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BACK TO CAMPUS

On this website you will find information about the precautions that everyone on campus must follow and about services on our campuses. Below you’ll find an overview of the latest updates on the corona measures and the return to campus. Please visit this webpage regularly for the latest information.

Klik hier voor alle info in het Nederlands.

As communicated earlier, the academic year will start on Monday, 21 September under code yellow. That means that education on campus in auditoriums and classrooms, on external locations as well, will take place with an occupancy rate of 50% and teachers and students have to wear face masks. The start under code yellow allows the deans, teachers and supporting staff to get the students on track safely for the following weeks, and to make clear arrangements about it. It’s incredibly important that students and their professors can meet each other, and that students can meet each other. That’s essential for our pedagogical project and that relationship cannot solely exist virtually.

At the same time, we should not and cannot ignore the rising corona numbers. Young people are also hit by the COVID-19 virus and as a university, we have to take our responsibility to help stop the spread of it. That’s why we are preparing to switch gradually to code orange after that first week of class. Practically, that means that from 28 September, we will switch to an occupancy rate of 20% in all auditoria.

Read more for students.

Read more for staff.

VUB travel policy follows the guidelines of the Belgian Foreign Affairs Department.  ​​​​​​​

 

Travelling in Europe: students and staff

The Belgian government regularly adjusts its travel policy to European countries. Consult the Foreign Affairs website to find out whether it is possible to travel to countries within the European Union, including the United Kingdom and the four other Schengen countries (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway). You should also find out about the specific measures in place to enter a particular country and comply with the instructions that apply, for example, to quarantine in the country of destination and its security measures.

The VUB clarifies this with a detailed colour code: 

Green zones

There is no problem and there are no restrictions to travel; the exchange is allowed.

Orange zones

Orange type A)

The Belgian authorities are warning and asking for vigilance because, from a Belgian point of view, the level of infection in this region is high. There may be restrictive measures. 

OR

Orange type B)

The government of your host country of destination imposes measures for entry from Belgium as this may pose a risk. Restrictive measures are in place.

In both types, the exchange is allowed but we inform students about the possible restrictions and measures.

Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

Red zones

Red type A)

The Belgian authorities are banning travel to these regions because the level of infection is too high and there are too many local restrictions.

The VUB does not allow these exchanges. Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

OR

Red type B)

The government of your host country prohibits entry from Belgium. The exchange will only be permitted if the host country makes an exception for entry for study purposes.

Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

​​If a country or region is on the Belgian government's red list (colour code Red Type A), students or staff are not allowed to travel to these areas within the framework of VUB activities.

As the situation can change daily, it is important that students and staff travelling abroad consult the website of Foreign Affairs BEFORE purchasing travel tickets and booking accommodation.

Travelling outside Europe: students and staff

The VUB is following the Belgian authorities. Travel to countries outside the EEA is not allowed.

Incoming students and staff at the VUB

Students and staff who come to the VUB from EEA and non-EEA countries are welcome, and should follow the instructions on the website of Foreign Affairs strictly as well as those of their home country before travelling to Belgium. Once here, they must follow the quarantine and testing guidelines according to their country of origin. They must also be able to submit their contract or letter of acceptance to the VUB as proof.

​​​​​​​Staff

Staff members must apply for academic leave for all journeys (via TEO). If a country or region is on the red list of the Belgian government, it is not allowed to travel to these areas within the framework of VUB activities.

VUB staff members who think they are eligible for an exception to the rules can send a motivated application to international.relations@vub.be.

For the latest updates on the federal government's travel policy, we recommend that you regularly consult the website of Foreign Affairs.

 

Safety first

VUB puts the safety of its students, staff and academics first. We are allowing the gradual restart of activities on our campuses in a safe manner and applying the guidelines set by the federal government. VUB is counting on every campus visitor to follow the precautionary measures. This is the only way we can guarantee everyone’s safety.

Questions or feedback?

Do you have questions about the coronavirus at VUB or the return to campus? First consult the updates and the answers to the FAQs. Can’t find an answer to your question in the list? Email backtocampus@vub.be and we will reply during opening hours.

Precautions

Wash your hands, keep distance and wear a face mask in places where it is mandatory and in busy public places: VUB closely follows the measures of the Belgian government. In addition, the university uses its own concrete guidelines. These can be found below.

