Information on coronavirus

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve at international and national levels. VIVES closely monitors the situation, always taking into account the advice of the government and in close consultation with KU Leuven. You will find the latest updates on this webpage.

Distance education until 18 May, then low-contact education

When the measures relating to the coronavirus came into force, we were faced with many questions. Our priority, as a University of Applie Science, was to continue our educational activities as soon as possible.

The transition to distance learning took place despite all the good intentions, sometimes with trial and error. A University of Applied Sciences also learns every day. This transition to "learning from home" was not easy for you, we realize that only too well. We are proud of the way each of you has bridged this first period.

Last week, the universities announced that until the end of the academic year they will only teach digitally. A University of Applied Sciences distinguishes itself from a university by its connection with practice and the professional field. For this reason, the thirteen Flemish university colleges take a slightly different approach together, and this in your interest.

Until 18 May 2020, we will continue to focus exclusively on distance learning. Because of our many practical courses, but also for internships, labs, workplace learning and exams, contact moments are necessary. We foresee that from Monday 18 May low-contact education will become possible. This means that from then on, and if the government allows us to do so, courses at our campuses will again be possible for those parts of your ISP for which this is strictly necessary. Of course, the rules regarding social distancing and hygiene will continue to apply.

By using the rest of the academic year for this purpose as optimally and flexibly as possible, we'll try to find a suitable planning for each of you. Together with your lecturers, study and programme counsellors, internship supervisors and coordinators, we will start working on this as of today. We will now get to work.

Update: 25 March 2020

New public life containment measures

All physical internships will be stopped, with the exception of:

  • third and fourth year internships in Nursing and third year internships in Midwifery. These traineeships will continue under the strict conditions as communicated today by the training courses. After all, the healthcare sector can now use all the help it can get;
  • other work placements in the welfare sector within the field of Applied Social Studies for students who are willing to do so;
  • remote internships.

All campuses are closing. The support (Student Support Offices, teachers, study and route guidance, internship guidance, ...) will continue digitally.

Students who are still abroad are still urged to return. This general rule will be deviated from if the safety and security of their return cannot be guaranteed. We will keep in touch with these students.

Remote lessons and digital learning will take place. It will become clear that - in view of the situation - we as a University of Applied Sciences will have to deal with changes in the learning outcomes in a flexible manner during a final assessment of a course or a programme of study. On the one hand, certain work placements, practical assignments, projects, etc. will be cancelled. On the other hand, it is also our social task to ensure that your study progress continues. Your lecturers are fully working this out at the moment. We must give you the opportunity to complete your programme during this special time, if necessary in an alternative way.

All planned exams until 20 April 2020 will not take place. This applies to both the exams in daytime education and the exams in distance education.

Update: 18 March 2020

Return of students and colleagues abroad

The world is changing fast. It has become impossible to predict which countries will become risk areas. In addition, more and more 'safe' countries are starting to close their borders preventively. Students and colleagues abroad therefore risk getting stuck or are already stuck.

VIVES therefore recommends the following guidelines.

  • It is best to return, regardless of the country you are in.
  • As in previous days, each student and teacher will be contacted individually. VIVES tries to focus as much as possible on supporting the return.
  • If you are unable to return for the time being (such as if you are stuck in transit), VIVES will support you as much as possible psychologically and practically from a distance.

Update: 15 March 2020

VIVES suspends all classes until 19 April 2020

The coronavirus has an important impact on our daily lives. VIVES University of Applied Sciences closely monitors the situation in cooperation with the authorities. Every day, a team meets with our management to analyse the situation and to evaluate the measures taken and, if necessary, to adjust or extend them. On the basis of the new decisions of the Belgian National Security Council, VIVES University of Applied Sciences has tightened up the measures previously announced.

Educational activities

All physical teaching activities (classes and labs) will be completely cancelled until 19 April 2020 (last day of the Spring Break). VIVES tries as much as possible to replace the lessons with online lessons and alternative forms of education. At the latest Tuesday March 17, 2020, you will receive a message via Toledo with all information about how each course unit of your ISP will be organized in the coming weeks.

