On this page, you can find the latest updates relevant for the majority of our personnel, students and partners. Detailed information is provided via email or by supervisors.
Wageningen University & Research complies with measures advised and communicated by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Dutch government, the local health authority GGD and the travel policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Are you viewing the page on your mobile? Scroll down for the measures that are currently in place.
Update 26 November 2020
Last week, the HR department organised the WUR Vitality week 2020. An excellent initiative, in keeping with an essential part of the WUR identity: togetherness. Or: Together@WUR. With the salary payment of November, each WUR employee received a net sum of €300, as a token of appreciation on behalf of the EB for everyone's commitment in the past months. This sum is also meant as a compensation for the possible costs incurred for remote working. The series of interviews 'Together@WUR in times of corona' reflects this, giving voice to a different employee each week, to explain how he/she handles working from home. This week: fisheries techniques researcher Pieke Molenaar.
Face masks compulsory as of 1 December
From 1 December, the use of a face mask is compulsory by law in public buildings. This measure is added to the already existing 1.5-metre distancing and hygiene measures. Moreover, the directive concerning symptoms remains in effect: if you have symptoms, stay home and get tested. We appeal to everyone's sense of responsibility to remain alert and to adhere to the measures when on campus.
Representative body installs corona task force
In addition to the measures and the adjustments in our education and research, the role of the representative body in the corona policy has now been firmly established. The WUR representative body recently installed an adhoc CIE corona taskforce, which focuses on the active exchange between the different WUR-Council committees, and is charged with ensuring that issues are directed at the correct committee. The CIE also provides targeted interactions with the WUR-Council's daily management, as well as collating questions and presenting them (weekly) to the WUR Corona Team.
Impact of the pandemic on the Tenure Track
In a letter to teaching staff, Arthur Mol focused on the WUR policy regarding the consequences the pandemic may have on the assessment procedure for Tenure Trackers. The policy has barely changed since April, but, since the onset of the pandemic seems so long ago, this issue merits active attention. The letter has been sent.
Compensation for PhD students without labour contracts
Through an agreement with the tax authorities, the net remuneration in the sum of €300 has also been made available for PhD candidates who do not have a labour agreement with WUR (or another employer), but who have been working for WUR for an extended period of time. If they were affiliated to WUR on 1 September and on 1 November, they will receive the one-off remuneration. The graduate schools will inform the PhD candidates concerned.
For and from students: Surf your stress-week
Last week the second edition of 'Surf your stress' took place. A programme full of inspiring (corona-proof) workshops, lectures, sports and leisure activities. Surf your Stress offers students concrete tips and tools to help them recognise the positive side of stress and to better handle the negative side of stress. The WUR Student Council and SWU Thymos organised the week in collaboration with the WUR Library and SC De Bongerd.
The measures that were stepped up two weeks ago appear to bear fruit. The past two weeks show a decreasing trend, resulting in some more leniency in the measures—a favourable development, especially in light of the upcoming holidays. ‘But’, Prime Minister Rutte warned in the press conference on Tuesday, ‘we must persist in our behaviour’. That is: work from home, travel as little as possible, stay at home if you have symptoms. All of these measures contribute to fewer infections. Particularly with the holidays coming up, we may have some extra room during the festive season.
For our protocol, the easing of the measures has a few positive effects:
- Four people are now permitted to be together outside
- The group workouts at the Sports Centre will resume
- The study associations have some more options to organise gatherings on campus. Their chairs have been informed.
The basic rules remain in effect. We:
- Work and study at home as much as possible
- Only travel abroad if absolutely necessary
- Wear a facemask indoors on campus.
In the coming weeks, the government weighs the possibilities to ‘set a few extra places at the table’ during the festive season. Let's carefully consider this and also consider involving our (international) students and colleagues when we make plans for the December festivities.
This week is marked by the news that pharmaceutical companies are coming closer to a vaccine that is to protect us from the COVID-19 virus, in addition to the declining national infections, a positive development, that will hopefully lead to a more positive and hopeful phase.
