Education institutions have agreed with the Cabinet that students must be discouraged from using public transport in the coming period. Students will not be allowed to travel during the rush hours. The plan is currently for them to be allowed to receive education only between 11am and 3pm, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Engels believes such a time slot has both upsides and downsides. “First of all, it’s very restrictive and narrow.” For the time being, though, it won’t be much of a problem: “We’d already decided that all our classes will be taught online and all our examinations will be administered online for the remainder of the academic year, anyway,” said Engels.

City-specific public transport restrictions

However, the next academic year, which starts on 1 September, might pose a bit of a problem. “If we’re supposed to start offering hybrid teaching, it’s essential that society open up more. If not, we won’t be able to meet our teaching obligations, and we’ll only be able to welcome a small percentage (of our students) to the campus.”

Engels hopes that the Ministry of Education will agree to keep the restrictions to be imposed on students, such as the aforementioned public transport agreement, ‘as city-specific as possible’. “Things are different here than they are in Groningen or Maastricht, so it’s important to us that we make city-specific arrangements.”

A spokesperson for Erasmus University said it is a ‘complicated jigsaw puzzle’. “We are talking to other universities and universities of applied sciences to determine what is the best way to arrange things – for instance, with regard to public transport. It means endlessly drawing up schedules, harmonising those schedules and checking what’s feasible. And what if the coronavirus situation should take an unexpected turn? If that happens, we may have to revise all our plans again.”

Plans expected to be finalised by 15 June

It is unclear at present what the hybrid teaching to be offered in the next academic year will look like. “We are busy drawing up plans for it, which must be finalised by the 15th of June. Then they will be assessed. After that we’ll see how the plans will be implemented on campus, step by step,” said an EUR spokesperson.


An earlier version of this article stated that there was a plan that students were only allowed to travel between 11:00 and 15:00. That’s not true. The plan is to teach between 11:00 and 15:00. That’s changed in the piece. Rutger Engels sticks to his point of view, a spokesman said.