Update on coronavirus – BUas’ perspective
This update serves to keep you informed on the coronavirus and how BUas operates in this matter. Furthermore, it will give you answers to several frequently asked questions.
Last updated: 16 December
- BUas perspective on lockdown (15 December 2020 – 18 January 2021)
Government update on new lockdown (14 December)
With the speech of prime minister Rutte of Tuesday 14 December, the Dutch government has announced a lockdown to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further, starting 15 December, at least until 19 January 2021. For the education sector this will be effective from Wednesday 16 December, at least until Monday 18 January 2021.
The main message is: Further restrictions in physical contact, only essential shops and health services may stay open, schools continue with distance learning only and practical education on campus, and people work from home unless working on location is strictly necessary. For more general information, please check www.rijksoverheid.nl and for English www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19.
BUas general perspective for this new lockdown (15 December)
- From Wednesday 16 December to at least Sunday 17 January 2021, no on-campus educational activities will take place, with some specific exceptions. BUas will continue educational activities online. During this period the BUas campus will be closed for students.
- All scheduled on-campus classes will in principle be rescheduled to online classes. Please check your timetable. Specific timetable and class information for students will continue to be available via the BUas (Stucom) student app.
- Testing will be performed as much as possible online as already planned. Already scheduled on-campus examinations, oral defence presentations, resits and final exams will continue during this lockdown period, as this concerns relatively small groups.
- For vulnerable students an exception for on-campus presence may be applicable, if authorised through Buas student counsellors. Previous arrangements remain applicable.
- BUas lecturers and educational staff will in principle work from home. The BUas campus will remain accessible for BUas lecturers and staff if this is strictly necessary for the purpose of organising online learning or on-campus examinations. All other staff will work from home, unless it is strictly necessary to work on campus. If you as a lecturer or staff member have questions or come across any difficulties, please contact your supervisor.
- Students working on projects may continue to do so with the available online tools. Lecturers and tutors can also keep in touch with students online and by telephone.
- Practical training may continue on campus, and BUas training companies will communicate with their students how they deal with this issue during this lockdown period in January. Sibelicious and the Production House of Media will anyhow finish their current classes on campus until the Christmas holidays. BUas Newways will continue fully online.
- Placements may continue, in principle online, if the applicable sector guidelines allow so.
- Research activities may continue, in principle online, and additonally only on campus if strictly location-bound and if urgent.
Practical information: BUas buildings and restaurants
- All BUas buildings on the campus will stay open for BUas staff, Monday through Friday, within limited opening hours: 07.45-18.00 hrs.
- BUas Service Desk will be opened daily from 08.30-17.00 hrs, available by telephone and e-mail. For staff, the Service Desk is opened on campus from 10.00-12.00 hrs.
- The only available catering facility will be the restaurant in the Frontier Building, within limited opening hours: 11.30-13.30 hrs. Staff are also allowed to eat at their desks.
- During the Christmas holidays, from 24 December to 3 January 2021, all BUas buildings will be closed, except to a very limited group of vital/crucial employees.
- For students, as an exception to the aforementioned main rule, if applicable please pick up your personal belongings from the campus by Friday 18 December. If you enter a BUas building, you will need your BUas student card or employee card.
These guidelines will apply from Wednesday 16 December until at least Sunday 17 January 2021.
Practical information: BUas library and Media production house
- BUas Library information specialists are available to you. Please e-mail them if you need support or to arrange a live chat session. If you need to borrow a book or another physical Library item, please contact BUas Library by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and make a pick-up appointment. Make your reservation 1 day before pick-up. Pick-up location will be at the entrance of the Horizon Building at two specific pick-up times: 10.00 hrs and 14.00 hrs.
- BUas Library opening hours (by mail, telephone, chat) are 08.30-18.00 hrs.
- For students who borrowed equipment from BUas media production house equipment desk, returning this equipment is not necessary during this lockdown period, unless a return arrangement was already made.
These guidelines will apply from Wednesday 16 December until at least Sunday 17 January 2021.
- What’s the general BUas perspective for online and offline education in corona times?
