Special status during the corona crisis

The corona crisis is a challenge for us all, but it entails additional difficulties for a number of specific student target groups. Ghent University is concerned about the wellbeing of all its students and offers the possibility to apply for special status to students who meet certain criteria.

Students with special status can be granted extra teaching or exam facilities or logistic support for their participation in online teaching.

Who Can Apply?

Students Belonging to the High-Risk Group for Medical Reasons

  • Students with the following conditions (defined in the document “Return to work safely” from the Ghent University Health and Safety Office, Safety Department) have an increased risk of developing serious symptoms after infection with the SARS-CoV-2:
    • History of cardiovascular diseases: high blood pressure with complications (thrombosis or narrowing of blood vessels), stroke, heart attack, narrowing of coronary arteries, cardiac surgery, severe heart failure.
    • Diabetes, which is poorly regulated or with complications such as inflammation of nerves, blood vessels or eye problems.
    • Chronic lung problems with lung impairment (FVC40kg/m2)
    • Chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis
    • Cancer under treatment
    • Persons with a congenital or acquired immunity problem: medication: chemotherapy, immunosuppressant, biologicals, long-term cortisone, HIV infection not under control, after transplantation, during treatment for malignant blood disease
    • Heavy liver cirrhosis
    • Morbid obesity (BMI >40kg/m2)
  • If you belong to this group, submit an application for special status on the grounds of disability. These students will be given specific facilities related to the corona conditions. Important: It is not forbidden for these groups to attend classes, but you must pay attention and strictly follow the rules of distance, mask wearing and hygiene.

 

Students Belonging to the High-Risk Group Because of Their Age

 

Students in quarantine

  • If there are compulsory on campus teaching activities during the quarantine period, you can apply for a special status. You need a certificate from a doctor or contact tracer or the form you received after completing the Passenger Locator Form (PLF). You can also submit a "Declaration on honour", but not for evaluations or exams.
  • If you have to take exams during the quarantine period, you can apply for a special status, an official quarantine or doctor's certificate is required. The facility granted in this case, entails the possibility of either rescheduling the exam to the time of the catch-up exam or replacing an on campus exam by an online exam during the quarantine period. However this is not a right but a favour granted by the responsible lecturer.

Exception: If you stayed more than 48 hours in a red zone, you may interrupt the imposed quarantine for the purpose of taking exams (and of course only for this purpose). More information on https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/news/occ-30-12/.
In order to be able to demonstrate that this exception applies in the event of any inspections by the authorities, it is best to bring your student card and a printout of your exam schedule with you when you leave for an exam.

THIS EXCEPTION APPLIES ONLY WHEN YOU RETURN FROM A RED ZONE. If you are in quarantine due to contact with an infected person YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO participate in on Campus Exams.

For whom is this special status not intended

Students infected with or recovering from the coronavirus

You don’t have to apply for a special status, you can follow the normal procedure foreseen for illness or force majeure. You can find all the information on the page: What should I do in case of illness or force majeure?

 

Students with a medical condition or health problems that are not included in the list of risk groups above.

  • In the case of chronic diseases, you may be eligible for a special status based on disability. These students do not receive any specific facilities related to the coronary conditions.
  • Increase your vigilance and strictly follow the rules of distance, mouth masks and hygiene.
  • You can follow the educational activities and take exams (online and on campus). Ghent University has made every effort to make the exams, lessons and practicals as safe as possible.
  • If you still experience situations in which physical is not possible (e.g. for specific internship assignments or practicals), you can contact the Student & Disability Contact Point to add specific facilities related to the COVID19 conditions.

 

Students who live together with people belonging to a risk group.

  • If you live together with someone who belongs to a high-risk group, you must show increased vigilance and strictly follow the rules of distance, mouth masks and hygiene.
  • You can follow the educational activities and take exams (online and on campus). Ghent University has made every effort to make the exams, lessons and practicals as safe as possible.
  • If you still experience situations in which physical distancing is not possible (e.g. for specific internship assignments or practicals), you can apply for a special status based on exceptional social or individual circumstances for these specific situations.

 

Exceptional measure for face mask, hand gel or soap

  • Are you, for medical reasons, required to wear your own personal face mask during the exam or are there medical reasons why you should be exempted from contact with hydro-alcoholic sanitising gels or particular types of soap?
  • Have your doctor fill out this certificate and bring it along to your exam or lessons.

 

Students experiencing problems accessing and/or participating in Online Education

  • Students who don't own a pc or have no internet access can contact the for support.

Students staying abroad

  • Students who do not plan to return to Ghent University after they travelled to their home country, are not guaranteed to be able to take all exams online. For some exams, an online alternative will be possible or feasible. For other exams, an online alternative will not be possible and students are expected to be present on campus to participate in the exams. It is the authority of the lecturer to decide whether an online alternative is possible or not.

How to Apply?

You can apply for special status via OASIS. In the menu on the left-hand side, go to “special status” and add a brief explanation to your application. Wherever possible, substantiate your application with relevant (medical) documents.

PLEASE NOTE: the deadlines on the website are not applicable during this force majeure period. We do insist however that you  submit your application for special status as soon as possible.

Why Apply?

Students who have special status because of corona conditions can be granted facilities.

Facilities can only be granted if lecturers can guarantee that those facilities will not interfere with a valid and balanced assessment of the learning outcomes/final competencies.

Examples of possible facilities:

  • Postponing a paper submission deadline;
  • Rescheduling an exam, either within or without the regular exam period;
  • Allowing a student to take the exam in a separate room;
  • Using a different assessment method, e.g. an online oral exam instead of a written exam;
  • Finding an alternative date for a feedback session;
  • Allowing a student to take an online exam on-campus in a specifically designated room;
  •  …

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