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Strong together! Summary of some essential regulations

  • Face masks are obligatory on all campuses of the VUB. Outdoors as well as indoors. 
  • There is 1 VUB Safety kit for everybody.
  • Always keep to the right and move counterclockwise.
  • Priority rules for stairs and doors: 'leaving' has priority on 'entering', 'coming down' on 'going up'.
  • Follow all signage and instructions.
  • Only a limited amount of people in elevators.
  • Wash your hands and keep your distance.
  • Give feedback to each other and report unsafe situations.
  • Being on time is a safety measure. Everything takes more time than usual.

For everybody


Precautions by the Belgian government

Check the guidlines

For staff, services and departments


Precautions for a gradual restart of the university

Overview of all measures

For lecturers for oral exams


Guidelines for the practical exam organisation and examination

Practical tips

For students


Practical tips for study and exams in times of corona

You can do it!

Wear a face mask

Face masks are REQUIRED on the entire CAMPUS ZONE. This means:

  • Outside on all campuses:
    • a face mask is obligatory for everyone. 
  • Inside VUB buildings:
    • A face mask is obligatory.

The only situation in which you can take off your face mask:

  • When you want to eat or drink (indoors or outdoors, and always sitting down)
  • When you're alone in your office.

Teleworking becomes the norm again

On 27 July 2020, the National Security Council tightened the coronary measures. Following this, the VUB rolls back a number of previous relaxations: 

  • Teleworking is the norm for all departments whose work can be done off campus. 
  • All departments whose work requires physical presence can continue to work on campus in line with the scenarios approved by the prevention department. 
  • Everyone present on campus must register. The department where a person works, or on whose behalf they are visiting, must register via their system. 

Of course, the federal government's guidelines on social distancing, time distancing and (personal) hygiene of the VUB remain the basis.

Send your (updated) roadmap to preventie@vub.be if, as a result of the modification of the guidelines, the organisation of the department or service changes (e.g. because employees come to the campus more frequently). 

VUB Safety kit & material: Be on time, students!

  • Students can still get a face mask at the Security Service, the Student Information desk and the reception desk of the Sports Service in Etterbeek and the faculty secretariat in Jette.
  • Services get practical instructions by Prevention & Environment in the feedback on their safety script. Infradesk is responsible for events.
  • Everybody can download 'backtocampus' signage from the MAX VUB-style platform.

Follow the signage and keep to the right

  • Keep to the right in corridors, on stairways and campus paths.
  • Move counterclockwise in closed spaces.
  • Follow all signposts and instructions.
  • Avoid passing each other. If that is not possible, the person leaving the room has priority.
  • Only one person at a time may use the lifts. Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • On narrow stairways, the person coming down has priority.

Wash your hands regularly

  • Limit the number of people in washrooms according to the number of sinks. If this prevents people from maintaining 1.5m distance, limit numbers further. Wait your turn outside.
  • Flush the toilet with the lid closed.
  • Wash your hands before and after using the toilet.
  • Do not use electric hand dryers. Use only paper to dry your hands.
  • If paper or soap is running out, alert infradesk@vub.be right away.
  • There is an intensive cleaning of public spaces. Services keep their workspace clean.
  • Bring your own water. Fountains, and possibly vending machines, will be out of order.

To put on your face mask

  1. Disinfect your hands.
  2. Hold the mask by the elastic.
  3. Place the elastic over your ears.
  4. Make sure the mask covers your nose, mouth and chin. Wear it for max 8 hours.
  5. Avoid touching it. If you do touch it, wash or disinfect your hands again.

To take off your face mask

  1. Push your chin forward.
  2. Hold the mask by the elastic, remove from your face and do not touch the front of the mask.
  3. Place the mask with the dirty side down in a washable container until it can go in the washing machine at 60°C.
  4. Or wash it immediately at 60°C. (max 50 times).
  5. Wash your hands again with soap and water.

Adjust your behaviour

Everyone is responsible for ensuring that the virus is spread as little as possible, i.e. slowed down. Even if you're not sick yourself, you can spread the virus. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel therefore asks all students, academics and staff to adjust their behaviour accordingly and to observe the following prevention and hygiene rules:

  • Try to avoid body contact: keep a sufficient distance (i.e. one metre) from each other. Do not greet each other with a kiss or a handshake;
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly;
  • Cough in a paper tissue (and throw it away in a closed bin afterwards), or in your elbow.
  • Use paper tissues to blow your nose;
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands as much as possible;
  • Air the rooms frequently;
  • Stay at home in case of illness;
  • Teleworking is possible. To discuss with your head of department. Make sure your Skypeforbusiness is active/online so you can easily stay in touch with colleagues.

