Corona virus and Royal Conservatoire's response

The Royal Conservatoire is following the guidance of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the information from comparable institutions abroad, regarding COVID-19.

The Royal Conservatoire is constantly adding to the FAQ section below, to respond as quickly as we can to questions of students, pupils, teachers and staff. Please leave your question or comment through the form below or contact you Head of department directly.

Overview start of academic year 2020-2021

UPDATE 12 June 10.00 pm

  • The beginning of the academic year will see a gradual restart of face-to-face education. We are fully aware that face-to-face live education, be it in one-to-one lessons, group tuition or project activity, plays a fundamental role in conservatoire training. The current easing of the restrictions will make it possible to start with face-to-face lessons in September, but only gradually in alternation with a continuation of online lessons. Where at the beginning of the academic year there still may be an emphasis on online lessons compared to face-to-face lessons, we hope to readjust this balance (depending on the developments with the virus) at different moments during the academic year.
  • The Royal Conservatoire is well-known for its large number of attractive projects taking place every year. We are committed to continuing with project activity during the upcoming academic year and will do so in an adjusted form. As especially during the first semester large ensemble or group activity may be problematic, we will focus on small ensemble activity as much as possible. This will also provide us with fresh opportunities for closer cooperation between the ensemble activity in the performing departments and the departments of Composition, Sonology and Art of Sound. The departments will communicate beginning of July to their students about the highlights in terms of project activity during the next academic year, many interesting plans are currently being discussed.
  • The academic year will start with an introduction week called ‘StartUp!’ (a new name for the former ‘First Year Festival’) for our new Bachelor students. We have consciously chosen to welcome our new students ‘live’ in the conservatoire and offer them a hybrid programme offering both online and offline small group activities. With this approach we want to uphold the aim of the introduction week: giving new students the opportunity to get familiar with the departments, teachers and the conservatoire in general, but also with each other. During the StartUp! week an entrepreneurial bootcamp entitled ‘Explore New Playgrounds’ will also take place for all Bachelor 2 students in the performance departments. Similarly to the StartUp!, this activity, which is a new course focusing on career skills, will be offered in hybrid form, giving students the opportunity to develop, in a short time and in small groups, performance activities in the Theater de Regentes and its neighbourhood.
  • The current situation also provides opportunities with regards to new didactic working forms. We have learned a lot over the past few months on how to use online learning tools and it is clear many of these experiences are helpful for the future of our education. It is to be expected didactic methods will be developed and used that are different from those that we had in the past. For example, plans are being developed to restructure theory education into a hybrid form of online instruction and offline practical education in small groups. Some of the project activity may see international online masterclasses. Very recently a survey has been sent out to all students and teachers to gather feedback about experiences in e-Learning and this will feed into our plans for next year. Sufficient, dedicated funds will be allocated for a strong technical and didactic support to our teachers.
  • From an organisational point of view, the conservatoire is currently purchasing a new scheduling programme, which will ensure an optimal scheduling process and use of our facilities. In addition we aim to facilitate larger group lessons, working with facilities outside the conservatoire. In terms of planning, we expect to produce a schedule at the beginning of the next academic year, which will include all types of education (one-to-one lessons, group education, project activity and self-study). This schedule will be effective until the Autumn Holiday in October, when the schedule will be reviewed and, if developments allows us to do so, readjusted towards more offline activity. The same will happen around the Christmas Break. This way we can react in a flexible way to the developments as they occur. Unfortunately, this may also mean more restrictions in case of a second wave of infections by the virus.
  • From 22 June it will be possible for students who currently have insufficient opportunities to do so at home to study again within the KC building. This concerns individual self-study and rehearsals of small ensembles up to 4 people. You can request acces via this link. It is important that you carefully follow the hygiene instructions indicated within the building.
  • The School for Young Talent has started again, including lessons in music, visual arts and dance. Within the set rules for keeping distance and hygiene regulations (including walking routes, extra cleaning measures, applying plexiglass screens and attention to ventilation).
  • Classes for the youngest musicians from PI (pre-schoolers), BASIS (young wind instrument players) and the Children's Choir have resumed within the building. Applications for the new season starting September are welcome.

UPDATE 30 april 11.00 pm

  • The EWP and the library will restart their services, so that you can pick up equipment, books and sheet music on request, which will be prepared for you. The inner workings are described through the links above.

UPDATE 10 April 9:00 p.m.

    • As from today, students can apply to the university for financial support to compensate for the loss of income due to the corona crisis which cannot be recouped with an extra loan from DUO or under other schemes arranged by the government or the municipality. (It is no longer possible to apply, deadline was June 6th 2020).

