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Students took final exams in a variety of quirky spaces this week in order to respect social distancing regulations

Spreading out

Many students from Odisee University College and the KU Leuven’s branch campus in Brussels took their final exams this week at the Ancienne Belgique concert hall. Students from VUB, meanwhile, took exams at the Art & History Museum in Jubelpark.

College and university students across Belgium took exams in all kinds of odd locations in order to respect social distancing requirements. Since students were not allowed to crowd into auditoriums in their respective educational institutions, deals were made with performance spaces, expo centres, museums and other large venues to provide space to them.

Students in Antwerp, for instance, could be found at Antwerp Expo as well as Waagnatie, a former harbour depot turned event space. In Ghent, thousands of students passed through Flanders Expo.

“We had a lot of questions about how this would all work,” a first-year chemistry student in Ghent told Het Laatste Nieuws, “but everything was really well organised. I could in fact concentrate better than in the university auditorium. People are always coughing in there, but here they seemed not to dare to. And in the auditorium, people are always whispering. It was a lot quieter here.”

KU Leuven is holding its exams at the university, but is spreading them over several weeks, until the first week of July, in order to limit the number of students in exam spaces at any given time. Hasselt University, meanwhile, has given up on bringing students together at all, administering exams digitally.

Photos, from top: Ancienne Belgique ©Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/BELGA; Flanders Expo ©VRT; ©Art & History Museum ©Benoit Doppagne/BELGA