“What the Board achieved was simply fantastic”, wrote Engels in a response to questions from EM. “The Covid-19 crisis meant organising a completely different programme than was used in recent years; mainly an online programme. The increasing rate of coronavirus infections in Rotterdam also resulted in significant adjustments needing to be made right up to the very final week. The board really took this into account. I was so happy to see students on campus again, see that they were able to explore their new university and the city and hear that they had made new friendships.”

Deputy Mayor Wijbenga addressed the Eurekaweek participants and board in a short recorded speech on Eureka Live: “We are absolutely delighted that you are here again in the city. And so pleased that you really adhered to the coronavirus regulations. My sincere compliments to the Board in organising this week for so many thousands of students. And such a unique week for the organisers too because, never before have there been so many obstacles, restrictions and rules to which you have had to adjust. On behalf of all Rotterdam residents: you did a fantastic job!”

One and a half metres

The most difficult part of the week was enforcing the coronavirus measures. The one-and-a-half-metre rule was sometimes forgotten at the information market and the organisers were kept busy using a megaphone to separate small groups. And the groups eating together in the evenings did not always stick entirely to the minimum distancing rule either. And yet, Engels has the impression that everything proceeded safely and that most students adhered to the regulations. The Rotterdam Rijnmond health authority (GGD) will monitor whether any infections took place.

The university is going to make use of the opportunity offered by the emergency decree to organise additional introductory activities. This will only involve small-scale activities up to 30 participants, aimed at study or sport.