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FAQ Measures Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The past few weeks several cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have emerged worldwide. As a college university we are committed to our social responsibility, and have thus taken necessary actions and precautions to help prevent and slow down the spread of the coronavirus. By being proactive as a community we can safeguard the health of our own students and staff, as well as the well-being of those with whom we interact - especially vulnerable groups.

We have collected the most recent measures and answers to frequently asked questions on this page. 

  • This information is updated continuously, so keep a close eye on this page. 
  • Please visit the official government website for general information and government guidelines on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 
  • Do you have other AP-related questions to which you can't find the answer below? 
  • Please note! We try to answer individual questions (via mail, telephone, social media ...) in a timely manner. However, we have over 14.000 students and 1.500 staff members ... So we count on your patience and understanding. 
 
! THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED on Tuesday 02.06.2020 - 15h00 
 

FAQ

1. MEASURES


2. CAMPUSES


3. EVENTS


4. CLASSES


5. INTERNSHIP / WORKPLACE LEARNING


6. EXAMS


7. ORGANISATION OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR


8. INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY


9. STUDENT HOUSING


10. WELL-BEING


11. ICT


12. FINANCES


13. CORONA

 

1. MEASURES

Which measures has AP University of Applied Sciences and Arts taken?

! UPDATE Wed 13.05.2020 - 14h00

The following measures are currently in force: 

1. CAMPUSES

  • Remain closed for the public, for the time being.
  • We switch to low contact education (for study programs that cannot provide a fully digital alternative) and low contact employment (for part of our OT & ATP staff) starting May 18th. More details below
  • Starting Monday May 4th we will offer minimal service in our libraries (except campus Kronenburg). You can only visit the libraries to borrow or return materials. You must book an appointment by e-mail beforehand. More details below. 
  • The restart on our campuses will take place under a new set of preventive measures

2. CLASSES

  • Continue online for the time being.
  • If possible, we will switch to low contact education for study programs that cannot provide a fully digital alternative (i.e. arts, healthcare and education) starting May 18th. More details below.

3. INTERNSHIPS & WORKPLACE LEARNING

  • At home remain suspended until May 17th. With the exception of our some of our medical internships (due to social responsibility) and some internships where telework is possible. We will re-evaluate internship agreements as soon as government guidance permits it. More details below.

4. INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY

  • Is integrally cancelled for the remaining academic year. This applies to both incoming and outgoing students (foreign study exchanges & internships, international excursions and projects). More details below

5. ACADEMIC CALENDARS  

  • We are forced to revise our academic calendars, due to the force majeure caused by the coronavirus and to ensure a qualitative end to the academic year 2019-2020.
  • The revised academic calenaers have been published online. More details below under academic year and exams

These measures are also in line with the agreements with regard to the organization of the remaining academic year which the VLHORA (Flemish Council of Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts) announced on March 25th for all universities of applied sciences and arts.  
 

Why are these measures necessary?

At this stage we need to join forces to slow down further spread of the virus. By being proactive as a community we can safeguard the health of our own students and staff, as well as the well-being of those with whom we interact - especially vulnerable groups. Thus we aim to keep the upcoming coronaspike within the current health care capacity and ensure that appropriate care for those in need can be guaranteed.

We are relieved to see, that by being proactive and imposing strict measures, we've thus far been able to prevent further spread of the coronavirus among our students and staff. However, we'll have to remain proactive and alert in the weeks to come.
 

Why do some measures keep changing? 

AP is closely following the guidelines issued by the Belgian government (Flemish Agency Care and Health) and World Health Organisation. But the circumstances at home and abroad are changing very rapidly: by the day and even hour. Unfortunately, this inevitably causes some confusion and contradictory reports at certain times. 

The information below is based on the current state of affairs. We continue close monitoring of the situation. The information on this page is updated continuously. So keep a close eye on our communication channels (this FAQ page, your mailbox, Digitap, our social media ... ) 

 

2. CAMPUSES 

All our campuses in Antwerp, Mechelen en Turnhout will remain closed for students, staff and visitors until further notice.  

