“Code Red at Flemish unis and polytechnics till end of February”

Flemish education minister Ben Weyts (nationalist) has decided that Flemish universities and bodies of advanced higher education will continue to operate using distance learning at least until the end of February. 

The decision means that the measures introduced in Flemish higher education and valid at this moment will continue to apply at least till the end of February.  Following the forthcoming exam period students will commence their second semester under Code Red provisions.  Only essential practice can be taught on campus.

The decision has been motivated by a continued need for precaution.

“Many lecturers and students had hoped relaxations would kick in sooner, but they do not want a yoyo situation.  If we relax too early, probably we will then have to reverse the relaxations very quickly.  The best thing is to stick it out for a little longer to allow durable relaxations.  At present the situation is too precarious.”

The continued application of Code Red is a decision taken jointly with the universities and seats of advanced higher education.  

“We took this decision together because we all wanted to give students and staff certainty about the start of the second semester” says Tine Dezeure of Ghent University.  “In this way we won’t have to change gear at the last minute.”

Ghent University has decided to apply Code Red restrictions till 21 March.

Under Code Red lecture theatres can’t be used at unis and are replaced by distance learning.  Lessons in smaller groups aren’t possible either.  Practise can go ahead with all places occupied and everybody masked.

At schools of advanced higher education no more than 10% of students may be present on campus at one time.  Lessons in smaller groups are not possible.  Practice is possible though everybody must be masked.

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