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Coronavirus updates

This page is updated regularly; the latest update is at the top.

Update 25 May: PhD defenses from 1 June

From 1 June, PhD defenses can again be held on campus with a limited number of people (a maximum of 20) physically in attendance, and a live stream for others who are interested. All defences will be held in the Klein Auditorium room at the Academy Building. Read all details in the protocol

Update 20 May: Working towards the new normal in stages

The restrictive measures imposed by the government to contain the coronavirus are slowly being relaxed. What does this mean for Leiden University, for our students and for our staff? 

In summary, what stays the same:

  • Work as much as possible from home.  Staff who have major problems with working from home can contact their manager.
  • Online teaching remains the principle. Students who have major problems with studying online can contact Student Support Services: 071-527 1132 or studentsupport@leidenuniv.nl 
  • Research: Laboratories are open to a limited extent, within the applicable rules. Discuss the possibilities with your manager.  
  • The University Library is open for lending books and – by appointment – for students who need to print documents. You can find information on the practicalities here.

What applies from 1 June:

From I June, PhD defenses can again be held on campus with a limited number of people (a maximum of 20) physically in attendance, and a live stream for others who are interested. 

What applies from 15 June:

Teaching that is not possible or is difficult online will be possible, to a limited extent, in University buildings. We are giving priority to students who are close to graduating, practicals, exams and mentoring vulnerable students. When any part of the teaching can be resumed on campus, students will be informed about this by their study programme. Read all details in the protocol

What we are now working on, ready for when a further relaxation of the measures is possible: 

  • How we are going to organise the ‘1.5-metre university’, including in terms of access to our buildings;
  • Expanding the number of study places available for our students;
  • Hybrid teaching: on campus where we can, online because we can.

We have set out in more detail how we want to organise the coming months and the next academic year, and the different scenarios we are working on. Read more about this here: ‘Working towards the new normal in stages’

Update 15 May

Start your master’s even with a study delay
Do you want to start a master’s at Leiden University in September, but won’t be able to complete your bachelor’s before the end of this academic year? The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is allowing universities to admit students to a master’s programme this year who haven’t yet completed their bachelor’s, on conditions that the universities can set themselves. We have worked out two possible options for our students. Some master’s programmes also offer a second intake moment. Different master’s programmes offer different options. Read here how you can progress to your chosen master’s programme.

USC Leiden resumes outdoor sports in phases
As of 13 May, the University Sports Center Leiden (USC) is gradually resuming outdoor sports.  Advance reservation is required. Only members can make reservations and all reservations will be checked by USC staff. Classes will follow the official NOC*NSF-sports protocol. More information on reservations and scheduled classes

A message to our prospective students from Rector Carel Stolker
These are uncertain times, but there’s one thing we know for certain: when you study at Leiden University, you can be sure the education you receive will be of the highest quality. Our Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker has a video message for all prospective students, watch it here

Update 7 May: new government measures, privacy and online proctoring, printers at Wijnhaven

New government measures & implications
The Dutch government announced new measures yesterday. There are no changes for higher education but the government did announce that it is investigating whether the measures for higher education can be eased.

This means that the measures that we have already taken will remain in force until further notice:

Everyone is expected to work from home where possible. The government has not provided a date for when home working will end, but we are taking into account that this could still take a few more months.

Our buildings remain closed to students, except for the limited services provided by the University Library.

For crucial work that has to be done on-site, the following hygiene measures apply:

  • Keep 1.5 metres apart from others
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Stay at home if you are experiencing symptoms
  • The government does not deem face masks to be necessary if it is possible to keep 1.5 metres apart from others.

Privacy and online proctoring
Now exams are being held online, the invigilation must also be digital. This obviously raises questions about privacy, and in particular the use of certain invigilation software (e.g. ProtorExam). The University has chosen to limit the use of this software to the minimum by using alternative programs or forms of assessment where possible. If proctor software is necessary, clear agreements have been made on data collection, who has access to the data and for how long this is kept. Read more about these agreements. It is understandable that some students are concerned about these new assessment methods. Please be aware, however, that digital proctoring is a way to stay as close as possible to a normal exam situation where you are monitored by invigilators.

Printers now accessible at Wijnhaven too
Students can now print documents in the Wijnhaven Library (The Hague) too. You will need to book in advance; the time slots are up to 20 minutes, during which time you will have sole use of the printer.

Upate 6 May: Academic year 20/21: information for current and prospective students, VSNU adopts common line

Academic Year 20/21: how we are preparing
In an email this morning, Vice-Rector Hester Bijl informed all students about next academic year. Exactly what form the education will take is something we can’t say for sure yet. What we are able to do depends on the possibilities given to us by the Dutch government and the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). This means that we are preparing to provide our study programmes from September 2020 until the end of January 2021 largely online, and where possible in our University buildings. We are taking all the likely scenarios into account, and hope that we will be able to meet one another on campus in the very near future. For each programme, we are looking at which components can be followed in a physical context, such as practicals, small work groups and tutoring. Read the full announcement by Hester Bijl.

Web dossier for new students 
Are you or is someone you know planning to come to our university next academic year? You probably have lots of questions. Our new web dossier for new students (bachelor’s and master’s) contains all the relevant information about admissions, teaching (on-campus and online) and introduction days in the new academic year. 

Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) common line
The Dutch universities are working together on likely scenarios for the new academic year. Their take is: on campus where possible and otherwise online. Read more in this announcement by the VSNU (at present only in Dutch).