In a number of cases, it will no longer be possible to teach or evaluate a course unit as described in the ECTS file. If this is the case, your instructor will publish a supplement to the ECTS file before the Easter holidays on Toledo. The Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER) of VIVES University of Applied Sciences allow this in case of force majeure. We ask you to read this thoroughly for each course unit of your ISP.

Exams

Exams continue to take place and are organized digitally as much as possible. If you have exams in the next three weeks, you will be informed by your lecturer at the latest next week on Tuesday 17 March 2020 about the form of the exam. Examinations for distance learning students will take place as planned.

Internships and workplace learning

Internships and workplace apprenticeships also continue. The decision to terminate  an internship or workplace learning is made by the company, organisation or school you work for. Do you have a personal reason why you should not continue your internship? Please contact your internship supervisor or workplace supervisor. Counselling is done online or by phone as much as possible.

Excursions and internships abroad

Study trips and excursions in Belgium and abroad between now and the end of Spring Break no longer take place. Planned internships abroad between now and the end of Spring Break have been cancelled. For students who are already abroad, the college examines for each student whether a return is necessary.

We fully realize that these measures are exceptional, but this is an exceptional situation and as VIVES we find it important that we take our responsibility here, for our students, for our staff, for our families and for the society to which we belong. We thank you for your understanding.

Update: 13 March 2020

Travel restrictions

All excursions and excursions at home and abroad up to and including the Easter holidays no longer take place. This also applies to internships abroad. For students who are already abroad, the University of Applied Sciences examines for each student whether a return is necessary. 

Currently, the following travel advice applies to countries where the Corona virus is strongly present: 

China

  • All trips to China will be cancelled for the time being.
  • Everyone staying in the region has been asked to return.
  • China is included in the list of at-risk countries.
  • At the moment we do not allow incoming mobilities (teachers/students).

Italy, Madrid, Basque Country and La Rioja (Spain), Iran and South Korea

  • Currently we do not allow incoming mobilities (teachers/students).
  • Student and/or staff trips to these high-risk areas will be cancelled for the time being.
  • Long-term stays (for internship & study) in these at-risk areas are not recommended.

The University of Applied Sciences keeps a close eye on developments. Adjustments are always published as soon as possible.

Last update: March 12, 2020

Preventive measures

Meanwhile, the virus has also spread to various places in Europe, which was expected and almost inevitable. This is no cause for concern: the authorities and health services are ready to receive, care for and isolate any patients. 

What can you do yourself to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (and other diseases such as flu)?

  1. Be sure to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly (40 to 60 sec.) with soap and water.
  2. Do you have to cough? Put it in a paper handkerchief or in the inside of your elbow.
  3. Use paper handkerchiefs when sneezing or sniffing and throw them away in a lockable bin.
  4. Avoid giving hands. Greet each other with a wave or elbow.
  5. Be sure to stay home when you are sick. Don't go to work or school.
  6. Avoid close contact with sick people yourself.
  7. Try to be careful not to touch your face with your hands as much as possible.

In the light of recent developments, we advise students and staff who were recently in a high-risk region not to participate in VIVES activities (i.e. to study/work from home) and to monitor their health during the 14 days following their return home. If you become ill, it is best to contact your family doctor by telephone as soon as possible.

More tips and advice about the coronavirus can be found at https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/ . If you have any questions, you can also call the federal call centre on 0800 14 689.

Last update: March 3, 2020

Symptoms of disease

In case of symptoms such as fever, feeling generally unwell, dry cough and shortness of breath, contact your doctor as soon as possible. In this case, stay at home as well. If you suffer from these symptoms and you have recently returned from a high-risk region, or if you have had personal contact with someone who has recently returned from a high-risk region, you should preferably first contact your doctor by telephone, explicitly mentioning your stay in a high-risk region or your contact.

More information