Dear students, dear colleagues,
This morning, the universities of applied sciences received formal confirmation from the Flemish government that physical educational activities in higher education must remain suspended throughout the month of November. We understand that this is very hard for all our students and colleagues. It illustrates how vulnerable we remain to a virus that cannot be controlled.
Last week we already communicated the harsh message that our campuses are closed until November 11 ('code black'). It is impossible for a School of Arts to sustain this extreme scenario any longer. Despite all the creativity, there is simply no digital alternative for some things.
That's why we want to make essential facilities on our campuses available again from 12 November to students and researchers who are unable to work on their studies or research at home or in a student room. They will be able to apply for individual use of certain facilities (library, computer class, workshop, lending service, studio, editing room, rehearsal room…).
To be clear: Unfortuately you can't just come by, you can't do group work on campus, and lessons on campus are not possible (not even individual coaching). You must make a reservation and be able to demonstrate that you have no alternative at home or in your student house. Communication on exactly how to make such an application will follow shortly.
We hope that these drastic measures will effectively help to get the virus under control, so that from December 1 it will be possible to start offering face-to-face education again. The scenarios for this ('code red') will be refined in the coming days. In this way we still hope to create space this semester for the practical experience that is so much needed for what we do as a School of Arts.
In the meantime, we realize very well that this is (again) a very difficult situation for so many colleagues and students. Not only for what you do within LUCA, but also beyond. We want to encourage everyone, and we hope that we will continue to visit each other despite everything. Not physically, but via all available channels. Because we need each other, more than ever.
Simon Van Damme
General director LUCA School of Arts
Dean associated Faculty of Arts KU Leuven
The agreements and practical arrangements to make essential facilities of the LUCA campuses available again are currently being worked out.
All this will be published on the FAQ page of the website on 10 November.