New measures?
The government is holding a press conference this evening and it is expected that some measures may be eased. What this means for universities in general and Leiden in particular will be explored in further details over the coming days.

Update 1 May

Limited access to Reading Room Special Collections
From Wednesday 6 May onwards, the Leiden University Library (UB) Reading Room Special Collections will provide limited access to Leiden University researchers. While adhering to corona-related measures, researchers will again be able to use the Leiden Collections. You can reserve a workspace for a specific date and time slot. The Reading Room Special Collections will not be open to other users. More information on how to apply for a workspace.

Update 30 April

Teaching in 2020-2021
We have started to prepare for the new academic year that begins in September 2020. We have to take various scenarios into account. These are and will continue to be uncertain times, but we know one thing for sure: we want to provide our present and future students a high-quality education, also in the new academic year. This requires good preparation, flexibility and creativity. We will look not only at the teaching itself but also at ways in which we can provide a warm welcome to our students: within their degree programme, in the Leiden study system and in student life too. And we are looking for an alternative to the introduction weeks EL CID, HOP and OWL, which cannot go ahead in their traditional form. We are also working on scenarios for a ‘one-and-a-half-metre’ university. What teaching and research will be possible in our buildings? We realise that there are many questions about the near and more distant future and we understand that this uncertainty is frustrating. We will continue to inform you in these updates as soon as we have more answers.

Municipality of Leiden: Live Question Hour 
Tonight, Thursday 30 April, at 20:00 hrs. the Municipality of Leiden is holding a live question hour on Facebook. Mayor Henri Lenferink and Town Clerk Pim van Vliet will be answering questions about coronavirus with regard to enforcement and Municipality services. Go to the Municipality of Leiden’s Facebook page this evening. The rules from the emergency regulations that are relevant to students can also be found on our student website.

Update 24 April

Stepping over from Bachelor to Master: further information by 15 May
In normal circumstances, students may only step over to a master’s programme after completing their bachelor’s programme. However, in these exceptional times, the university would like to provide a solution for third-year bachelor’s students, or conversion programme students, who wish to step over to a master’s programme in 2020-2021 but have fallen behind in their studies due to the corona measures. Each study programme is currently looking into the best solution for students in this group. By 15 May, all master’s programmes will provide prospective students with clear information concerning the conditions for joining their programme.

Printing at University Library for students
Starting 28 April, Leiden University students will be able to print documents in the University Library by appointment. Find out how to make an appointment on the library website

Volunteer work in Leiden
Are you a student or member of staff with some spare time? And would you like to be doing something useful? The Municipality of Leiden has made a list of the different initiatives you could help with as a volunteer. More information

Avoid getting a fine: don’t meet in groups and keep your distance
And finally a warning for our students: according to the emergency regulations issued by the Municipality of Leiden, students who share a house are not regarded as a household. Bear this in mind if you are out enjoying the sun this weekend: don’t get together in groups of three or more people, and keep 1.5 metres distance from one another. More information

Update 22 April: Consequences of extension of government measures

The Dutch government announced new measures on 21 April and extended many existing measures until 20 May. In this update, we explain the consequences for Leiden University. 

No events until 1 September
The government has decided that no events may be held until 1 September at the earliest. Unfortunately, this also means that University events, such as the Opening of the Academic Year and our introduction weeks (EL CID, Hague Orientation Programme, Orientation Week Leiden) will not be able to go ahead in their traditional format. We understand that this will be disappointing for many of you and are now investigating possible alternatives, perhaps in the form of online introductions. As soon as we know more, we will let you know in our updates and will inform the new students that this affects.   

Corona measures extended until 20 May
The government has announced that most of the existing corona measures will be extended until 20 May. This means that the University measures that applied until 28 April will also be extended until 20 May.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will issue a new ‘service letter’ this week with guidance on how research universities and universities of applied sciences can implement the corona measures until 20 May. We may have to make changes to our measures in response to this. If we do, we will inform you as soon as possible.

PhD ceremonies
As the government measures have been extended, we strongly encourage candidates to hold their PhD ceremonies online rather than postpone these until next academic year. We understand that this may be disappointing for some, but otherwise these PhD ceremonies may be postponed for a long time – possibly even into the next calendar year. The Beadle’s Office will contact the supervisors of all planned PhD ceremonies. Once events are allowed to be held again, we will hold a ceremony in Pieterskerk for all researchers (and their family and friends) whose PhD ceremony was online.

Update 21 April: New Strategic Plan postponed, sport online with the USC

New Strategic Plan postponed
The new Strategic Plan, which sets out the University’s direction for the next five years, has been postponed and will now be published in February 2022. This has been decided by the Executive Board because the corona crisis is requiring extra attention and a number of planned meetings cannot go ahead. More information

Sport online with the USC
How can you stay fit during quarantine? The University Sports Centre offers live classes on their social media accounts, such as yoga, hiphop or core training. You can also find workout videos for any time of the day, and they share scientifically based articles about sports, nutrition, sleep and more. So could you do with an active break from working or studying at home? Follow USC Leiden on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Stay safe, stay fit! More information

Update 20 April: Position on research involving human subjects

The measures to control coronavirus have a major impact on clinical trials with human subjects. The key principle of such research is that the safety and wellbeing of test subjects and researchers is paramount. Based on EU guidelines and the recommendations of the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO), Leiden University and the LUMC have set out their position on research involving human subjects and patients. You can also find the full statement (in pdf) in the online dossier on research.

