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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.

  • Update: classes to to take place online for the start of semester 2

    On 23 February 2021, the Dutch prime minister announced that the strict lockdown that has been in place since 15 December 2020 (and extended on 12 January 2021 and again on 2 February 2021) will be extended until (at least) 15 March 2021.

    On 20 January, the Dutch national government announced that a national nightly curfew (from 21.00 to 04.30) would go into effect starting 23 January and remain in place through at least the morning of 10 February 2021. On 23 February 2021, the government announced that the national curfew would also be extended through at least 15 March 2021. 

     This means that all courses in semester 2 will be offered online until further notice, with the start date of returning to on-campus classes being announced three weeks prior to the date of the first on-campus classes. 

    Measures at AUC for the 16-week period of semester 2: until (at least) 15 March 2021

    • Classes for the 16-week period of semester 2 started on 1 February 2021 and will be taking place entirely online until it is safe to return to campus.
    • AUC plans to start offering on-campus education as soon as the coronavirus measures allow to do so safely. 
      • Given the unpredictability of the situation,  and to make sure that students and lecturers are able to plan for their on-campus classes (including any travel and completing mandatory quarantine procedures), AUC’s management team has not set a hard date by which classes on-campus will resume in semester 2.
      • Instead, the start date of returning to on-campus classes will be announced to all students and staff three weeks in advance of the date of the first on-campus classes. 
      • Until that date is announced, all classes will be offered online.
    • The AUC Academic Building will be open through 15 March 2021, but only for staff who cannot work from home and/or who have building-related work.

    The measures above describe the situation as accurately as possible at the moment. We advise every student to continue to monitor their student email and digital learning environment Canvas to ensure any updates are received. It is possible that adjustments will need to be made in order to accommodate special cases or newly announced measures.

Education in Spring 2021 (February - June): on-campus and online

[Please see the update above for important information regarding the start of semester 2]

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 Spring 2021 semester

The priorities that are guiding our approach to the Spring 2021 semester (February 2021 - June 2021) are as follows:

  1. The health, safety and well-being of our students and staff.
  2.  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: mostly on-campus and some online

For Spring 2021, our education will be offered with on-campus components when it is safe to do so. To the extent possible, we will continue to offer an on-campus experience, even if some of the components of the courses in a student's schedule are offered (fully) online, or may need to be switched to be fully online for certain time periods due to additional measures.  

For the courses that are entirely online, all teaching activities, assignments, exams and contact-hours take place digitally. For courses offered with on-campus components, the amount of contact-hours taking place in the classroom depends on the size of the course and the coronavirus measure in place. Generally speaking: 

  • For courses with 12 or fewer students, all course activities will take place in the AUC Academic Building when allowed.
  • For courses with more than 12 students, most will have an alternating schedule where students will 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. 

It is planned that the vast majority of AUC courses in the Spring 2021 semester will (eventually) 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),  the obligation to wear face masks while moving throughout the building, 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 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 continues to have 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 student residences are open as normal and AUC students continue to live on campus in the dorms. From 1 February 2021 onward, all students are expected to be 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 have been taken to make it even easier to abide by social distancing and other government measures. These measures will continue to remain in place throughout the Spring 2021 semester. Moreover, DUWO is looking into (carefully) re-opening the common rooms in the student residences for a maximum of 4 students at a time starting after March 2021. 

Although the pandemic has presented some challenges, rest assured that AUC continues to prioritise the health and safety of our students and staff above all 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 continuing to develop 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 page and 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

  • The Open Day/Bachelor's Day was cancelled. How can I get more info about AUC?

    From November 2020 through March 2021, AUC will be hosting a series of live Open Day webinars and offering you the chance to sign up for one-on-one appointments with Admissions Officers, chat directly to student ambassadors while taking a digital dorm tour and participate in interdisciplinary sample lectures. These events will be posted in our events overview and also announced on our choosing your study overview.

    If you're unable to join the live online events, you can view our most recent Open Day webinar recording from 14 January 2021 below. Dr. Michiel van Drunen (Director of Education),  Dr. Marianne Riphagen (Head of Studies Academic Core) and two student representatives cover the essentials of the AUC programme, including our teaching philosophy, how the curriculum.

  • 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.