Curfew riots cause universities and colleges to close early; UU reschedules exams

Photo: Flickr cc

It's exam season in Utrecht. Universities are still allowed to organise exams on campus in the evening time, despite the curfew -- all students and staff have to do is carry two statements (one downloaded from the government's website, and another one provided by the university) in case they're approached by the police.

In the next week and a half, only the Faculty of Science had exams planned for the evening time -- a Pharmacy exam on Thursday and a major Biology test for 500 students on Friday. Another five tests would take place the week after. In total, over 1,500 students are registered for these courses.

However, because of the riots taking place in several cities across the Netherlands, the Faculty of Science decided that it is no longer justified to apply those tests in the evening. The tests set to take place this week will be replaced with alternatives -- the students concerned will hear about it soon. As for next week's exams, the faculty hopes to find a solution for them as well.

Despite the riots, a Social Sciences exam still took place on campus last Monday, but, according to the teacher, there were no incidents, apart from the fact that he and some of his students were approached by the police on their way home.

State of emergency
UU is not the only one taking measures in light of the recent riots in the Netherlands. The fear of further rioting prompted the city of Den Bosch to announce emergency measures. After consultations with the mayor, all campuses of the Avans University of Applied Sciences decided close at 4:30 pm. All tests scheduled for the late afternoon have been postponed until further notice.

The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences would also rather be safe than sorry, so its buildings will close at 7:00 pm, giving students and staff enough time to get home safely.

Eindhoven University of Technology is going one step further and cancelling all tests and exams scheduled to take place on campus for the rest of this week, even though no problems are expected on campus. However, “the service on a number of public transport routes was disrupted by the recent riots, and many members of our community depend on public transport. We have therefore decided to cancel all evening sessions on campus during the current exam period.”

This afternoon, the Dutch Parliament passed a motion (link in Dutch) making it possible for higher education institutions to hold practicals and labs in the evening, in addition to exams.