Update 17 April, 17:00: scenarios after 28 April, remote teaching

Crisis team working on scenarios for after 28 April
The government has imposed various corona measures that apply until 28 April. On 21 April, Prime Minister Rutte is expected to announce what will happen after that time. At the moment, we don’t yet know what the outcome will be. The measures may be extended, but they may also be relaxed somewhat.

The Central Crisis Team (CCT) at Leiden University is currently trying to anticipate the possible outcomes. To ensure it is prepared as best it can, it is working out different scenarios. These are for both the shor and longer term.

Short term
One possible outcome is that the measures will be relaxed somewhat after 28 April, with the requirement that people still keep one-and-a-half metres apart. This obviously raises the question of how work onsite could be resumed within the new safety rules. The CCT is therefore currently making an inventory of all the rooms in our buildings and is investigating whether additional safety provisions will be needed. It will also work closely with the faculties and expertise centres over the coming week to examine which activities should be given priority access to the buildings, to ensure that we make the best possible use of the available space while working safely.

Longer term
The CCT is also thinking about the longer-term situation, and is outlining scenarios for the new academic year. What if some or all of the lectures still have to be delivered online? And how will we welcome new students if the introduction weeks cannot go ahead? But equally: how can we ensure that lecturers take a breather in the summer. By discussing these questions already, we will be better prepared for possible scenarios in the somewhat longer term.

New online resource for remote teaching support
A new website for remote teaching support for Leiden University lecturers and staff has launched. This will replace the Screensteps site that was set up in the first few days of the COVID-19 crisis and will be a long-term online resource for information and support with remote teaching. For more information see this announcement.  

Update 16 April, 17:00: Avoid fines: do not gather in groups of more than three

Are you going outside with friends? Follow the rules concerning groups; otherwise you risk being fined. You may not form groups of more than three people. In addition, you must keep at least 1.5 meters away from each other. Be aware that this also applies to housemates! Read more in this announcement

Update 15 April: security updates and selection minors

Extra security for Office 365, OneDrive and Teams
From 22 April, multi-factor authentication (MFA) will provide an extra level of security when you sign in to Teams, Office 365 and OneDrive. The University is implementing MFA to ensure that information is secure now everyone is working from home. More information and a guide to MFA can be found on the staff members website.

Deadline for selection minors: 15 April
The deadline for minors with a selection procedure is today, 15 April. In this list, you will see whether your minor is a selection minor (or look in the e-Prospectus). 

Update 14 April, 17:30: Problems with Kaltura (due to the internet connection)

As everyone is currently working from home, the connection can sometimes be slow. This can cause systems such as Kaltura not to work properly. If you are experiencing problems with Kaltura, you will find some possible solutions here.

Update 9 April, 17:00: University elections, cybersecurity when working remotely, hang in there

University elections
The elections for student and staff members of the University Council and staff members of the faculty councils have been postponed until the week of 25 May because of the corona measures. You can stand for election to one of these councils. Do you have a strong opinion about which direction the University should take? Do you want to develop your networking, negotiation, debating and policy-assessment skills?  Submit your candidacy for the University elections from 20 to 24 April. Read more in the announcement about the elections.

Extra security for Office 365, OneDrive and Teams 
From 22 April, you will no longer be able to sign into Teams, Office 365 and OneDrive with your ULCN account alone. You will need to go through an extra security step: you will have to verify your identity with Microsoft Authenticator, which you will need to install on your phone. This provides an extra level of security for your account and protects it from hackers and other malicious parties. Read more in the announcement about extra security measures.

Hang in there
We wish everyone a very Happy Easter and would like to take the opportunity to repeat the words of Prime Minister Rutte: hang in there. Follow the guidelines of the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) And especially for our students: are you worried and could you use some support, tips or a sympathetic ear? Read our article about where to find these – also during Easter weekend.

Update 8 April, 17:30: survey on working from home, RIVM guidelines in other languages

Take our (one minute) survey on working from home
Now we’ve been working from home for a few weeks, we would like to know how all of our staff (academic and non-academic) are getting on. The Remote Teaching & Testing project team has therefore created a short (anonymous) survey with Qualtrics. The survey consists of four closed and one open question. Take the survey.

RIVM guidelines in other languages      
The coronavirus guidelines of the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) are now available in other languages: French, Arabic, Turkish and Spanish. If you would like to read the guidelines in one of these languages or know someone who would, go to the following website: ludejo.eu/corona. The RIVM already has an English section about coronavirus on its website.

Update 6 April

Some application deadlines extended
The application deadline for non-EU/non-EEA students for bachelor's or master's programmes has been extended to 1 May. The deadline for visa applications has been extended to 15 June. The deadline for master's programmes with a fixed quota (numerus fixus) has been extended to 15 June. This does not apply to the master's programme in Pharmacy and the master's programme in Biomedical Science. The deadline of 1 April remains in place for these programmes. For all the application deadlines see the FAQs about admissions

Availability of research and teaching tools
We use many different applications for our teaching and research. The ISSC is working hard to make applications available from home. On the ‘Applications for research and teaching’ you will find a list of applications that are already available together with information on how to use them from home.

Municipal information about corona
The national measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus also affect services and guidelines in the municipalities of Leiden and The Hague. This is important for many of our students and staff who live in these cities. Both municipalities have practical information and FAQs on their sites.

COVID Radar app from the LUMC
To gain good, up-to-date information on how coronavirus is spreading in the Netherlands, the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) has launched the COVID Radar app. Everyone can help by downloading the app and regularly (preferably daily) completing a short questionnaire about their health. The data will be used by LUMC researchers to gain an idea of how the epidemic is developing, who is more at risk, what the effect of social distancing is and when we can expect more demand on the healthcare system. For more information and how to download the app, please see the LUMC website.

