The latest news ULB's measures regarding the Covid-19 pandemic

VERSION FRANCAISE

In the context of this health crisis, ULB follows the instructions of the National Security Council and invites all members of the university community to follow these instructions in a scrupulous and responsible manner. Remote learning and teleworking are, therefore, to this day, the ground rule for the functioning of our University.
 

 ► Check out the latest updates

► Contacts for the University community

 

 

Institutional communication

Communication is exclusively managed via the central institutional communication channels: institutional emails, ULB website, ULB social networks. Staff members and students are requested to follow the situation and its evolution by connecting to these communication channels. ULB faculties, departments and services are to only share centrally-managed communication messages and not to reformulate it on their side.
 

Get in touch with ULB services

Please communicate by way of an email. 
Use the search tool, 'directory' option to find your correspondent.
 

More information on Covid-19

 

Students

  • All teaching activities requiring a physical presence are suspended until the end of the term and replaced by distance learning activities (Virtual University, Podcasts, etc.)
  • Students will find all practical information on their personal website (MonULB); 
  • Hands-on teaching activities (practical work, exercises, laboratory work, etc.) are suspended when a virtual alternative cannot be set up;
  • With the exception of certain internships in health sciences, all internships are temporarily suspended;
  • All academic travels are cancelled until further notice, both domestic and international;
  • For the academic year 2019-2020, students who are due to leave the University or come to the University as part of a mobility programme must cancel their travel plans;
  • All activities of ULB’s programme for all ages (CEPULB) are suspended.
 

Internships and traineeships

  • Internships are maintained. Their terms and conditions fall under the responsibility of the trainee's host institution. No general decision to suspend internships can be made one-sidedly by the Université libre de Bruxelles.
  • Regarding traineeships in medicine, physiotherapy, osteopathy, dentistry, public health sciences, which take place in hospitals, rest and care homes, pharmacies or the general practitioner's office, students are to continue carrying out their traineeships there. The host institutions must continue to supervise them and provide them with the equipment necessary for their protection and for the smooth running of their internship. If this is not the case, the institution will decide that it cannot accommodate them. Under these conditions, the internship will be suspended and students will have to inform their faculty as soon as possible. If the institution decides to continue the traineeships without providing adequate material, the students are then invited to contact their faculty authorities who will decide to interrupt the traineeship.
 

Exams

  • The University authorities have decided that the first-session evaluations will be taken remotely. You can find a document to help you better prepare for the June session here
  • Each class syllabus and its related exam content are currently being reassessed by your professors bearing, at all times, the exceptional circumstances in mind.
  • The exams procedure run-through can be found on this webpage
  • You had been notified of specific arrangements for each course by April 27. We will also send you your evaluation schedule as soon as possible. This information will be provided through MonULB; some teachers may also share information using their regular channels, including the Virtual University. We, therefore, encourage you to check your inbox regularly.
  • University-supported tools—namely Teams and the Virtual University—will enable you to sit your oral and written exams. In order to ensure you do not experience any technical problems, instructions will be sent by e-mail and through MonULB, in order for you to connect to the platforms by May 4; a specific helpdesk will be set up to provide any support you might need. It is essential that you sign in and follow the proper procedure!
  • ULB will set up rooms dedicated to remote exams, for students whose home environment does not allow them to sit exams. These rooms will not offer more services than what is available at home: tables, chairs and Wi-Fi signal, so that you may sit exams using your own computer. This resource will be offered only to students who absolutely need it; you must contact us in advance to book an exam room. A registration form will soon be available on MonULB.
  • Students who do not own or have access to a computer should not hesitate to contact us: we have already loaned a number of computers to students in need! The Student Welfare Office can be reached at sse@ulb.be.
  • MA theses vivas are maintained and to be held remotely.


Examinations in a classroom made available by ULB

The registration period to be granted access to a room to take your exams is now over. Indeed, a letter was sent to you on April 30th as well as a monULB app notification. 
These rooms will only be accessible to those who have registered before May 4th at 8pm.
 
However, if your personal situation has changed or if you are facing an unforeseen emergency (internet connection cut off, construction work has begun nearby, forced relocation, etc.), you can send an email to: Salles.Examens@ulb.be.
Your request will be analyzed with great sympathy as soon as possible.