  • We switch to low contact education and employment for some of our students and staff, starting Monday May 18th. Check classes for more details. 
  • Starting Monday May 4th you can borrow or hand in materials, by appointment, in our libraries (except campus Kronenburg). More details below. 
  • We have worked out a new set of preventive measures for restart on our campuses. More details here.
     

I want to borrow or return materials from the library. What should I do?   

! UPDATE Tue 29.04.2020 - 15h30 

Starting Monday May 4th we'll offer minimal service in our libraries (except campus Kronenburg). However, this does not mean that you can visit the library freely. 

  • For the time being you can only visit the library to borrow or return materials
  • You must book an appointment by e-mail beforehand
  • We take the necessary measures to ensure efficient and safe handling. For instance, libraries and materials are disinfected before and after each use.  

HOW TO 

Step 1: Consult the catalog. (only if you wish to borrow materials) 

  • You can search for materials and check their availability per library.  
  • Max 5 items per person.
  • Audiovisual equipment (camera, audiorecorder, tripod ..) can't be found in the catalog. If you require these just send a direct request via e-mail.
  • Laptops are unavailable at this time. 

Step 2: Mail the references and/or details to the respective library:

Available materials will be put aside for you. 

Step 3: A staff member will book an appointment with you via e-mail to visit the campus library and 

  • pick up your reserved materials 
  • return your borrowed materials 

 

3. EVENTS

All activities and events (information fairs, open days, competitions, exhibitions ...) are cancelled until further notice. We are looking into possible alternatives.  

We have provided a digital alternative for our open days (March 14th & April 25th). 

 

4. CLASSES

We keep focussing on online classes and distance learning until further notice. This will require flexibility and creativity in both directions. 

We will review for each separate study program whether they have activities that require direct contact. Not all study programs are able to provide a fully digital alternative - such as is the case for art, healthcare and teaching programs. 

If possible, we will switch to low contact education for such cases starting May 18th. This means that for example practical lessons will take place on campus under strict safety measures. This will depend on government guidance.
 

Who can I turn to with individual questions? 

  • Questions about a specific course unit? Ask your teacher.
  • Questions about your study program in general? Ask your Head of Teaching. 
  • Need help with studying /planning? Ask your student counsellor. (Contactdetails via Digitap). 

 

5. INTERNSHIP / WORKPLACE LEARNING

Internships and workplace learning: (minus the 2 exceptions below)

  • at home: are suspended until May 17th (or until further notice) 
  • abroad: are permanently suspended for the remaining academic year

We will re-evaluate internship agreements, as soon as the government permits. 

At the moment there are 2 exceptions:

  • some of our medical internships: bachelor Nursing, bachelor Midwifery, banaba Intensive and Emergency Care (except first years)
  • some internships where telework is an option 
     

Why have you suspended your internships and workplace learning?

Only thus can we safeguard the health and well-being of our students - which is and always will be our main priority. 

In light of strengethened government guidelines for social distancing: physical contact with / commute to and from workplaces is prohibited. We strongly urge everyone to commit to their social responsibility. 
 

Why haven't you suspended all medical internships?

Due to social responsilibility. There is a high demand for well-trained professionals in the healthcare sector. Care institutions have reached out to ask for extra hands. And many of our students have also indicated that they wish to help out for as long as possible. 

  • First year internships by our bachelors Nursing and Midwifery are temporarily suspended, since neither AP nor their workplaces feel able to assure appropriate qualitative guidance. 
  • Second, third and fourth year internships by our bachelors Nursing and Midwifery, as well as our banaba Intensive and Emergency Care are continued until further notice. As always, our internships are carried out under strict circumstances and monitoring by the workplaces, our inhouse medical service and internship supervisors. The well-being and qualitative guidance of our students is our first priority. Workplaces provide the best facilities and precautionary measures. If a situation would arise where this can no longer be guaranteed, we will take additional measures swiftly. 

All students and workplaces involved have been and will continue to be notified personally
 

May I continue my internship / workplace learning through telework? 

This is only allowed under strict terms and conditions:

  • if practicable (i.e. this simply isn't an option for healthcare and teaching programs)
  • if all parties involved are in agreement : workplace + student + AP Hogeschool
  • after final approval by your internship supervisor
     

May I continue my internship / workplace learning as a student job?