Update 3 April, 16:30 hours: Access to buildings for research, updating your operating system

Access to buildings for research
Until 28 April at least, the general rule is that everyone will work from home. This is following the guidelines of the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Exceptions are possible in a number of cases: for critical processes and vital services such as animal care, corona-related research, long-term lab research that cannot be discontinued without major loss of data and the operation of crucial research equipment. The Dean for which research such an exception can be made. No new experiments may be started.

Research that will help fight coronavirus will be facilitated as much as possible, with due observance of the safety regulations. In all cases, appropriate safety measures will be taken, such as access control, attendance registration and limiting the number of people per room. 

Is your operating system up to date?
If you are working from home on own PC or laptop, we expect you to be using Windows 10/MacOS High Sierra (or later) and to have the latest security updates installed. It is extremely important for not only your own security but also that of the University network that you work with up-to-date software. Read more about this.

Update 2 April, 17:00 hours: Zoom not permitted, protect your home pc, protocol for online PhD ceremonies

Staff members: update your computer
Most of our staff members are now working from home, but not all home computers have the latest updates. This makes not only your home network but also the University network extra vulnerable to cyberattacks. You can make your home computer more secure in four steps. Read how on the staff members website.

Zoom app not permitted
Leiden University does not permit the use of Zoom. This is because there are privacy risks associated with using the app, which are currently being investigated. Zoom sells or shares personal data with third parties. The Attendee Attention Tracking option is also a risk. The University has safer alternatives, such as Kaltura LiveRoom and Microsoft Teams.

If you are invited to a meeting, for instance by someone outside the University, please observe the following guidelines:
    – Set the cookie settings in your browser to minimal/essential to avoid tracking cookies;
    – Do not record meetings;
    – Do not use the download option and do not share documents or files through the video conferencing tool;
    – Always use a password for meetings;
    – Set audio and video to mute as a default and only switch them on when you are participating in a meeting;
    – As a host do not use the attendee attention tracking option.

Online PhD defences protocol
PhD candidates whose PhD defence was planned for after 6 April can opt for an online defence. A protocol on online PhD ceremonies is now available on the remote research website.

Update 1 April, 17:00 hours: measures extended, PhD ceremonies, new dossier on research and other important online instructions

Measures extended until 28 April
Following the government decision of 31 March, all University measures that applied until 6 April (such as working from home) have been extended until 28 April. The government announced that it will issue a new decision on 21 April. In response to this, the University will decide as soon as possible which measures will be necessary after 28 April.

PhD ceremonies
As the government measures have been extended, it will not be possible to hold in-person PhD ceremonies until at least 28 April. From 6 April, PhD candidates will be given the choice of holding their PhD ceremony online or postponing it. The beadle will contact PhD supervisors to discuss their decision.

Remote research dossier
A new dossier about research during the corona crisis went online today. (An English translation will be published as soon as possible.) Here you can read about how to continue your research wherever possible. The dossier contains the latest information about changes to procedures relating to research grants, support and access to research facilities. 

Digital examinations manual
A manual for digital examinations is now online. (An English translation will follow soon). This provides information on the various forms of online assessment and invigilation.

Code of Conduct for Remote Teaching
A new Code of Conduct for Remote Teaching is online. This code of conduct for students and lecturers provides guidelines for teaching and learning in digital learning environments and covers matters such as privacy and online etiquette.

Update 31 March 17:00: staying healthy at home, accessibility and diversity

Healthy University @home: working and studying from home
Working or studying from home isn’t always easy. It can be difficult to settle into a routine, set up your workplace, always be available, keep the kids busy and focus on your work or study. Healthy University@home is to help students and staff stay healthy while working and studying from home. See the tips on exercise during your working day, contact with colleagues and fellow students and managing your team. At present, the information is available in Dutch. The English translation will follow soon.

Diversity Officer’s blog
Diversity officer Aya Ezawa has written a blog about the impact of the corona crisis on the University community. ‘The uncertainties, pressures and restrictions on our daily lives also come with emotional strain. The real impact of the weeks in social isolation is yet to come. Community and connection are more important than ever.’

Accessibility of remote teaching for students
Even in these unprecedented times, you still have the right to access our education. The University will do its utmost to make sure that you can access all your educational materials and follow your classes. If you encounter any problems, see if you can find a solution on the Facilities, services and IT page, the tips or the FAQs on the website. If this doesn’t help, please try asking your fellow students. If the problem still isn’t solved, please contact your study adviser. He or she will help you find a solution.

Update 30 March: 17:30 jobs noticeboard

Leiworks: ‘noticeboard’ for jobs in the time of corona
Would you be willing to help your colleagues, so that we can get through this difficult period together? Or could you use some help from others to get your work done? Let Leiworks know that you are available or need help.

Government decision on whether to extend corona measures
Many of the government’s corona measures apply until 6 April. The government will announce tomorrow evening (31 March) whether these measures will be extended. On Wednesday 1 April, Leiden University will discuss with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the other Dutch universities within the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) which consequences these decisions will have for the Dutch universities, and for us therefore. We will provide more information as soon as possible in the form of an update to this corona dossier. We expect to publish this at the end of the afternoon.

Update 27 March

No changes have been made to the University’s measures since the last update (26 March 17:00).

