Press Release - Sunday, March 15, 2020
Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts support their students abroad with advice and practical assistance.
More and more countries are closing their airspace and all trips to and from Belgium are discouraged. Governments all over the world are taking far-reaching, preventive measures to limit the spread of the Corona-virus. That is why the Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts issue a number of decisions and guidelines for their students residing abroad. The Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts are working together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassies and will follow the guidelines of the government and the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The decisions and guidelines of the Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts boil down to the following points:
No student is yet to receive permission from the Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts to go abroad. A list of the students who are now studying or doing an internship abroad, was compiled and sent to the Foreign Affairs Offices. In addition, the students were asked to keep the internship supervisor or their contact at the ‘International Office’ of their respective University of Applied Sciences and Arts informed at all times.
All these students were asked by email to register at https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be/ or to contact the Belgian Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence, so the necessary assistance can contact them and Foreign Affairs can organise their repatriation if this becomes necessary.
At this point, nobody, including the Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts, can guarantee that students can reach Belgium. A current transit zone may change in a no-transit zone in a matter of hours. From a health perspective, an overcrowded airport must be avoided, especially now, when the chance of students getting stuck in transit is increasing. Staying in their student accommodation is the better option. Students abroad are also asked to follow the local guidelines of their country of residence regarding the coronavirus and personal health, where shared, to avoid infections.
The 'International Offices' of the Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts remain in permanent contact with all students abroad. They will try to help them as much as possible, where necessary and where feasible, and this on a case-by-case basis, taking local guidelines and the personal health situation of the students into account.
Eric Vermeylen, Secretary-General - +32 476 65 21 56
Gert Fransen, Communicatins Advisor - +32 477 32 18 07
The Flemish Council of Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts is the formal consultative and advisory body of all Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts which advises the Flemish Government on all policy issues concerning higher education. In addition, the Flemish Council of Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts organises and stimulates the consultation between the institutions regarding all matters that concern the Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts. Furthermore, the VLHORA is a member of EURASHE, the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education. The Board of Directors of the VLHORA consists of the General Directors of the Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts.
The Board of Directors has the authority to take all actions of management and disposal that concern the VLHORA. The Board of Directors is supported by various advisory and consultative bodies for the development of current dossiers on themes related to the policies of Education, Finance, Personnel, Research & Innovation, Internationalisation and the Arts. The members of these advisory and consultative bodies are experts from the thirteen Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts.