What you need to know about covid and the UG

An overview of the viral crisis

Everything you need to know about corona and the UG

The news about corona keeps coming at us, faster and faster. On this page, the UKrant will keep a blog about everything going on at the UG. The page will be updated as the situation develops.
By UKrant
10 May om 14:29 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 12 May 2020
om 16:44 uur.
May 10 at 14:29 PM.
Last modified on May 12, 2020
at 16:44 PM.

may 8 2020

UB open for researchers on May 18

The UB will allow researchers back into the Special Collections room starting May 18. The rest of the library will remain closed for now.

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may 6 2020

What will we be allowed to do from May 11 on?

The Netherlands will slowly be exiting out of the intelligent lockdown, the government announced during Wednesday’s press conference.

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may 5 2020

Online education to continue after the summer

Online classes will continue after 1 September. The UG will extend its hybridised form of education into the new academic year, says board president Jouke de Vries: ‘Online because we can, and in person whenever we can.’

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may 5 2020

Covid-19 deals a blow to student associations

No parties, no pub crawls, no massive sing-along at the Grote Markt. How will student associations deal with the cancellation of the introductory KEI week? ‘If we don’t recruit enough members, we’ll struggle for the next five years.’

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may 4 2020

UG sets up crowdfunding for corona research

The UG and the UMCG, among others, have set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for research into viruses, specifically, the coronavirus.

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april 30 2020

‘Here on the Covid ward I feel weak’

When the internships of UG medical students Laura von Iven, Paul van Stee, and Dora van Elk were interrupted by the corona crisis, they jumped at the opportunity to help out at the hospital in other ways. But what they’ve experienced will stay with them forever.

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april 30 2020

‘Sixty seconds to recharge your battery’

To combat the creeping physical and emotional isolation of all the corona measures around the world, three UG students started a new initiative on Instagram called ‘Lockdown in 60’. In sixty seconds, users share a glimpse of their life during the corona crisis.

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april 29 2020

Online testing is a bumpy process

The UKrant held a survey about online exams, and the 259 respondents said it’s going pretty well. Nevertheless, 70 percent ran into some issues. ‘Suddenly, I was locked out of the testing program.’

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april 24 2020

Alex Friedrich: ‘COVID-19 is here to stay’

Physician and microbiologist Alex Friedrich became the face of the corona crisis in the north. He is happy with the measures the government.

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april 22 2020

Get out of your pyjamas

Is the self-isolation getting to you after six weeks? Student psychologist Eva Slot and study advisor Mirjam Nederveen deal with struggling students all the time. ‘Staying in bed and wearing your pyjamas all day is the perfect recipe to feel bad.’

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april 22 2020

Most Dutch corona measures prolonged until May 20

Most measures of the Dutch ‘intelligent lockdown’ will stay in effect until May 20, prime minister Rutte said during Tuesday’s press conference. The changes concern primary education and large-scale events.

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april 21 2020

Working from home with kids? You can’t

Writing a paper at home, supervising your PhD students, or teaching online classes is basically impossible when you have small children at home. ‘I’m about half as productive as I usually am.’

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april 20 2020

The silver linings of the lockdown

It’s not all bad news for students during the corona pandemic. Some have been picking up new activities, rediscovering old hobbies and taking time to reflect. ‘Trying new things has helped me stay positive.’

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april 18 2020

Vindicat ignores corona rules, police fines 15

Last Friday night, the police fined fifteen Vindicat members for violating the corona measures. Rector Floris Hamann is furious with the students.

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april 16 2020

What will the UG look like after the crisis?

What will the UG look like after the viral crisis? What will happen if social distancing becomes the new normal? How will we teach classes, how will we take the bus to Zernike? The UG board calls on everyone at the university to brainstorm solutions.

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april 15 2020

No relaxing in front of your house

We were trying really hard to follow the rules of quarantine, but it turns out that not even the proper authorities know whether students living together constitutes a household. How are you supposed to stay five feet away when there’s nine of you living in one house?

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april 15 2020

FEB students: give us assignments

Students at the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) argue that they should be given assignments instead of sitting online exams.

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april 15 2020

Dating in the time of corona

With the corona outbreak, are students even still dating? When they are, do they actually meet up with people? Or would they rather stick to online meetings? ‘Unfortunately, you can’t have sex if you have to stay five feet away from each other.’