Update 26 March 17:00: Non-lendable books now available for education

There are various ways in which lecturers can make reference books that may not be borrowed from the library available to their students for remote teaching. Leiden University Libraries have listed these ways.

Update 25 March 17:00: NSE cancelled, corona crowdfunding, PhD defences, student helpline

NSE cancelled
The National Student Survey (NSE) has been cancelled. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, together with the higher education organisations and student unions, has decided to cancel the National Student Survey 2020. The survey was planned for between 20 April and 15 May, but will not go ahead because of the corona crisis. Read more about this in the announcement NSE cancelled.

Support corona research at LUMC
Scientists at the LUMC are working hard on potential virus inhibitors, antiviral screening and a drug to treat novel coronavirus. SteunLeiden.nl has started a crowdfunding campaign for this research under the hashtag #wakeuptocorona. Support this important research and read more about the campaign at SteunLeiden/wakeuptocorona.

PhD ceremonies
Since the decision was made to cancel PhD ceremonies until 6 April, we have received many questions about what will happen after this time. We appreciate that this uncertainty is very frustrating for PhD candidates. Unfortunately, this is not a decision that the University can make unilaterally. We have to wait on the decisions of the Cabinet and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) as well as on consensus within the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). In the meantime, we are investigating the possibility of online PhD ceremonies. Follow our updates for more information. 

Student helpline
Are you feeling anxious, stressed or lonely in these difficult times? Contact the ‘Listening Phone’, which has been set up by Student Support Services. Call 071 527 1132 or send an email to studentsupport@leidenuniv.nl and we will call you back. The Listening Phone is available Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00.

Update 24 March 17:00: Changes to Library services, updating work laptops from home

Library services
As of today, Leiden University Library is open from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 17:00, for the collection of books and other materials (from the book lockers). The Library is closed during the weekend. The collection points at the Pieter de la Court, Van Steenis and Wijnhaven buildings are open during the hours of these buildings. More information.

The Library is also providing access to free digital resources, as well as material specifically for corona research

Updating your work pc or laptop
If you are working from home on a Windows laptop from work, make sure you have the latest Windows 10 updates by installing them as soon as they are available. Read here about how to do this from home.

Message to students from Carel Stolker
These are strange times: empty buildings and our entire university community at home. In a video message from his home, Rector Carel Stolker says to our students: ‘Take care of your health, both physical and mental’ – the same applies to our staff of course! Watch the entire video by Carel Stolker.

Update 24 March, 12:00: No events until 1 June

In line with the new government measures, no more events will be organised or held at the University until 1 June. All planned events have been cancelled. What this means for PhD defences and degree ceremonies is not yet clear; the Dutch universities are discussing this within the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU).

Update 23 March: Key workers and Microsoft Teams

Letter for key workers
If you are a key worker at the University – for instance if you are involved in providing or organising remote teaching – we can provide a letter for your child or children’s school or day nursery. Please send your request by email to the PSSC Service Point. For more information see the Working from Home dossier.

Tips for working in Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has been available for the past week. The programme makes it easier for you to work from home with your colleagues, for example using online meetings, More information can be found in the updates to the dossier on working from home (an English translation will be available soon).

Update 20 March: Changes to tests, the BSA, applications, decentral selection and other issues

Tests will always be announced at least five days in advance
In discussion with the University Council, the University’s Central Crisis Team (CCT) decided on 20 March that the notice period to be observed by lecturers for notifying students about assessment tests will be at least five days, in place of three days.

This means that if you have not been informed today about any tests, you can assume that you will not have any next week. If you were informed (via Brightspace or Blackboard) by your lecturer on Thursday 19 March that there would be a test, then you can expect this test at the earliest five days later, in other words not earlier than Thursday 26 March.

If you have any questions, please contact your lecturer or study adviser.

Students will be given an extension for BSA
Coronavirus may cause students to suffer a delay in their studies. Students who are prevented from meeting the requirements of the Binding Study Advice (BSA) for their study programme will be given an extension. They will have the opportunity to achieve the BSA standard requirements in the next academic year. These changes were announced by the Minister for Education on 19 March, following discussions with the VSNU, the organisation of universities in the Netherlands.

The Executive Board has discussed the BSA with the Vice-Deans and the staff and student participation bodies, and has decided the following:

  • Students who meet the BSA requirements within the 2019-2020 academic year will, of course, receive a positive recommendation;
  • Students who have not achieved the BSA reqirement of 45 credits at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year will receive a ‘retained’ recommendation, or in other words the recommendation will be postponed.  A postponed recommendation means that the same requirement (45 credits) applies as for all other students in their programme.
  • Students who receive a postponed BSA must achieve their 45 credits in the 2020-2021 academic year, by 15 August 2021 at the latest, in order to receive a positive recommendation.
  • If they wish, these students can draw up a study plan with their study adviser (article 3.1.3 of the BSA regulation). The regular study guidance rules will apply (article 3 of the BSA regulation).

Advice: do not travel
Students and staff, like all Dutch citizens, are being advised by the Government not to travel. At the moment, there are still a number of students and staff abroad; the University is compiling an inventory of these individuals. Students are being assisted with their return to the Netherlands. The Dutch universities are working together to broaden the possible measures for repatriating students.

Enrolment deadline for bachelor’s programmes extended
The enrolment deadline of 1 May for many of the bachelor’s programmes will in principle shift to 1 June. Prospective students’ right to take a study options check will lapse after 1 May, although universities will do their best to also offer this to students who apply who apply after this date. Leiden University is examining the possibilities for offering the study options check.  

