“Face coverings mandatory in many settings at Leuven University”

Students at Flemish universities and schools of advanced education will be able to attend fulltime face-to-face lessons from the start of the new academic year.  Face coverings will be obligatory in all settings in Brussels.  There is no such general rule in Flanders though Leuven University rector Sels explains face coverings will remain mandatory in many settings at his university.

At Flemish universities and schools of advanced learning in Brussels face coverings remain obligatory in lecture theatres and in class, while the vaccination of students on or near the campus will be encouraged. The decision on the exact modalities of teaching in the Belgian and Flemish capital was postponed due to the epidemiological situation.

Earlier it was decided that face-to-face teaching at unis and schools of advanced learning in Flanders could start without the face covering requirement.  Each seat of learning can take account of the local situation and introduce extra measures if need be.

Luc Sels, Leuven university rector and outgoing chair of the Flemish Interuniversity Council: “We can start with normal attendance levels of 100%.  Everybody is welcome on campus, but lessons will still be available online where it’s feasible and can be justified from the learning perspective.”

“In Brussels face coverings are required in all circumstances, even when you are seated in a lecture hall. There’s a high chance we will continue to do this in many of our lecture halls and classes at Leuven University in Leuven and elsewhere. Where you can’t physically distance, where students are packed in next to each other, where there is no automatic or mechanical ventilation, there face coverings will be mandatory at the start of the semester.”

“A focus on ventilation is equally important.  We have invested in CO2 meters.  Our lecturers have been given instruction on their use.”

Unvaccinated students will also be able to get the jab in university cities and won’t necessarily have to attend a centre at their domicile address. Foreign students too will meet an approach tailored to their situation.

“Lower attendance in person, face coverings, ventilation and the vaccination drive all give us the feeling we can take a step that is justified and needed.  It’s an important decision for our students, who were asked to make great sacrifices over the past 18 months.”

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