‘Postponing exams is a possibility’

| Michaela Nesvarova

With the corona crisis likely to continue in 2021, the UT Executive Board is exploring how education might be affected for the rest of the academic year. ‘If there is a total lockdown, postponing exams is a possibility,’ said rector Tom Veldkamp during the University Council (UC) meeting today.

Based on yesterday’s press conference of the Dutch government, it seems that the Covid-19 vaccination programme won’t be fully implemented in the Netherlands until the next summer. The UC therefore asked the Board what the university can expect in terms of education design for the rest of the year.

‘We are exploring two main scenarios,’ replied professor Veldkamp. ‘One is the worst case scenario in which the third wave is even more severe and affects physical education. Because of that, we are looking at options for going fully online. We are in conversation with all course directors to see what educational activities need to be physical and maintained for as long as possible. The other scenario represents being able to scale up a bit and have more activities on campus. Both scenarios are being explored, because we have no idea which way it will go.’

‘We are afraid that Kick-In will still be affected by corona’

‘We hope the next academic year will be normal, but we are afraid that Kick-In will still be affected by corona regulations,’ continued the rector. ‘Thankfully we had a good Kick-In past summer, which we can use as a blueprint for the next year in creating a more hybrid model for the introduction weeks.’

If there is a total lockdown and the UT campus has to be closed, postponing exams might be the only option, admitted Veldkamp. ‘We don’t want to sacrifice the quality of education, we want to make sure that our students reach their learning goals. That is why postponing exams could be the only way out. However, exams will be postponed only if there really isn’t any other way. We want to explore all other possibilities first. We want to prevent it from happening, but we need to explore the scenario to be ready.’  

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