Do not hesitate

  • Are you sick? Don't hesitate: stay at home and consult your doctor immediately.
  • Did you have contact with a Corona patient? Don't hesitate: inform the VUB immediately via coronavirus@vub.be, stay at home and consult your doctor.
  • Have you been diagnosed with the Coronavirus? Don't hesitate. Stay home and notify the VUB immediately via coronavirus@vub.be. VUB wishes you all the best!

 

VUB thanks everyone who adheres to the precautions and responds quickly. We sympathise with all Corona patients and hope for a quick recovery for everyone.

Studying in times of corona

Klik hier voor alle info in het Nederlands

Questions about exams - for students

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about exams in the list below. More practical information can be found on the student website.

Many exams will be held remotely or taken in a digital format. If this is not possible, exams can be held on campus or external locations. Please regularly check Canvas for updates and announcements regarding the assessment of your courses. The address of the external locations will be communicated in a timely manner. You can use GoogleMaps to plan your route.

How do I keep a safe distance when taking public transport to and from exams? 

Distancing measures on public transport are the responsibility of the transport operators (MIVB, De Lijn, TEC, NMBS). On Brussels trams, seats that may not be used are clearly marked. Please follow the appropriate measures. For more information, consult the operators’ websites.

Do I need a declaration to go to the exam? Is taking an exam considered a necessary journey?

We are currently unable to answer this question. It will depend on the decisions of the National Security Council.

We are currently unable to answer this question. It will depend on the decisions of the National Security Council.

We will ensure that both students and lecturers remain at least 1.5m from each other at all times. The number of students in each room or auditorium will be strictly limited. Students will be spread out within the room. Locations will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between exam sessions.

Yes, the hall will be cleaned and disinfected after every group exam. For oral exams, the desk will be disinfected after each exam. Lecturers will be responsible for disinfecting the office or exam hall for oral exams. They will receive clear instructions about safety and hygiene.

Yes. Every student will receive a bag containing hand sanitiser, face mask, lanyard and leaflet with clear instructions for use.

In accordance with the Flemish emergency decree for higher education, this is allowed. The university may exceptionally make changes to the modes of examination. Exam formats may be changed here and there. The exact exam format will be developed and communicated via Canvas as soon as possible. The final exam schedule will be shared online between 4 and 11 May.

How will you ensure all students are assessed fairly, when not everyone has the same exam format? 

Using learning objectives and a test matrix, the lecturer can offer an equivalent exam, even if it takes a different form due to necessity/force majeure.

Yes. This is considered a one-off essential journey. In Belgium, you do not need a declaration. If you are travelling from another country, you will need a declaration to cross the border. You can request this via coronavirus@vub.be.

Who can I contact with complaints about the education and exam organisation?

You can consult the reporting point which has been set up in your faculty for this purpose. We will continue to listen to your concerns about education and exams in the coming period! 

Questions about campus facilities during the exam period

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about the campus facilities during the exam period in the list below.

Working in times of corona

It is not easy to work in these circumstances. VUB thanks all their staff for their effort and resilience.

Klik hier voor alle info in het Nederlands

Info for lecturers


WeAreVUB Staff Education & website Education & Student Affairs

Exams

Info for staff


WeAreVUB Staff, message board for staff

Stay up-to-date

Info for researchers


Sharepoint Research & Data Management

Keep researching

Health and wellbeing


Tips. Overview services. Want to talk to someone?

Find support

FAQ

Klik hier voor alle info in het Nederlands.

Below you'll find answers to more specific frequently asked questions (FAQ). Is your question not listed here? Feel free to send an e-mail to backtocampus@vub.be. And if, in your opinion, certain information or measures are missing, please let us know via the online web form!

Questions about possible contamination

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about possible contamination in the list below.

A person who may be infected with the coronavirus is asked to stay at home and consult a general practitioner. We recommend avoiding social contacts.

In order to facilitate contact tracing in case of effective infection, the VUB can draw up a list of the days and times when the infected person was present during exams (in case of a student) or at his service (in case of a staff member).

In addition, the general precautionary measures and guidelines of the Federal Public Health Department must be followed.

You inform the VUB by sending an email to backtocampus@vub.be. Your email will be followed up immediately.

If you are an employee of the VUB, you must report your sick days in TEO.