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april 15 2020

As soon as this is over… Stop washing your hands

After SARS, Hong Kong turned into one big hospital, with hand sanitizer everywhere. Now Covid-19 might push the world to follow suit. Bad idea, says Nadine Voelkner: viruses are not our enemy. ‘It’s about living in harmony with the microbial world.’

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april 14 2020

Fewer students in need of psychological guidance

The waitlist for an intake session with a psychologist at the Student Service Centre has been significantly reduced.

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april 8 2020

Board: university needs tailor-made solutions

Every week, rector Cisca Wijmenga, board president Jouke de Vries, and board member in charge of finances Hans Biemans will be answering the most burning questions from the academic community.

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april 7 2020

Lonely online PhD ceremony

The corona crisis has put a stop to all regular PhD ceremonies, which meant the UG had to come up with an alternative. On Monday, the first online PhD ceremony was held for medical toxicologist Danial Afsharzadeh.

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april 7 2020

How much are we prepared to sacrifice?

When behavioural psychologist Pontus Leander saw the corona storm coming, he realised that he needed to do something. He is heading up a worldwide survey into people’s emotions and motivations around the pandemic. Because if we’re going to stop this thing, we need knowledge.

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april 7 2020

Their final projects are useless

Many students’ final projects have come to a grinding halt because they are unable to finish their lab research. This has potentially far-reaching consequences, in particular for international students. ‘I have everything, except the conclusions.’

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april 6 2020

First digital PhD defence at the UG

april 3 2020

‘The real shock to world trade is still coming’

The global economy, and especially the open Dutch economy, will be hit hard by the corona crisis, fears UG professor of economic growth and development Marcel Timmer. ‘I can already predict that the demand for goods from the Netherlands will decline.’

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april 2 2020

‘All that I struggled for seems in vain’

International UG students Conor Ward and Kathleen Scherer are seeing their budgets evaporate due to the coronavirus. They’re disappointed in the university’s lack of support. ‘I can’t help but wonder where our money is going.’

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april 1 2020

Why does corona affect people differently?

Why do some people get incredibly sick from the coronavirus while others don’t notice a thing? Geneticist Lude Franke thinks it might have something to do with their genes. Franke is heading up a large-scale Lifelines study into corona symptoms that’s set to start this week.

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april 1 2020

‘I want my uni and I want my friends’

Hundreds of international students have fled Groningen to return to their home countries. ‘I packed books and notes for my thesis, but I did not have time to pack anything else.’

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march 31 2020

This is how to teach online classes

Across the university, UG lecturers have been preparing to teach their very first video classes. How are they going about it? What are some of the things they should avoid? Colleagues that have already made the switch provide tips. ‘Don’t expect everything to immediately go according to plan.’

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march 31 2020

UG defers BSA for a year

The UG is following education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven’s advice to let all students with a negative BSA move on to the next year anyway.

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march 30 2020

Poof! There goes your PhD ceremony

You worked hard for years, and you’ve gone to a lot of trouble to get your colleagues, friends, and family together on that special day when you’ll receive your doctoral degree. Then the coronavirus rears its ugly head.

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march 27 2020

Op-ed: On privilege, (old) parents, and a pandemic

Assistent professor Esha Mendiratta is, like many other internationals at the UG, deeply concerned about her homeland and her parents, due to the coronavirus.

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march 26 2020

Broke because of corona? Pay your tuition in May

If students can’t pay tuition on Thursday because of the coronavirus, the UG will delay the payment to May.

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march 25 2020

Video: There’s finally room on the no. 15

With the UG buildings all closed, bus no. 15 picks up very few passengers on it route to Zernike. One advantage: with so little traffic on the road, it makes good time.

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march 25 2020

Video: Zernike has never been so quiet

Zernike went from a bustling campus to a bunch of deserted streets and buildings. But it’s not without its beauty.

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march 25 2020

Uncertainty around exams remains

There is still much uncertainty about what to do with the exams at the UG. Students are inundating their lecturers with e-mailed questions. But the lecturers don’t know what to tell them.

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march 25 2020

Online classes: ‘Huh, it actually works pretty well’

Even the most computer-illiterate people at the UG had to face the music: both teaching and taking classes will have to be done online for a while. But students and staff say it’s working remarkably well. ‘We can do so much more than we knew we could.’  

