Coronavirus: faculty measures

(02-04-2020) Below you will find an overview of the faculty guidelines and decisions to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

last update: Thursday 13 August 2020 at 9.25

 

Buildings and grounds

From 8 June, a safe and staged return to the university buildings is possible, but teleworking is recommended if possible.

Specific guidelines have been drawn up for return, which must be strictly adhered to in the interests of everyone's safety:

Access to buildings and car parks

From 6 July, Ghent University buildings will no longer be closed during the day. In addition, the extended access rights that were temporarily granted will be scaled back. The individually granted access rights from before the corona outbreak will be reinstated.

More information about access control at Ghent University can be found at https://www.ugent.be/intranet/en/workplace-buildings/admittance.htm

Face masks

From the 27th of July onwards it is necessary to wear a face mask in communal spaces that are not assigned to a fixed person or group, and where the social distancing rule of 1,5 meters cannot be upheld. Prominent examples of such places are circulatory spaces such as hallways, staircases and foyers or entrance halls.

This decision implies that, starting on the 27th of July, every Ghent University employee, external service provider and visitor must carry a mask with them at all times.

Ghent University views face masks as an essential part of the fight against the corona virus. We wear a face masks both to protect ourselves and others, even though this precaution is and remains solely an extra layer of protection; maintaining the social distancing rule of one and a half meters and regularly washing your hands remain the most effective measures.

Education

JULY 2020

On the basis of consultation between many parties involved, the outlines for the education in 2020-21 were drawn. 
In the coming weeks and months, the faculties and the study programme committees will take care of the concrete elaboration of these outlines.

For staff members: 

  • Onderwijstips.ugent.be has been thoroughly restyled by the central Education Support Staff. The website has been given a better structure, its search function has been optimized, and the existing information for individual lecturers has been supplemented with information for study programmes. Onderwijstips.ugent.be now contains all the information you need to give shape to your high-quality teaching practice in the upcoming academic year 2020-2021. It goes without saying that our Education Support Staff will continue to be at your service, both at faculty and at university level.

 

UPDATE 9 april 2020

Based on current information regarding Zoom's privacy and security issues, it has been decided that the use of 
Zoom is strongly discouraged for educational activities within UGent and the use of Zoom is prohibited for online evaluations/examinations
  • All reservations of classrooms for streaming or lesson recordings are made via bram.vanderbiest@ugent.be; unused classrooms and auditoriums should be cancelled via Centauro.
  • For students, a faculty corona email address (corona.lw@ugent.be) and telephone number (09 264 3945 - open from 8.00 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 16.00) are provided for questions, concerns and possible problems with digital education. See also 'Well-being'.
  • Students have the possibility to apply for a special status due to exceptional social or individual circumstances (via oasis or the helpdesk) if they have problems accessing and/or participating in online education. More information can be found on this page.
  • Deadlines for papers etc. are postponed. This rule should not be read as an absolute rule, but as a possibility in view of feasibility and workability.
  • Information days and all education-related meetings and activities organised by departments and study programmes are cancelled.
  • Research activities carried out for a Bachelor’s and Master's dissertation that require physical activity in the Ghent University buildings must be stopped immediately. Students therefore no longer have access to the Ghent University buildings, not even under the supervision of a Ghent University staff member.

Internships

  • Students are no longer allowed to physically move to their internship.
  • Continuing an internship on the basis of teleworking or via an alternative internship assignment is still possible and strongly recommended. These remote internships can be considered as fully-fledged internships.

Specific regulations for the internships which CANNOT continue remotely

Bachelor’s dissertation

  • Students are no longer allowed to travel to labs, libraries, other Ghent University locations or locations external to Ghent University for their Bachelor’s dissertation.
  • Students should complete their Bachelor’s dissertation on the basis of the available material. If adjustments are required, this will be communicated via Ufora. 
  • Bachelor’s dissertations need to be submitted electronically.
  • The timing that was foreseen for the Bachelor’s dissertations should be adhered to, students should not experience any study delay. Only in exceptional circumstances an individual postponement can be granted, this will be communicated via Ufora. 

Master's dissertation

  • Students are no longer allowed to physically move to labs, libraries, other Ghent University locations or locations external to Ghent University for their Master’s dissertation.
  • The Master’s dissertation must be submitted electronically. Students do not have to submit a paper copy.
  • The faculty may choose to replace the oral defence of the Master's dissertation by videoconferencing, whether or not preceded by an online presentation. The oral defence may also be cancelled provided that the attainment of the study programme competencies (the learning results at study programme level) is not jeopardised by this. 
  • The timing that was foreseen for the Master's dissertations should be adhered to as much as possible, students should not experience any study delay.
  • Clearly communicate any changes via Ufora. Course sheets do not need to be adapted.
  • For those students who, due to the corona measures, have NOT experienced any difficulty for their Master's dissertation with regard to data collection, conducting experiments, consulting source material, etc., all submission deadlines are maintained. Students are maximally encouraged to work on their Master's dissertation and to submit it in time.