 

Do you need technical assistance during your exams?

Contact the hotline on +32 2 585 53 52 from 08:00 to 20:00. Don't forget to have your student card at hand.
During the examination period, a hotline will be available for students who are having trouble accessing the examination platform (Teams for oral exams, Virtual University 2 for written exams).

This hotline is available from Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 20:00 (21:00 depending on the exam schedule). All students and teachers are invited to test their connection to these platforms before the beginning of the exam session, with the equipment they will use during the session. Should you not have completed these tests, the hotline will not be able to help you as effectively as expected. You will find all the practical instructions relating to these connections here.

If you are unable to use your testing setup right before or during your exam, please call +32 2 585 53 52.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Surname, first name, netID, personnel number, quality/relationship with ULB (students, teacher, other)
  • Number (mnemonic) of the course in question, title, name of the professor
  • A phone number where we can call you back if necessary

You may also be asked to provide other information depending on the problem you are experiencing. Note that, in order for us to assist you as efficiently as possible, the operator you will have online may require to take control of your machine remotely. If you consent, you will be asked to run an application according to the operator's instructions.

If in spite of your best efforts, you are unable to submit your exam, the hotline will notify the academic authorities, who will make the necessary arrangements and keep you informed. At any time, you can also check the state of online platforms for your exams on this page.
 

Libraries

The study and workspaces in ULB’s libraries will be closed and replaced by three computer labs (1 per campus), to be used exclusively by students who have no other access to proper work conditions. Students may access these rooms using their badges from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The computer labs are located:

Solbosch campus
Renaissance 1 room
J.1.202 (accessible via entrance J.A1.301)

La Plaine campus
Computer science room
E.1.2.314

Erasme Campus
PADI-SCIENCES Computer room
NO3.07A

  • To meet the most pressing needs, and before the complete reopening of our libraries, a contactless "Click and Collect" service to borrow books will be set up: online booking and dispatching in each of ULB's libraries' pick up points. 
  • The on-demand digitization service for journal articles and book chapters will be maintained
  • Work and study areas within the libraries will remain closed.
  • Other resources and services (remote access to electronic resources, online support and help) will remain unchanged.
  • For the concrete and precise details of these measures, consult the libraries website's regular updates.
   

Psychological support for students

The Mental Health Service at ULB (SSM-ULB) currently remains open and organises stand-by duty for crisis situations and the follow-up of its patients, on its 3 sites (Psycampus, La Plaine, the Guidance centre).  The SSM-ULB gives priority to tele/video consultations but will meet with patients if the situation requires it and if a meeting seems to be able to provide adequate and sufficient help.

Students can contact the SSM-ULB from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm by phone or email ONLY:
 
At Psycampus :

02/650 20 25, psycampus@ssmulb.be
Av A Buyl 127, 1050 Ixelles

At la Plaine :

02/650 59 26,  laplaine@ssmulb.be
Campus de la Plaine, blvd du Triomphe, Accès n°2, bâtiment HB, 1050 - Bruxelles

At the centre de Guidance :

02/503 15 56, centredeguidance@ssmulb.be
Rue Haute, 293, 1000 – Bruxelles

 

Help from the Student Social Service (SSE)

  • The Student Social Service can be requested by any student of the University facing financial, family, legal and/or administrative problems. The SSE has precise and varied information that the student will be able to use in the best possible way to organise his or her life during the period of study. It can also grant a whole range of social assistance.
  • In the current situation, you may be experiencing exceptional financial problems. If this is the case, do not hesitate to contact the Student Social Services Department by e-mail at sse@ulb.be.)
  • More information on the ULB website or via sse@ulb.be.
 

