Where possible, in-person education was the starting point during the pandemic. Teaching in small groups and lectures in De Vereeniging and De Stadsschouwburg continued during the ‘intelligent lockdown’. Even the largest lecture hall on campus, in the Grotius building, could only accommodate 82 students within the constraints (as opposed to the usual 482). De Vereeniging could accommodate 300 students.
“It’s wonderful for our students and lecturers that we can use the auditoriums at these Nijmegen theatres,” said rector magnificus Han van Krieken in De Gelderlander newspaper. “Coming together and ‘looking each other in the eye’ is important for the quality of our education. We will continue to work towards that.”
“Normally, there are well-known artists on stage here,” said a first-year law student after a lecture in De Vereeniging. He expressed his appreciation to Voxweb for the university’s efforts: “In-person education is much more fun than attending lectures online.”
On Voxweb, university historian Jan Brabers placed the lectures in a historical perspective: “On 17 October 1923, in the same large concert hall at De Vereeniging, Professor Jos Schrijnen delivered his famous speech ‘Eigen kultuur’ (Own culture) on the occasion of the opening of Radboud University (then called the Roman Catholic University). It is remarkable to see that now, almost 100 years later and under completely different circumstances, this hall is playing an entirely different, but also important, role in university history. And therefore, it seems to me, it’s also remarkable to attend or give a lecture in this space.”