Coronavirus: Updates and FAQs

Last change on Wednesday 18 November: information following press conference about studying and working until the end of the year.

11/18/2020 | 10:59 AM

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- Frequently asked questions
- Information for international students
- Working in times of corona
- Studying in times of corona
- Exams with online proctoring
- Updates: archive


The flyers below give an overview of the rules that currently apply on campus for visitors, staff and students. Extensive protocols for teaching and research are published on VUnet.

Beeld campusprotocol - Welcome to VU Amsterdam
Visit the VU campus
Beeld campusprocotol - Working at VU Amsterdam
Working at VU Amsterdam
Beel campusprotocol - Studying at VU Amsterdam
Studying at VU Amsterdam


VU Amsterdam is monitoring the situation surrounding the coronavirus closely and will post updates here when they affect our education, research and business operations.



The adjustment of the corona measures announced yesterday by the central government does not affect higher education and previously taken decisions:

·         The planned educational activities will continue
·         Working from home and studying at home remains the norm, unless there is no other option. For tips on working from home go to and for studying at home to If you come to VU Amsterdam for a permitted activity, please follow the guidelines for working and studying on campus
·         For meetings and events, this applies until the end of 2020:
         -  All PhD defenses will take place online
         -  Orations will be given online and farewell speeches will be postponed
         -  There will be no physical graduation ceremonies



Second semester: on campus and online education
Our education will continue in the second semester as it is now: a combination of on campus and online education.

We would obviously like to provide more physical education, at the same time safety is paramount and the available space on campus is limited due to the corona measures. This means that, as long as the situation allows, we will make room on campus for small-scale education, study and student guidance. Much of the education will be provided online.

Examinations are also conducted remotely in the second semester. We want to ensure that all examinations can continue and that study delays are avoided, even if the measures are tightened up. That is why we will continue to use various options, including online proctoring.

Binding study advice
In the past academic year, issuing a ‘binding study advice’ (BSA) was postponed. In an uncertain year, universities gave the first-year students extra opportunity to obtain the minimum number of credits. All universities, including VU Amsterdam, keep data on the progress students are making in their degree programmes. These data reveal that there was hardly any study delay last year. On the basis of these research data, we do not expect significant study delays in the current academic year as well, since nearly all teaching activities are being offered to first-year students: on campus and online. That is why this year at VU Amsterdam, as at the other universities in the Netherlands, the usual BSA regulation will be maintained and there will be no postponement.

We will, however, continue to closely monitor the teaching activities on offer and students’ study progress. If necessary, in consultation with the Programme Committee, specific degree programmes may decide to show leniency to their first-year students by taking a related measure. If a degree programme decides to do so, we will notify students before 1 February 2021. In addition, within the existing arrangements, it remains possible to grant postponement in individual cases where students are disproportionately affected.



The number of infections in the Netherlands and in the Amsterdam region is decreasing. This is good news and partly thanks to everyone who sticks to the rules to contain the coronavirus. Only together will we get corona under control!

Nevertheless, during the press conference last night, the government announced a number of stricter measures to ensure that the number of corona virus infections will decrease more than is currently the case. What do these stricter measures mean for VU Amsterdam?

Planned educational activities will continue
The measures taken by the government do not affect higher education. The planned educational activities on campus will continue and for these activities students have no travel restrictions to come to campus.

For studying on campus, the appeal to students remains: If you can study at home, then do so and do not come to VU Amsterdam. Please visit for tips on how to do this in a good and healthy way.

Meetings and events
After the press conference of 13 October, meetings such as promotions and certification were postponed for four weeks. These measures will be extended until the end of 2020. This means the following:

  • All promotions will take place online. The beadle will contact the people involved about this
  • Orations are given online and farewell lectures are postponed
  • Until the end of 2020 there will be no physical graduation ceremonies

Working on campus
During the press conference even more emphasis was placed on reducing the number of travel movements. Therefore, we reiterate our urgent appeal to all employees to work from home, unless there is really no other option. See for tips on how to do this in a good and healthy way.

If you do come to VU Amsterdam, please note the basic and campus rules and take your employee or student card with you. This can be requested upon entry. Also keep in mind that you have to wear a face mask in the buildings and keep a distance of one and a half meters to others at all times.



The government did not announce any new measures in the press conference last night. The measures announced a fortnight ago do not change at this moment.

This does not change anything for VU Amsterdam either for now. Should the figures give reason to do so in the near future, the government will announce additional measures in a new press conference. We will then consider what this means for VU Amsterdam. If anything changes for the current situation at VU Amsterdam, we will share this with students and staff via this page.

We would like to stress once again that we have a great responsibility in reducing the number of infections more quickly. In order to maintain current opportunities on campus, it is essential that students and staff adhere to the guidelines for working and studying on our campus, as well as to the basic rules in their private lives. Check the GGD website to see what you need to do if you or someone in your area has become infected.

If we fail to abide by these rules, there’s a good chance that the central government will decide that there should be a complete switch to online education again and that location-based research has to be shut down. This would be a major step backwards. It is crucial that our education and location-based research can continue and that our teachers, researchers and support staff who are needed can safely carry out their work. Therefore, our urgent appeal to staff and students to study and work at home, unless there is really no other option, still stands.



Contact and frequently asked questions
What are the consequences of the coronavirus for working and studying at VU Amsterdam? Read our frequently asked questions. The FAQ will be updated as soon as there is new information to share. If your question is not listed, employees and students of VU Amsterdam can contact their information points

Information about the new coronavirus
You can find the most up-to-date information about the new coronavirus on the website of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The RIVM is monitoring the situation in the Netherlands and has a questions & answers page available about the coronavirus. VU Amsterdam is following the advice of the RIVM closely, together with other Dutch universities.

The central government has introduced an app that warns you after you've been near someone with coronavirus: CoronaMelder.

Travelling abroad
Consult the FAQ page if you have a question about travelling abroad on behalf of VU Amsterdam. Everybody is advised to visit the websites of the central government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for general guidelines and travel advice before departing abroad.