Rent and accommodation

  • If you are normally staying in one of ULB's residences and have left it to live elsewhere during the confinement: ULB will not levy the charges due for the months of quarantine, i.e. April, May and maximum June (i.e. 3 x 38 €).
  • If you have not left your place, whether in one of ULB's residences or any other accommodation and are having difficulties in paying your future rent (April, May or June), get in touch with the University's Student Social Services (sse@ulb.be) as soon as possible. They will assess your situation with you and decide on the assistance that can be granted.
  • Much more than your family home, we believe that your kot is, for many of you, the most suitable place to study. For this reason, the University does not recommend you terminate your lease, especially as it is still possible that the end-of-term exams may require, for some of them, your physical presence.
  • If you decide to end your lease agreement early, you will normally be liable for compensation of at least 2 months’ rent and at most 3 months’ rent. You can discuss this with your landlord to try to reach an amical agreement. Moreover, in the event that a new lessee, approved by the lessor, takes over the lease, the two parties may jointly agree to limit the compensation of the loss of actual rent.
  • If you rent accommodation in Belgium and wish to come back on the Belgian territory for your exams and the "blocus", download this document, fill it in and send it to patricia.scaux@ulb.be. Once all the provided information is verified, we will send it back to you. 
     

 
Legal help

If you are looking for support for legal advice, you can contact the Asbl “Quid”. It is a specific university platform that can answer students’ legal questions. You can contact the people who are responsible by email to the following address quid.ulb@gmail.com.
 

Members of ULB's programme for all ages (CEPULB)

As a safety measure, and with the approval of CEPULB’s President, it has been decided to suspend all activities in ULB’s programme for all ages until further notice.


Teaching activities

  • ULB teaching staff are duly invited to follow the Vice-Rector for Teaching's recommendations and adapt, if possible and with the help of the Education Department, their teaching material and provide students with online teaching alternatives.
  • Useful resources created by CAP can be found on the Staff Portal;
  • Nonessential gatherings (conferences, seminars, lectures, etc.) must be postponed or cancelled;

Check out our webpage dedicated to the maintenance of our teaching activities.
 

Welcoming colleagues, missions and stays abroad

  •  All travel must be postponed or cancelled;
  • Visits of foreign researchers and doctoral candidates must be postponed or cancelled.
 

  Theses vivas

PhD theses vivas are now to be held online, via videoconference. Should it prove impossible to hold them online, the PhD viva is to be postponed at a later date. 

 

Staff members


Teleworking remains, until further notice, the rule within the University as in the rest of the country. This measure applies to all staff members and to the teaching and evaluation activities.
In compliance with the instructions of the National Security Council and with a special focus on the protection of staff members, department heads have been asked to indicate, in specific documents, the laboratory research activities and priority activities (libraries, enrolments, etc.) that cannot be carried out by teleworking and can, therefore, be gradually resumed next week. Only those concerned by these activities will be allowed to return on our campuses.

1. Rules related to work

Teleworking and homeworking remain the norm for all staff members whose activity does not require to be on campus. With this in mind, it is crucial you remain in close contact with your line manager (SH/RO) so that s/he may set up necessary measures.
Prevention measures to respect for those whose return on campus is allowed:

  • Physical and social distancing

Physical distance (1.5 m) remains the priority measure. Adapt the work organisation so that this distance is respected for those present at work. Create sufficient distance between the workstations. More practically, no more than one person per 8m2 is permitted.
Although using stairs is always preferable, should you need to take the lifts, do it alone if possible, if not stand back to back to each other. Physical distancing must be observed not only between the individuals present on campus but also between them and any person called on-site for repairs, maintenance or cleaning. Sellotape may be made available to enable virtual physical barriers.

  • Hygiene

We urge you to observe sanitary measures at all times and frequently wash your hand with soap, proven more effective than hydroalcoholic gels, and dry them off with one-use and disposable paper towel.
Watch our tutorial on how to properly and safely wash your hands. 

  • AC and ventilation of workspaces

Ventilate your workspaces as much as possible. Do not use individual fans as they are prone to enhance virus propagation.

  • Meetings

Meetings are to be held digitally.

  • Masks

We strongly recommend the use of masks when the physical and social distancing measures cannot be observed.
We will gradually distribute masks (2 per person) as well as a hydroalcoholic gel to guarantee the hygiene measures are respected even when there are no water points. We will also, in stages, put up plexiglass partitions where needed.
Watch our tutorial on the use of masks

  • Working hours and schedules

Line managers will take actions that will allow for staggering working hours and breaks, flexible working hours, teamwork, adapting the work sequence. Flexible working hours will help avoid overcrowding of public transport
 

  • Parking

Anyone who is on campus and in possession of a staff card must have it with him/her and use it to access the buildings and car parks. We would like to thank you very much for not neglecting to do this as an effort to ease the work of the dispatching staff at the access points.

