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Brussels students will take exams in Ancienne Belgique

Credit: Belga/Filip De Smet

Several universities in Brussels are relocating the exams at the end of the semester to centres, museums, a concert hall, and other locations off-campus.

To be able to respect the social distancing measures between students taking their exams, many universities are organising part of their exams in different locations.

As the Brussels branch of the KU Leuven university is spreading out its students as much as possible in their classrooms, they do not have enough room on campus.

Some 4,000 students from KU Leuven Campus Brussels and University-College Odisee will therefore have to take their exams in the Ancienne Belgique concert venue, in early July. The groups of students that can be present at the same time cannot succeed 80 people.

Through the ventilation system of the room, the air will not be recirculated, but be 100% fresh.

“In these difficult times, AB wants to fully engage with society. Opening up our space for the exams fits in perfectly with this story,” the concert venue’s Technical Director Marc Vrebos told Studio Brussel. “We would also like to see these Brussels students come back in September. Not for a resit, but for a concert in AB,” he added.

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Mont des Arts and the Art & History Museum

The Free University of Brussels (VUB) will relocate to locations outside its campus as well. Many students will have to take exams in convention centre Square on the Mont des Arts, and in the Museum of Art and History in the Cinquantenaire Park.

“These are certainly not ordinary exams, but we are doing everything we can to ensure that they will run as smoothly and safely as possible, partly thanks to this additional infrastructure,” said Jan Danckaert, Vice Rector of Education and Student Policy at VUB in a press release. “We absolutely want to avoid that our students would have a longer study path due to the coronavirus crisis,” he added.

The locations offer sufficient space to ensure maximum social distance, are easily accessible by public transport and are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each examination session, according to the universities.

However, they will only be used when there is no other form of evaluation possible, such as for large groups of students or when the skills that need to be tested are very complex.

In recent weeks, the VUB has worked out as many alternatives as possible to the classical exams, such as assignments that can be made at home, oral exams via teleconferencing or online written tests.

“Taking an exam in a museum is something you can only dream of, even in normal times. I hope that our students will be inspired by it and achieve good exam results,” Danckaert added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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