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Studying and teaching at UCF during the second COVID-19 wave

12 November 2020

With the second COVID-19 wave going on, you might wonder what education at UCF looked like in the past months and how we will continue during Winter. In this news item we want to give you more insight in how both staff and students have coped with and are currently dealing with the ongoing pandemic.

Hybrid education model: offline or online by choice
In the model of hybrid education that we used from September onwards, the main focus was on onsite lectures, with both the lecturer and the larger part of the students physically present in the lecture room. For those students that could not be present we offered the opportunity to follow the lecture online via Google Meet.

At the end of the first term in October a survey and forum were organized to hear from both UCF students and staff about their experiences on studying and teaching in times of COVID-19. The survey highlighted what was important to all members of the UCF community, but it also made clear once more that feelings and positions towards current COVID-19 related circumstances differ from person to person.

Therefore, for the second term both teachers and students could indicate if they wanted to teach or follow the course online or on-site at our faculty building. Almost all lecturers chose to continue teaching physically at our faculty building. If students prefer or have to, they are able to follow all classes online. As the faculty building will remain open - if national corona measures permit - UCF facilitates that online classes can also be followed at the faculty building, either via the student’s own laptop or via a screen in one of the classrooms. Students can still study in our building if they prefer this to studying in their room.

Measures in faculty building
We continue to do our utmost to provide a safe environment for education and research. In the faculty building the national measures are followed. This means amongst other things that students and staff members need to keep 1,5 meters at all times. Wearing a face mask when moving around through the building is mandatory. Staff members work from home, unless they teach or have other work that must be done onsite. The front office and student service desk for example remain open. Study advisor Maaike Moltzer is also present at the faculty building a few moments per week so that students can meet with her in person if they prefer this over online.

Student support
We understand that these uncertain times can be difficult for students. Study advisor Maaike Moltzer is available for students who have concerns related to hybrid education, corona measures or other personal worries. She is the first point of contact for (mental) health support and can help students with finding further support within or outside the UG.

Student housing
All first year students remain in the UCF student housing where they have their own studio including a private kitchenette and bathroom. The common room where students can normally get together is closed for the time being. All students are asked to get tested and self-quarantine in case a student shows COVID-19 symptoms or has been in touch with somebody who has. Our study association will support students with grocery shopping if they have to self quarantine. Students who tested positive are encouraged to voluntarily inform UCF so that together we can keep our community a safe environment for everyone.

Forecast
UCF’s aim is to continue on campus education, as long as both staff and students feel comfortable with this and there are no further restrictions in the University of Groningen or national regulations. We also keep track of the quality of our education and the community feeling with every adjustment we have to make.

Should you have further questions about the impact of COVID-19 on teaching and studying at UCF then don’t hesitate to get in touch via email (ucf-grl rug.nl) or phone (+31(0)6 15 54 84 41). Would you like to talk to UCF students and hear their experiences? Don’t hesitate to contact current students as they are more than happy to answer all your questions.

Last modified:12 November 2020 4.47 p.m.

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