During this period of health crisis :

  • people who are not in possession of a parking sticker will not be penalized,
  • the rule of limited access to parking lots, which is usually in force for commuting staff members who are reimbursed for public transportation costs, does not apply.
  • If you do not yet have a membership card: you can request one by e-mail from Marianne Descheemaeker at the Human Resources Department. The badge will be provided to you as soon as possible. For technical reasons, the rate of production is currently slowed down, but temporary badges without a photo can be obtained in collaboration with the Protection and Security Service (Infrastructure Department).

Find all relevant information on these matters on the staff portal.
 

  • Lunchbreaks and meals

Lunchbreaks are to be had alone in an office or in a room where one can be isolated. Sharing cups, glasses, plates or cutlery is not permitted. Clean up the space upon leaving and wash your hands before eating.

  • Equipment and material

It is not allowed to share small equipment (i.e. telephones, keyboards, pens, protective glasses, books, etc.). If said equipment must be shared with other people, always disinfect it between uses.

  • Toilets

Even if the washroom area is designed for several users, it is strongly recommended that access be limited to one person at a time.

  • Buildings access and restaurants

Buildings and restaurants remain closed and protected. Access can be granted using your badge

  • Libraries access

As of May 11th, a contactless click-and-collect service will be set up to borrow books; online booking and dispatching in each of ULB's libraries' pick up points. For more details on these measures, consult the libraries website's regular updates.

For more information and recommendations, the generic guide "Working safely", published by the Federal Public Employment Service is available here.
 

Do you have a question?


2. Rules related to absence and confinement


If you show flu-like symptoms:

  • Contact a doctor, who will decide whether you should stay confined;
  • If you are at your workplace when the symptoms appear, inform your supervisor, go home and contact a doctor;
  • Your supervisor may also decide to ask that you not come to work;
  • Certain flexibility will be allowed regarding deadlines for presenting a medical certificate;
  • You may only resume work with approval from your doctor.
 

3. Workload management

For parents of children whose care could not be organised (via the school daycare centre or any other option other than that of vulnerable persons): an arrangement in the form of partial or total exemption from service may be considered. In order to do so, you should contact your Director of Administration, Director of Faculty Administration or your Dean, who may, if applicable, grant you an exemption from service.
This measure is an opportunity to adjust working hours and/or the usual tasks in this particular context. It requires adaptation by all. It is intended to be implemented flexibly both by the head of the hierarchy and the head of administrative, technical, academic and scientific personnel, on the principle that everyone should contribute collectively and as much as possible, whilst taking into account the importance of ensuring the continuity of our services. We are particularly calling on your sense of collegiality here.
With regard to day-care, given the deconfinement of certain sectors of activity, including ours, parents who will be returning to work on-site will in principle have access to day-care centres in their children's schools. Where childcare can be arranged in the home, it is suggested that the capacities of the said childcare centres be taken into account. The day-care centre on the Erasmus site remains open. As for the Solbosch one, actions are currently being taken to gradually reopen it as from next week. The parents of the children concerned will be notified individually.
 

Partner universities

  • Teaching activities

    • Remote teaching will be the norm until the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.
    • More info
  • Exams

    • The modalities for the 2019-2020 end-of-year examinations were made available to all students on 27 April.
    • ULB has already decided that they will not be held in person. ULB will take into account the constraints of exchange students returning to their home country.
    • More info
  • Academic year 2020-2021

    • To date, ULB confirms it will welcome exchange students for the 1st quadrimester of 2020-21. The deadline for partner nominations is May 15. This information may change according to the instructions of the Belgian Federal Government.  
 

