Handful of UUers allowed to study in the University Library and work at university again

Forty study spots in the city centre library are ready for students to come in, starting Monday. Photo: DUB

Utrecht University is slowly but surely increasing the physical connection with its students and employees, according to the June 11 corona update which was sent to all UUers. Students struggling to study from home can come study in the university library again from Monday, June 15 on. The city centre library, which will also reopen for borrowing books, will provide forty study spots at a corona-safe distance from each other. The UU hopes to increase that number soon.

The study spots aren’t available for just everyone. Students will have to prove to their study advisors that their living situation makes it difficult to study from home.

For those who want to feel like they’re working in the University Library with other students, the University Library and Skills Lab have created the online study spot. This study spot offers ‘structure in studying by daily participation via Teams in a joined start, and also offers supervision at fixed times throughout the day,” the updates says. The pilot is in Dutch, and if the online study spot becomes a success, and English version will follow.

Flex workplaces, laboratories, fieldwork, and meeting spaces
Employees who find working from home impossible will also be allowed to return to the university starting Monday. In total, 106 workplaces are available, of which fifty are in the city centre, and 56 in De Uithof. In the city centre, the flex workplaces are available at Drift 13; the ones at the Utrecht Science Park are spread throughout several buildings. A number of places will be appointed to each faculty and department, and managers have to nominate people for a workplace. An exact distribution of the workplaces is available via Intranet, which is only accessible with a Solis ID.

From June 15 on, the laboratories of the faculties of Science and Geoscience will be open for longer hours as well. The labs will open an hour earlier, and will close three hours later than is currently the case. The opening hours starting Monday will be 7.30am to 7.30pm. The opening hours of the Veterinary Medicine lab will also be extended; more information to follow.

The labs of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Teaching & Learning Lab also wish to reopen. At the moment, the faculties are creating plans on how to do this safely, because test persons need to be able to sit with researchers at a safe distance from each other.

The Faculty of Geosciences is working on a protocol for corona-proof fieldwork. “That could lead to a protocol that’s also usable for other faculties,” the update says.

For those who can’t wait to meet and brainstorm in person again, the UU has good news as well. The university hopes to reopen a number of meeting locations per July 1. These will also adhere to the corona guidelines.