Decentral selection
Programmes that apply decentral selection (Medicine, Psychology and Biomedical Sciences) will maintain the deadline of 15 April. There may be exceptions for a small number of programmes in Medicine: more information on this will follow as soon as possible. Please continue to check the website for updates. Where possible, selection procedures will be organised remotely, in digital form.

Update 19 March, 9:00: online teaching and assessment from 23 March to end of academic year

As of Monday 23 March, all degree programmes and associated courses will move to online teaching and assessment as soon as possible. This remote teaching and assessment will apply to the end of period 3 and for the duration of period 4, so until the end of this academic year. There will be no more face-to-face teaching during this period. If, during period 4, the government changes its policy to such an extent that we need to adapt our teaching accordingly, we will inform you as soon as is possible. More information on how and when the online teaching and assessment will be delivered can be found on the student website and staff website.

This is a momentous decision. Switching to remote teaching will require a huge effort from everyone and will take some getting used to. We therefore don't want to burden you, our students and staff, with such a major change again in the near future. We hope that this decision will give you peace of mind. If the government relaxes its corona measures, we don't rule out the possibility of reintroducing certain forms of face-to-face teaching or assessment. In principle, however, remote teaching will be the guiding principle for all our degree programmes and courses for the rest of this academic year.

Update 18 March: Mare online, student access to documents on the P-drive and more

As long as the University remains closed, the Leiden University weekly, Mare, will only be published online at www.mareonline.nl and not on paper. The paper also has an English section

The University Library has set up workstations so that students can access files on their P-drive. You will need to call the UB in advance to book a time slot. For more information and to book a slot see the UB website.

On Thursday morning, 19 March, we will inform students about the introduction of online teaching and assessment.

We can imagine that it is taking a bit of time to get used to working or studying from home – you may have children at home demanding your attention – and that you may have questions about this. See the working from home website for tips about this. We will be updating this website daily and also have a list of FAQs. A website for students will go live on Thursday 19 March with tips and tools for online study.

We urge all staff to be security conscious when working from home. Use a secure network connection and be vigilant about phishing mails. The University also has EduVPN, which provides a secure network connection wherever you are. Also see the information from the ISSC about cybersecurity.

We are doing our utmost to translate all the information in our updates and on the pages about the measures we are taking into English as soon as possible. However, we may not always manage to publish in Dutch and English simultaneously. The information on the Dutch pages may therefore sometimes be slightly ahead of the information on the English pages.

Update 17 March, 17:00: Restaurants closed at Faculty Club and Huygens building

The restaurant and Brasserie at the Faculty Club and the restaurant in the Huygens building will be closed as of Wednesday 18 March.

Update 17 March, 12:00: PhD ceremonies cancelled, phishing emails in circulation

PhD ceremonies cancelled
As of today, 17 March, all PhD ceremonies at Leiden University have been cancelled. This applies until 6 April at least. This is with the exception of four PhD ceremonies scheduled for this week; the PhD candidates and opposition committees have already been informed. These four PhD defences will be attended by no more than 25 people and there will be no reception afterwards.

Warning: phishing emails in circulation
Where we see a crisis, internet criminals see a business opportunity: now many of us are working from home, lots of phishing emails are in circulation. They are supposedly from the RIVM (the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) and the World Health Organization. We are calling on our staff to be extra vigilant: if you are in any doubt whatsoever, do not click on links or open attachments! More information on cybersecurity when working from home.

Update 16 March: Info. on remote teaching and working from home; Gravensteen and University Shop closed

Remote teaching: information and support
A new website has been launched with tips and tools for remote teaching: www.universiteitleiden.nl/remoteteaching. The website is very much a work in progress and will be expanded and updated in the coming period. Guidelines on offering this form of teaching will follow. We have decided to launch it already to answer your initial questions about remote teaching.

If you have any technical questions about the website or accompanying Kaltura software, please contact the helpdesk at 8888 or via the helpdesk portal. Alongside the website, a support team is available to help you with remote teaching. You can contact the team at c4iremoteteaching@sea.leidenuniv.nl.

Working from home
All information about working from home is now available in English. There are various ways to work from home and various programmes that you can use. Read all about it on the staff members website. HR guidelines on working from home will follow soon.

Gravensteen and University Shop to close
Two University locations will close as from Wednesday 18 March: the Gravensteen building and the University Shop at Plexus.

Update 15 March, 21:45: Measures extended until 6 April

The government has taken new stricter measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. These include closing all educational institutions until 6 April. This means that Leiden University will not be able to provide any face-to-face teaching, exams and other events for a longer period of time and that primary and secondary schools will be closing too. PhD ceremonies can continue, but with a limited number of guests (see the update from 13 March).

The following applies to the students and staff of Leiden University:

  • The measures that were previously announced apply up to and including 6 April.
  • The decision to close primary and secondary schools may have consequences for your work. We appreciate that this makes things harder for parents. Discuss the situation with your manager.
  • University restaurants and cafés are closed up to and including 6 April, with the exception of those at Oude UB (Rapenburg 70) and the Huygens Building (takeaway only).

For all lecturers: tools and support for remote teaching

We will, as much as possible, continue all planned teaching from 23 March, but then online.

A special remote teaching website will be launched through the staff members website on Monday 16 March to support our staff. This will provide tips and tools together with information about the different support teams that will soon be available within your faculty and at the University in general. We have purchased new software – Kaltura Live Room – that can be used for interactive workgroups. This will be made available at the same time as the website.

The website will be gradually improved once it has been launched.  

