Service and AdviceCoronavirus: FAQs about student affairs and teaching

3 December 2021

The 2021/2022 winter semester has seen a general return to work on campus.

Access to the premises of Heidelberg University is only admissible with a valid 3G certificate (vaccinated, recovered, tested).

Since Monday 29 November 2021, the 2G rule has applied in all on-campus lectures/classes; the 3G rule only remains in examinations and practical classes. Verification will be done as a full-scale check. At the same time, the university is extending the free test opportunities for students until Christmas.

Vaccination opportunities

Mobile vaccination teams of the Rhine-Neckar District Health Department regularly offer opportunities to be vaccinated. Additional vaccination opportunities for university students are in preparation.
More Information

General Arrangements

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

The central measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus remain the obligatory distance of 1.5 metres to other persons, adequate ventilation in the buildings as well as the general hygiene rules (disinfection, hand hygiene etc.). Persons with Covid-19 symptoms, or who are in officially ordered quarantine, are prohibited from entering university grounds.

*Update* The 2G obligation (the German abbreviation for vaccinated or recovered) applies to all persons attending on-campus classes, exams or other degree-related activities inside the buildings. This involves the duty to present evidence of vaccination, recovery or up-to-date negative test results. The 3G obligation (vaccinated, recovered, tested) applies to teachers and others actively involved in the class/event. The 3G obligation also applies to degree-related activities in the open air.

*Update* Only in the case of examinations and practical classes (e.g. lab practicals) that absolutely require personal attendance will the 3G rule continue to apply, i.e. a showing valid test certificate (rapid antigen test 24h, PCR test 48h).

*Update* The use of student study places outside the library likewise depends on presenting a valid proof of vaccination or recovery according to the 2G rule. Student study places within the library as well as others ways of entering the library are subject to the 3G rule. Producing evidence is not obligatory for fetching and returning media in libraries.

*Update* If a student has received a medical recommendation against vaccination, they can still attend on-campus 2G lectures and events after submitting a doctor’s certificate and a valid negative test certificate. The negative Coronavirus test from a professional, public test centre must not be older than 24 hours in the case of a rapid antigen test, and 48 hours in the case of a PCR Test.

*Update* Students can have a cost-free rapid antigen test until 23 December 2021 from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm: 

  • Campus Old Town: Inner courtyard of the New University
  • Campus Im Neuenheimer Feld: Square in front of the Mensa

The rapid antigen tests are carried out by the students themselves, under supervision. The test result is available after about 15 minutes. A negative result is confirmed in writing and applies for 24 hours on the premises and in all on-campus classes and events at the university.

Teachers are no longer permitted to offer self-organised rapid tests before the start of the class.

There is a fundamental obligation to wear a medical mask on the university’s external grounds and inside all rooms. If the minimum distance of 1.5 meters away from other persons can be reliably kept, the following exceptions from the mask mandate can be made:

  • in the open air,
  • for presenters while they are speaking,
  • when the minimum distance is not kept outside the sporting activity (e.g. in the changing room); during the sporting activity regardless of the distance there is no need to wear a mask.

*Update* No exception from the mandatory mask is now allowed in examinations or when keeping a distance inside the buildings.

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

The Corona Ordinance on Degree-related Operations requires 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 covers all on-campus classes/events and other forms of degree-related activity, along with the use of student study places. In the case of regular lectures, your contact details have to be recorded for each one and  on every single occasion. When using libraries and archives, your contact details must also be recorded unless you are just collecting or returning media.

This documentation is meant for tracing possible chains of infection and must be kept for four weeks. Then it has to be destroyed or deleted 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.

Collecting contact details will, however, not take place in paper form but electronically, wherever possible, through 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.

Checking on 2G or 3G compliance only takes place through presentation of certificates. For reasons of data protection the results will not be personalised, saved or recorded in writing.

Degree-related activities

Extended regular course length

For all students enrolled in Baden-Württemberg in the summer semester 2020, winter semester 2020/21 and summer semester 2021, the individual regular course length will be extended by the appropriate number of semester. For students enrolled in these semesters, the maximum length for receiving a student grant will then rise by the relevant number of semesters for all courses of study.

