Coronavirus: info and guidelines

Coronavirus: info and guidelines

Coronavirus: info and guidelines

UPDATE 25/03/2020

Howest provides the possibility for education with minimum contact from 18 May.

The ministerial decree of 18 March 2020 is clear. It considers universities of applied sciences and universities as "necessary for the protection of the vital interests of the nation and the needs of the population". This decree also explicitly states that they will switch to distance learning. The decision is in force until 5 April, but these measures are likely to be extended. With how many weeks these measures will be extended, we unfortunately do not know at the moment. Experts talk about a period of 8 weeks to contain the corona crisis. After coordination within VLHORA - the Flemish Council of Universities of Applied Sciences - all Flemish universities of applied sciences decided to continue to make maximum use of distance education until 17 May, but because for a number of forms of work such as practical training and work placements and also for a number of courses such as art courses, care courses, teacher training courses ... digital education alone cannot offer a complete solution, the Flemish universities of applied sciences are organizing themselves to provide education with minimum contact from Monday 18 May 2020 as well.

This will be organized under very strict conditions, including with regard to social distancing and subject to possible new instructions from the government". The way in which this education with minimum contact is organized will be communicated to the students through the programs.


UPDATE 18/03/2020

In the framework of the health of our students, staff members and future students, the board of the university of applied sciences and arts has decided, by analogy with the more stringent government measures, to also take the following additional measures, which will come into force as from 18/03/2020 12:00 p.m.:

Service on the Howest campuses will be reduced to a minimum:

  • All student administration offices on the campuses will be closed. The services will be fully digital. All questions regarding student administration will be answered by email. More information
  • All libraries on the campuses will be closed. The service will be fully digital. All questions regarding the digital offer and the associated service will be answered by email. More information
  • All student facilities have switched to online services. More info on https://www.howest.be/nl/studeren/studentenvoorzieningen

Accessibility campuses:

The measurements again the Coronavirus have some impact on the reception service at howest.

For Campus Brugge only BST5 (Rijselstraat 5, 8200 Brugge) remains open:

  • every working day from 8u00 until 12u00 and from 12u30 until 16u00;
  • for questions or assignments please mail to brugge@howest.be ;
  • the reception remains accessible by phone at +3250/38.12.77.

For Campus Kortrijk only AD (Marksesteenweg 58, 8500 Kortrijk) remains open:

  • every working day from 8u00 until 12u00 and from 12u30 until 16u00;
  • for questions or assignments please mail to kortrijk@howest.be;
  • the reception remains accessible by phone at +3256/24.12.90.

Campus Oudenaarde remains closed. 

Without further notice, this schedule remains in place until friday April 3rd 2020

Our thanks to our reception staff for this permanence.
 

Student placements in Belgium

  • All work placements, workplace learning and dual learning in Belgium are immediately switched to teleworking from home or from your student accommodation in order to avoid all physical contact at the work placement location. Students are asked to communicate this to the work placement location and to inform their work placement supervisor at the work placement location of this communication. Howest work placement coaches contact the work placement locations to make agreements about the interpretation of the work placement at home and the further progress after the crisis will have ended. It is essential that we show sufficient flexibility and creativity to guarantee a meaningful continuation of the work placement through an assignment, adjusted or not. After all, achieving the (adjusted) work placement objectives within the first examination period remains in effect.
  • Work placements  in care programmes are an exception to this and can continue physically at the work placement location, on condition that the work placement location wishes/allows this and that the strictest hygienic measures are guaranteed. We very much appreciate this social commitment because all hands are needed in this sector.
  • A position will be taken at the Flemish level (Vlhora) for those study programmes that are bound by decrees as to the number of work placement  hours (VPL, BLT, ERGO). More information will follow later.
  • For work placements abroad, the situation of each country will be taken into account separately. This is closely followed up by the internationalization department.

Students abroad

  • Students and staff are no longer allowed to go abroad.  Nor to return to an interrupted work placement or study semester.  This measure is valid until 19 April, and may be extended.  We do not allow incoming mobility during the same period either. 
  • Students abroad: we do not organize mandatory evacuation or immediate recall of all students abroad, BUT we do advise to travel back to students who
    • stay in a region that is considered a hotbed.  If that hotbed is (in) a "southern country", our return advice is mandatory.
    • are informed by their work placement location that it can no longer keep them on a work placement, and that there is no option either to continue working online for a while.
    • are asked by the authorities of the country of destination to leave the country (in which case the Belgium Embassy will notify you by means of a text message or e-mail)  
    • are requested or expressly advised to leave the country by the Belgian embassy/consulate in the country of destination. If this is the case, you will receive a text message or e-mail from the embassy/consulate with this explicit advice, as you are registered on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be/. In any case, we advise everyone to actively contact the Belgian embassy of your region.
    • no longer feel comfortable at their foreign destination.
  • However, for those who are in a safe place, and are prepared to endure any government measures - such as staying inside for a while, or closed borders/airspace or travel restrictions - such as airlines that temporarily stop flying - it may be safer not to travel (immediately) and thereby run the risk of getting stuck somewhere.
  • Because the situation varies greatly from one country to another, the study department and/or the internationalization department is in direct contact with the student, in order to work out together the safest and most feasible solution
     

UPDATE 12/03/2020

In the context of the health of our students, staff and prospective students, the university board has decided to organise all educational activities digitally from Monday 16 March to 19 April 2020. In order to prepare for this transition, all classes will be suspended on Friday 13 March.

Impact for the students

  • The educational activities will continue via distance learning and/or via digital teaching methods from Monday 16 March 2020.
  • The current timetables form the foundation of electronic teaching. Updates will be communicated daily via Leho.
  • Each responsible teacher of a course unit for which educational activities are scheduled over the next three weeks, will inform the students via Leho at the latest on Sunday, March 15, 2020, about the global approach of the course unit in question.
  • Examinations and evaluations will continue as much as possible.
  • Internships will continue, unless the internship takes other measures.
  • Libraries remain open for research, but not for joint study.
  • All educational project weeks are postponed or cancelled.
  • There will be a limited supply in the student restaurants.

If you have any questions, please contact the program coordinators. To keep everything on the right track, we also ask you to follow all instructions via Leho.

Impact for the staff

  • We encourage working from home as much as possible.
  • For ATP staff, the managers decide which tasks require permanence.
  • All meetings are held via Teams or Skype as much as possible.

UPDATE 11/03/2020

Within the framework of the health of our students, staff and students, Howest does not want to take any risks and the Howest board has taken measures to slow down the coronavirus as much as possible.

Educational activities:

The core educational activities continue. In order to control the risks of contamination as much as possible, digital learning resources should be used wherever possible. All students will be informed of this through the programmes.

International mobility

All multi-day foreign study trips departing before 20 April 2020 will be cancelled or postponed on the advice of the Education Department. The best choice will be sought as far as possible: cancellation or postponement. All incoming mobility of international staff and students will also be cancelled until 20 April. For all individual trips abroad, no general advice can be given. Please contact isabelle.pertry@howest.be.

Next Howest initiatives were cancelled

  • Howest information day on Saturday 14 March in Bruges, Kortrijk and Oudenaarde
  • Children's University Bruges 'Do you have a heart for care?' on Sunday 15 March in Howest Campus Bruges Station - BST 5, Rijselstraat 5 in Bruges.
  • Traditional medicine in the Confusius Institute on Sunday 15 March in Howest Confusius Institute, Sint-Jorisstraat 71 in Bruges.

Howest is closely monitoring the situation. This page gets an update every time this is necessary.