The University of Groningen is considering using picnic tables and tents in May for teaching or exams and allowing students to meet each other
RUG Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga has said in an interview with university paper the UKrant that the “old normal” will not return for the time being, and that the University may have to get creative and hold outdoor educational activities in the summer.
Certainly in the near future, the RUG head does not expect any great opportunities for comprehensive in-person education for a long time and it remains a matter of teaching as carefully and safely as possible. Wijmenga says that whilst is true that there will be more options thanks to quick tests and self-tests, this cannot be made compulsory by the university and so there will always be people who feel unsafe.
According to the Wijmenga, the top priority is also to ensure that students can meet again, with thought put to outdoor locations: “when the weather is nicer, we can use picnic benches and tents to organize educational-related activities for the students.”
Incidentally, Wijmenga says that this time, however unpleasant it may be, had a positive side. Namely that many have also learned to plan better, to be independent and to use their creativity.