Specific regulations

Specific regulations have been worked out for students who, due to the corona measures, HAVE experienced difficulties with regard to data collection, conducting experiments, consulting source material, etc.

Exams

The adapted academic calendar for the second semester of 2019-2020 is based on the assumption that on-campus examinations will be possible from 1 June. A completely new exam schedule will be worked out, guaranteeing social distancing in all exam situations.

More up-to-date information can be found on the central page.

All lecturers, invigilators, supervisors and support staff involved in the organization of the on-campus exams are asked to read the safety procedures for the on-campus exams thoroughly in preparation for these exams.
For lecturers and examination committees: read all info about the corona check

Library

The on campus library services are being expanded.

From Monday 6 July onwards:

  • Borrowing books on request. Titles will be taken off the shelves by the staff and placed at a collection point at the entrance of the library (which wing: Magnel or Loveling?). Books can be collected every day between 9:00 and 17:00.
  • Scans of chapters on request (by mail). Limited number of pages (maximum amount?).
  • Books can be returned by placing them on the book cart at the entrance of the library (Magnel wing- every weekday between 9:00 and 17:00
  • Browsing the stacks and consultation of books in the library itsel, every day between 10:00 and 16:00.

Temporary new online content

Some publishers make (more) online content freely available. New temporary resources are kept up to date in a (English) research tips website Search academic resources in corona times. This page is updated regularly. Always go online via the Ghent University network to access the digital content.

Questions?

Send an email to lib.flw@ugent.be or use the chat function.

International mobility

The National Security Council has decided to open the borders within the European Union and to the United Kingdom, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Iceland from 15 June 2020. As a staff member, you will be able to do business trips to these countries again under certain conditions.

The conditions that must be met in order to go on a mission refer to the restrictive measures in force in many countries and regions. If you are planning a business trip, we request that you consult and strictly follow the corresponding travel advice from the FPS Foreign Affairs (including any restrictive measures that may apply in the country of destination). If in doubt, please contact .

Don't forget to register your travel application in the usual way in SAP and with the FPS Foreign Affairs.

Business trips outside the European Union and outside the United Kingdom, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Iceland are currently impossible and cannot be authorised. In case of a negative travel advice from the FPS Foreign Affairs, as a staff member you can submit a substantiated request for an exception to . You will only be able to schedule the business trip after this application has been explicitly approved. The following basic conditions must always be met:

  • without the business trip, you cannot carry out the planned work;
  • the trip cannot be postponed in any way;
  • you have a security plan tailored to the context of the destination in question (e.g. access to a network or contacts on site, supervision, avoiding certain areas or situations, ...).

See also under Travel policy Ghent University.

Students

The faculty has taken the difficult decision to cancel all outgoing study mobility for semester 1. Students who wish to do so, can move their mobility to semester 2. It is also possible to cancel the exchange completely.

Students involved have been informed via email of the decision and the further steps to be taken.
On the Ufora page of the International Office of the faculty, an adapted FAQ about the exchange in academic year 2020-2021 is available.

In case of questions or doubts, contact the International Office of the faculty. 

Lectures and events

Starting from 16 June 2020, it will again be possible to reserve rooms in Centauro for events within and on Ghent University buildings and grounds that take place from 7 September 2020 onwards. For all applications relating to classrooms, priority is given to scheduling educational activities.

The events can take place taking into account the need for physical distancing, guaranteeing a distance of 1.5 meters from others.

Meetings

Meetings should be organized online as much as possible.

However, it is possible to reserve rooms in Centauro for meetings that take place in Ghent University buildings starting from 6 July 2020 onwards. The usable capacity of the meeting rooms will be adjusted, taking into account the need for physical distancing, guaranteeing a distance of 1.5 meters.

