Service and AdviceCoronavirus: FAQ about student affairs and teaching

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More recent information will soon be available in English. Until then, please refer to the German page.
FAQ student affairs and teaching in German

3 November 2020

GENERAL ARRANGEMENTS

What do I have to watch out for when I enter university facilities or events?

*Update* You can only enter university facilities if you have none of the grounds for exclusion defined in the Corona Ordinance of the State of Baden-Württemberg, such as typical symptoms of an infection with the coronavirus.

The key steps to counter the spread of the coronavirus remain social distancing of 1.5 meters, which applies generally for all rooms, areas and places where people move around.

In addition to the requirement to keep our distance, it is now compulsory to wear a mask protecting our mouth and nose in all areas of the university open to the public, as well as in all corridors and areas of circulation in university buildings. Visors should not be regarded as equivalent to a fabric mask. In the case of events, also in rented premises, participants have to wear a mask during the whole event.

Furthermore, the Corona Ordinances require the university to record the contact details and period of presence of all visitors, users and participants at events (see also the next question).

Will my contact details be recorded when I visit university premises and attend events?

The Corona Ordinances require the university to collect the following details from all visitors, users and participants at events: first and last name, address, date and time of presence, and telephone number. The duty to record data has been expanded e.g. to the student portal, all advisory services and the use of learning and study areas that need to be reserved. In the case of regularly attending series of lectures, your contact details have to be recorded initially and thereafter for every single occasion.

This documentation is meant for tracing possible chains of infection and must be kept for four weeks. Then it has to be destroyed in conformity with privacy law (e.g. in data protection containers). In order to make it easier, there are now forms for collecting contact details, which visitors, users and participants will fill out at the respective event.

The recording of contact details will, wherever possible, be carried out digitally via scanning a QR code when entering the premises. Every user, visitor or participant at an event is obliged, on entering a room with electronic contact data collection, to carry an electronic device with a scan function, e.g. a smartphone, using it to scan the QR code and enter their aforementioned contact details in the relevant fields.

DEGREE-RELATED ACTIVITIES

Extended standard length of study course

For all students enrolled in the 2020 summer semester in Baden-Württemberg, the standard length of their individual study courses will be extended by one semester. Accordingly, the maximum period allowable for receiving the federal student grant (BAFöG) will also be raised by one semester.

Winter semester 2020/21

*Update* For the winter semester the university’s on-campus degree-related operations, including examinations, have been changed to online teaching formats, initially until 30 November. In certain cases the Rectorate may allow for exceptions.

How can I reach contact persons at present to ask questions about the topic of my study course?

The university administration offers you the full range of services in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Service Portal is your first port of call for information and advisory services provided by the student administration staff and course advisers for German and international students.

You can phone the Service Portal from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 4pm and on Fridays between 9am and 1pm on +49 6221 54-5454 and by email at studium @ uni-heidelberg.de

For the protection of those seeking advice and of employees it is, however, necessary to reduce personal meetings and avoid waiting in line. Consequently, the Service Portal requests you to reduce personal visits and consultations to the absolutely essential and to make a prior appointment on +49 6221 54-20801.

Lectures, seminars and internships

How will lectures, seminars and practicals take place in the winter semester?

*Update* The current Corona Ordinances stipulate that on-campus degree-related activities are suspended in November, with exceptional arrangements particularly for examinations, laboratory practicals and practical training elements. Libraries and archives remain open.

Can international students come to Heidelberg University?

Heidelberg University is an international university and explicitly invites students from Europe and the world to enrol in the 2020/21 winter semester. They should, however, respect applicable travel regulations.

What arrangements are there for risk groups?

*Update* Among the students and teachers are members of risk groups. Respecting the special working conditions, faculties/subjects will endeavour – when physical presence is possible again – to guarantee participation through hybrid offerings (digital/in-person) or facilities for online co-presence. 

What is Plan B if on-campus activities are not possible, or are suspended, in the winter semester?

The study programme will be digitally in order to be able to ensure regular academic progress in the winter semester.

Can laboratory practicals be held?

*Update* Laboratory practicals can be approved and held under certain conditions.

Can excursions take place?

*Update* Excursions (e.g. fieldwork, student excavations) can be approved and held under certain conditions. During the journey and the excursion – all participants must wear a mask covering their mouth and nose.

Which services are available for digital collaboration and teaching?

Many instruments for digital teaching methods have been made available in cooperation with the University Computing Centre. They include video and audio conferences, collaborative platforms and the new Moodle platform.