Psychological support for staff members

In light of the Covid-19 health crisis, ULB has set up a psychosocial support platform available to all its staff members. The aim of this platform is to offer listening time and psychosocial support. Interviews will be done by telephone or WhatsApp video with one of the members of the platform, who are listed below: 
  • Psychosocial prevention counsellors: Sandra Billy, Estelle Van Ingelgem and Mathieu Dedobbeleer
  • People you can trust: Isabelle Decot, Yvon Molinghen and Nicolas Van Der Linden
These conversations are strictly confidential. General information on the issues identified will be relayed, if necessary, to the Authorities to support the functioning and institutional communication of the University.
If you feel the need, you can send your request for a telephone interview to the following e-mail address: aspects-psychosociaux@erasme.ulb.ac.be, mentioning the telephone number and the time slots during which you can be reached.  We will get in touch with you as soon as possible.  
 

Social services for staff members (SSP)

The social workers of the SSP remain available, initially by e-mail. They will then be able to contact you by telephone.
The SSP continues to follow up on requests, in particular for :
  • Granting financial, social and administrative support... And more particularly in these difficult times, the SSP is attentive to responding to urgent requests, particularly those linked to the difficulties encountered by the staff within the framework of Covid-19.
  • Receive and process files relating to statutory benefits :
    • Reimbursement of health care: during this period of confinement, the SSP exceptionally accepts the sending of invoices and certificates attesting that a treatment was provided by e-mail: veronique.van.brusselen@ulb.be.  Reimbursement will be made, within the limits of possibilities.
    • Reimbursement of nursery expenses (outside of ULB): you can send your request and documents by e-mail to veronique.van.brusselen@ulb.be.
  • Help you in the following areas:
    • Health: health insurance, insurance, maternity, physical and mental disabilities, accidents at work, illness.
    • Family: budget, housing, death of a relative.
    • Granting of social leave if necessary.
The SSP team remains available to support you in these special and difficult times, both financially and in all your daily difficulties. They are keen to keep in touch with you, so do not hesitate to contact our social workers: veronique.van.brusselen@ulb.be or marie-therese.vandenbosch@ulb.be.
More information can be found on the staff portal and in the social brochure.
 

Staff-oriented support platform

All information about the measures taken by the ULB authorities and the organisation of the University in the current context can be found on this very webpage. However, in order to be able to continue to be present and to listen to questions and queries relating to Covid-19, an e-mail support has been created. It is only accessible to staff members.
 

Facility access and restaurants

  • On-campus restaurants remain closed.
  • Gathering places, including recreational ones, are closed.
  • As a security measure, access to the various buildings can only be gained by using one's personal badge or by calling the dispatching centre via the intercom systems provided for this purpose or by telephone (02 650 2614).
  

Institutional events, cultural activities and student activities

  • On-campus student activities are cancelled or postponed. Student organizations are asked to apply the same instruction to their off-campus activities;
  • Cultural, sports and festive activities are cancelled or postponed;
  • Gathering places, including recreational ones, are closed.
  • Institutional and faculty events are cancelled or postponed.
 

Incoming mobility

2019-2020 Mobilities


If you are a student, a teacher, a researcher or a staff member doing a mobility exchange at ULB:
  • You are free to continue your curriculum/stay here or to return to your home university.
  • As exams will be taken remotely, you should be able to take them whether you decided to stay in Belgium or have come back to your country.
  • ULB follows the recommendations laid down by the Belgian government for entry into the country.
  • If you find yourself in need of financial aid, please reach out to your home university to assess what can be provided to you. 
 

2020-2021 Mobilities

For the moment, ULB is still planning on welcoming exchange students in September 2020. However, as the situation is far from being stabilized, we cannot ensure you that this decision will not be overturned.  In any case, ULB will strictly follow and abide by the national recommendations and all measures taken thus far are subject to change according to the National Security Council's decisions. In the meantime, we invite students to get their Erasmus exchange process started whilst remaining cautious (do not sign any binding contract without the explicit green light or any kind of insurance).

 

Outgoing mobility

1. If you are a student
  • currently staying abroad
If you have difficulties coming back to Belgium at the end of your stay abroad, contact Lara Rauwers (lara.rauwers@ulb.be).
  • due to leave soon :
Students who will soon be leaving or arriving within the framework of student mobility must cancel their trip.