Adhering to the strict measures is a far-reaching, but also simple, way to contribute. We continue to stimulate and facilitate everyone within WUR to do so, in various ways.
Video: How WUR approaches international internships and thesis research
This period is very frustrating for many students who are in the final stages of their Masters. The corona measures make it impossible to conclude their programme as planned because possibilities for internships and thesis research abroad are minimal. In this video, Arthur Mol explains how WUR approaches this issue.
- Unfortunately, your cookie settings do not allow videos to be displayed. - check your settings
Travel during the Christmas holidays
The majority of colleagues will forcibly forgo international travel during the Christmas break. If you are able, we strongly recommend you take leave during the Christmas holidays to rest and recuperate from the often stressful year 2020. Under the national guidelines and our own WUR travel policy, we continue to discourage international travel unless absolutely necessary.
If you do travel abroad, please be aware of your own responsibility for the possible repercussions upon your return. This applies particularly in cases where you work from home in combination with a stay elsewhere, outside of the EU. For specific information on working remotely combined with travel abroad, please see the Corona FAQ’s, ‘Travelling/Staying abroad’.
GGD testing location moved
The GGD (public health services) corona testing station will be moved from its current spot at Sports Centre De Bongerd to De Patio (Vadaring 7 in Wageningen) on Friday, 13 November. This will allow the GGD to scale-up the number of tests. Moreover, the new location is winterproof and easily accessible by car, foot and bike.
Offer home office advice, and alternative chair massages well received
When we all started working from home due to the COVID-19 virus in March, the chair massages were abruptly stopped. This form of relaxation will remain unavailable. As an alternative, employees are offered work station advice for their home office, and the option to make an appointment with dedicated massage professionals, in exchange for so-called credits. This offer was well-received, over 500 employees have already applied. Paying attention to personal wellbeing is essential in these times. If you have not yet applied for this service but want to, click here for further information and registration.
‘One-and-a-half metre’ coffee cups
During a creative working session with employees in May, the suggestion was made to print texts on the disposable coffee cups as a reminder of the social distancing rule: “Staying apart keeps us together”. Facilities & Services has ordered the cups, which you will find at all coffee dispensers from 17 November. The regular cups will be stored for the time being.
Employee experiences online
How do our colleagues fare while working at home? What advantages and disadvantages do they experience, and how do they adjust their daily lives to this new situation? In a series of short, personal portraits, we take a peek into the lives of well-known and less well-known colleagues. The series is published on the Intranet in the WUR&Corona section.
Extra national measures have been put in place for the coming two weeks, to further halt the spreading of the coronavirus. These measures apply in addition to the existing measures, that are estimated to remain in place until mid-December. Because, as prime-minister Rutte stated, ‘the situation is not bad, but certainly not good either.’
WUR’s research and education are not directly impacted by the extra measures. A positive development, and something we wish to preserve. Therefore, we urge you to pay extra attention to the following over the next two weeks:
- Do not walk outside on campus with more than two people
- Work from home, visit the campus only when absolutely necessary
- If you work on campus for issues such as job interviews, assessments or on-boarding, adhere to the maximum group size of four persons (see guidelines)
- Do not travel unnecessarily, especially not abroad
- And, most importantly, pay attention to others, be understanding, persevere.
Travel policy unchanged
The national guidelines do not affect the international travel policy, which was already restrictive for WUR.
Employees are not allowed to travel to areas marked orange or red unless permission has been granted by management through the standard application procedure.
For students: international thesis research and internships may continue if the destination area is located within Europe, Aruba, Curaçao, Saint Maarten, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius or Saba, and is marked yellow or green. And, only with permission from the sciences group director. International students are permitted to travel to orange areas in Europe or outside of Europe if the destination country is their home country and the risks are purely corona-related. This too requires permission.
Working out individually at Sports Centre de Bongerd
All group training is cancelled. Individual workouts are permitted. Please consult the website for the latest information.