The Board of Governors will always be organized physically. The Department Councils are preferably organized physically (cf. new department regulations). The other governing bodies, permanent (advisory) councils and committees are asked to organize at least half of the meetings online. In this way, the usable capacity of meeting rooms can be used optimally.  For the (advisory) councils and committees listed below, we assume that meetings are held online or in non-centrally managed meeting rooms:

  • Committee programs 
  • Research Council Office  
  • Interfaculty Library Committee
  • Committee for Development Cooperation
  • Policy group Research Transfer   
  • Doctoral Schools Steering Committee
  • Expert group International Relations
  • Workgroup Diversity and Gender 
  • Advisory council on academic heritage and archive  
  • Committee Human Rights Policy

Doctorates

From 10 June 2020 onward, it will be possible to hold public PhD defenses on-campus, subject to a number of guidelines to ensure that they can happen safely.

Online PhD defenses will remain an option until at least the end of the next academic year (2020-2021).

Internal PhD defenses may be held on campus, provided that the "Safely back to work" guidelines are respected.

The Doctoral Schools are taking a number of measures to ensure that doctoral training at Ghent University happens in compliance with University guidelines regarding educational activities and COVID-19. This means that all physical meetings will not take place until the end of the semester. Some courses will be able to go ahead in a digital learning format, but some courses will be postponed until after the summer.

Research

  • The functioning of the Scientific Research Committee (CWO) remains assured. Colleagues can still apply to the Faculty Research Fund, but please take into account the general Corona measures from our faculty/university and the travel advice of Ghent University (in Dutch). The committee will reject applications if there is reasonable doubt that the event can/will take place (safely or effectively). Grants allocated for transfers or events postponed due to the Corona crisis will remain available for up to 18 months after allocation if only the dates of the event change. In all other cases, you will have to submit a new application.
  • Previously awarded grants from the Faculty Research Fund for activities canceled by Corona can be used to meet the costs of the canceled activities. Please limit these costs as much as possible and always check whether (part of) the costs can be recovered (via the travel agency, cancellation insurance, etc). Check whether non-refundable travel tickets can be rebooked, instead of canceling them.
  • The Doctoral Schools have taken various measures regarding their training offer, the doctoral training programme, and the PhD defenses.
  • The 'scan-on-demand' service of the faculty library is now also open to researchers who urgently want to consult certain sources (see section Library on this page).
  • In some cases, a change in the timing or planning of your research may be necessary. This is normal, please stay calm and sensible, and give priority to things that are not hindered by the Corona measures.
  • Important. In some cases, research projects may be delayed due to the Corona measures and some of them may even not be fully implemented. It is recommended to document the impact of the Corona measures on your research projects at a regular base (including reporting, finances, contractual obligations, etc). Please check and follow the agreements made in research contracts with companies (for example regarding force majeure). Once the Corona crisis is over, you will have a good and useful overview of the consequences and urgent needs. Read more / tips.
  • Do not hesitate to contact your supervisor or a colleague (e.g. via Teams). Exchanging thoughts can be very healthy.
  • Some funders have made changes to ongoing call and selection procedures. Some publishers have also temporarily opened certain databases to everyone. This and other relevant research-related information is continuously updated in this overview with tips for researchers (UGent).

Teleworking

Until the end of August all teleworkable tasks must be carried out at home as much as possible. This will not make telework the norm again - performing teleworkable tasks within the Ghent University buildings will not be forbidden. 

From 8 June, a safe and staged return to the university buildings is possible, but teleworking is recommended if possible.

The existing teleworking charters remain in effect. Specific guidelines have been drawn up for return, which must be strictly adhered to in the interests of everyone's safety.

We ask that staff members who telework enter this via Apollo in order to guarantee insurance coverage in the event of any accidents. Telework days need to be registered in the e-HR-calendar.

For employees who do not yet have a telework charter, we ask the supervisor and the employee to sign a charter. If you wish to limit the charter in time to this special situation, you can place the following example sentence in the input field: “This telework charter was drawn up in light of the measures that Ghent University took to introduce maximum telework for all its employees and thus help to slow down the further spread of the coronavirus.” You can find more information about the principles of teleworking on the intranet.

Given the exceptional circumstances, some pragmatics is required. Telework does not exclude day care for your own children. Anyone who is teleworking is responsible for the specific planning and organisation of the agreed work.

Staff members who have activities that cannot be performed via telework and who do not have to be physically present at the workplace to ensure continuity or safety, get service exemption. This service exemption is always granted fully or partially in consultation with the supervisor.

Ghent University staff members who are granted service exemption are expected to diligently keep track of all relevant Ghent University communication (group emails, corona webpage, mails from the supervisor, etc. ).

Financial

The chief logistics administrator indicated that all financial questions, linked to the measures being taken, are currently being bundled (e.g. reimbursement of cancelled conferences or study trips that cannot take place due to the travel ban). A decision will be taken at central level once the nature and the totality of the questions have been identified.

Well-being

Students

Staff

Need help? Questions?