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: Monday 25 May 2020 at 14.30

 

Also keep an eye on the central updates about the coronavirus: https://www.ugent.be/en/news-events/coronavirus-updates.htm

For staff members: all information about distance learning: https://onderwijstips.ugent.be/en/tips/coronamaatregelen-alternatieve-onderwijsactiviteit/

Buildings and grounds

  • All buildings were closed on Friday evening 13 March and will remain completely closed to students.
  • Staff members may only enter with their tag (key ring) for streaming or recording lessons (in designated rooms, by appointment), insofar as this is impossible at home, and for the first assessment of the doctoral dissertation by the relevant Examination Board (the so-called 'internal defence'). The principle of social distancing (i.e. keeping away from each other, minimally 1.5 meters) must be strictly applied.
  • Libraries, workshops, labs, pc classes, ... are therefore no longer accessible to students, not even for work related to their Master's dissertation.
  • All events within and on Ghent University buildings and grounds are cancelled until 4 July. This covers all activities and initiatives, with the exception of those which may be carried out in accordance with the provisions set out at www.ugent.be/en/coronavirus.

Education

UPDATE 20 March 2020

The university board decided on 20 March 2020 to extend the change to online / distance learning until the end of the semester. After the Easter Break, all planned educational activities within the remaining weeks of the second semester will be organised exclusively via distance learning.

During the coming days, the concrete organisation of the educational activities - including permanent evaluations and examinations - will be further elaborated. All students and staff members of Ghent University will be informed about this.

In all decision-making, extensions in time of the study duration, movement of courses in the curriculum of students, changes in course content, ... were avoided as much as possible. Within the bounds of what is practically feasible, permanent evaluation will be retained.

Alternative assignments that can be carried out remotely will be worked out for the second semester practicals.

Concrete information about

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.

Library

The library is closed. All books have been extended until 11 July 2020. Books cannot be returned for the time being.

Scanning service

The library offers a scanning service:

  • Go to https://lib.ugent.be
  • Find your book/magazine and click on 'Request scanned article'
  • Fill in the form

We process applications according to priority:

  1. Lecturers who want to share scans as part of a teaching assignment
  2. Students with a Bachelor’s or Master’s dissertation and researchers
  3. Ghent University students
  4. Externals

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

Until further notice, students of Ghent University cannot be granted permission to travel abroad in the current or next academic year as part of their studies (including work placement, study trips, summer schools, research as part of the master's dissertation).

Furthermore, employees of Ghent University cannot be granted permission to travel abroad within the framework of their Ghent University activities. Exceptions to this rule can only be granted for essential travel; an application can be made via actueel@ugent.be. It should be emphasized that this permission can only be granted (very) exceptionally.

Non-essential trips from abroad to Belgium are currently also not allowed. Therefore, foreign students or colleagues cannot travel to Belgium (or Ghent University in particular) for non-essential activities. Programmes (including work placements, study trips, summer schools, research as part of the master's dissertation) or participation in events (symposia, lectures, etc.) are never considered essential in this context.

At the latest on the first Monday of each month, the situation for the following month will be (re)considered and students and employees who wish to travel internationally will be informed about the possibility or impossibility to do so. Thus, at the latest on Monday 4 May, decisions for travel in June will be communicated; on Monday 1 June for travel in July; etc. Students who applied for an exchange and staff members who applied for a business trip will be informed via actueel@ugent.be.

Meetings

  • All meetings should be online. If this is not possible, they will be postponed or cancelled. Study and business trips will also be postponed or cancelled.

Doctorates

  • Internal defences are now one of the exemptions to the teleworking measures: they may go ahead, but only on the strict condition that everyone maintains a distance of 1.5m from each other, and follows the general hygiene precautions. Until 31 May (until further notice), internal defences may also take place in an entirely digital format, via videoconferencing.
  • Public defences are not one of the exemptions to the teleworking measures. As such, until 31 May (until further notice) public doctoral defences may only take place in an entirely digital format. On the Covid-19 page of the doctoral schools you will find a manual to live-stream a public defence using Ufora’s webinar functionality.
  • Doctoral defences may be postponed, provided that the doctoral candidate consents to postponement. This principle as stipulated in Article 97 §1 in the Education and Examination Code (OER) continues to apply.
  • 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.

You can find up-to-date information on the website of the Doctoral Schools.

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).

Maximum teleworking

Telework is the norm for all staff members and all activities.

Only a few exceptions are permitted:

  • Streaming or recording classes (in designated classrooms, by appointment), to the extent it is impossible to do this from home,
  • The first assessment of the doctoral dissertations by the relevant Examination Board (the so-called 'internal defence').

Only in these cases may a staff member enter the faculty buildings. Access with your tag (key ring), not with your personnel card. Moreover, the above activities can only take place on condition that the principle of social distancing (i.e. keeping away from each other, minimally 1.5 meters) can be applied with absolute strictness. This is of the utmost importance and no exceptions are permitted. It is up to the supervisors and persons in charge to assess the feasibility of social distancing, in the strictest sense of the word, and of the observance of all relevant guidelines.

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?