I am a teacher and would like to hold my class digitally. How does that work?

In principle, all members of the university engaged in teaching have access via their Uni-ID. All others to be associated with teaching in the 2020 summer semester can receive a Uni-ID for a semester as part of their teaching assignment (Lehrauftrag). In order to be granted a teaching assignment, please contact the Human Resources Division through your faculty.

With the motto “From academics for academics” the new Moodle platform offers all teaching staff an area with instructions, tips and overviews for designing online teaching, which is being continually expanded. Your ideas, suggestions and additions are welcome via digitale-lehre @ uni-heidelberg.de.

I am a teacher and would like to organise an on-campus practice teaching session. How does that work?

*Update* The holding of on-campus classes is currently only possible after approval by the Rectorate. The hygiene concept must be adhered to and a risk assessment for decentralised rooms must be prepared. A hygiene concept and a risk assessment are available for the centrally allocated rooms.

Examination and course requirements

Will examinations be conducted?

Examinations will be conducted with personal presence and in digital form.

*Update* In-person examinations will be held, after obtaining approval, in compliance with the relevant rules for protecting against infection and for occupational safety.  A hygiene plan and risk assessment will be available in each case.

The faculty or the persons responsible for the examination shall guarantee the compliance with applicable infection protection rules, compulsory documentation and respect for the requirements of the Coronavirus Ordinance.

Digital examinations may be conducted in the winter semester, on the basis of the Supplementary Examination Regulations of Heidelberg University (available in German).

How do I contact the examination offices?

Please consult the website of your own examinations office about ways of making contact or special contact addresses to which you can write. The examination offices are generally reachable by phone or email.

How can I submit exam papers and coursework?

Please submit all written exam and study assessment work exclusively in digital form as PDFs to the respective examinations office or teaching staff. 

I am a teacher and would like to conduct an examination. What new rules are there?

The university has extended the scope for conducting exams in the 2020 summer semester and 2021 winter semester. Possible options include extending deadlines, as well as using electronic means to hold oral exams and submit coursework. Details may be found in the Supplementary Examination Regulations (EPO).

Where can examinations be conducted?

Examinations can be conducted in the examination centres set up for this purpose or in the institutes’ own premises after taking precautions against the spread of the coronavirus. There must be a hygiene plan and a risk assessment; furthermore, attendance lists must be kept and duly retained. You will find all important information on the pages of the examination centres.

Questions specific to teacher training

To answer all questions specific to teacher training, the Heidelberg School of Education (HSE) has set up a special page that contains all official information and is regularly updated. Please consult this website for updates on the information below.

Further information on this topic can also be found on the FAQ page of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Education.

What should Lehramt students do if they had to prematurely terminate their orientation placement (BOP1) through the closure of schools?

Schools in Baden-Württemberg will be closed throughout the state from 17 March 2020 until after the Easter holidays. This also affects the implementation and continuation of orientation placements (BOP1). The Ministry of Education has created an FAQ page on school closures (see above) with a recommendation to the universities that if two thirds of the orientation placement (making ten days) have taken place, the last five days do not need to be made up later and the placement can be counted. This means: anyone who was able to experience at least ten days of the school placement has fulfilled the practice phase.

Regarding all other cases (when less than ten days of placement were possible, or none at all) substitute coursework is possible under certain preconditions (apart from repeating the placement in the next session).

In order to enable maximum flexibility for the students, follow-up workshops for the career orientation practice phase 1 (BOP1) will take place digitally.

Substitute coursework is available for students who had to interrupt their BOP2 internship owing to the coronavirus crisis.

Registration, deregistration and leave of absence

What registration deadlines apply for the 2020/21 winter semester?

Registration deadlines for the 2020 winter semester can be found on the Student Affairs websites under registration deadlines.

How can I register, deregister or apply for leave of absence?

Applications may be submitted in writing. Further information can be found on the study pages.

On its website the International Study Centre has posted up-to-date information about the DSH (German language exam for university access) and the admission exams for pre-programme studies.

I can’t submit my certificates in time to enroll for a master’s programme for the 2020/21 winter semester as my present university is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic or not in a position to issue the certificates. Can the deadlines be extended?

An extension of the closing date can be granted for enrolling, and also for handing in your bachelor certificate.

I am enrolled in a programme of scientific continuing education. Where can I find further information?

The general measures and arrangements also apply for scientific continuing education. The colleagues there will give additional information and name people to approach if you have more specific questions.