You notify the VUB immediately via backtocampus@vub.be if:

  • You are a student or employee of the VUB and you have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. In this case, you fill in your sick days on TEO (as a staff member) or report your illness to the faculty secretariat (as a student). In case of force majeure, as a student you can ask for the exam to be rescheduled.
  • you are a student or employee of the VUB and you suspect that you are infected with the coronavirus;
  • you are a student or employee of the VUB and you have come into contact with a corona patient;
  • you have come into contact with a corona patient and shortly afterwards visited one of the VUB campuses of the VUB.

If you are a student, your mail will be forwarded to the Infopoint. If you are an employee, M&O will handle your mail. If necessary, the first-line centre dispatches your mail to other services involved (e.g. infrastructure).

The VUB will treat all personal data you provide in your mail confidentially.

In case of notification of contamination, the VUB follows the guidelines of the Federal Public Health Service, which state the steps to be followed in case of (possible) contamination.

In order to facilitate contact tracing in the event of effective infection, the VUB can draw up a list of the days and times on which the infected person was present during examinations (in the case of a student) or at his service (in the case of a staff member).

Anyone who has been infected may not re-enter the campus until a doctor has declared him/her healthy.

My colleague or fellow student is infected with the coronavirus. What should I do?

Avoid contact with your colleague. Be vigilant for the symptoms of the coronavirus (fever, cough, respiratory problems, sore throat, headaches and muscle aches). If you do not feel well, let the VUB know in time via backtocampus@vub.be and call your doctor.

Furthermore, all 'regular' precautions for the virus are of importance. You can read these here.

If you are at home or in your kot in Brussels, you have no regular doctor and suspect you may be infected with coronavirus, call 1710. Via this number you will reach a helpline staffed by GPs, who will advise you and refer you if necessary.

You can also contact the university group practice of the VUB for a telephone consultation on 0032 2 897 19 50.   

If you have a regular doctor, you should call them.

For anyone stuck in Brussels, you should call the new number 1710 rather than the emergency number 112, which gets overloaded faster.

Questions concerning access to buildings and infrastructure

Extensive information about access and opening hours of services and buildings on the campuses can be found under the tab 'Campus facilities' of this service.

For those who have to be on campus, the following guidelines apply:

  1. You wear a face mask everywhere, outdoors as well as indoors. You only take it off when you are sitting alone at your desk or doing sports alone, or when you are seated in a catering establishment.  
  2. Follow the signs
  3. Keep to the right
  4. Only 1 person in the elevators
  5. On narrow stairs, give way to those who descend

For those staying at a VUB dorm, the following guidelines apply: 

  • Notify us of your stay in your dorm via this link.
  • Each VUB-unit is considered a household. With the people of your unit, you do not need to maintain social distancing. All other safety measures concerning the hygiene in your unit remain and must be respected at all times.
    • Important: As per the government’s safety measures, members of the same household can have close contact with max. 5 people during the next 4 weeks. Remember that this social bubble does not apply to individuals, but to your household as a whole! Students who wish to stay in their dorm for one or several nights for the retake exams will need to minimise the contact with their dormmates. It is advised not to travel between 2 households or social bubbles, e.g. by commuting between your home and dorm.
  • Inviting people over in the dorms is allowed when following the government’s safety measures and with the approval of your dormmates.
    • Make agreements about who belongs to your common bubble of 5 people. You can invite 1 person in your room, and be present with max. 6 people in the kitchen. Do not invite any people who are not part of your bubble. Keep track of who is present at what time as visitor – this may be important if contact tracing should be necessary. Carefully follow all the government’s safety measures and respect one another. The safe use of the areas that are shared by your dormmates remains the priority.
  • Always maintain a distance of 1,5 meter from people outside your unit.
  • Wearing a face mask is mandatory on all public areas on campus, both inside and outside. This includes the entrance hall, lift, garden, garage or foot bridge of your student residence.
  • Students who are returning from abroad may need to self-isolate for 14 days, depending on the country you are returning from. You can find more information here
  • Ensure proper ventilation of the areas. Frequently open the windows of both your room and the shared areas.
  • Do not share cutlery, cooking appliances or other objects. Wash those items after use with hot water and washing-up liquid.
  • Ensure proper hygiene and cleanliness in the dorms: wash your hands, clean all handles and surfaces in the common areas after using them, take out the garbage frequently, …
  • If you are showing symptoms such as fever, couch, runny nose or difficulty breathing, contact your general practitioner via phone or the University general medical practice or practice Patio in Jette (see student.vub). Isolate yourself and contact VUB immediately via backtocampus@vub.be – mention that you are staying in a VUB dorm. If necessary, Student housing will contact the necessary guidelines to the people from your unit.
  • In case of infection, a quarantine protocol will be put in place in your unit. If this is the case for your unit, you will be contacted.

