Originally written in Dutch for Veto by Tijs Keukeleire
Translated by Alon Nudler
Edited and adapted for The Voice by Gwynne van Kaauwen (Section Editor)
Originally published on 8 December 2020
In the spring semester all Flemish universities will start in code red which will remain as such until March. KU Leuven has indicated this could change on the 5th of March, whereas UGent has announced no changes until the 21st of March.
After a semester of increasingly stricter corona measures in Flanders, the announcement of the plans for the coming semester offers little consolation to the many students who are struggling. The situation in Flanders will be the same: students will start in code red with the earliest evaluation of the measures to occur in late February leading to a possible switch to orange in March. This was announced Tuesday 8th of December by the minister of education, Ben Weyts (N-VA).
As of now, what happens after March is up to the individual universities to decide. KU Leuven has opted to divide the semester in three blocks: the first one (which lasts until March 5th) will be code red. The second block (until the Easter break) could potentially be code orange. If that goes well we could see a return to code yellow by the third block (which starts after Easter). The university has also announced that unless absolutely necessary no changes in measures will happen during these blocks.
‘Re-open gradually and thoughtfully’
This was also communicated to students and staff yesterday morning in an email from the rector, Luc Sels. He emphasised that the situation at hand remains turbulent and that we must do our best to curb a third wave by not relaxing measures too quickly. Additionally this approach to the measures will provide a greater structure and forward planning ability according to him.
With code red, nearly all lessons will remain online
UGent has taken a similar stance, announcing that the first 6 weeks of term will be under code red. If an evaluation in February deems it appropriate, this will be lowered after the 21st of March.
Code red means that almost all classes will remain online. The same exceptions will apply to laboratories, practical sessions and classes which could result in significant loss of educational value if taught online. At KU Leuven additional sessions could be planned for courses which have traditionally high fail rates, however these courses will continue in code orange.
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