To manage expectations and be clear about the BUas perspective, the Executive Board has decided that BUas will continue online education and online examination throughout the academic year 2020/2021. However, the possibility of ‘following education entirely online’ expired on 1 November 2020. From that day on, students may be obliged to follow (limited) parts of (practical) education on campus. This means that during this academic year, suitable online alternatives for these components will no longer always be available for students who cannot come or do not want to come to the BUas campus. We are supported in this decision by our vision on education and the fact that the vast majority of students, including international students, are ‘present’ in Breda. We will maintain the academic year planning as stated in the timetables, with regard to lecture weeks, examination periods and holidays.
In previous corona communication, BUas has stated that as from 1 November of this academic year, we can no longer guarantee ‘education that is entirely online’, because of specific on-campus required components of practical education. For these specific parts, students will have to come to the BUas campus at some point in the near future.
Academies are trying to find ways around these challenges, but other solutions than ‘on-campus education’ are not always possible for practical education. Below you will find a few descriptions and examples of these specific cases per academy.
- ABEL: The education portfolio of Built Environment and Logistics does not have any components which cannot be done online entirely. However, for the design labs and (part of) the project-based education components, things are much more challenging. For some curriculum components related to IT programs, which often require the use of computer classrooms, ‘online education only’ is really difficult. In looking for solutions ABEL tries to avoid negative impacts on learning outcomes.
- AGM: All practical courses requiring the use of cameras and audio equipment cannot be completed online. For Media this applies to two courses in the first year, the live TV studio production in the second year, and one course in the fourth year. A solution example: these respective cases are being completed currently, instead of during the full lockdown of the previous academic year.
- AHF: Sibelicious is closed as a restaurant for external guests, but is open as a training company. For Hotel & Facility Management, practical training sessions for Sibelicious in the restaurant, catering and kitchen need to be organised on campus. Campus presence is also required for, for example, the wine tasting classes.
- ALE: Several Leisure & Events degree programmes require physical presence, such as shared working in the building with Lego blocks and Lumina Spark personal development, where interaction with each other on campus is vital. Sometimes issues can be solved by changing our planning or priorities in time.
- AT: The majority of Tourism education can be done online. Obviously, the most important practical education components for our Tourism programme concerns city trips, field trips and fieldwork abroad, which all had to be cancelled. In an ‘online education only’ modus, it would be difficult to perform coaching workshops and skills training sessions with workshops such as time management. AT will offer suitable alternatives if possible.
For questions about the specific situation for your degree programme, please refer to your lecturer or coach.
Within this policy we will continue to offer as much as on-campus education as possible, with approximately 20-25% of the campus capacity. If a total lockdown is imposed again by the government, BUas will comply immediately by going completely online with its education again. In the event of eased corona restrictions, to such an extent that online education is no longer needed, or hardly at all, we can respond to this at the start of the second semester. During a current semester, the mode of delivery of education cannot be changed. So, in the event of any easing of the restrictions after the start of the second semester, online education will be maintained until the end of the academic year.
For staff this still means working from home as much as possible, with the restricted possibilities per academy and service to spend some time on campus.
For students this also means a prolongation of the previously communicated on-campus timetabling in shifts, with the possibility of events in the evening hours. Based on urgent advice of the Safety Region (Veiligheidsregio) public student transportation and campus access has to be organised in shifts, to prevent high concentrations of people.
Monday through Thursday:
- Morning: Shift 1: 09.30 to 14.30 hrs., Shift 2: 10:00 to 15:00 hrs.
- Afternoon: Shift 3: 15:00 to 19:00 hrs.,Shift 4: 15:30 to 19:30 hrs.
Friday: Shift 1: 09:30 to 16:30 hrs., Shift 2: 10:00 to 17:00 hrs.
Within the allocated shifts, you may also work in the Library, as much as the available library working space allows this, while keeping 1.5 metres social distance. After the end of your shift, within 30 minutes after your last scheduled class/lecture, please leave the campus to make way for following shifts of students. If you are in shift 3 or 4, after the end of your shift, some on-campus activity such as events may be possible, or studying in the Library as mentioned.