2020-2021 mobilities
  • Outgoing mobilities are still planned, provided that all universities involved give their green light, that the borders reopen and that the national authorities' allow them.  
  • Do get in touch with your faculty if you have any question or wish to postpone (or cancel) your stay abroad.
  • We invite students to get their Erasmus exchange process started whilst remaining cautious (do not sign any binding contract without the explicit green light or any kind of insurance).
 

2. You are a staff member and need to travel for business reasons? 
 

  • Business travel may be considered essential.
  • However, before undertaking any travel abroad, it is nevertheless essential to check the entry conditions set by the country to which you need to travel in the context of the health crisis.

For example, the reasons for travelling on French territory will be, until further notice, extremely strict. They are nevertheless likely to change as elsewhere.

  • The Belgian authorities and the authorities of the Schengen countries organise internal border controls. Note that one cannot exclude a possible refusal to enter another country's territory. We, therefore, invite you to consult the regulations on the respective websites of the foreign authorities. More information
  • Should you be allowed to go abroad, you must fill in this authorisation form.


3. Staff members expecting colleagues visiting from an area or a country identified as an at-risk area


Reception of foreign colleagues, researchers and doctoral students must be postponed or cancelled.
 

4. You are currently abroad?

  • Diplomatic and consular offices remain the go-to contact points for all Belgian citizens who are abroad.  
  • The FPS Foreign Affairs reminded the need for all Belgian nationals to register on https://travellersonline.diplomatie.be. Indeed, all communications will be made via text messages or e-mails to registered Belgian citizens. 
  • Students, researchers and members of staff who are not Belgian nationals are invited to contact the embassy or consulate of their country of origin as a matter of priority.

5. Extension of one's stay in Belgium


Third-country nationals who are prevented from leaving Belgium for reasons of force majeure (quarantine, flight cancellation, border closure, etc.) may request authorisation to extend their stay. More information and the de-facto procedure are provided on the Immigration Office website
 

ULB Medical services


The Medical Service of the Solbosch campus will gradually resume its consultations. These will be by appointment only and under certain conditions.
From 18 May, GP consultations will resume from Monday to Friday, from noon to 4 pm. Physiotherapy consultations will also be possible following a strict schedule. Some specialist consultations will resume from May 25.

Before going to the Medical Service, please note that:
  • you must make an appointment by telephone only (02 650 29 29, Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 4 PM). No access will be allowed without an appointment;
  • you must go into the consultation alone;
  • you must wear a mask to enter the building;
  • if you present COVID-19 symptoms, you will not be admitted in the waiting room. You will be able to contact a general practitioner during his consultation hours (from 12:00 to 16:00).
Sanitary measures will be put in place in the building (regular cleaning of the premises, systematic disinfection of equipment and furniture, etc.).

Outside calling hours, two useful numbers are available:
  • On-call GPs in Brussels: 02 201 22 22
  • FPS Health: 0800 14 689
 

Health

Tutorials

 

What to do in the event of a suspected case (student, staff member, family or friend)?

Call your doctor and notify the University as soon as possible by contacting Dr Alain Levêque, the coordinator of ULB’s coronavirus response, and include your surname, name, date of birth and/or ULB ID. Briefly explain why you are contacting him, and provide a telephone number. Alain Levêque will get in touch with you.
 

What to do if a member of the university community is confirmed as having Covid-19?

 
If a staff member, student or international visitor is diagnosed with COVID-19,  it must be notified immediately to Dr Alain Levêque, the coordinator of ULB's coronavirus response, and include your surname, name, date of birth and/or ULB ID. Briefly explain why you are contacting him, and provide a telephone number. Alain Levêque will get in touch with you.
 

Parents of children

The day-care centre on the Erasmus site remains open. As for the Solbosch one, actions are currently being taken to gradually reopen it as from May 6th. The parents of the children concerned will be notified individually.
Schools With regard to day-care, given the deconfinement of certain sectors of activity, including ours, parents who will be returning to work on-site will in principle have access to day-care centres in their children's schools. Where childcare can be arranged in the home, it is suggested that the capacities of the said childcare centres be taken into account.
As a parent, you may have questions on the measures implemented by schools and daycare centres. You can find answers on the National Office for Children’s website.
Updated on May 26, 2020