COVID-19-related FAQs

This FAQ offers the answers (as far as possible) to the most frequently asked questions concerning IT-issues during the corona-crisis. The list will be updated continuously. Select your topic here:

UM offers several services for those working from home. Please note that in addition to these options, UM has a website specifically dedicated to offering online education. Also note that the UM has existing guidelines on IT usage and security.

IT - General

How can I work safely from home?
The UM offers three ways for employees to work from home and access UM systems:

  • Via regular internet
  • Via VPN
  • Via VDI

You can access a lot of UM’s systems via your regular home internet connection. However, some systems require that you connect to VPN or VDI.

VPN is a “Virtual Private Network”. By connecting to VPN from home, your computer connects to the internal network of the UM as if you are physically in one of UM’s building.

VDI stands for “Virtual Desktop Infrastructure”. When logged into VDI, you are working on a virtual Athena Desktop computer on UM’s servers instead of your own computer. Please note that at this time, VDI is only available for employees that already had VDI access before the corona crisis.

We can imagine that it can be hard for you to determine what technology to use to access different UM systems. That’s why we created an overview of systems and the way you can access them. In general, we try to make as much systems as possible accessible via regular internet, since both VPN and VDI have a maximum number of simultaneous users that can connect.

Lastly, especially with the cyber attack fresh in mind, it is important that working at home is done safely. Your own and UM’s data should be secure at all times. You can find information about cyber security here.

Which secure systems/tools can I use for safe digital collaboration from home?
Almost all of UM’s systems are available from home. In addition, the university provides support for several other systems that can aid remote working and collaboration. These systems are outlined below.

Three systems are available for video conferencing:

  • LifeSize: aimed at collaboration between employees. LifeSize offers possibilities for online meetings and video calls. You can read the FAQs about LifeSize here.
  • Zoom: mainly aimed at collaboration with and between students. In addition to video calls, Zoom offers virtual break-out rooms and other functionalities. You can find more information about Zoom on the special page for online education at UM. Here you can also find manuals that provide guidelines on the 'correct' use of Zoom. At Maastricht University, Zoom has been installed and set up so that you can use it safely. However, please use the version offered by UM and follow the corresponding instructions. If you have any questions or problems, please contact the online education helpdesk
  • Surf Videobellen: aimed at collaboration between researchers and research participants. This video conferencing service is suitable for high-risk purposes (e.g. interviews with research participants). If recording of the video is necessary, local recording of the conversation and storage on UM servers can be added to this service. Here you can find more information about using Surf Videobellen.

The following systems are available for collaboration and file sharing:

  • SurfDrive: comparable with Dropbox but developed specially for Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences. You can store files, share them with others and work simultaneously in the same document. You can find more information on the SURFdrive webpage. Access can be requested using the ICTS SelfServicePortal (search for “surfdrive”).
  • Virtual Research Environment: collaboration environment specially designed for research. The University Library provides more information.

UM is currently working to introduce Microsoft Teams, a program that brings together various collaboration tools, including video conferencing and file sharing. The program will initially be made available to a select group of users, and offered UM-wide as soon as possible. More information will follow.

How do I set up a VPN connection?
If you never used VPN before, go to After logging in with your UM username and password you will be prompted to install the Cisco Anyconnect Client on your system. Please run the installer and follow the installation wizard. You can find installation manuals for Windows, Apple and other operating systems on this ICTS page.

Once the Cisco Anyconnect Client is installed, you can use this to connect and disconnect to VPN. Since the number of simultaneous VPN users is limited, we kindly request you to disconnect your VPN connection once you are done working.

For more help on VPN (or when you have trouble installing VPN) consult ICTS’s manuals (search for VPN). Or contact the ICTS servicedesk.

How do I access VDI (AthenaDesktop) from home?
Please note before you start: at this time, it is not possible to be given VDI access if you are currently not a VDI user. When you have VDI access, you will be able to login. When you did not have VDI access in the past, you will get an error message when you try to login to VDI. In that case, we advise you to use VPN instead. You can access the VDI virtual desktop from home in two ways:

  • By using your browser: surf to and login. Some functionalities are not available this way (accessing local files and copy-paste).
  • By installing the Horizon Client (recommended). To install the VDI Horizon Client, which enables all functionalities, you can use the ICTS manuals for Windows or Apple.

If you have problems using VDI, please consult ICTS’s manuals (search for VDI). Or contact the ICTS servicedesk.

How can I access my UM email?

  • Webmail. You can go to to access your email without specific software.
  • Outlook. If you have Outlook (or another mail client) installed on your personal device, you can connect your UM email account using the manual.

How can I access files on UM servers (I, J, K, L drives)? 
There are two ways to access your files om UM servers from home: through VDI or VPN. Through VDI your files are available in the Windows file explorer after logging into VDI. The way to access your files with VPN depends on your device:

  • For Windows devices managed by the UM (e.g. your Athena Desktop laptop) your drives are available in the Windows file explorer as long as you have VPN enabled. If the drives do not appear in Athena Desktop, follow these steps to reconnect them. If your drives do not appear on a non-Athena Desktop Windows device, follow this manual ("Manual File Service - Mapping UM network drives in Windows").
  • For Windows devices that are not managed by the UM (e.g. your home desktop or laptop) you can connect to the drives following this manual ("Manual File Service - Mapping UM network drives in Windows"). Please note that VPN must be enabled before connecting.
  • For Apple devices, follow this manual to connect to the drives ("Manual File Service - Mapping UM network drives in MAC OS x"). Again, VPN must be enabled before connecting.

