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Study choice and the coronavirus

Information and FAQ for incoming and prospective students

The nation-wide and international measures taken to limit the further spreading of the coronavirus have had 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 next year. 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 a smooth start for all students in September 2020.

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. However, a major question that remains in the minds of both current and prospective students is what will education and our on-campus community be like in Autumn 2020?

Universities across the Netherlands have come together to launch a joint campaign to offer prospective students reassurance that the 2020-2021 academic year will start as scheduled on 31 August. This is epitomised in the slogan: "On campus if we can. Online because we can." 

AUC's approach to Autumn 2020

The priorities that will guide 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 means that any risks must be minimised and government regulations and guidelines must be 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. At any point, students or staff members who show symptoms (cold symptoms, coughing, sneezing, fever, shortness of breath), or who have household members with symptoms, must stay at home and follow further guidelines in relation to self-isolation.

Courses: on-campus and online

For Autumn 2020, our education will be offered online if we cannot offer it on-campus. As far as possible, we aim to offer an on-campus experience for students who are able to be in Amsterdam, even if some of the courses in a student's schedule are offered online.

To determine if a course will take place online or on-campus, all students (including incoming first-year students) have been surveyed with regard to their location and whether they will be able to be on-campus, living in the student residences by 31 August. Based on the proportion of students registered for a course planning to be on-campus and the availability of the lecturers, it has been determined if a course can have on-campus components or must take place entirely online. 

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

It is expected that the vast majority of AUC courses in the Autumn 2020 semester will have on-campus components. 

Safety measures in the AUC Academic Building 

Health and safety protocols and guidelines will have to be followed with regard to the AUC Academic Building, including managing traffic flows in, out and through the building (including one-way only corridors), and meeting additional hygiene standards. Walking routes will be planned and signage installed. The elevator will only be used by those who cannot walk up and down stairs, and there will be extra cleaning rounds of door handles, taps and any frequently touched surfaces. Additional hand sanitisation stations are also being installed, and provisions are being made so 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 will also have a 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 coming in and out will be monitored to avoid going over capacity.  

Living in the student residences

The aim is that as many AUC students live in the dorms as is safely possible. Students will be 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 are being taken to make it even easier to abide by social distancing and other government measures. 

Although the upcoming semester certainly presents some challenges, rest assured that we are prioritising the health and safety of our students and staff above everything else. This means that we'll continue working 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 offer high-quality, personalised education to all of our students. 

  • Getting to know AUC digitally

    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, view the campus and get an overall feel for what each programme has to offer.

    We want to help you prepare as best as possible for making an informed choice about your study programme and 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 our Admissions Office has been receiving. 

    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

  • Will teaching activities resume on campus at AUC in September?

    AUC will reinstate teaching on campus per the new academic year with certain restrictions. 

    For Autumn 2020, our education will be offered online if we cannot offer it on-campus. As far as possible, we aim to offer an on-campus experience for students who are able to be in Amsterdam, even if some of the courses in a student's schedule are offered online.

    To determine if a course will take place online or on-campus, all students (including incoming first-year students) have been surveyed with regard to their location and whether they will be able to be on-campus and living in the student residences by 31 August. Based on the proportion of students registered for a course planning to be on-campus and the availability of lecturers, it has been determined if a course can have on-campus components or must take place entirely online. 

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

    It is expected that the vast majority of AUC courses in the Autumn 2020 semester will have on-campus components. 

  • Have the application deadlines been extended?

    Based on the impact the coronavirus outbreak has had around the world, the application deadlines were extended (after the regular deadline of 1 February).

    • Applicants with EU/EEA citizenship were welcome to submit their application for admission to start at AUC in September 2020 until 5 June 2020. These applications will be processed on an ongoing basis. 
    • Applicants with non-EU/EEA citizenship were welcome to apply until 1 May 2020 for a September 2020 start. This deadline was necessary in order to ensure that residence permits and possible entry visas could be arranged on time to start at AUC.
    • As is the policy for all applications received after the regular deadline, they will be processed in the order in which they are received (i.e. those who have submitted a complete application package on time will be processed first). 
    • For students looking to start their studies at AUC in September 2021, the application will become available in October 2020. For a September 2021 start, the early-bird deadline is 1 December 2020 and the regular deadline is 1 February 2021. 
  • I'm applying to AUC, but my final central examinations have been cancelled. What should I do?

    For those who have already applied and received conditional admission based on a diploma that you will obtain in 2020 and requires certain final central exams (e.g. the IB Diploma, A-levels, AP exams), the cancellation of the May examinations will not have an impact on your offer. With your diploma and meeting the minimum conditions specified in your admission letter, you will be unconditionally admitted and will be able to start your studies at AUC in September 2020.

  • What about the student residences and moving in?

    AUC is a residential programme and aims to have a close-knit community on campus. Right now, AUC and DUWO (the landlord and managers of the student residences) are taking measures to make moving-in and living in the student residences as safe as possible. Proposed measures include staggering move-in dates for new first-years, reducing the number of shared rooms and limiting the use of common spaces. These measures and guidelines are being taken in order to ensure that as many first-year students as possible are able to travel to Amsterdam and can move into their rooms while still respecting all the government advice and health regulations while also keeping current residents safe. 

    For incoming first-year students, moving into the student residences is, in general, very much dependent on the national and international developments regarding health precautions and possible travel restrictions. For now, our intention is that as soon as the situation safely permits, AUC will let accepted first-year students move into their dorm rooms.