Everything to know about corona 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
25 March om 14:29 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 26 March 2020
om 15:06 uur.
March 25 at 14:29 PM.
Last modified on March 26, 2020
at 15:06 PM.

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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