Back on campus! | How will the next academic year look like?

Good news! We’re opening back up. As of September, our students will already be able to return to campus, though with some changes. It won’t be for every class, and we won’t have all students on campus at once, but we will open back up to the extent it is possible: where it can be done and where it is safe. So, rest assured: you won’t be sitting at home all year chained to a computer screen, missing out on the real student experience. There will be time and space for in person contact and meetings. Thomas More has opted for a carefully balanced mix of online theoretical teaching and practical courses on campus or in the workplace. And as a new student, you will have even more on campus classes. Welcome!

A well-balanced mix of online and on campus learning

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Next year, we will focus on ‘contact rich’ education at Thomas More, with a well-balanced mix of online and on campus lessons. Theoretical lessons will be taught remotely whenever possible, and practical lessons will place on campus whenever possible. We will do this for all students during the entire academic year.

I hear you asking: what does this mean exactly? We are now fully engaged in working out the practical details behind the scenes, which we will inform you about later. We are working to allow ‘studying on campus’ as much as possible, within the limits the government has indicated, of course. We have adopted a golden rule: safety first. Safety and health always come first. This means that we must always keep social distance when on campus and wear a face mask when walking around (you will get one from Thomas More in September).

It will not be the same as other years; let’s not kid ourselves. But you can count on being able to follow lessons frequently on campus and getting to experience what it means to be a Thomas More student!

What colour code does Thomas More apply?

The latest updates on the colour code and measures for the organization of education can be checked here.

I’m a student or staff member. Where can I find the latest updates about the COVID-19 measures?

Staff members can find all updates and information on the intranet. Students can easily find everything they need to know on the Student Portal.

I’m a new student. Where and when am I expected?

The academic year officially starts on Monday, 21 September, but most study programmes organise Welcome Days starting from 14 September. This year, the Welcome Days will be a mix of on campus and (mandatory) online info sessions. On Friday, 4 September, you’ll find the final schedule for your programme’s Welcome Days on this site. 

Until when can I enrol?

You can enrol for a study programme up until 30 September 2020, though we recommend doing so much sooner to avoid missing out on anything important. You can even enrol after 30 September, but at that point, we can’t guarantee that you’ll still be able to register for all the courses. 

Will the next Open Campus Day be online?

Yes, the Open Campus Evening on 2 September, will also be entirely online. It is still too early to organise large events, and this info moment attracts a lot of visitors. But even from home, you can find all kinds of information at our virtual info booths and take part in a number of live information sessions.

How will I attend class? Online or on campus?

Thomas More has opted for a carefully balanced mix of online and on campus learning. Theoretical lessons will be taught remotely whenever possible, and practical lessons will place on campus whenever possible. We will do this for all students during the entire academic year. So, there will be no lectures in full auditoriums, but there will be lessons in small groups as well as practical training in labs and workshops. 

What will be the ratio of online versus on campus learning?

  • There will be some online classes, but all students will be able to follow classes on campus.
  • We focus on activating contact moments in which you actively process the learning content. Of course the focus is also on practice and practicing techniques.
  • We will combine online and offline teaching via streaming and hybride classes:
    • we stream lessons in auditoriums or in classrooms with a mobile streaming set: if you are not on campus, you can follow the lessons via our video platform Kaltura and via chat you can ask questions to the teacher;
    • this way of hybride teaching is more than streaming. You will participate in classes via Teams Meeting or NewRow (virtual class). You can interacte with your teacher from home and ask live questions. This two-way communication works great and feels really  natural for the teacher, students in class and students at home.

Make sure you read about the requirements for laptops and software.

Is it safe on campus?

Yes. We have chosen to consistently apply the rules of social distancing in combination with wearing face masks and strict hand hygiene. This will ensure that all contacts have a low risk of infection and that you do not have to quarantine immediately if you come into contact with an infected person. Check here to find all measures necessary to prevent getting infected with the coronavirus.

Do I have to wear a face mask?

A face mask is required when you are walking around campus. As long as you are seated in your classroom or workplace at a distance of at least 1,5 meters from your fellow students, you may take off the mask. You will need to bring your own mask with you to school. The school will provide you with hand sanitizer, and in September, Thomas More will provide all students with a reusable cloth face mask.

Can I eat lunch on campus?

Yes, you can. You can eat your lunch at your seat in the classroom or at your workplace as long as you clean up and disinfect the table after use. The student restaurants are currently working on a way to reopen. The arrangements may differ from campus to campus.

Are the learning centres open, and can I study on campus?

The learning centres will reopen, and there will be workplaces available on campus, but to a limited extent. The concrete arrangements for this have not yet been worked out. Here, too, the regulations may differ from campus to campus.

Can I stay in a student room?

Maybe you’re not sure if you still want to live in a student room because you will come to campus less than in 'normal' times. However, if you live far away from campus and want to avoid inconvenient travel, a student room is still a good idea. But of course, a student room is more than just a place to stay. It’s also the beginning of your independent life, giving you the chance to stand on your own two feet, cook your own meals and experience life as a student. You can easily start your search online using our housing database.

Will I still be able to experience student life?

Of course! Our Student Services (Stuvo) will certainly plan (safe) activities. Also, check Stuvo's Instagram page and your campus Facebook page for all updates: Campus Antwerpen, De Nayer, Geel, Lier, Mechelen, Turnhout or Vorselaar.

Where can I go with all my other questions?

As an international student, you can count on our International Office! For everything that has to do with your student life, and not directly with your study programme, you can also contact our Stuvo staff. For questions about student life and help with studying or personal problems, Stuvo will continue to be available online for video calls, chats or telephone calls. From September onwards, they will also be someone regularly available on campus.