Please note that accessing your files through the UM drive website ( is NOT available for employees. Students can access their i-drive through this website.

Please always use UM’s file servers to store your UM data. This way the data stays safe and secure.

Can I access SAP from home?
If you can access VDI, you can access SAP from within your VDI session. Otherwise, you can access SAP via the webclient with VPN enabled on your computer. Please note that some very specific functions may not be available in the webclient, If you can’t access SAP, please contact ICTS or your local IT support.

How can I work with Drupal from home?
To work with Drupal you will need a VPN connection. Once the connection is established, you can log in as usual. 

I am an IT admin. How can I access specific UM systems?
To access specific UM systems that require additional security and that are not freely accessible from the UM network, specific VPN access can be created. Contact your information manager to request this access.

Does UM offer its own videoconferencing service?
UM offers employees a professional video conferencing tool, named LifeSize. LifeSize offers stable and high quality video connections, also for larger groups. The tool comes in two varieties:
> LifeSize Go for meetings with a maximum of 8 participants. You can set up a LifeSize Go meeting yourself via Please beware that LifeSize Go performs best with Google Chrome, and that meeting links generated with LifeSize expire after 12 hours.
> LifeSize Cloud for larger groups. LifeSize Cloud meetings have to be pre-arranged by contacting your local LifeSize administrator. LifeSize Cloud works best by downloading the app for your device.

An instruction on both LifeSize Go and LifeSize cloud as well as contact details for local administrators can be found here

For education purposes, the UM offers Zoom instead of LifeSize. More information and support on Zoom can be found on UM’s page on online education.

Where can I find useful IT manuals?
Click here to find ICTS's manuals. Additional information on IT support can be found at ICTS’s SelfServicePortal and on the Support page of the UM website.

I am an admissions officer and wish to process applications. How can I access SAP SLCM on a UM laptop?
To access SAP SLCM on a UM laptop, you can use the UM VPN service. Once you have established a VPN connection, launch the SAP Logon Desktop App via the Windows search function in the taskbar.

I am an admissions officer and wish to access the admission documents on MUSL share. How do I do this? You can access MUSL share via SAP SLCM as usual. Please note that you must have a VPN installed on your computer.

How can I answer questions by current and prospective students in Verint Express (eSC)?
You can access the Verint Express service manager through your web browser as usual (we recommend Chrome). 

How do I forward phone calls from my UM phone number?
Your personal UM phone number can be forwarded by request via the ICTS SelfServicePortal. Other general UM phone numbers (such as general phone numbers from secretariats or department numbers) can be forwarded by the information manager upon request.

Can I listen to voicemail messages left on the voicemail on my UM number (043388xxxx) from outside of UM?
At the moment this is not possible. In case you want people to be able to reach you by phone we suggest to forward your UM phone number to your cell phone number (see "How do I forward phone calls from my UM phone number?")

I have a different question.
If your question is not answered above, you can contact the ICTS servicedesk at servicedesk-icts[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl.

IT - Education 

How do I provide online education?
For information and tips, please visit

Where can I find support for providing online education?
Please address your questions to the online education helpdesk

How can I access my timetable from home?
You can access MyTimeTable directly at

As a course editor, I need to update the course catalogue for the academic year 2020/2021. When will the new course catalogue be available?
The preparations to transfer the information for the new academic year to the catalogue are continuing as planned. The course information for the academic year 2020/21 will be imported into Drupal as of 18 March, so the course editors will be able to make the required changes. The course information will yet not be visible on the front end. As usual, all course editors will be informed by email of the progress of the information transfer.

As a planner I want to schedule the courses and exams for period 5 and 6. How can I start Syllabus from home?
Since the cyberattack Syllabus has not been available via VPN and via Remote Desktop. At the moment the only option is to work via the VMware horizon client (VDI) or Please make sure to open Syllabus in the Internet Explorer browser within your VDI environment. Paste the following link in Internet Explorer: For more information about working with VDI, click here.​ 

As a planner, can I still book a room?
It is still possible to book a room online using ResourceBooker. Please note that not all rooms are equipped with recording equipment for online education.

IT – Research

How can I:

  • search for/find literature in the digital library?
  • publish?
  • check authenticity?
  • use PubMed?
  • distribute questionnaires?
  • share files with fellow researchers?
  • collaborate online with fellow researchers?
  • generate publication overviews or improve my online impact?
  • verify my identity on the internet and with publishers using an ORCID?

This information (and more) is available in the University Library’s researcher portal.

Where can I find support for processing or storing research data?
Al relevant information for UM as a whole and pertaining to its various supporting units (DataHub, IDS, UL, MEMIC, ICTS) can be found in the RDM portal: 

Where can I find support for specific, decentralised research support and IT services?
Please contact the local providers.

How can I reach the databases, E-books and E-journals of the digital library (​) from home?

Also see:

I have a different question.
For general questions not covered above, researchers are advised to contact the University Library support team.