      The automatic periodic payments of the study fees, which some students have arranged for, will be paused for at least the months of March and April. Mind you, it is a postponement, not a remission.
    • For the Bachelor 1 students the rules around the so called BSA, (Binding Study Recommendation) in which students who haven’t gathered enough study points in the first year are denied access to the second year, have been lifted. Students can now make up for the possible lack of study points in the second year, so all first year students with insufficient study points will preliminary be passed into the next.
    • For affordable meals the catering company that works at the Royal Academy of Art ‘June’ (location Nutshuis) will offer those who can present a student card either from the KA or the KC a meal for €2,50 (They actually cost €5,00 but the school will contribute half). Please note that the location is very spacious, and allows for you to keep your distance.
    • The website www.koncon.nl/e-learning has been launched to assist teachers, students and pupils creating and following online lessons.
    • Till further notice no KC students and teachers will be traveling abroad on curriculum activities. We offer help for those abroad trying to return to The Netherlands.

    Contact
    Please check your koncon e-mail address regularly for personal updates by principal Henk van der Meulen. Headlines will be shared through this webpage as well.

    With questions in regard to the curriculum and lessons please contact your department.

    For any ICT support you can mail ICT@hdkdenhaag.nl. Please be understanding of the possible overload of our ICT colleagues. Visit start.koncon.nl for a shortlink to digital platforms in use by The Royal Conservatoire.

    Please find below FAQ list for your reference. Should your question not be listed please fill out the contact form below and we will try to provide you with an answer as soon as we possibly can.

    Stel hier je vraag of deel je suggestie. Please leave your question or suggestion below.

    General - FAQ

    The building is open to the School for Young Talent, including the courses for the youngest children (PI, BASIS and the Childrens Choir).

    From 7 May, individual self-study within the building is possible. From 22 June onwards small ensembles up to 4 students will be able te rehearse in our building. for those students who have no or limited opportunities to study at home. Please use this link to register and follow the strict hygiene instructions that apply.

    The Electronics Workshop (EWP) and the library partly restart their services, as described in the EWP protocol and the Library protocol.

    The Royal Conservatoire and School for Young Talent crisis teams convene on a regular basis to monitor and discuss newest developments and make new decisions if appropriate. This information will be made available through the kondon.nl/corona website, where a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) section is added, as well as a contact form. Parents of children of the School for Young Talent will be emailed in case of new developments.

    In case of mild symptoms, the advice is as following:

    • Stay home and do not travel when ill
    • Staff, please report to your direct supervisor as well as HR: hr@hdkdenhaag.nl.
    • Students, please report to your Head of Department or Coordinator.

    Should your symptoms deteriorate, in particular should you have respiratory complaints:

    *Please call your general practioner first en tell them about any recent trips you may have taken, and clearly describe your symptoms. In case you do not have a general practitioner, please contact de GGD Haaglanden: 088-3550100. Our Studenten counsellor can advise on where to register with a general practioner if need be. Refrain from any social contact with others.

    In case of emergency, nights or weekends:

    The Hague - Huisartsenpost Hadoks: 070 346 9669

    Students - FAQ

    You can follow the lessons online as much as possible, untill travel guidelines change. Tuition fees can not be reimbursed.

    You can start the lessons as soon as you can come to the Netherlands. You can initially allready take the lessons online (as much as possible).

    Your spot will not be reserved, you will have to take the entrance exam again.

    All information about passing the English language test can be found here.

    On the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), you can find a special web page with Frequently Asked Questions.

    Continue your studies online as far as possible and do not deregister from the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen/BRP) via your municipality!

    Do you have a Dutch ressidence permit for study and have you already deregistered from the BRP: inform the International Students Adviser about it as soon as possible! He can report your temporary departure abroad because of the Corona crisis to the IND, to avoid that your residence permit will be cancelled.

    You can find contact details of embasssies and consulates in the Netherlands on the website of the Dutch Ministry of Foreig Affairs.

    For affordable meals the catering company that works at the Royal Academy of Art ‘Juni’ (location Nutshuis) will offer those who can present a student card either from the KA or the KC a meal for €2,50 (They actually cost €5,00 but the school will contribute half). Please note that the location is very spacious, and allows for you to keep your distance.

    For formal communication and most direct contact with departments and teachers, the Royal Conservatoire uses your @koncon.nl account.

    Some forward their @koncon.nl to their personal e-mail address, but the personal mailbox is outdated, full, or marks the message as Spam. You might be missing critical information, especially in this current time of corona (COVID-19) crisis.

    For now, you can reach your @koncon.nl e-mailaccount through outlook.office.com/mail. Your e-mail address is comprised of your [studentnumber]@koncon.nl. Please make sure to remove old messages, so your e-mail account doesn’t run into storage issues.

    If you have lost your password, please visit start.hdk.nl and choose ‘reset password’. If this does not work, please contact ICT@hdkdenhaag.nl.