From recent numbers, it is shown that we keep to working from home as much as possible. And in this short time, the wearing of mouth masks has become a matter of course: a compliment for everyone who works or studies from home, ánd for those who work on location.
The current measures will remain in force until December, pending their effects. In line with the message in last Tuesday's press conference we will continue working in line with the protocol as it is now. When we carefully comply with the measures and consciously adapte our behavior is a good contribution for any future scenario.
Corona stewards on site
Sometimes, a little help on "what is possible, or what is just not" can be nice. That's why corona stewards have recently started rounds on campus. Such a small indication can be useful, because more often than not, we aren’t aware that the distance of 1.5 meters is not being kept, or that we were supposed to follow a certain route. And if that is the case, a short conversation to clarify what is possible and what is not, or about responsible behavior, often is enough.
Start of education period 2
The second education period has now started. With the extra space at the Sports Center De Bongerd sports hall and the rooms in Plus Ultra II, more capacity is available to provide education as well as to comply with the corona guidelines. These spaces will remain available throughout the academic year 20/21.
Looking after new colleagues
During these special times, WUR continues to welcome new colleagues. Often enough there is special attention for onboarding, to make sure these colleagues have a good start. This is especially important for (new) employees coming from abroad, e.g. how are they supported during a mandatory quarantine period. Organizing a "safety net", both practical and personal, is important. Clear agreements on this upon arrival, is a good start for both parties. These can be organising a daily online contact moment with a colleague, having groceries delivered / done or giving a digital tour of the new place of residence, all of which, of course, with due observance of the guidelines.
Review of FAT session: working remotely after corona
During the Finding Answers Together (FAT) session this morning, in eight break out sessions, more than 100 employees spoke about how remote working can take shape after corona. Topics of conversation were
- When remote working is an option instead of a necessity, what is the intended new balance between working on campus and working remotely for you?
- How can we best shape social cohesion, team building and knowledge sharing in the case of remote working?
The results of the talks will soon be on WUR & Corona.
As the tightened measures that were announced last week to reduce the corona virus have been instituted, this week, we take look at building activities on campus. The campus is the heart of WUR, a place for meeting, knowledge exchange and development, and an important place to realize WUR's ambitions. In these strange times, it is also important to look ahead and continue building activities to improve, strengthen and to green our campus.
Working on the future of the WUR campus
In this video, we follow Rens Buchwaldt, member of the Executive Board on his walk along construction activities: the Aurora educational building, Dialogue Centre and the site of thermal energy storage. Do you want to stay informed about the activities? Join these groups on the intranet.
- Unfortunately, your cookie settings do not allow videos to be displayed. - check your settings
FAT session October 29: remote work after corona
As we know, it is not possible to estimate when we will be able to return to working and studying on campus without hindrance. However, we cán share how we envision that. What do we take with us from this period, is remote working something we can incorporate in our future way of working? And what are the consequences for working together, or on planning your work week?
The next Finding Answers Together session on October 29 will be all about these questions. Want to join? You can still register.
Policy on use of masks in lab environments
The basic rule is that face masks are mandatory, when moving through WUR buildings. This also applies for labs, greenhouses, animal shelters or technical areas. It is possible to deviate from this rule, in order to ensure that working within these areas can be carried out safely. A specific policy has been drawn up in which the exceptions are explained. These have already been shared with managers.
Student campaign launched: "That's what we do it for"
WUR students are committed to motivate fellow students to comply with the corona guidelines. As of this week, they star on social media and printed posters on behalf of student associations in the Wageningen edition of the national campaign "That's what I do it for". The campaign is an initiative of the LKvv and funded by the ministery of Education and VSNU. With arguments such as "Being able to study abroad" and "Being able to play sports" they explain in a positive way, why persistence is so important. Posters are distributed on campus, in student houses and in the city of Wageningen (library, columns).
Have more (general) questions? The RIVM has opened a hotline for questions: 0800-1351.