‘Students will soon be allowed to travel in rush hour again’

| HOP, Hein Cuppen

The timetables in higher and vocational education are being extended from 1 September, according to Dutch tv news programme Nieuwsuur. As a result, students will be traveling during rush hour again. The government will announce the relaxation this evening.

Photo by: Joris Oosterhuis

Since 15 June lessons and practicals have been allowed to start and end between 11.00 and 15.00, or after 20.00. The students’ right to travel has not been restricted, but the theory is that if classes do not start until 11.00, most students will not take the train or bus at 08.30.

However, the current time slot is much too narrow, according to the rectors of 15 universities. Maurice Limmen, chairman of the Association for Universities of Applied Sciences, also appealed for an increase in an interview.

Spread

The government appears ready to grant that wish, report sources at Nieuwsuur. Universities and universities of applied sciences located closed to one another must ensure the lesson times are spread out, so that lessons do not all start at the same time.

The new chairman of the Dutch National Union of Students (LSVb), Lyle Muns, confirmed the relaxation during the broadcast and spoke of an important step forward. Students and staff will still have to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres. This will lead to limited space being available in many buildings and not all students will be able to follow lessons at the same time.

Customisation

Epidemiologist Patricia Bruijning predicted in Nieuwsuur that customisation will be possible: ‘Full lecture halls will not be possible, but you can still conduct a practical in a small group without being strict about the 1.5 metre rule for example.’

Paul Rüpp, chairman of Avans University of Applied Sciences, is optimistic as well: ‘Review under which conditions you can ignore certain measures. Test students regularly, make sure they follow the hygiene measures. Then we can provide full lessons for lots more groups.’