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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.

  • Limited on-campus teaching to continue at AUC in June

    Updated: 8 June 2021

    Limited on-campus teaching resumed at AUC on 28 April for about one day per week per student. In May, self-tests became freely available for all students via zelftestonderwijs.nl. Self-testing is meant as a precautionary measure and is completely voluntary; there is no requirement for students to self-test before coming to the AUC Academic Building or other university locations. Studying and working from home remains the norm. Students and staff should only come to the AUC building if their activity is deemed essential (i.e. teaching or attending in-person classes). 

    Basic coronavirus measures still in place

    For all those coming to the AUC Academic Building, basic coronavirus measures are still in place and include: not coming to the building if you have any symptoms of the coronavirus or have been told you should quarantine, maintaining 1.5m distance from others at all times, follow the designated walking routes through the building, check-in and check-out at the indicated entrances and exits, observe the staggered timeslots for classes, wear a face mask while moving through the building (unless you have an exemption), practise good hygiene, and wash or sanitise your hands frequently. These measures may be adapted as the situation in the Netherlands as it relates to higher education develops. 

    Measures at AUC for June period of semester 2

    • Limited in-person classes resumed at AUC on 28 April 2021
    • For June period courses (31 May-25 June). Considering that the schedules in the 4-week June period for most courses involve four sessions per week and that students attend no courses in parallel, the guidelines for the June period have been specified as follows for the courses scheduled to be taught on-campus:
      • For each course, two class sessions per week can be taught on-campus (in the AUC building). In addition to these two sessions, sessions can also be held on-campus if they involve:
        • Practicals (for example labs, fieldwork, excursions, discussions in break-out groups, practice exercises, simulations, educational games)
        • Assessments (for example exams, presentations, other in-class graded assignments)
    • In other words, if there are no class sessions involving assessments or practicals during the week, two sessions can be taught in the Academic Building and the other sessions will be taught online.

    Current AUC students should continue to check their email and monitor announcements on the Student Information Canvas environment for more information and relevant updates.

    • The AUC Academic Building is open for staff and students who have essential reasons to be in the building (i.e. teaching or attending classes). 

    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.

  • AUC’s plans for next academic year: back to in-person teaching from September

    Looking ahead to the new academic year, the expectation is that all courses will once again be able to take place on-campus. AUC's management team will continue to monitor the circumstances over the summer. This also means that it is expected that online courses will no longer be offered in September. We cannot rule out the possibility that circumstances might force us to return to online teaching temporarily, but it is not the intention of AUC to offer a remote study programme.  Of course, this will ultimately depend on the progression of the pandemic.

    It is also expected that accepted students will be able to move into the student residences from 2 August 2021. These students will receive more information in June about room selection, key collection and moving in.

    Base scenario: back to campus in September

    The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has formulated a “base scenario” (in Dutch) and the OMT will issue a definitive recommendation in early July. As it currently stands, expectations for the new academic year are that higher education institutions will be allowed to open their doors, social distancing will no longer be required, and voluntary self-tests will remain available for those who are not vaccinated.  However, it is likely that face masks will remain compulsory while walking through the buildings.

    You can read more about the envisioned return to campus on the University of Amsterdam's website. AUC students will receive more information in July about returning to campus in September. 

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: on-campus and online

Although Spring 2021 started entirely online, we've returned to offering limited on-campus components within the established rules. To the extent possible, we're offering 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: 

  • Students are allowed to attend courses on campus about one day per week per student through the end of June 2021, depending on the nature of the course (i.e. if it's a practical or assessment). 
  • For courses with 12 or fewer students, all course activities are taking place in the AUC Academic Building when allowed. This depends on the course and per student, as the current measures allow for students to attend courses on campus for about one day per week.  
  • 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 Spring 2021 semester 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 were instructed 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 has reopened select common rooms in the student residences for a maximum of 2 students at a time using a reservation system. 

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

  • 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 from 2 August 2021 to start their studies at AUC in September 2021.