The university has taken note of the new measures announced by the National Security Council. I have been taking part in intensive discussions about these new measures in the last few hours, including with the other Flemish rectors. We can confirm that classes will continue to be organised using online channels.
However, the government has decided to suspend classes in schools; they will not restart until after the Easter holidays at the earliest. The aim is to prevent pupils and students from travelling between home and school. The new measures announced yesterday, 17 March, reinforce this policy. It is now clear that the school closure measure also applies to students at universities and university colleges. It will remain in force until 19 April (or longer).
This means that classes for students will only take place through distance learning (online).
Students are no longer allowed to enter the university buildings.
If you need to pick up any personal belongings from the university, you can do so until 4 p.m. tomorrow, 19 March.
As a result of this new regulation, study areas are no longer available, and from today until at least 5 April, students can no longer use the library, not even to collect books. Books and magazines that are already available in digital form can be consulted online. We will find a way to make scans of articles and book chapters available to students who are in the last phase of writing their Bachelor and Master dissertations. More information about this will soon be posted on the library's website.
Student internships will also be suspended, unless it is possible to continue the work from home. Other arrangements may apply to medical and pharmaceutical internships – these will be communicated by your faculty.
Students who have no access to the internet at all are asked to phone the student information point (STIP) on 03 265 48 72.
We are in a very difficult situation and it is becoming clear that it will affect every single one of us in some way. Let’s continue to show solidarity and be there for each other. Keep in touch with each other, for example through social media, and look out for students who are having a hard time.
If any of you are feeling worried or anxious, you can contact a student counsellor for a video or chat conversation. Make an appointment via the STIP. For more info, see Blackboard.