Dutch university lecturer calls it quits over relaxed COVID-19 measures

A PhD student and lecturer from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has left his job as a result of the relaxed coronavirus measures that are due to start in September. 

Many Dutch university students have spent the past year behind a screen, feeling isolated and unmotivated — but with the rise of infections, is now the time to re-open?

In an opinion piece for the student magazine Folia, literature lecturer Matt Cornell has called the university’s COVID-19 measures too relaxed and “irresponsible”. 

At UvA, students will be allowed to return to campus without keeping a 1.5-metre distance. While masks must remain on when moving, seated students can remove them. 🤔

“Like many other companies that are profit-oriented or pretend to be, the UvA has chosen to focus on what is allowed, rather than what is responsible,” said Cornell in the article. 

Students will return to the University of Amsterdam campus in September. Image: alessiapenny/Depositphotos

‘Hygiene theatre’

Cornell believes that UvA is ignoring the advice from the GGD and the Outbreak Management team. He calls these relaxed measures merely “hygiene theatre.” 🎭

He also claimed that students and staff doing self-tests is not enough. He believes that the university should have a testing centre on campus with trained professionals. 

“The UvA should only offer face-to-face education to those who have been vaccinated,” he says.

UvA responds

A university spokesperson has responded to Cornell, arguing that students are suffering from mental health issues and loneliness and that these relaxed measures can help with that. 

“‘It is incredibly important that after a year and a half of distance-learning, students can go back to campus,” said the spokesperson. 

What do you think about this professor calling it quits? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Frans Ruiter/Unsplash

Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).


  1. This professor probably goes to the grocery with no masks. Bar with no masks. Visit friends, no masks.

    But teaching is really dangerous… 🤦🏻‍♂️


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