We strongly advise against this, due to the urgent need for social distancing. If you do, this is done on your own account. Keep in mind that your employer is obligated to take the necessary precautions with regard to telework and social distancing. 
 

Who can I turn to with individual questions?

Contact your internship supervisor for personal advice on your situation. 

 

6. EXAMS

When and how will the exams take place?

  • Exams that were planned until the Easter break have been postponed.
  • The examination period for programmes with a modular system (for instance Office Management) has been delayed. If possible it will take place right before the regular examination period.  
  • The academic calendars have been updated and published on the AP-website.  
  • Wherever possible, exams will be organised digitally and from a distance. Exams on campus are reserved for students who lack the necessary means at home (e.g. hardware, environment). 

 

Who can I turn to with individual questions?

  • Check our digital exam FAQ. 
  • Questions about individual course units? Ask your teacher.
  • Need help with planning / studying? Ask your student counsellor. (Check Digitap for contact details). 

 

7. ORGANISATION OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR

Does this mean that I will fail or won't be able to graduate? 

This is still under consideration. However, we are doing everything within our power to minimize nuisance. 

We understand that there are quite a few questions about the remaining academic year and the possible impact this coronacrisis may have on your study progress. At this moment we are exploring all possible scenario's and looking for solutions for all our students. The interest of our students and staff are put first. We are looking for student-oriented solutions for study progress within AP (per study program) and on a Flemish level (together with the government and the wider higher education network). More details will follow in due time. 
 

CAN I INVOKE FORCE MAJEURE? 

UPDATE TUE 02.06.2020 - 15h00 

The Flemish Parliament has drafted a resolution which proposes that students will not be able to lose credits or grants for assessments and exams that cannot take place due to the coronacrisis. 

This information is still very premature. At this time there is still no official decision or definitive plan. So we'll have to wait a little while longer for more detailed information. 

As always we will share these and other important updates via mail, Digitap and our website (FAQ pages). So keep a close eye on this channels.
 

How will this impact the remaining academic year?

To properly finish the current academic year we have decided to make several necessary adjustments to the general calendar:  

  • Your examination results will be published on Monday June 29 2020, a week later than planned.
  • The opportunity to consult examination documents has been postponed accordingly, to Tuesday June 30 2020. 
  • This will grant us some time and opportunity to still organise classes and internships/workplace learning activities and schedule your exams.
  • If required, our Departments and Schools of Arts will be able to organise specific course activities (internships, workplace learning, lab sessions, practicals, …) during the examination period. They will try to avoid this as much as possible.  

The updated calendars have been published on the AP-website

 

Who can I turn to with individual questions?

  • Questions about a specific course unit? Ask your teacher.
  • Questions about your study program in general? Ask your Head of Teaching. 
  • Need help with studying /planning? Ask your student counsellor. (Contactdetails via Digitap). 

 

8. INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY

Due to the unpredictable situation at home and abroad (high uncertainty, rapidly changing evolutions and measures) international activities are integrally cancelled for the remaining academic year. This means:

  • no (more) study exchange programs
  • no (more) foreign internships
  • no (more) international excursions or projects 
     

I have to return to Belgium. What should I do?

  • Try to (re)book your ticket as soon as possible. 
  • The Flemish Agency of Care and Health urges people who arrive (back) in Belgium to stay in voluntary quarantine for 14 days
  • Report to our International Office
     

I am abroad, and no longer allowed to leave the country. What should I do?

May I return home temporarily and pick up where I left when AP resumes classes on campus?

You are free to return back home and follow our classes online from home for the duration of the suspension. But, make sure you think this through thoroughly, because: 

  • Once our classes and assessments start again, you'll have to make it back to Belgium in time and on your own account.
  • Furthermore, there is also a real possibility that the government may decide that:
    • you are not allowed to return to Belgium at your own convenience
    • you'll have to spend some time in quarantine upon your return back home / in Belgium
       

I feel safer abroad. May I stay put? 