- Face masks and BUas facemask
With effect from 1 December 2020 it is mandatory to wear a face mask when you are ‘on the move’ in indoors locations on campus, including corridors, atriums, restaurant areas and sanitary facilities.
When you are sitting at your workstation, meeting table, in the classroom or in the restaurant, 1.5 metres away from others, you can take off your mask. We strongly advise you to wear a face mask in class or other educational situations where the social distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained, including, for example, project labs. In this way, you can contribute to the health and safety of fellow students and teaching staff, and in return the BUas community contributes to your health and safety. Act like a pro!
For BUas guests and Innovation Square residents these same guidelines apply.
To reach out to our students and staff, BUas is offering special custom design BUas face masks. If you would like to have one, you can pick one up for free at the Service Desk in the Horizon Building (one per person).
- How does ventilation work in the BUas buildings?
The ventilation system does not recirculate air; only fresh air is used. The installations have been set to provide the maximum level of fresh air. You can open windows as much as you want, and we would advise you to do so.
- Student wellbeing and study tips
- Now that all BUas students are studying in locations all over the world – out of sheer necessity – we thought you could do with a few tips to get to grips with online studying. We want to kindly support you in staying motivated and concentrated when studying at home all week. Please check out these 10 tips:
Besides these practical tips, BUas offers you additional mental support. You may experience more pressure and stress during this difficult and rather isolated time frame. The Mirro online self-help modules can help you get through these hard and complicated times. The modules are intended to help you with mild psychological complaints. If you have serious psychological complaints, you are strongly advised to seek more (professional) help. The modules help you to become aware of your own mental health through a stepped-care approach, which helps you choose the most effective interventions. You will gradually learn more about yourself and your circumstances, and about your own role. How can you find your balance again? How do you set boundaries? How do you accept what you cannot change? Mirro is based on scientific insights and research.
The mirro modules are available via the student portal, through the BEST training tile. For international students the modules anxiety, sleeping problems, work related stress and grief are available.
- What about library services?
On-campus presence of students is managed by means of their respective group planning, with allocated time shifts. Within the allocated time frame you may also work in the Library as much as the available Library workspace allows this while keeping 1.5-metre social distance.
Regular Library opening hours are:
- Library Services available: Monday to Thursday 08:00-19:00 hrs (self-service available 19:00-22:00 hrs) and Friday: 08:00-17:00 hrs (self-service available until 18:00 hrs)
- Library study rooms are available from Monday to Thursday 08:00-22:00 hrs and on Friday from 08:00-18:00 hrs.
For more information on the library, please check https://www.buas.nl/library/news-overview.
- Academy-specific information about coronavirus
BUas academies may have specific information related to the coronavirus situation, in addition to the BUas corporate information. This academy-specific information for students (and staff) relates to, for instance, examination and testing and how to cope with placements or academy-specific events. Most academies inform students about these academy-specific topics by email or academy newsletter.
The Academy for Hotel & Facility and the Academy for Leisure & Events have an alternative information channel (currently being developed). If you are a student or staff member of one of these academies, use one of the the links below.
- How about individual appointments with BUas Student Counsellors or BUas Student Psychologist, while BUas campus is closed?
Student wellbeing is very important to BUas. The BUas Student Psychologist and BUas Student Counsellors are available, despite of the BUas campus being closed. They can be contacted via the regular channels. This means that appointments and conversations with Student Counsellors or the Student Psychologist will be done by telephone or online (MS Teams or Skype call). However, in the exceptional case under these circumstances, if the Study Counsellor or Student Psychologist chooses to plan a face-to-face meeting, this meeting may take place at the BUas Campus or another location, of course taking sufficient social distance. This may be applied as an accepted exception to the BUas main rules, and is fully supported by the Executive Board.
- Our community. How do we stay in touch?
