activities will be permitted from 11 May. We will be prioritising lab activities and PhDs and postdocs who cannot work effectively from home and are in the final stages of their project. PhD defences will continue to take place online until the summer.

Naturally health remains the top priority, so we will continue to strictly observe the guidelines of the National Institute for Public health and the Environment (RIVM). That means maintaining a limit on the number of students and staff permitted inside buildings, disinfectant at the entrances, routing on the stairs and limited use of lifts. We ask everyone to comply with these measures and follow the instructions of Facility Services staff carefully. Please make sure to come to the UvA only if it is really necessary – that’s the only way we can jointly keep the buildings safe and accessible.

Second phase – from September

It is still uncertain what education and research will look like after the summer. What is certain is that we want to do everything we can within the scope of what is possible and permitted to have education take place at the UvA. Online education offers many possibilities, but direct contact – between students and lecturers and among students – is and will remain an essential aspect of studying.

That is why we want to give you more clarity about what ‘hybrid education’ is going to look like after September as soon as we can. About what will take place online, and what on-campus. It has been agreed that all programmes will indicate how education will be organised in the first semester at the latest by 1 July. Especially for first-year students it is necessary for them to meet each other and get to know the UvA ‘in real life’, so that will take priority too.

In the long-term, timeslots between 11:00 and 15:00 and after 20:00 do not provide sufficient perspective for us, which is why we will also be talking to regional transport providers and the Safety Region to discuss local agreements about spreading start and end times more effectively. The national ‘protocol for the restart of universities’ also explicitly provides scope for this.

Finally, naturally we hope you are well and that you are keeping an eye out for each other, especially those students who may be less visible right now – don’t lose sight of them. We would like to hear from you how things are going and what you need. We invite you to join one of the weekly online sessions we will be starting up soon. You can already sign up for this by sending an email.