The situation is changing very rapidly. Countries which seem safe at the moment, may not be very shortly. We need to act now, before you become stuck far away from home. Therefore, we ask everyone to try and return home as swiftly as possible. 
 

Will there be academic consequences?

Check organisation of the academic year for more details.
 

Will there be financial consequences?

Check finances for more details. 
 

Who can I turn to with individual questions?

Contact our International Office

 

9. STUDENT HOUSING

May I return home or are my parents allowed to come and visit me?

Government guidance states that students must choose a single place of residence: so either you stay in your student housing or you return home. Either way: 

  • you must postpone all non-essential travel 
  • you must limit your contacts to people under the same roof and, if necessary one extra person (people who live by themselves) 

You are allowed to collect personal belongings (like courses, laptop ...) from your student housing. But if you want to uphold frequent contact with your parents, it's probably better to move back home temporarily. 
 

I have decided to move back home (temporarily). Can I terminate my rental contract early?

No, not legally at least. The decision to suspend classes at universities (of applied sciences and arts) does not influence student rental agreements. You are still bound to the rights and obligations of your contract. 

But you can try to reach an agreement with your landlord. Maybe (s)he's prepared to accomodate you, in light of the current circumstances, by terminating your contract early or by dropping the costs for water and energy usage if you (temporarily) leave your student housing. 

Either way, it's important to make sure you communicate clearly. Try to make written arrangements and certainly don't just stop paying your rent. 

Are you unable to pay your rent (on time)? Do you need help during negotations with your landlord? Our student services (STUVO) assist you with all sorts of housing issues. 
 

 Some of my belongings are still left behind in Belgium and my tenancy agreement is about to end. What if I cannot make it back in time?

! UPDATE Wed 27.05.2020 - 10h30 

If you're unable to return to Belgium to pick up your belongings (and thus unable to meet the obligation to vacate your room at the end of the rental period), your landlord has the right to vacate the room under the following conditions:

  • You have a student rental agreement, not a rental agreement for a main residence.
  • Your landlord has to inform you of his/her plans to clear your room, by registered (e)mail with confirmation of receipt
  • Your landlord may do so 1 month after the end of the rental agreement at the earliest.
  • Your landlord has to store your belongings for 3 months. If you don't retrieve your belongings within this 3 month period, your landlord may keep them. 
  • Your landlord is not allowed to charge you any costs for vacating your dwelling, nor for storing your belongings. 
     

Who can I turn to with individual questions?

Contact our student services (STUVO).

 

10. WELL-BEING

I don't have a quiet place to work / study at home? 

We understand that this is rather difficult under the current circumstances. Try to make clear arrangements with your roommates. Headphones may also offer some relief. 

  • Students: Having trouble studying at home? Contact our student services (STUVO).
  • Staff: Be sure to check the guidelines for teleworking on Intranet. Are you unable to work from home, due to work, personal or other reasons? Contact your supervisor. 
     

I am feeling stressed or anxious. Who can I turn to? 

Do you feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed? That's perfectly normal under these circumstances. Our AP-psychologists share some useful insights in this article

Feel the need to talk? These organisations offer a listening ear: 

And of course, students can also reach out to our student services (STUVO):

I am ill. How should I report this? 

  • Students: follow the regular agreements 
  • Staff: follow the regular agreements.  
  • Tested positive for corona? See below.
     

I have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). How should I report this?   

  • Contact our Prevention Departement immediately
    • by telephone: 03 220 59 99 (preferably)
    • by mail: preventie.milieu@ap.be 
  • Report that your are ill to us via the regular channels.
     

Together against corona: I want to help? 

If there was ever a time when we need to show solidarity, this is it! Would you like to contribute? Awesome! Perhaps you can: 

  • Volunteer. Do groceries for those who can't, chat to someone on the phone, help take care of animals ... You can register via Antwerpen Helpt.
  • Help out scientists. A team of scientists from the University of Antwerp is gathering population data to assess the evolution of the covid-19 curve. You can participate every Tuesday via this short online questionnaire
  • Help prospective students. Unfortunately prospective students are unable to get acquainted with AP in real life for the time being. We have offered an alternative for our open days. Would you like to help out by answering questions about your study program? Download our template and share it with the world via social media. 