In this exceptional situation of as much as possible isolation, it is all the more important to stay in touch with each other. BUas facilitates several online activities to promote the community feeling. Via the BUas portal and the HUB website you will find out more about these activities of, for instance, the book club, the film society club, the football club, the D&D club, BRESS, Ucademy, etc. If you want to join one of these clubs, found a new club yourself, or take part in producing interesting and fascinating content via the various media available (audio, visual, textual), please click here
HUB is the campus entertainment network of BUas, a wonderful new platform to stay in touch with each other during this exceptional corona situation. It is managed and run by students of the Creative Business programme and is meant to serve the entire BUas community.
- Placements, exchange and minors abroad (September 2020)
For placements, exchange and minors abroad BUas follows the travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A non-EU placement or exchange is not permitted if the country colour is ‘Orange’ or ‘Red’, unless you return to your home country. If the non-EU country colour is ‘Yellow’, the Travel Risk Procedure will be required. Be aware that planning a placement, exchange or minor even in the EU/EEA brings risks and uncertainty, as the situation is constantly changing and your stay may have to be cancelled at the last minute. Our urgent advice is not to make any costs for travel and accommodation as long as your stay abroad is not sure yet; make sure you can cancel travel arrangements free of charge if you need to cancel your stay abroad.
EU/EEA countries with country colour ‘Green’ or ‘Yellow’ are permitted. ‘Orange’ is sometimes permitted (please check the decision tree). Any stay in an ‘Orange’ country should always be registered in Osiris by the placement/exchange coordinator.
If the country colour changes between the time of your preparations and the time of departure, the following applies: (a) If the change is caused by an increasing infection rate in the country of destination: you are not permitted to go. You will not be able to do your placement and will not receive any ECTS credits. (b) If the change is caused by incoming travel restrictions: you are permitted to go, but please take notice of the extra regulations mentioned below.
If the country colour changes while you are abroad: (a) If the change is caused by an increasing infection rate in the country of destination: you are strongly advised to return (b) If the change is caused by incoming travel restrictions: you are permitted to stay, but please take notice of the extra regulations mentioned below.
Extra regulations: If the country colour change is caused by incoming travel restrictions of the country you travel to, you are permitted to go/stay if: (a) You can start/continue your placement as planned. (b) You inform yourself of local government restrictions. (c) You inform yourself of quarantine requirements and how to meet these. (d) You are aware that this may have financial and social implications. (e) You check whether your insurance covers this. (f) You check with email@example.com what the consequences are for your Erasmus+ scholarship. (g) You involve the placement office, or exchange/minor coordinator.
- Travelling for study trips
In the light of the latest trends and worldwide developments concerning the COVID-19 virus, and the policies of the Dutch government, BUas has determined the following policy on travelling for business and study trips as from September 2020:
- Do not travel unless strictly necessary, and if you do, only with explicit permission of your academy director;
- If you travel, please arrange booking of travel and accommodation in such a way that cancellation is possible, in the event that any changes (travel advice, local situation, etc.) require so;
- Travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the destination concerned should be coloured green or yellow. What’s more, there must be no existing travel ban for incoming mobility set by the receiving government.
- Online invigilation: why and how?
In this coronavirus impacted situation, only partly being able to take exams at the BUas campus, online proctoring is the ideal way to still perform examinations and prevent study delays. The online proctoring system BUas applies, will take over the invigilation tasks in a respectful and data-safe manner. The system will be recording you during the exam, using the webcam and the microphone. It registers all actions on your computer, including potential actions which are not allowed during the exam.
The reviewing of the exam and all the actions will mainly not be done during the exam, but afterwards. The ProctorExam system generates a report for each candidate, which enables BUas to investigate whether fraud was committed during the exam.
BUas respects the privacy of students. BUas has legally assessed the privacy aspects of applying ProctorExam, and this is the best possible and acceptable way to perform online proctoring, taking applicable privacy regulations (GDPR/AVG) into account.
For more specific information about BUas proctoring, privacy and our guiding principles for examinations and online proctoring, please read this bulletin..