Working from home

Work from home as much as possible. An environment has been set up for this on the staff members website, where you will find all the information you need about remote working, online meetings, contact with colleagues, transferring your phone and more. The English version of this webpage will be online soon. 

Update 15 March, 15:00: Advice: return from abroad

Leiden University calls on 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.

Leiden University will help students return to the Netherlands. If you choose to stay, the University will not be liable and may no longer be able to offer help at a later date. For more information see our key measures and travel advice.

Update 14 March, 15:00: most buildings shut, University elections postponed

  • All University buildings, so also the University Sports Centre, Plexus and Beehive, are closed to students. 
  • All study facilities at the University Library are closed. Read more about the limited lending services at the Library
  • Plexus Front Office is physically closed, but can be contacted by phone and email. If you are a student and have an appointment with a member of staff from the Student Support Service, this appointment will go ahead as planned.
  • Alongside all face-to-face teaching and exams, all events are cancelled until 31 March. 
  • Students are not permitted to go on any study-related trips abroad that are linked in any way to Leiden University. Credits will not be awarded for work completed abroad during trips that started after this decision was made (12 March 2020) and the University is not liable for such trips.
  • Students who were already abroad on 10 March are in contact with their contact person. They will not be repatriated unless this is immediately necessary. Anyone who wants help will receive help. 
  • The University elections are postponed until further notice. You will no longer be able to stand as a candidate on Tuesday 17 and 18 March; this has been cancelled.

Update 14 March, 12:00

We will post the latest update at around 15:00 hours.

Update 13 March 19:00: Wherever possible, work from home

On 12 March, the government announced additional measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands. We are now implementing these measures at our university. One of these measures is for people to work from home. We emphatically ask all staff members to comply with this measure and to work from home from now until 31 March. This will enable us to all do our bit to keep a potentially major public health problem in check. Please show solidarity and follow these and other instructions carefully. 

The rule for all staff is: until 31 March work from home wherever possible. The circumstances may differ for each work situation and staff member. If you have work that you can’t do at home, discuss this with your manager. If your work has come to a standstill because of the circumstances, also discuss this with your manager. If necessary, the faculties and expertise centres will draw up guidelines to ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

Use Webmail from home. More information about working from home, logging in to the online workspace and other practical matters will follow on Monday.

Update 13 March: No face-to-face teaching until 31 March. Work from home wherever possible.

The coronavirus outbreak is a major public health problem. We as a university are taking measures to help contain and solve this problem, and are taking the advice of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and central government very seriously. In line with the measures announced on 12 March, this means the following for our students and staff:


  • All face-to-face teaching and exams are cancelled until 31 March.
  • All forms of teaching, assessment and examination are cancelled in the coming week (until 20 March). We will use this week to prepare for which teaching we will be able to offer online from 23 March, and how. 
  • We are asking students not to come to the University. Study areas are closed and the restaurants have limited opening hours. The University Library is offering limited services. You can still collect and return books by using the book lockers in the University Library, Wijnhaven, Van Steenis and the Pieter de la Court Building. More information on the limited library services.
    The other buildings will remain open, but only for staff.
  • Continue your studies at home.
  • More information for lecturers about online teaching will follow next week.

Inaugural lectures, PhD ceremonies and events for prospective students

  • All inaugural lectures are cancelled until 31 March.
  • PhD ceremonies can continue as long as no more than 25 people are present. A Livestream connection is possible for others who may wish to watch the ceremony.
  • All events for prospective students such as Experience Days and Student for a Day are cancelled until 31 March. Visitors will be informed about possible alternatives at a later date.

Work from home wherever possible

  • We are asking our staff to work from home wherever possible. 
  • More information about the practicalities of working from home will follow later today.

In addition to these specific measures that the University is taking, the general measures announced by the government apply to everyone in the Netherlands:

  • Stay at home if you are suffering from a cold, cough, sore throat or fever, and avoid contact with others. If your symptoms worsen, contact your doctor or the local branch of the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD).
  • Gatherings of over 100 people have been banned. This also applies to events organised by the University or sections of the University. The organisers of events will inform you of the situation; please direct any questions to them.

We appreciate that these are far-reaching decisions that may affect your studies, research or other aspects of your work or studies. We are trying to anticipate any problems that may arise, but may not yet have been able to answer all of your questions. We would like to thank you in advance for your understanding and hope we can count on your cooperation in tackling this public health problem. Follow this webpage for the latest news and updates.

Update 12 March, 19:00: No teaching and exams on Friday (and other measures)

It will take some time to determine how to implement the new government decisions at the University. This is what has been decided so far:

Measures that apply ON Friday 13 March

  • All teaching activities on Friday 13 March have been cancelled.
  • All exams on Friday 13 March have been cancelled.
  • The Master’s Open Day has been cancelled.
  • No PhD ceremonies were planned for Friday 13 March anyway.
  • University buildings and the University Library are open as usual on Friday 13 March and at the weekend.

Measures that apply FROM Friday 13 March

  • Students may not travel abroad for study-related trips until further notice.
  • All LUMC teaching activities have been cancelled at least until 27 March.
  • The Hortus botanicus is closed.

Follow the website for further information, also about how the teaching and exams will be organised next week. Other decisions, such as about working from home and online classes, still need to be made. They will be communicated on this page later.

Update 12 March, 17:00: Exams will go ahead on 13 March

All exams scheduled for Friday 13 March will go ahead as planned.

The government announced new measures today. We will inform you on this page as soon as possible of which effects these will have on the University.