 

Questions about mobility

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about commuting and travelling to and from the VUB in the list below.

Yes, but only in accordance with the instructions of the transport companies. That means that you use mouth masks in stations, buses and trams, and on platforms and at stops. Keep your distance where possible.  

Carpooling is possible, but the minimum distance of 1.5 meters must also be respected inside the vehicle. The number of people that can travel together therefore varies according to the type of vehicle. Regular airing and cleaning of the vehicle is recommended. 

No. Cycling and walking are largely done in the open air, where the risk of contamination is much lower.  However, make sure to keep a sufficient distance from other road users.

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Belgium has opened its borders for travel inside the European Union, including the UK, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. This means that students from these countries are allowed to travel to the VUB.

Whether VUB students are allowed to travel to the above-mentioned countries depends on the travel policy of the countries and the travel advice from the Belgian government. Check the website of foreign affairs for the latest updates and travel advice. Traveling to countries on the red list of the Belgian government for VUB activities is not allowed.  

Belgium has not opened it’s borders to people traveling from non-EU countries. VUB follows the Belgian authorities closely and will therefore maintain its currently travel advice, which remains in place until 20 August, until further notice.

For academic year 20-21 VUB cancelled all outgoing student mobility during the first semester to non-EU countries and countries that received code red from the Belgian government.  VUB students are only allowed to go on exchange to a country inside the European Union, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway that are not on the red list of the Belgian government. Students can contact their exchange coordinator to request to move their exchange to the second semester (if allowed by the programme) and/or to change host institution.

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Belgium has opened its borders for travel inside the European Union, including the UK, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. This means that students from these countries are allowed to travel to the VUB.

Whether VUB students are allowed to travel to the above-mentioned countries depends on the travel policy of the countries and the travel advice from the Belgian government. Check the website of foreign affairs for the latest updates and travel advice. Traveling to countries on the red list of the Belgian government for VUB activities is not allowed.  

Belgium has not opened it’s borders to people traveling from non-EU countries. VUB follows the Belgian authorities closely and will therefore maintain its currently travel advice, which remains in place until 20 August, until further notice.

For academic year 20-21 VUB cancelled all outgoing student mobility during the first semester to non-EU countries and countries that received code red from the Belgian government.  VUB students are only allowed to go on exchange to a country inside the European Union, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway that are not on the red list of the Belgian government. Students can contact their exchange coordinator to request to move their exchange to the second semester (if allowed by the programme) and/or to change host institution.

 

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Yes. There is a quarantine of 14 days, to be spent in Belgium. No movement is allowed during this period.

The quarantine also applies to students returning or commuting from the neighbouring countries of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany or France to attend exams. These students must apply for a certificate.

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Yes. There is a quarantine of 14 days, to be spent in Belgium. No travel is allowed during this period, not even for work. Teleworking is allowed.

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Students must follow the local guidelines of the country/region if there is a departure advice. Either the guidelines of the Belgian authorities are followed in case of a return advice. The International Relations Office can support students in case of an early return. See also 'Do returning VUB students from abroad have to be quarantined?

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Staff members must follow the local guidelines of the country/region if there is a departure advice. In other words, they must follow the guidelines of the Belgian authorities in the event of a return advice. The International Relations Office can provide support in the event of an early return. See also 'Do returning VUB staff from abroad have to be quarantined?

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Belgium has opened its borders for travel inside the European Union, including the UK, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. This means that students from these countries are allowed to travel to the VUB.

Whether VUB students are allowed to travel to the above-mentioned countries depends on the travel policy of the countries and the travel advice from the Belgian government. Check the website of foreign affairs for the latest updates and travel advice. Traveling to countries on the red list of the Belgian government for VUB activities is not allowed.  

Belgium has not opened it’s borders to people traveling from non-EU countries. VUB follows the Belgian authorities closely and will therefore maintain its currently travel advice, which remains in place until 20 August, until further notice.

For academic year 20-21 VUB cancelled all outgoing student mobility during the first semester to non-EU countries and countries that received code red from the Belgian government.  VUB students are only allowed to go on exchange to a country inside the European Union, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway that are not on the red list of the Belgian government. Students can contact their exchange coordinator to request to move their exchange to the second semester (if allowed by the programme) and/or to change host institution.