    Please check the below platforms for reliable information regarding the corona (COVID-19) virus:

    Student counsellor Elke de Roos offers informatie through the intranet about finding a GP in The Netherlands. Evening and weekends, you have access to The Hague general practice center Hadoks: 070 - 346 9669

    When visiting a GP you will need to be insured. Most Dutch insurance agencies offer a 24/7 online registration process. Check www.koncon.nl, the following links for more info or contact International Students Adviser, Eugène Eijken:

    Students can apply to the university for financial support to compensate for the loss of income due to the corona crisis which cannot be recouped with an extra loan from DUO or under other schemes arranged by the government or the municipality. (It is no longer possible to apply, deadline was June 6th 2020).

    Due to the situation with regard to the Coronavirus and the cancellation of numerous concerts and other musical/cultural activities, submissions for CDO credits for incomplete projects may be accepted on a case by case basis (e.g. if rehearsals or preparations for a particular activity have already taken place). If you have any questions please contact Dominy Clements via CDO@koncon.nl.

    Change in the binding study recommendation
    At the end of the first year of their programme, students receive a binding recommendation on the continuation of their studies. Students who have obtained fewer than 45 ECTS credits in the first year receive a negative binding study recommendation, which means that they cannot proceed to the second year of the programme.

    For students who are prevented from earning 45 ECTS credits due to personal circumstances (illness or family circumstances, for example), the negative binding recommendation can be suspended once.

    The measures to combat the coronavirus will make it difficult, or even impossible, for some students to obtain the 45 ECTS credits. Like other universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands, we are following the policy adopted by the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences and will not be issuing negative binding recommendations to any Bachelor 1 students who have not earned 45 ECTS credits by the deadline of 31 August 2020. The recommendations will be postponed and will only be issued at the end of the next academic year. This means that all Bachelor 1 students will be able to continue with their studies. Naturally, students who have earned 45 or more ECTS credits will automatically receive a positive study recommendation.

    What this means for you
    If you have obtained fewer than 45 ECTS credits at the end of this academic year, the negative binding study recommendation will be postponed for a year. You can continue with your studies, but will still have to obtain a positive binding recommendation at the end of your second year. The requirement for a positive recommendation will then be that you have successfully completed the first-year programme (propedeuse). If you have not passed the propedeuse by the end of the second year, you will receive a negative binding recommendation and will then have to leave the programme. It is therefore important to give priority to passing the courses in the propedeuse phase of the programme in the second year of your studies.

    Naturally, personal circumstances that have an adverse effect on your studies could still be taken into account. If you fall behind in your studies again, it is important to contact the student counsellor, whom you can also consult if you have any questions about the binding study recommendation.

    Teachers and staff - FAQ

    It is important to also create a good working environment when working from home. A workplace where you can work healthy and effectively, this also ensures better productivity. Adjust the workplace properly with these recommendations. These tips will also come in handy when we will be able to work again at The Royal Conservatoire building:

    Variety
    It is important for both your productivity and your body not to work continuously for too long. Alternation can be done in different ways: alternating work posture, work tasks, regularly looking away from the screen, taking micro breaks and using pause software can help with this.

    Music and climate
    Music can help but also disrupt your concentration. Also ensure a good climate in your home, for example keep the room temperature around twenty degrees.

    Keyboard shortcuts
    Make more use of Windows keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse.

    Limit the use of tablet and smartphone
    Both in terms of total duration per day and the continuous duration. Perform tasks that can be done at a fixed workplace there as well. If you work with a laptop, it is best to use a separate keyboard and a separate mouse. Another tip is to put your chair close to the table. If you are far from your table or desk, you work with your arms extended. That puts a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders.

    A proper workplace everywhere
    Sitting and using screens often also occurs in private time. The same risks apply. It is therefore important to alternate after working hours and to be alert to signals.

    Salary payments for salaried employees are not at risk and will be transferred as usual.

    Our freelance teachers will be paid as originally agreed. We hope most classes will find an online alternative. If this proves not to be possible, perhaps they might be offered at a later date. When this proves to be impossible, the KC will honor the originally agreed remuneration as if the classes had taken place. Freelancers should consult with the head of the department they are working for, if and how the work can be continued remotely.

    In principle, agreements made about entering and leaving employment, temporary job extensions, allowances, adjustments to the annual task, etc. are all processed.

    The written confirmation of agreements and employment contracts can be delayed. Employees who are affected will be informed of this by email.

    Employees who work from home do not have to report sick when in a normal situation there would be no reason to report sick. Real' sick reports are made by sending an email to the head of department and to HR@hdkdenhaag.nl.

    The scheduled consultation hours with the company doctor continue as usual. If you have a cold, cough or fever, the consultation hours can be converted into a telephone consultation.

    If a holiday scheduled in the coming weeks is cancelled, the holiday hours allocated may be reversed. Please inform your department head and P&O via HR@hdkdenhaag.nl.