Coronavirus: info and guidelines for students pharmaceutical sciences

(12-03-2020) The Covid-19 epidemic is rapidly spreading across the world. We ask all students of the faculty of Pharmaceutical sciences to read and follow the Ghent University guidelines.

Coronavirus: info and guidelines for students pharmaceutical sciences

Latest update 18-03-2020 at 21h

The Covid-19 epidemic is rapidly spreading across the world. We ask all students of the faculty of Pharmaceutical sciences to read and follow the Ghent University guidelines.

UPDATE 18/03/2020

Ghent University tightens corona policy



See for all information concerning Ghent University corona policy. The information on this webpage will be updated regularly.

To reduce the spread of the corona COVID-19 virus as much as possible, and to protect our healthcare system to the fullest, the government, the UGent and the faculty has adopted a number of measures.

A word of explanation. 

The Covid-19 pandemic progresses comparable to a serious flu epidemic. The Belgian healthcare system can cope with a flu epidemic but everything which would exceed the latter, would result in overloading the system. This is the main reason  why it is important that every citizen joins in the effort to limit the further spread of the corona virus.


These measures are important and necessary. However, each and every one of us has an important role to play as well.

Please make note of the preventive hygienic measures below and closely follow the updates that will be posted on the UGent-page on corona

  • Cough hygiene: if you sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable paper tissue and throw it away afterwards
  • If you do not have disposable paper tissues, then sneeze against your arm, not in your hands
  • Avoid to shake hands when meeting and greeting others
  • Apply good hand hygiene: thoroughly wash your hands with water and soap or disinfect them with a hand gel on the basis of alcohol.
  • Be on the watch out for symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath ... Contact your GP (general practitioner) by telephone when these symptoms manifest themselves
  • When feeling sick, stay at home and away from persons that have an increased risk for COVID-19 infections, e.g. people older than 60 years, people which are already sick, and people with a  chronic disease.

In addition, please take your responsibility, contribute to the containment of this epidemic by communicating and explaining the precaution measurements within your own social network.


General information

Info day for new students

The Info day of March 18 is canceled.

Dies Natalis

The celebration of Dies Natalis, on Friday March 20 is canceled.
Employees do retain their service exemption.


Lectures and practical exercises

For the FFW bachelor and master classes, all lectures are suspended starting as of March 13, 2020 and at least up to the Easter holiday, and will be replaced by digital/alternative teaching methods. Video/audio captures of classes will be made available, or alternatively and where possible, classes will be organized live using streaming (with the actual classes being given before an empty auditorium). More information will be made available, course by course, on the Ufora platform.
All practical exercises implying physical presence at the faculty are suspended until further notice, and, are replaced by alternative assignments as much as possible.

Avoid delay. Watch the available material in time.


Work placements

Pharmacy students currently fulfilling their work placement for the course “Work placement with integrated pharmaceutical knowledge” are a group of special interest. It is very important that these students rigorously comply with the instructions of Ghent University and with the local instructions on their workplace (i.e. the community pharmacy they are assigned to). In the interest of your own health, the health of your colleagues, and public heath, it is of utmost importance that all precautions regarding hygiene and prevention are applied carefully. In this respect, we want to emphasize that all work place students who feel ill, or that present symptoms, need to take responsibility by staying home for at least 7 days. This in order to protect all others and to prevent further spread of the virus. Please notify the work placement coordinator ( without any delay when this situation occurs.

We also want to draw our students’ attention on their responsibilities in relation to public health and to their work placement pharmacy. We also specifically ask to comply with all precautions issued by Ghent University, by the government or by common sense in their private lives.

You can find some relevant information for health care professionals on the following website:

We consider pharmacy students fulfilling their work placement for the course “Work placement with integrated pharmaceutical knowledge” as both student and public health care provider. In these challenging times, we would like to appeal to your feeling of responsibility with regards to your (current and future) role in health care.

 For more details on specific measures taken, students and work placement pharmacists are referred to the Ufora course site of the course “Work placement with integrated pharmaceutical knowledge” or to the work placement coordinator, Inge Van Tongelen (


Bachelor thesis

All activities relating to the Pharmaceutical Bachelor Thesis follow the same guidelines as the practical exercises implying physical presence at the faculty.

This means that they are suspended until further notice, and students are not expected in the laboratories.


Master thesis

Ghent University is taking responsibility to help slow down the further spread of the coronavirus.  Because of that the university and our faculty are strictly following the recommendations of the government.

For you as a student doing your master thesis, this means that starting Monday 15/03 at least until 19/04 (the end of Easter holidays) you will have to stop all practical/experimental work on your master thesis if it requires physical presence and/or contact with other people (e.g. patients). This measure applies to all students, regardless of the place where the master thesis work is carried out (university laboratory, external partner/ firm or foreign partner).  Work that can be done remotely  (for example analysis of data sets, telephone or online surveys, tele-conferences, ...) can be continued to the extent that is feasible.

This also applies to Erasmus students. As Ghent University we have a responsibility to our students, as well, if not more, if they are working at one of our partner institutions. The situation throughout Europe is at the point where we need to put the public health above our individual aspirations. This does not mean that we want all Erasmus students to return home. This remains your own decision, except in certain regions (see previous communication) where the return was already requested. If and when the situation improves, some of you may be able to go back to work at the Erasmus place.

You are advised to contact your promotor at Ghent University to discuss how you can perform useful work during this period. In many cases, this will result in shifting the focus of your master thesis from the originally planned experimental research to a literature study, or a combination of both.

UPDATE 18/03/2020

When converting your thesis to a (partial) literature study, you obviously no longer have to comply with the guidelines on the structure of the manuscript (Introduction, Objectives, Material and Methods, ...), as given during the information session. Feel free to use an alternative, more appropriate layout in consultation with your Ghent supervisor, but  do respect the limit of 50 pages!

As an alternative to the planned midterm evaluation, you should regularly contact your UGent promoter

- if you have questions concerning the content

- to inform him/her about the progress of your thesis

If the situation normalises by 20/04, it is possible that the experimental work can be continued. This too should be decided in consultation with your supervisor at Ghent University.

We are in a very unusual situation, which calls for a certain flexibility of everyone, not in the least of your professors. Off course this unusual state of affairs will be held into account when assessing your master thesis.

Annelies Cornelis ( is the point of contact for international students and Erasmus students abroad.


Doctoral defenses

UPDATE 18/03/2020

Please consult the webpages of Doctoral Schools.



The Faculty Department on Educational Affairs is closely following the developing events and will, in cooperation with the central UGent Educational Affairs Department, communicate as quickly as possible any changes or practical arrangements regarding the courses that have been suspended. The faculty and its members will be highly flexible regarding specific educational matters, and realize this is an exceptional situation beyond normal control. Students will be informed in due time of the decisions taken.


Maximise telework

UPDATE 18/03/2020

The faculty’s general services (dean’s office, FDO, tutoring, student administration) are teleworking and remain available for telephone calls and via email.



The Health Care Knowledge center Gent is closed. Follow their facebook page for more information.


The measures detailed above apply at least up until the end of the Easter holiday.


We also ask you to read:


Finally: as a student of our faculty, and health professional prospective, you are well placed to contribute to the reduction of the epidemic by communicating and explaining the precautions within your own social network.