 

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Belgium prohibits non-essential travel to specific EU countries. VUB no longer allows traveling to the areas and countries mentioned on the red list of the Belgian government. 

EUROPE

The Belgian government updated the travel policy regarding European countries and no longer allows non-essential travel to all countries and regions in Europe. Keep an eye on the website of the Belgian government to find out of it’s possible to travel to countries within the EU, including the UK and the four other Schengen countries (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway).  If a country or region is on the red list of the Belgian government, students are not allowed to travel to these area’s for VUB activities.

OUTSIDE EUROPE

As far as countries outside the EU are concerned, some restrictions are still in place, but the EU has eased these for several countries. However, the Belgian government decided on 6 July NOT to follow the EU in this decision. VUB follows the Belgian authorities closely and will therefore maintain its currently travel advice, which remains in place until 20 August, until further notice.

Regarding any travel within the EU and to the other Schengen countries, members of staff wishing to travel to these MUST apply for academic leave (via TEO). They must also inform themselves with regards to any specific measure that are in place in terms of supplying a ‘health certificate’ indicating they are covid19-free. Equally, they must respect the instructions that are in place regarding e.g. quarantine in the country of destination, as well as the usual safety measures.

The following is not allowed (for the time being) until 20 August 2020, with the exception of the EU and Schengen countries not on the red list of the Belgian government:

  • Fieldwork abroad
  • Group tours (excursions)
  • Invite a guest lecturer from outside the countries listed above to come to VUB during the defined period above.
  • Study trips, attending conferences, etc. in countries outside those listed above

For all other countries that are not in the lists above, the basic principle remains in place: the VUB will not allow staff or students to travel abroad for study and/or research purposes until 20 August 2020.

Furthermore, our university will of course continue to closely follow the advice of the government with regard to the coronavirus and will continue to align its own measures with these as much as possible in the future.

VUB also decided not to allow non-EU study exchanges for students during the first semester of 2020-2021. The majority of destinations was already on the 'red' list of Flemish universities. For some other destinations, students have an alternative within Schengen.

If you are a staff member and you think you are eligible to apply for an exception to these rules, you can send a motivated request to: international.relations@vub.be.

Please read the terms and conditions of scholarship providers for incoming international scholarship students at VUB

VLIR-UOS

Given the expanding travel ban worldwide, it is not advisable for ICP-scholars to return home. In case they choose to do so, they will have to cover all costs made themselves and make sure to inform the programme coordinators on their plans. The latter is also stipulated in the individual contracts of each scholar.

The scholarship allowance for master students is a lump sum totalling 12 (for the one year programmes) or 24 times (for the two year programmes) the foreseen monthly allowance. The allowance is paid to each scholar independent of the time of graduation. The scholars keep receiving their monthly allowance, even if they would not be in Belgium, allowing for a certain flexibility. The scholarship will not be suspended in case a scholar decides to return home, nor will it be extended.

China Scholarship Council

Students with an CSC scholarship who return home have to contact the Chinese embassy in Belgium. Scholarship matters will be looked at case-by-case. According to the general guidelines, students are entitled to one return flight ticket for their stay at VUB.

Erasmus scholarship

Erasmus students at VUB receive their scholarship from their home university. If you would like to return home, inquire at your home institution for scholarship implications. 

Master Mind scholarships

Information is not yet available.

Other scholarship schemes

Students with a scholarship from their own country or another scholarship should coordinate the possibilities to return home with their scholarship agency.

The following rules apply for outgoing Erasmus+ students whose exchange was impacted due to the Corona virus (Force majeure). To receive the full Erasmus+ scholarship or to receive a compensation for extra costs, you will have to send a signed declaration of honour to exchange.outgoing@vub.be. You will receive this document from us by the end of April. Please take a good look at the situations described below and don’t hesitate to contact the exchange team if you have any questions.

1.  Students who weren’t able to go on exchange

a. This only applies to students whose exchange has been cancelled because of the Corona virus, or who weren’t allowed to travel to their host institution.

b. If you made any expenses that you can’t (partially) reclaim via an insurance or if you aren’t able to cancel your flight ticket/rental agreement, you can apply for a refund via your scholarship. Please send us a proof of your costs and the inability to recover them.

