In the studio, the Eurekaweek board sat one-and-a-half metres apart. Due to the coronavirus, the Eureka week launch is being held in a more tempered form in comparison with previous years. During the broadcast, repeated announcements were made to remind people of the importance of social distancing. “Although I understand how difficult it is for young people, please follow the rules”, said Deputy Mayor Bert Wijbenga. “The situation is annoying, but try and make the best of it. Having fun during the introductory week is certainly very important.”

Compliments to the Eurekaweek board

Wijbenga complimented the Eurekaweek board for its work. “It certainly hasn’t been easy to organise this event during these times”, he said. “But they didn’t give up. They’re persistent and they have things under control.”

Eurekaweek chairman Sander Doude van Troostwijk admitted: “Of course, it’s not what we had expected.” He went on to say that the pandemic had cost him a few nights’ sleep. Still, he’s glad things all worked out in the end. “This is what we’ve all been working towards for a long time and now it’s finally underway.”

Peer support is crucial

Rector Magnificus Rutger Engels, considers Eurekaweek to be ‘extremely important’. “It is our intention to prepare new students as well as we can before they embark on their courses”, he said. He too is relieved that Eurekaweek can take place. “Although I didn’t lose any sleep over it, the idea that Eurekaweek might not take place was a nightmare during the day.” Engels stressed that ‘especially in these difficult times’ it is very important for students to seek support. “And peer support is crucial!”

Eureka Live

The opening of Eurekaweek is the first broadcast of the Eureka Live programme, which will be broadcast at 8pm every weekday on a website that can only be accessed by participants.