How can I pay my re-enrolment or tuition fees?

Please transfer your student payments (semester contribution, tuition fees) to the bank account below, if you have not arranged a direct debit mandate.

BANK TRANSFER 
Baden-Württembergische Bank, Stuttgart
IBAN: DE28 6005 0101 0004 9617 81
SWIFT/BIC: SOLADEST600
(BLZ 600 501 01 Kto. 4961781)
Purpose: Enrolment no. and surname, first name 

How and when can I get my student ID card and my Uni ID?

*Update* Your student ID card and Uni ID will be sent to you by post. In exceptional cases the Uni ID can be conveyed by other means that are legally safe. Approach the student administration about that.

Where can I validate my student ID card now?

The validation machines are accessible during regular opening hours. The validation machines in the building Seminarstraße 2 (Carolinum) are located on the ground floor, left in front of the service portal.

How can we currently obtain the discharge note from the University Library needed for the confirmation of deregistration?

Students can currently send in their applications for deregistration to the Student Administration without the discharge note from the University Library. The Student Administration staff will ask the University Library directly to grant the discharge.

I have been officially deregistered, what must I do?

Please call the Infotelefon +49 6221 54-5454 to tell the Student Administration or International Office if you wish to continue your studies. 

Study abroad and ERASMUS

Is study abroad still possible as part of my degree course?

On the basis of the present situation, all exchange programmes will take place as planned in the 2020/2021 winter semester. However, all students are urgently advised to follow the travel advice of the Federal Foreign Office. If you have doubts or inquiries please approach the coordinator of your exchange programme in the International Relations Division. Furthermore, we strongly recommend that, before their study abroad, all Heidelberg students register with ELEFAND (electronic list of Germans abroad), which is a precautionary list kept by the Federal Foreign Office for use in the event of a crisis.

What should I do if I have to terminate my Erasmus studies?

We need (by email) a certificate of attendance from the host university and a written statement, detailing why the Erasmus studies cannot be continued in a reasonable manner. The Erasmus scholarship will only be granted for the period of physical stay in the host country for study purposes.

Can I also continue the semester online from home?

If the host university offers this possibility, yes. The attendance certificate is evidence of the whole duration of your study period at the host university, if applicable including online periods. The Erasmus scholarship will only be granted for the period of physical stay in the host country for study purposes.

University Library, institute and departmental libraries

Can the services of the University Library be used again?

*Update* The service areas of the University Library in the Old Town and its Im Neuenheimer Feld branch are open, as are the decentralised libraries. It is possible to order books and collect them at the library. The reference areas of the University Libraries are meanwhile open for limited periods and subject to the applicable requirements. Access and attendance arrangements apply.

All digital offerings of the University Library continue to be available as usual. The enhanced digital offerings are being maintained in order to limit library visits only to those that are strictly necessary. The document delivery service HEDD (Heidelberg Electronic Document Delivery) is also still on offer for students of Heidelberg University. The same applies to ordering books from the holdings of the University Library for members of the university with postal delivery to their homes. Many publishing houses are supporting Heidelberg University during the coronavirus pandemic by activating additional or so far unlicensed content.

The University Library provides information about the regulations for access to the buildings and the digital library with its extended service offers on its website.

Social care services and funding

To whom can I turn with questions about financing my studies, paying my rent or if I have psychological problems?

The student services organisation (Studierendenwerk) Heidelberg offers advice and support on all questions relative to the coronavirus crisis regarding student grants (BAföG) and financing your studies. It is responsible for issues connected to accommodation and leases in student residences of the Studierendenwerk. Its services also include assistance with psychological problems or emotional stress.

Social engagement

I would like to offer my help. As a student, how can I contribute to coping with the present coronavirus crisis?

The Heidelberg Medical Faculty is currently coordinating the deployment of volunteers. In demand are medical students or people with nursing or paramedic training. The procedure is being coordinated by the Office of the Dean of Studies, and the contact persons are  Abra.Tsolenyanu @ med.uni-heidelberg.de and Florian.Schuhmacher @ med.uni-heidelberg.de.

Students with previous health-care experience can register on the website “match4healthcare”. Across the country, this online tool will refer them to hospitals, health authorities and many other institutions. It also covers the Medical Faculty Mannheim (UMM) and its teaching hospitals.

Students without previous health-care experience can consult the websites of the City of Heidelberg and the City of Mannheim, which have posted a compilation of numerous initiatives supporting volunteers in offering their assistance.