At last Tuesday's press conference, Minister De Jonge saw possibilities for easing the restrictions in higher education, starting on 26 April. Institutions 'that can organise it with self-testing' will be allowed to provide physical education to their students one day a week. But only if the infection rates are not too high.
'How it should be logistically arranged, that is the big question', explains corona spokesperson Laurens van der Velde. 'Are we going to do it ourselves, or will an external party take care of it? And will students be sent the tests at home or will we do that on campus? If so, in which locations? It is to be expected that teachers will also be asked to do a rapid test.'
Van der Velde says that the UT community will undoubtedly have more questions, but at the moment the UT cannot answer them. 'It all depends on the package that will be provided by the national government. We are waiting for that, but certainly not passively.' Campus & Facility Management is already making the first preparations. We want to provide clarity before 26 April.'
Not only the logistical side, but also the legal side is a point of attention. This week, Tilburg professor of educational law Paul Zoontjens called it 'more or less inevitable' that institutions will ask students for a test certificate. 'That is also a question that we as universities have put to the Ministry,' says Van der Velde. 'It is important that the institutions take the same course of action.'
The quick tests are not a replacement for, but an addition to the one-half metre measure, emphasises the spokesperson. 'And of course we have to wait and see how the numbers develop. It may well be that we are unable to relax the rules after 26 April.'