UU opens laboratories and University Library in phases from May 18

The University Library in the Utrecht Science Park will open for UU employees on May 18, photo Maarten Hartman/DUB

On April 9, the university set up five working groups to investigate what is possible in the metre-and-a-half society. UU is now well advanced in its research into what can happen in university buildings if people have to keep a distance of a metre and a half from each other. This results in a major limitation of what is possible in the buildings, writes the Executive Board. The maximum achievable is an occupancy of 10 and 30 percent depending on the building. That is why the Executive Board has set a prioritisation of who is allowed to work and study on location. Location-specific research is the first priority, followed by practical education that requires a laboratory, for example. Promotions and orations are third on the list. The education and research that can be done online and finally the work that can be done from home comes at the fourth place.

May 18
The agenda of UU is known until July. Next week, the Executive Board hopes to expand the agenda.

The PhD candidates and postdocs will be first up. They will be given priority for research in the laboratories and animal clinics of UU, which will open in phases on May 18. This concerns research carried out by the faculties of Veterinary Medicine, Geosciences, and Science in which no test subjects are involved. The faculties will determine which researchers will be the first to start. The young researchers will be informed about this by their faculty next week, as stated in the corona update that the Executive Board sent to all employees and students on May 7.

The University Library in De Uithof will open its doors again on May 18, but only for UU employees. A maximum number of people are allowed inside and interested parties will probably have to register in advance. In the meantime, a scenario is being worked out to reopen study places as well.

Should the Cabinet decide that students will be allowed to do their practical exams at the university in mid-June, then UU will comply and exams at the university will become possible as well. The students must be able to work at least a metre and a half apart from each other.

July 1
If the cabinet's relaxations do not lead to a greater growth in the number of coronavirus infections, the Utrecht University Hall will reopen on July 1 for promotions and orations with no more than 30 attendees and with due observance of RIVM regulations.

As previously announced, all education that can be provided online will remain online until the end of the academic year. Also, everyone who can work from home must continue to work from home.

New academic year
It is not yet clear what education will look like in the new academic year. This will depend entirely on the consequences of the relaxation of the national corona measures and the infection rate. UU is therefore preparing a hybrid form of education, and repeats in its update the slogan of university association VSNU 'On campus if it’s possible, online because it’s possible’. The rector said earlier to DUB that he has not lost hope that lecture halls can be used again in the new academic year yet. "But we are preparing for everything."