Since we are mainly providing online education, with limited access to the campus, online invigilation will be continued throughout the 2020/2021 academic year. The current considerations for online education also apply to invigilation, but with a few points to note. New agreements are coordinated with the participation council and with the boards of examiners. Based on the evaluation of the past academic year, new examination regulations have been determined, containing a comprehensive description of all types of testing and examination within BUas. In close collaboration with the BUas Digital Assessment team, the boards of examiners, the Exam Centre and SURF we will continue to monitor the developments around online and offline invigilation and adapt or adjust the regulations and procedures if required or desired. The boards of examiners have a mandate to make exceptions in specific cases involving, for instance, invigilation and relocation of specific examinations to the campus, in coordination with the Exam Centre.
The boards of examiners have a mandate to make exceptions in specific cases involving, for instance, invigilation and relocation of specific examinations to the campus, in coordination with the Exam Centre.
- Online proctoring : how is the privacy of students guaranteed?
The proctoring platform which BUas selected after this careful consideration, ProctorExam, supports all our requirements:
- It enables online invigilation, in a respectful and data-safe way. During the corona crisis, when you choose to take a digital exam, we base the processing of your data on the legitimate interests of BUas to offer the possibility to take exams in an alternative way. The purpose of processing your personal data is to help you take exams in an alternative way, and to help you stay on track with as little delay as possible. BUas wants to prevent study delay for its students as much as possible.
- The system will be recording students during the exam, using the webcam and the microphone. A student’s behaviour will be processed, as well as the use of websites other than those allowed during the exam, to see if these have been used illegitimately.
- To establish the student’s identity in advance, he/she will have to identify him/herself by showing the ID card, take a picture of him/herself and submit these. When showing the ID, the invigilator only needs to see the full name and photo and he/she must be able to establish whether it is a legal document. Students are therefore strongly advised to cover their social security number, place of issue, nationality and document number. They will also be requested to show the materials they are allowed to use during the exam.
- A 'room scan', and the use of a second camera, e.g. of a smartphone, are not applicable. A student will not have to show the room. He/she is advised to provide a neutral environment and put special or personal items out of sight.
- The recording of the exam will be analysed by an external proctor of ProctorExam. The use of an algorithm or ‘machine learning’ is not applicable. Only ‘real people’ carry out the proctoring and they have been trained to analyse the recordings at a speed of 6 times the normal play mode. Within 48 hours after students have ended their exams, the recording will be proctored and sent to BUas. A report will be sent to BUas with a colour code. ‘Green’ means: no irregularities; ‘orange’ means: there are some irregularities that possibly need closer examination; ‘red’ means: the invigilator has seen behaviour that needs to be reviewed. Recordings with code ‘green’ are deleted from the server (based in Europe) immediately. Code ‘orange’ recordings will be reviewed by BUas as soon as possible, to decide if the deviant behaviour gives reason for further investigation. Code ‘red’ recordings will also be reviewed in order to make sure if code red was indeed applicable. ‘Orange’ and ‘red’ recordings will be deleted if BUas decides that there has been no fraud. Recordings where no fraud has been established are deleted within a maximum of 2 business days after they are received and analysed. The photo a student made to identify him/herself at the beginning of the exam will be deleted simultaneously with the recording of the exam.
- If fraud has been committed, those recordings will be saved by BUas, only for as long as necessary, e.g. to serve as evidence in the case of an appeal.
- BUas has made privacy agreements with ProctorExam in a processing agreement that is based on the GDPR. Therefore, ProctorExam is only allowed to process the data based on that agreement. The recordings and other personal data are processed confidentially. Sharing these recordings or any other personal data with third parties without the written consent of BUas is strictly prohibited. The same strict privacy and confidentiality rules apply to all ProctorExam employees and sub-processors. The external proctors can be compared to the normal on-campus proctors (invigilators) during an on-campus exam. Both BUas and Proctor Exam (and its sub-processors) have implemented technical and organisational data security in their systems to ensure that the processing of your data is being carried out safely.
- Only BUas can decide if fraud has been committed and these decisions are always made by the board of examiners, not by a computer system or ProctorExam. So, no automated decision making is applicable. The TER is, as always, applicable.
- After submitting the test, and having performed the required ProctorExam actions, the student can shut down the web browser. After that moment nothing will be registered anymore.
