Ghent University moves to Code Red

Ghent University UGent is switching to Code Red starting 26 October.  The news means that as many lectures as possible will be given online. Only exercises that can’t be staged online will proceed on campus.

In Code Red students are instructed no longer to visit the campus or lecture theatres except for exercises and practice. Lectures will be taught online.  The Code Red is being implemented for at least 4 weeks.

Ghent University was one of three Flemish universities to start the academic year under Code Orange. That meant restrictions to capacity in lecture theatres.

Rector Rik Van de Walle explained the university was giving ten days’ notice of Code Red in order to allow ‘mental preparation’ for the switch.  Logistic re-orientation too is required.  Rector Van de Walle said UGent had no choice: “We have to be responsible and protect students and staff.”

Lectures will not proceed in lecture theatres on campus.  Exercises and practice that can’t be organised online will go ahead on campus amid stringent safety measures.  “Apart from that as few students and staff on campus as possible” the rector added.

“Corona figures and indicators are heading in the wrong direction and that’s a bit of an understatement.  We consulted the experts and they agree and recommended Code Red.  We will relax when we can, but it doesn’t look likely this will happen soon. Then we’ll have to extend Code Red.”

“Exams in January will proceed in corona secure circumstances with limited presence on campus and partly online.  I would like to emphasise there will be no delay to students’ leaning. We will organise everything that can be organised online in that fashion.  If it’s not possible we’ll do it at the university.”

Code Orange will soon apply at all other Flemish universities.  VUB Brussels is considering Code Red too.

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