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Study choice and the coronavirus

Information and FAQ for prospective students

The nation-wide and international measures taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus continue to have an impact on students and staff at universities throughout the Netherlands and beyond. We understand that as a prospective student this may leave you with concerns and questions about choosing a study programme and starting at university. Below, you can find more information and a helpful FAQ about how you can get to know AUC and what we're doing to ensure that education continues both on-campus and online in 2020-2021.

Education in Autumn 2020: on-campus and online

At AUC, we've been able to provide current students with the best possible (digital) learning environment in order to ensure that they can continue their education without delay and without sacrificing the quality of the academic programme. 

AUC's approach to education for the Autumn 2020 semester

The priorities that are guiding our approach to the Autumn 2020 semester at AUC include:

  1. The health, safety and well-being of our students and staff.
  2. Ensuring that all students have the opportunity to start or continue their education at AUC regardless of their physical location.
  3.  Offering our education as efficiently and effectively as possible, without losing our characteristics of a small-scale, intensive programme in the liberal arts and sciences, nor compromising the quality of our education.

With the health and safety of students and staff as our top priority, our return to campus has seen risks minimised, and government regulations and guidelines closely followed. This also means that for any student or staff member who may be in a risk group, coming to campus is on a voluntary basis. 

Courses: on-campus and online

For Autumn 2020, our education is being offered both on-campus and online. As far as possible, we are offering an on-campus experience for students who are in Amsterdam, even if some of the courses in a student's schedule are offered online.

To determine if a course would take place online or on-campus, all students (including new first-year students) were surveyed with regard to their location and whether they would be able to be on-campus, living in the student residences by 31 August 2020. Based on the proportion of students registered for a course planning to be on-campus and the availability of the lecturers, it was then determined if a course could have on-campus components or would need to take place entirely online. 

For courses that are online, all teaching activities, assignments, exams and contact-hours take place digitally. For courses offered on-campus, the amount of contact-hours taking place in the classroom depends on the size of the course. For courses with 12 or fewer students (who are all on-campus), all course activities are taking place in the AUC Academic Building. For courses with more than 12 students, most have an alternating schedule where students have one class session per week on-campus and the other class session online. This is done to ensure that all students and staff members can maintain at least 1.5m distance from each other at all times in the AUC Academic Building, even when in the classroom. 

The vast majority of AUC courses in the Autumn 2020 semester currently have on-campus components. 

Safety measures in the AUC Academic Building 

Health and safety protocols and guidelines have been implemented at the AUC Academic Building, and include managed traffic flows in, out and through the building (including one-way only corridors), meeting additional hygiene standards and allowing visitors to always maintain 1.5 metres distance from each other. Walking routes have been planned and signage installed to clarify the measures in place. The elevator is only to be used by those who cannot walk up and down stairs, and extra cleaning rounds of door handles, taps and any frequently touched surfaces are taking place throughout the day. Additional hand sanitisation stations are have been installed and provisions have been made so that items used by multiple people (such as classroom laptops and touch screens on coffee vending machines) can be sanitised between uses. The AUC Academic Building also now has a cap on the maximum number of occupants at any given time (in order to allow those in the building to properly socially distance) and the number of visitors is monitored via a check-in/check-out system to avoid exceeding the allocated capacity.  

Living in the student residences

The aim is that as many AUC students live in the dorms as is safely possible. Students are currently required to live in the student residences in order to participate in on-campus course activities. Working with representatives from housing association DUWO (landlord and managers of the student residences), measures were taken over the summer to make it even easier to abide by social distancing and other government measures. 

Although hybrid education certainly presents some challenges, rest assured that we continue to prioritise the health and safety of our students and staff above everything else. This means that we continue to work closely with the University of Amsterdam, VU Amsterdam, housing association DUWO (landlord and managers of the student residences) and universities around the Netherlands on developing creative, safe solutions that will allow us to continue offering high-quality, personalised education to all of our students. 

  • Getting to know AUC online

    With many typical orientation events such as open days, tours and fairs having been cancelled, we know that it has been more difficult for you to meet with current students and lecturers, view the campus and get an overall feel for what each university programme has to offer.

    We want to help you prepare as best as possible for making an informed choice about your study programme, explain provisions that are being taken at AUC to accommodate the effects of the coronavirus and give you an idea about what to expect should you enrol next year. Using the FAQ below, you'll find links to digital orientation activities and answers to common questions.

    Should your question not be answered below, or you would rather speak to a representative, please feel free to get in touch with us directly. 

FAQ: study choice and coronavirus

  • What about the student residences and moving in?

    AUC is a residential programme and aims to have a close-knit community on campus. AUC and DUWO (the landlord and managers of the student residences) have taken additional measures to make moving-in and living in the student residences as safe as possible. Previous measures have included staggering move-in dates for new first-years, reducing the number of shared rooms and limiting the use of common spaces and balconies. These measures and guidelines were taken in order to ensure that as many students as possible could arrive in Amsterdam and move into their rooms while still respecting all the government advice and health regulations. 

    For incoming first-year students, how you'll move into the student residences is, in general, also dependent on the national and international developments regarding health precautions and possible travel restrictions. For now, our intention is that as long as the situation safely permits, AUC will facilitate first-year students moving into the student residences in time to start their studies at AUC in September 2021.