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Coronavirus: information for students and staff

Coronavirus updates

This information is updated every day and more often if necessary.

Read the updates

A message from the Executive Board

The University is closely following the developments in the coronavirus outbreak. The restrictive measures that the government has announced to halt the spread of coronavirus are having a profound effect on the University and its students and staff.  

We are all working and holding meetings from home, and events and gatherings have been banned until 1 June. Wherever possible, our research and teaching are continuing – albeit remotely. Our colleagues at the LUMC are also hard at work, developing a coronavirus inhibitor, for instance. Also essential is the intensive care that many are working tirelessly to provide for patients in the hospital. 

Since 23 March, we have been providing as much of our teaching as possible online and the degree programmes have been adapted accordingly. This will continue until the end of the academic year. This is a massive operation that has taken a lot of hard work from our lecturers, something that we truly appreciate. In this start-up phase things may not always run smoothly, but that is to be expected. We are doing all we can and are learning from our experiences.

These are strange and difficult times for all of us. We have many questions: will my studies be delayed? Will I be able to graduate as planned? My grant period ends soon; what will happen then? What about that important conference abroad where I was supposed to be presenting my latest research findings? If my PhD defence/inaugural lecture is postponed, when will it be held?

And these questions are not just about practical problems concerning our work or studies, but also about feelings of uncertainty. What does the future hold? Will my family and I stay healthy? These are very difficult times for our international students and staff who are far from home and often alone here. Let’s make sure we don’t forget them!

Even though there are handy digital tools for working from home, holding meetings and studying, the physical distance remains. That chat at the coffee machine, that leaving do for that colleague you’ve worked together with for years and that shared lunch have all gone. And for many staff members it’s a huge challenge trying to combine looking after and homeschooling children of all ages with working from home. Others are caring for sick family members. This means we can’t expect our people to give it their all. In these times, it is even more important to watch out for one another, even if that is remotely.

The end is not yet in sight. In our central crisis team we are working every day on new measures, solutions and answers to support remote work and study, and to improve these as necessary. We will continue to update you as soon and with as much information as possible through this website and the websites on online study (information for students), remote teaching (information for lecturers) and working from home, as well as through the newsletters.

This outbreak requires joint responsibility and solidarity. Let’s work together to come up with new solutions to the challenges we are facing. But let’s make sure we continue to take care of one another. Let’s try to be there for one another in these difficult times, even though we’re not at our regular place of work or study. This could be in the form of an app, phone or Skype call or the like. But also make sure to take the time to chat about other things than work in Skype or Teams meetings. Fortunately, there is a lot of creativity and humour in the digital workplace, and this is helping to keep us going.

Together we all face the task of ensuring that everything can continue as much as possible this academic year. We are extremely impressed by what you have achieved so far, by your ability to improvise and adapt, by your flexibility and patience – this includes our students. Also on behalf of Hester and Carel, I would like to say that we are enormously proud of all that you have achieved so far. We are grateful to every single one of you. We hope we can continue to count on your support and dedication in bringing this difficult situation to a good end. We can do this together!

If you have any questions, please follow the updates on the website, read the FAQs or contact us by email.

Martijn Ridderbos
Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board of the University.

The key measures that we have adopted are as follows:

  • All our teaching will be online from 23 March to the end of the academic year. More information on this for students and staff/teachers.
  • Events have been cancelled until 1 June.
  • It will not be possible to hold in-person PhD ceremonies until at least 28 April. PhD candidates whose PhD defence was planned for after 6 April can opt for an online defence.
  • We are asking our students to stay at home, our buildings are closed to students.
  • We are asking our staff to work from home as much as possible. Your manager will inform you if you have to come to work.
  • We advise all students on study-related trips (also in countries with green or yellow travel advice) to return to the Netherlands as soon as possible because of the travel restrictions imposed by more and more countries.
  • Pay extra attention to your personal hygiene, practise social distancing and stay at home if you experience symptoms.
  • Follow our updates page for the latest information.


These questions are updated every day and more often if necessary.

Go to the FAQs
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