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march 24 2020

‘We’re building the plane as we’re flying it’

Now that all physical classes have been cancelled, the university’s technical support staff is swamped. They have to give people crash courses in online teaching and set up digital exams. ‘We’re building the plane as we’re flying it.’  

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march 24 2020

Why the Netherlands is not on lockdown (yet)

With more and more European countries imposing complete lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Dutch are dubbed stubborn for not doing the same. What’s their rationale?

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march 24 2020

Internationals can dissolve their rental contracts

The UG has decided that internationals renting a room from SSH or a container from Rizoem, can have their continuing contracts dissolved. The university will cover the cost of the vacancies.

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march 23 2020

‘I’m proud that everyone is putting their back into it’

In just a few days, the UG crisis team ushered in a new reality for a community consisting of more than 38,00o people. The UKrant talked to board member Hans Biemans about how the corona measures came about and what the future holds.

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march 22 2020

Rector Cisca Wijmenga: Five feet!

In a video message from Safety Region Groningen, UG rector Cisca Wijmenga reiterates the advice to stay at least five feet away from other people.

march 20 2020

Chair of UG board Jouke de Vries: ‘It’s quiet at the UG’

In a video message on YouTube chair of the UG board Jouke de Vries speaks to the academic community of Groningen.

march 20 2020

No physical lectures till end of August

The UG classrooms will stay empty until the end of this academic year. All physical classes and exams have been cancelled until August 31 because of the novel coronavirus.

The Broerplein was desolated the last couple of days. It will be like this until the end of August.
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march 19 2020

There might already be a treatment

A treatment for the coronavirus might already exist, and it might just come from the labs at the UG. Researcher Paul Hagedoorn has been working around the clock to prepare the medication for the first round of testing.

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march 19 2020

Figurehead UMCG has corona

UG professor and head of department of medical microbiology and infection prevention at the UMCG Alex Friedrich has been infected with the corona virus. The UMCG announced this on Thursday. ‘He literally and figuratively is our face during this time.’

The infection came to light during tests which the hospital performs amongst staff members. So far 656 tests have been performed and 28 people have turned out to be infected.

march 19 2020

UG: no more traveling abroad

The university board has issued an immediate international travel ban for all members of staff and students. This means all business trips abroad are no longer allowed. The measure will be upheld until at least April 10, but could be prolonged if necessary.

march 19 2020

VSNU and Ministry of Education speak about study progress

Students have many questions about their study progress. On Thursday the Dutch Ministry of Education and the association of Dutch universities VSNU discuss how to continue with the BSA, tuition fees, the registrations for bachelor and master programs and the financial consequences of repatriating staff and students who are currently still abroad.

march 19 2020

For them, corona poses a real risk

The elderly and sickly are vulnerable to corona, but young people only experience it as a mild flu. Right? But what if you have asthma or diabetes? ‘If I get infected, that could get ten times worse.’

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march 19 2020

Leiden ends all physical classes until end of year, RUG considers options

All physical classes and exams at the University of Leiden have been cancelled until the end of the academic year. Where possible, all classes and exams will continue online. The university took this decision on Thursday. The academic year runs until August 31.

It is still unclear whether the UG will follow Leiden’s decision. A spokesperson says the possibility is being discussed, but no decision has been taken yet.

march 18 2020

Vindicat offers babysitting service for those with vital jobs

Studenten society Vindicat atque Polit and babysitting service Toppas Groningen are going to offer a free babysitting service for parents with kids that need to stay at home. All in all, there are over 250 students available with babysitting experience. Since they now suddenly have a lot of spare time on their hands, they are happy to help parents who work in vital sectors.

The plan has been developed in consultation with Groningen mayor Koen Schuiling and Veiligheidsregio Groningen.

This service will be advertised on the platform Studentvoorstad.nl that brings all Groningen student initiatives together. Earlier, medical students also came up with a plan to help health care workers.

march 18 2020

The Great Lockdown

Experimental research at the UG has come to a sudden standstill. Researchers are doing their best to cope with one of the biggest crises the university has ever encountered. ‘All that’s left to do is create computer simulations and write articles.’

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march 18 2020

No more jobs: ‘How will I pay my rent?’

