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All coronavirus updates released in April 2020.

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 FacebookInstagram 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
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.

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