In its press conference of 18 June, the government announced that universities can prepare themselves to abolish the 1.5-metre distance measure for staff and students in higher education from 16 August. On 13 August, the government will make a final decision on this. Pieter Duisenberg, VSNU president: ‘It would be very good news if virtually all the coronavirus restrictions for higher education would be abolished. As a result, first-year students can still enjoy their orientation weeks and we can look forward to a new academic year without restrictions. The pandemic has shown that the academic community is present everywhere, but especially that social contact is essential for academic education.’
Friday 4 June saw the Dutch universities unanimously reappoint Pieter Duisenberg as President of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). Anton Pijpers, Member of the Executive Board of the VSNU and President of the Executive Board of Utrecht University: ‘Pieter has been working tirelessly for the universities over the past few years. The Dutch universities are convinced that he will be able to make a significant contribution to our sector over the next four years as well. We appreciate Pieter’s energy and have full confidence in him as President.’ The reappointment means that Pieter Duisenberg will hold the post of President of the VSNU until 1 October 2025.
On Tuesday, 26 January 2021, the VSNU organised a theme afternoon on plagiarism in education and research. More than 250 people attended, including members of the research integrity committees and university examination and appeals boards, policy staff, academics and students. To ensure that the impact of the theme afternoon would not be lost and also that plagiarism would continue to be a subject of discussion, the speakers and other authors then compiled a collection of articles on plagiarism in research and education under the leadership of Prof. Jonathan Soeharno and Prof. Keimpe Algra.