As one of the first higher education institutions in Belgium, Brussels-based Vesalius College (VeCo) has decided to move its Bachelor programmes online for the entire first semester of the upcoming 2020-21 academic year, until January 2021. With this move, VeCo aims to accommodate its many applicants from abroad, who are unsure to be able to travel to Belgium, or get a travel visa in time, ahead of the start of the next academic year. Indeed, with Belgian consulates currently not processing any visa applications, many foreign students are facing significant practical hurdles to enter the Belgian territory after the Summer, even if borders would be reopened by then.
If allowed, VeCo will complement this measure by a higher number of events, such as guest lectures, that could then be attended either physically or online, to ensure students based in Belgium are still offered opportunities to meet each other, and to benefit from the College’s unique location in Brussels. VeCo’s BA programmes start in the second half of August. For its MA programmes, which start at the end of September, a decision has not been taken yet.
Sven Van Kerckhoven, Vice-Dean for Education of Vesalius College, commented:
With respect to the next semester, it is expected that higher education institutions will continue to be subject to certain imposed measures, which will greatly affect our ability to quickly go back to normal. Vesalius College’s programmes all have a specific global outlook. As a consequence, 80% of our student body typically consist of international students. With this unique characteristic in a Belgian context, it was vital for us to move fast with our decision to provide the first semester of the 2020 academic year in an online format. We have taken this decision to move online in the interest of all our future non-Belgium based students, and of course with the prime objective of ensuring the safety and health of all VeCo students, faculty, and staff. As a small College that is at the front of educational innovation, we are confident that the quality of our offerings will not be hampered by the move to an online environment.
About Vesalius College
Vesalius College (www.vesalius.edu) is an American-style college in Brussels founded in 1987, offering undergraduate and graduate education. It is operating in affiliation with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and offers degrees in communication, international relations & diplomacy, law, and business. It has a close collaboration with the VUB’s Institute for European Studies (IES).