Update 12 March, 15:30: Master's Open Day cancelled, other implications of government measures will follow

In a press conference, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has just announced a number of measures for schools and universities, which therefore also affect Leiden University. We are currently considering what these mean for Leiden University and how we can implement them. We appreciate your patience during this time. Please follow this page for the latest news.

Master’s Open Day cancelled
The Master’s Open Day on 13 March has been cancelled. All the visitors have been informed, as have the students and staff who were going to work on the day. We are now looking at how we can provide the prospective students with the information they need to choose the master’s programme that is right for them.

Update 12 March, 12:00: measures unchanged

No changes have been made to the University’s coronavirus measures since the last update (11 March).

Update 11 March: some classes at LUMC suspended. Master’s Open Day will take place as planned

As of Thursday 12 March, all classes that involve contact with patients in the Bachelor’s programmes in Medicine, Biomedical Sciences and Clinical Technology have been suspended until further notice. This is a precautionary measure to ensure the continuity of patient care at the LUMC. The LUMC has informed the students. All other teaching activities at the University will continue as usual.

The Master’s Open Day will go ahead on Friday 13 March. Visitors and the students and staff who will be addending have been informed about our precautionary measures. We ask anyone attending to follow the infection prevention measures: wash your hands regularly, sneeze or cough into your elbow or a tissue and do not shake hands.

Update 10 March: Lectures and other activities continue as usual

All lectures and other activities in Leiden and The Hague will continue as usual. We appreciate that you may be concerned, but as long as we all follow the RIVM guidelines (hand hygiene, don’t shake hands, stay at home if you are ill), we can continue to work and meet safely. If you are a lecturer or student and believe there are reasons why this should not apply to you, please discuss the matter beforehand with your manager, study adviser or another contact person. The Executive Board of the University, the crisis team, the Association of Universities the Netherlands (VSNU) and all those involved in these considerations are constantly evaluating which line Leiden University should take. They do not take decisions lightly. If you make a different decision without having consulted your University contact person beforehand, this will not help us maintain a sense of calm at the University.

Update 10 March: Master’s Open Day and PhD ceremonies will continue with a proviso

The Master’s Open Day, PhD ceremonies and other events will continue. The organisers of these events are responsible for communicating and explaining the RIVM’s hygiene guidelines. Solutions such as Skype will be arranged for people who are unable to attend. A proviso is that people who are sick do not come to the University. We are also urging people not to shake hands. The organisers of events will bear in mind that foreign guests may have to cancel their visit; this may even lead to the entire event being cancelled.

Update 9 March: Don’t shake hands

On the advice of the RIVM, Leiden University is urging people not to shake hands.

Update 8 March: Restrictions on travel to and from the Netherlands

Please be aware that travellers from the Netherlands may encounter restrictions because some countries are denying entry to travellers from ‘corona countries.’

In addition, some countries, such as Italy, are not allowing people to leave the country. Please note that people may be unable to travel to the Netherlands.

Update 8 March: Advice for residents of North Brabant

The RIVM advises residents of the province of North Brabant to limit their contact with others if they are suffering from a cold, cough or fever. This means: stay at home. This also applies to students and staff from Leiden University who live in North  Brabant.

Update 6 March: Staff member of Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences tests positive for coronavirus

A staff member of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has tested positive for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19). They are at home in quarantine, and have been there since well before the first symptoms arose, without entering the Faculty building. Given the circumstances, they are doing well. On the advice of the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD), the co-tenants of the staff member are also in quarantine.

Update 5 March: Travel advice for students: rules tightened

The University has tightened its rules for students from the University who are planning a trip abroad. This could mean study trips or trips for a course, workgroup or study association, inasmuch as the University is contributing to or responsible for such trips. The information below does not apply to personal trips that students have planned.

  1. Students are not allowed to travel to orange or red zones in the travel advice issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (this is standard procedure). Since 10 March, the whole of Italy has been either a red or an orange zone.
  2. What has now changed is that trips to zones that are YELLOW because of coronavirus must be approved by the University’s International Incident Team (IIT). This rule currently applies to trips that are scheduled to start between 4 March and 1 June 2020. Requests for approval should be submitted to the ITT through your Faculty contact person.
    The IIT decided on 4 March that trips are not permitted to yellow zones in the following countries: South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hongkong. This also applies to trips that are scheduled to start between 4 March and 1 June 2020. These rules will be reevaluated on 1 April (or sooner if possible). 
  3. Students who are already abroad may find that the travel advice for that country has changed. If this affects you, please contact your study adviser, the international office or your international exchange coordinator. If the travel advice changes to orange or red, you will be repatriated to the Netherlands. On your return, the RIVM guidelines apply: if you experience even the mildest of symptoms, phone your doctor or the local branch of the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD). If you live in Leiden, this is GGD Hollands Midden at 088 308 30 00. If you live in The Hague, this is GGD Haaglanden at 088 355 01 00. If the travel advice changes to yellow, a decision will be taken on whether it is advisable for you to return to the Netherlands.
    It is important that you do not have any symptoms at the point at which you return to the Netherlands. If you are experiencing symptoms, a doctor or the GGD will be consulted for advice. The study adviser, international office or international exchange coordinator can also ask the IIT for advice. This advice then prevails.

Update 4 March: LUC student not infected

A student from Leiden University College The Hague spent a number of days in isolation in the University building on Anna van Buerenplein in The Hague. The results of a first and second test showed that this student had not contracted coronavirus. The student is no longer in isolation.

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