 

11. ICT

Where can I find support with regard to digital teaching?

Do you have questions about digital education / collaboration, screencasts, online tests ...? Please consult the overview listed on Digitap. Can't find what you are looking for or do you have specific questions about Digitap? Contact learning@ap.be.
 

How can I keep my computer virus-free?

Hackers are taking advantage of the current rise in telework to develop and spread new viruses. Make sure you install a virusscanner. If needed, you can buy one via AP
 

I  don't have (decent) internet access at home? 

We are looking for solutions together with telecom operators. Students can contact our student services (STUVO).
 

I don't have a (decent) laptop at home? 

  • AP-students can buy a laptop online via Campusshop, which offers a student discount and swift service.
  • If needed, you can even take out a flexible and interest-free student loan via STUVO (the amount depends on your field of study). If your request is approved, you'll receive a vouchercode by e-mail. 
     

How can I reach the ICT-helpdesk?

Contact your campus helpdesk (details are listed on ICTPedia). You can ask for help:

  • By mail. Summarize your problem and don't forget to add all the necessary details (screenshot, application, server name ...) and a telephone number so we can reach you. 
  • By telephone: You can call on workdays between 8h00 and 21h30. Can't get through? Try another campus of simply send us an e-mail. 

 

12. FINANCES

I have already made expenses. Will these be reimbursed?  

It's possible that you've already made expenses for an upcoming excursion, foreign trip or internship. AP is looking into solutions with regards to reimbursement. In the meantime, here are some things you yourself can do:

First and foremost try to limit the cancellation costs.  

  • Check whether you have a cancellation insurance. If so, contact the insurance company and file a report for cancellation of your trip. Not sure if reimbursement is available? File it anyway. 
  • Booked directly with a travel agency? Contact them and ask for assistence with cost reimbursement.
  • Booked directly with an airline company? Check if the flight has been cancelled. If so, cancellation in Europa by your airline entitles you to a reimbursement. 
  • Booked directly with a hotel? Contact the booking website / hotel and inform if and how you can arrange a cancellation.  

In the meantime we are exploring how we can provide reimbursements for other costs. 

  • Trip organised / billed by AP? We will pay back your trip in a timely manner.
     

I am facing finanical issues. Who can I turn to? 

Are you no longer able to pay the bills for your student housing? No room in your budget to buy a laptop? Unsure how you're gonna make ends meet in the weeks to come? Our student services (STUVO) will gladly help you with all sorts of financial issues. 

 

13. CORONA

Please visit the official government website for general information and government guidelines on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

    What is the coronavirus? 

    • Coronaviruses (CoV) are basically a large family of viruses which cause illness ranging from a common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). They are transmitted between animals and people, although transmission from human to human is also possible. 
    • A new coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. 2019-nCoV or COVID-19 is the name of a newly discovered coronavirus involved in the current outbreak which started in December in Wuhan, China. Since then, the disease has spread worldwide. Check the World Health Organisation for more detailed information.
       

    What are the symptoms of the coronavirus? 

    The current coronavirus (COVID-19) is highly contagious and its symptoms are extremely difficult to distinguish from other respiratory infections. Possible symptoms may be:

    • acute fever
    • cough
    • respiratory problems
    • muscle pain
    • sore throat
    • headache
    • sometimes diarrhea

    Contact your doctor / GP by telephone if you have one or more of these symptoms. Don't just go to the waiting room / emergency room. 

    Not sure if your symptoms are related to covid-19? Check out Online Corona Zorgpad. This online guidance tool has been developed by the Flemish hospitals to assist with early triage of patients. 
     

    Which precautionary actions can I take?  

    • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly (40 à 60 sec.) with water and soap.
    • Cough or sneeze in a paper tissue, which you immediately dispose of.
    • No tissue? Cough or sneeze in the crook of your arm.
    • Avoid physical contact (shaking hands, kissing, hugging ...)
    • Avoid contact with people who are ill or at risk. 
    • Avoid touching your face with your hands.
    • Stay home if you feel ill or have symptoms. 
    • Try to keep your distance (at least 1,5 m).