Mass exams possible again from 20 September

From 20 September it will once again be possible to organise exams for groups of more than 75 students, provided that they are able to observe social distancing.

An exam hall at TU Delft. (Photo: Dalia Madi)

The Ministry of Education gives details of the relaxation in a new ‘service document’ (in Dutch) for higher education. This decision is in response to a motion tabled by PvdA MP Attje Kuiken. 

After all, why would you allow no more than 75 students to gather in a congress centre like the RAI, Kuiken asked last week during a debate about the coronavirus pandemic. The House of Representatives unanimously supported her proposal to once again facilitate exams for large groups.

Walking routes
The relaxation relates specifically to exams. The maximum of 75 students in a group still applies to areas such as lecture rooms, libraries and canteens.

Except at mass exams students do not have to practise social distancing among themselves anymore, but they still have to wear face masks in the corridors. If they have any Covid symptoms, they must stay home and get tested. Meanwhile, education institutions need to ensure good ventilation and smart walking routes.

In addition, the ministry wants the higher education sector to help with the information campaign on self-testing and vaccination. Students can obtain self-tests free of charge and they can get vaccinated without an appointment, but not everyone is aware of this yet.

Poor health
In last week’s Covid debate concerns were also expressed over students and employees who are in poor health and who cannot get vaccinated or do not respond to the vaccine. Will they still be able to take their classes remotely, was the question.

The new service document contains very little information about this. In such cases, the ministry expects higher education institutions to “devise appropriate common-sense solutions based on mutual respect”.

HOP, Josefine van Enk and Bas Belleman
Translation: Taalcentrum-VU

HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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