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Leuven University implements Code Red

Leuven University has decided to switch to Code Red on 3 November.  The move means that there will be few physical lessons or lectures and that most university education will revert to remote learning and will occur online.  The decision’s been taken as Belgium’s corona crisis widens.

The university believes Code Red restrictions will remain in place until Christmas.

For students and staff Code Red means that remote learning becomes the norm.  Only when online teaching isn’t possible will there be physical contacts and will physical lessons go ahead.

The university is making an exception for first years: the university’s goal is to allow freshers to attend as many lessons as possible in person amid Covid restrictions.

Training sessions and lessons that cannot be organised online, e.g. practices in labs or involving specialised equipment like computers will still go ahead on campus.

Rector Luc Sels: “Pressure on the health system is increasing strongly.  We must try to stem the spread of the virus as much as possible.  We want to keep physical lessons going for first years and provide as much support as possible.  Lessons for first years will be organised under the Code Orange regime”.

Code Red is also being implemented at Hasselt University.

Also in Leuven second and third grades of secondary schools will switch to partial remote learning after the extended half-term break.

The Brussels Free University (VUB) and Ghent University are already operating under Code Red conditions. Only Antwerp University is sticking to a re-enforced version of Code Orange, a more relaxed regime. All Flemish seats of advanced education must at least operate under Code Orange conditions from the half-term break, but can introduce even stricter measures if they so wish.

In practice, for universities Code Red means more or less reverting to the situation implemented during the lockdown in March and April: hardly any physical contacts on campus.  Lecture theatres will not be used and are replaced by remote learning.  Lessons in small groups will not go ahead and are replaced by remote learning. Practices may go ahead: full capacity is possible with everybody wearing face coverings.   

At polytechnics campus capacity is limited to 10% of students at any one time.  Group lessons are replaced by remote learning.  Practices may go ahead: full capacity is possible with everybody wearing face coverings.   

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