Rectors: a generation of students could be lost

The rectors of Dutch universities write in an opinion piece that they fear for their students’ development if options for lecture hours remain limited. The school leaders call for more room for students.

Rector Thom Palstra is one of the authors of the opinion piece

On the news and opinion site ScienceGuide, the rectors of 15 universities write: ‘Personality development is the cornerstone of university education and we are gravely concerned that a generation of students could potentially be lost if we are not able to revive crucial physical contact in the short term’.

For the time being, universities and universities of applied sciences are only allowed to offer classes between 11.00 and 15.00 or after 20.00, so students do not have to travel during rush hour. Classes may also begin before 15.00 and end after 20.00.

From 1 August more will be possible, but the rectors fear this will not be enough. ‘With a view to the future, the upcoming generation will need more space both literally and figuratively. They deserve a spot now, too.’

The rectors have no solutions to offer, but they would like to point out that government bodies, transport companies and other organisations are doing everything they can to ensure safe transportation to and from campuses. ‘We urge the government to take this into account in developing the new guidelines.’

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