2. Students who returned early

a. Students who had to return early due to the Corona virus will receive their scholarship for the duration of their stay abroad.

b. Students who fulfil one of the requirements below, will receive the full grant amount mentioned in the grant agreement:

i. The student partakes in alternative activities organised by the host institution (e.g. online classes)

ii. The student is unable to (partially) recover costs that are directly and exclusively connected to the cancelled stay (e.g. rent) and proves this with the necessary documentation.

3. Students whose exchange activities have stopped, but that stayed abroad

a. Students receive a scholarship for the period during which academic activities or internship activities took place.

b. Students will receive the scholarship for the foreseen period if they fulfil one of the following requirements:

i. The student partakes in alternative activities organised by the host institution (e.g. online classes)

ii. The student can’t leave because of government regulations (e.g. travel restrictions).

c. Students who are unable to return home at the end of their exchange period due to government regulations (local or in your home country), can apply for financial support for the additional time abroad.

Questions about insurance

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about insurance in the list below.

In case of early return of students from abroad: which costs will be reimbursed (rent, etc.) by the insurance?

Students should consult their personal insurance broker.

Does VUB intervene in the cancellation of travel & accommodation costs of staff members due to the coronavirus?

The VUB BCS travel assistance insurer does not intervene in case of cancellation due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Actions that can be taken:

  • Please contact the travel agency. They may propose to cancel the trip for a limited cost or to rebook the tickets.
  • If necessary, contact the agency that cancelled the activity (for which travel & accommodation expenses were incurred) and check whether and to what extent they reimburse the expenses incurred.

My trip abroad within the framework of an externally financed project will not take place. To which interventions am I entitled?

In this case, be sure to contact the body financing the project or consult their website to see what intervention or solutions they might propose. The VUB BCS travel assistance insurer does not intervene in case of cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Actions that can be taken:

  • If necessary, the travel agency can be contacted. They may propose to cancel the trip for a limited cost or to rebook the tickets.
  • If necessary, contact the agency that cancelled the activity (for which travel & accommodation expenses were incurred) and check whether and to what extent they will reimburse the expenses incurred.

No.  If you, as organizer, took out an event/cancellation insurance yourself, we advise you to contact the insurer. However, there is little chance that the insurance will provide cover in the event of a pandemic.

In case of cancellation of an event you organized, please contact the registered participants, suppliers and other contracting parties.

When events are cancelled, this means that the registration fees have to be refunded to the participants (unless the event is rescheduled and the participant agrees to let the organizer keep the registration fees). However, damages, such as hotel expenses, transport, etc., cannot be claimed back by the participants, since the government has explicitly forbidden events since March 13th and therefore there is a case of force majeure. However, we recommend that you always check the contracts themselves, as situations of force majeure can be contractually extended/limited/...

Financial arrangements will also have to be made with suppliers, which may result in costs having to be paid. Suppliers must be able to provide proof of the costs they have already incurred (incurred before the force majeure situation, 13 March 2020). Only these costs will have to be paid by the organizer. Again, no damages can be claimed as a result of the dissolution of the agreement as there is force majeure at stake (again, read contract for any force majeure clauses).

However, we recommend postponing events (to a date to be determined at a later date) rather than cancelling them.

Vanbreda Risk & Benefits has taken a number of preparatory measures in order to continue to guarantee its services. They recommend using their digital channels: the Vanbreda Health Care app or their Health Care website www.vanbreda-health.be/nl/ for the handling of claims (such as reporting hospitalisation and serious illness, filing medical expenses and other questions). Accessibility by telephone may be limited due to exceptional circumstances and mail distribution could be compromised.

Questions are best asked via the website

If you have not yet signed up for their digital services, you can find all the information you need to register at www.vanbreda-health.be/nl/ik-word-digitaal/. Download their app by scanning the appropriate QR-code:

Questions about personal well-being

Read the answers to frequently asked questions about personal well-being in the list below.

First of all: it is a normal reaction to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, insecurity and even panic when hearing and reading all the news, speculations and measures concerning the corona virus at the moment. Here are some tips to keep it in context and not to worry unnecessarily:

  1. Listen to experts: make sure you have correct facts and look at things from the right perspective. Don't search too much for information about the coronavirus on the internet yourself. Pay special attention to information from credible sources and experts. For example, there is a government website that offers useful and correct information. Also feel free to share this information with your friends and family. Of course, you will also find useful information on this very website.
  2. Stay connected. Maintaining social networks can promote a sense of normality. You can share and discuss feelings and concerns with each other, relieving your stress. Be careful because fear is also contagious. If you talk to a lot to people who are scared, you will become scared yourself. So look for people who are calmer. It will have a more positive effect on you.
  3. Seek additional help. If you are overwhelmed by fear or other long-lasting reactions that influence you negatively, it is best to seek help. You can contact the VUB for professional help by a student psychologist from VUB Student Counselling or an employee of CAW. International students can contact https://www.chsbelgium.org/en/ for a professional chat. VUB staff can contact BRUCC via brucc@vub.be (tel.: 32 (0) 476 600 130).