The coronavirus is losing many students their income. Because they often have flex contracts, they don’t get paid while the pubs, restaurants, and companies they work at are closed. But they need the money.

‘I know my parents in Romania will have less money’, says student Miruna Lucaci. ‘That also worries me. I don’t want to be an extra burden if I can’t make it here financially.’

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march 18 2020

A sympathetic ear to combat loneliness

Internationals who are staying in Groningen and feeling lonely can turn to the UG. ‘We can imagine that the current situation can lead to a loss of social contact or even to isolation for international students’, the UG wrote.

Student who need a sympathetic ear can turn to their study adviser, the Student Service Centre, or Marjolein Renker, the UG confidential adviser (050-3635435 or m.h.j.renker@rug.nl).

You can also go to All Ears, an initiative by UG staff. All Ears offers students the possibility to talk to each other ‘in these uncertain times’. The normal office hours have been replaced by phone calls, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from two to four o’clock.

You can send an email to info@allearsgroningen and you will get an appointment. You can also fill out the contact form on the website: www.allearsgroningen.nl

march 18 2020

New dilemmas

Working from home has its drawbacks. Since our homes are much smaller than the UG buildings, we don’t move around as much. It might be a good idea to take an extra walk around the block.

march 17 2020

Students applaud for healthcare workers

Applaud to put an end to corona! The thirteen girls sharing a student house in the Zwanestraat enthusiastically participated in the campaign Tuesday evening.

They started cheering out of their open windows at exactly 8 p.m. and were soon joined by many others in the street. The applause took place all over the country. For three minutes, people clapped for everyone working in healthcare combatting the virus.

march 17 2020

Medical students volunteer

UG medical students have set up a platform to link healthcare institutes with students who want to volunteer.

More than two hundred students signed up at the website covidvrijwilliger.nl in just a few hours. Several healthcare institutes have contacted volunteers to put them to work.

march 17 2020

Was it smart to stay in Groningen?

Many international students have returned to their homelands. Residents at the Upsilon flat in the Antaresstraat say only a quarter of them remain in the building.

‘The panic that ensued when the lockdown was announced was contagious’, says student Aitana López. ‘Everyone started packing and leaving or making plans to leave. It made me question whether staying in Groningen was really the right idea.’

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march 17 2020

Student hospitality sector extra affected

Hospitality businesses that are largely dependent on the patronage of students have been struck by the lockdown. They can’t always make the switch to delivery.

‘It’s hard to come to terms with. Two days ago, we were packed’, says The Smooth Brothers owner Yama Masoud.

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march 17 2020

Law faculty warns judicial economics students

The Faculty of Law has sent an e-mail to students who possibly attended a judicial law seminar on March 6 and lectures for the course on March 9 and 11.

According to the faculty, one of the students who was there presented symptoms that indicate they are infected with the coronavirus. They don’t know for certain, since not everyone is getting tested. The faculty board says it’s therefore all the more important to follow the RIVM guidelines.

march 16 2020

Babysitting interns help out health care workers

Now that the schools have closed, health care professionals who have children are in trouble. Medical students Hannah, Isa, Manon, and Rianne have set up Oppasassisten Groningen to help out by babysitting. It’s working; people have signed up for the service in droves.

They got the idea when they all got together on Saturday for a game night. ‘We’re all interns at hospitals in the area, but because of the coronavirus we were suddenly stuck at home’, says Hannah.

Hannah, Isa, Manon en Rianne at work.

march 16 2020

What about the exam week?

It’s unclear what impact the corona measures will have on the exam week. The university’s crisis team is working overtime to keep educational and research activities going.

The lockdown will last until at least April 10 and will impact the exam period, which starts on March 23. Are the exams still on? If they are, how will they be administered? What about potential study delays people might suffer?

‘Those are exactly the kind of questions we’re currently trying to answer’, says UG spokesperson Jorien Bakker. The university hopes to be able to say more later in the week.

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UG on lockdown

All the UG buildings in the city centre and at Zernike campus shut down on Monday. Only the most essential departments will continue to operate.

The first online classes started on Monday and everyone is doing their best to make it work, even if it takes a while to get the hang of things. Almost everyone is working from home.

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march 12 2020

No classes

All physical classes and exams at the UG are cancelled from March 13 to at least April 10. Whenever possible, classes and exams will be put online.

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