- Student data, recorded by ProctorExam, will be exclusively available to the appointed ProctorExam and BUas invigilators, and will be saved according to the period mentioned above, by ProctorExam and BUas.
- The BUas legal officer has assessed the privacy perspective of applying ProctorExam, and concluded that the use of ProctorExam is the best possible and acceptable way to perform online proctoring, taking applicable privacy regulations (GDPR/AVG) into account.
- The general privacy regulations of BUas are, as always, applicable. In this document more in-depth information can be found on the rights regarding privacy matters, and how to file a complaint if needed.
- How can I familiarise myself at the moment? Does BUas offer any online study orientation activities?
To help you familiarise yourself online, we have organised a series of webinars, Q&A and an online open day. You can also ask your question to one of our students, take a virtual tour of our campus, watch videos about our courses on YouTube, and of course visit our website for more information. Via this link you will find all information at a glance.
- I am an international applicant and have been conditionally admitted. What if I cannot register for a required English test due to Covid-19?
English language tests
English tests are still postponed / cancelled in some countries due to public health concerns. In order to increase the possibilities for our applicants, we still accept the following two online alternatives for the intake of September 2021:
- TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition. This online TOEFL test is available at the locations where TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, with the exception of Iran and mainland China. Check out if this applies to you. Please note that we require at least an overall band score of 80 and a subscore for speaking of 20.
TOEFL ITP Plus for applicants from China only. More information can be found via this link. Please note that we require at least an overall band score of 550 and that the speaking component (video speaking interview through Vericant) will be assessed and scored by BUas English language lecturers.
Please contact us if you have questions or concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will hopefully see each other at the start of the academic year!
- Is it possible to study safely at BUas in Breda?
Your safety is our priority!
BUas acts in accordance with the directives of the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) and the GGD (Local Healthcare Organisation). We are closely following the developments concerning the corona virus and will provide any relevant updates. We have taken many precautions and prevention measures, such as extra cleaning, paper towels and hand sanitizer, to take care of the health and safety of students, staff and guests. In addition, face masks are mandatory and we have introduced walking routes to observe the required distance of 1.5 metres. Our corona coaches are there to help us all comply with the measures.
For mental support, BUas offers students Mirro online self-help modules.
- What if I need health care due to the coronavirus? AON Student Insurance
For all questions about health care insurance, please read the flyer of the Zorgverzekeringslijn.
If you have any questions after reading this information, please contact Zorgverzekeringslijn by chat (www.zvl.tips) or email (email@example.com). They can also be reached at 0800 64 64 644, and from abroad please call +31 88 900 6960.
If you have an AON Student Insurance and have any questions, you can always contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at +31 (0)10 44 88 260.
Aon Student Insurance and coverage for international students in their home country
We are dealing with two groups of students who are attending online education in their home country because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions. This concerns the group that had already started their degree programme in the Netherlands.
- Current students who left for their home country in March / April last and are attending online education from there.
- Students who were on holiday in their home country and were unable to return.
For this group, insurance coverage has been extended until 1 April 2021.
Conditions for extension of coverage:
- Student must remain enrolled at the educational institution.
- Student must (demonstrably) attend online education (study progress).
- The extension only provides for cover for (medical) costs in the event of an emergency (and not for any previous incidents that have been postponed).
- The renewal takes place on the same original policy, within the original term of that policy
- It does not concern a placement in the home country (unless the placement was arranged / initiated from the ’original’ educational institution)
- Coverage will be extended until 1 April 2021 at the latest. If the insurance ends earlier than 1 April 2021, the extension will apply until the end date of the insurance.
- Reimbursement of medical costs will be a maximum of twice the Dutch Basic Care Rate.
Note: If the insurance ends before 1 April 2021, but you are unable to come to the Netherlands due to travel restrictions, please do not forget to extend your insurance in time, before the expiration date.
- What if I run into financial problems?
Duo student loan
As a student, you may run into immediate financial problems, caused by the corona crisis, for example because your part-time job ended (temporarily).
On the website of the ‘Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs’ (DUO, the Dutch Education Executive Agency) you will find the relief measures that the government has taken: Questions corona measures – DUO