Feeling confused and anxious about the coronavirus situation? As a student, you can contact the student psychologists at the VUB with your concerns. You can schedule an appointment with a student psychologist via the student website. When making your appointment, you can use the online scheduling tool to indicate your preferred contact method.

The same working method applies to appointments with a Learning Path Counsellor or Study Advisor. If you are in guidance, you can contact your counsellor via email or online tool.

Questions about events

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about events in the list below.

As of 6 July 2020 you can again organise events on VUB campuses. Please keep in mind the strict measures:

  • You can't organise receptions, cantuses or parties yet.
  • You can only organise sitting catering for max. 50 people, by respecting social distancing and service at the table. This is only possible in the open tent (Etterbeek), the restaurant with open windows (Jette) or in open air. You can also involve catering services on campus or elsewhere.
  • You have to create a script, also if you organise the event off campus. Download the template.
  • Events on campus are only allowed if they are requested and approved by Facility Services.
  • Events of external organisations need the approval of their template with safety measures by PRMI. You can still contact them by preventie@vub.be.
  • Find more detailled information in the guidelines events summer 2020 (in Dutch, but asap in English). 

All events not directly related to education or research have been cancelled or postponed until after 6 July.

Did you sign up for an event? Then the organizer of the event will contact you by email to confirm the cancellation. If in doubt, contact the organizer of the event.

The VUB has decided to cancel all non-digital student activities (TD’s, cantussen, rehearsals, meetings in kringlokalen….) until the 6th of July. This means that VUB will not provide facilities (classrooms, kringlokalen…) to organize non-digital activities.

Also, restrictive measures apply for any student activity one may want to organise after 6 July:

  • No receptions or parties may be organised.
  • Only seated catering for a maximum of 50 people is allowed, with respect for social distancing and service at the table, as long as it takes place in the open tent (Etterbeek), the restaurant with open windows (Jette) or in the open air.
  • Only those events requested by employees and internal services by Facility Services and approved by Facility Services are allowed.
  • In addition, external events require the approval of a plan of safety measures by the Prevention and Environment Service (PRMI).

Questions concerning the organisation of the exams

Below you will find frequently asked questions about the organisation of the exams.

You can find all information about the organisation of the exams as a teacher here.

All information about the organisation of the exams can be found under the tab 'For students'.

Unfortunately, given the current situation, the usual mass block study cannot continue. But you can study together remotely! For example, you could create your own virtual study area. There is also a mass block study group on Facebook. And for those who really find it impossible to study at home, a limited number of places will be made available on campus. All info can be found here.

You can get a safety kit (with mouth mask) from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m.: 

  • On campus@Etterbeek: in the white tent
  • On campus@Jette: tent

Attention: 

  • As from Wednesday 1 July, safety kits in Etterbeek will only be available at the Infopoint during the fixed opening hours.
  • As from Monday 29 June, safety kits in Jette will only be available at the GF secretariat (or limited via stewards on campus) during the fixed opening hours.  

Questions about the coronavirus

On the Sciensano site you will find most of the answers to your questions about the coronavirus. Below you will find actions of the VUB regarding the virus.

Right at the start of the crisis, we made sure that the welfare of laboratory animals did not suffer as a result of this epidemic. Animal welfare legislation could be complied with without interruption. Currently, the crisis has not stopped any research projects, but it has slowed them down. Also, compared to normal times, no more animals have been euthanised specifically due to this crisis. There is no abnormal trend in the evolution of the number of cages and experimental animals due to the crisis. The Animalarium is in full readiness to restart ongoing preclinical research and also to support new research on therapeutic avenues to help fight the global pandemic.

Yes, both within the UZ Brussel and within the preclinical research laboratories, research is being done into this pandemic. An overview of the research can be found here: https://vub.be/coronavirus/onderzoek. In the course of this year, projects will also be started in which, with the help of laboratory animals, possible treatments against the virus will be sought.