Belgian university KU Leuven has announced that it will begin implementing online classes 'as much as possible' in response to the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in Belgium.
In an email sent by the Rector to all students, Professor Luc Sels explained that the University will be "reinforcing our safety measures to slow down the further spread of the virus as much as possible."
"It is true that the majority of students and staff at our university are not in the group of most vulnerable persons. However, KU Leuven has always put the interests of the most vulnerable first in its actions, and this situation is no different," said Sels in the email sent Tuesday morning.
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In terms of practical actions, the University will now be replacing lectures by forms of online education as much as possible. Teleworking is strongly encouraged, with the caveat that it must first be done in consultation with superiors, the message adds.
More information on the practicalities is expected in the coming hours.
Labs and specific course formats in smaller groups can take place, insofar as sufficient physical distance between individuals can be guaranteed.
As for any planned events, it is organiser's responsibility to carry out a specific assessment on the basis of the seven criteria listed by the government to decide if they go ahead. However, it is clear that parties, cantuses (a traditional student event), festivities in fakbars (Student Unions) and similar activities in enclosed spaces do not meet these criteria and, as such, cannot take place.
Further information on the measures taken can be found here.
The Brussels Times