Winter semester 2021/2022

The current version of the Coronavirus Ordinance on Degree-Related Operations issued by the State of Baden-Württemberg sets out reliable general conditions for its universities to resume work on campus on the basis of the 2G or 3G rule. Heidelberg University will therefore offer as many on-campus lectures/classes as possible and just continue with online formats to supplement them.

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

The university administration offers the full range of services, but the 3G rule on the university premises must be respected.

The Service Portal is the 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 reach us by phone 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 and during the personal consultation hours
Monday to Thursday, 10:00-16:00, and Friday, 10:00-14:00.

 

What is to be done if a university student develops typical Covid symptoms, tests positive or is classified as a close contact person?

The university has drafted recommendations for action for students and lecturers. However, if all anti-Covid rules have been respected while they were inside the university (thorough checking of 2G or 3G certificates, distancing, mask, ventilation etc) there should have been no “close contacts” and therefore no high risk of infection.

Lectures, seminars and internships

How will lectures, seminars and practicals take place?

Lectures, other classes and examinations will be generally held on campus in the 2021/2022 winter semester. Please consult the websites of your course or subjects, along with the information in LSF.

Can international students come to Heidelberg University?

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

What can I do if my internship is not possible, although required by the examination regulations?

Should current circumstances still make it difficult to complete internships at home and abroad, it may be possible to submit proof of achievement in another format as long as this meets the substantive subject requirements. Please talk to your academic advisor and/or your examinations office about this.

Can laboratory practicals be held?

*Update* Laboratory practicals can be held. If they absolutely need to be held with physical presence, then the 3G rule applies.

Can excursions take place?

*Update* Excursions at home and abroad (e.g. field practicals, teaching excavations) may be carried out subject to respecting the 3G rule. The 3G obligation likewise applies when participants set off by car or university coach. During the trip, and also during the excursion in the open air, all participants must wear a medical mask if they are less than 1.5 metres away from each other. The regulations prevailing at the local level must also be respected.

I am a teacher and would like to organise an on-campus practice teaching session. Do I need to note anything special?

No approval is required from the Rectorate to hold on-campus classes. The hygiene protocol must be respected, a risk assessment must be drawn up for decentralised rooms and compliance with the 2G or 3G obligation must be guaranteed. A hygiene plan and risk assessment is already available for rooms that are allocated centrally.

*Update* Since 29 November 2021 a full-scale check on 2G and 3G certificates of all participants has taken place in every on-campus class, as well as a check on the 3G certificates of all others playing an active role in it. In the centrally organised university rooms/halls a (centrally organized) full-scale check on certificates takes place from Monday to Friday in front of the building or seminar room:

  • Central halls of Campus Old Town: at least from 8 am to 8 pm
  • Central halls of Campus Neuenheimer Feld: at least from 8 am to 6 pm

*Update* In all classes and examinations that do not take place in the above rooms and at those times, the lecturers or departments will conduct a full-scale check on attendees. For every on-campus class, the checking of certificates is to be documented by means of a form sheet. If possible, the verification should take place via the CovPassCheck App of the Robert Koch Institute using a service device, alternatively as a sight check. This confirmation must be deposited in the faculties at a central place and kept in accordance with data protection requirements.

If a student has received a medical recommendation against vaccination, they can still attend on-campus 2G lectures and events after submitting a doctor’s certificate and a valid negative test certificate.

I am a teacher and would like to hold an on-campus class at which, in view of the expected numbers attending, I can’t guarantee that they will be able to keep the minimum distance to one another in the room. How is that possible?

*Update* Independently of whether the minimum distance can be respected in on-campus classes, participants in rooms inside the building have to wear their masks at their seat as well. If the class takes place outside they only have to wear their masks if they are cannot respect the minimum distance. The organisational implemention must be integrated into the hygiene protocol of the class. 2G or 3G rules must be followed independently of whether the minimum distance can be respected.

Examination and course requirements

Will examinations be conducted?

Examinations will be conducted in principle with personal presence. In-person examinations will be held in compliance with the relevant rules for protecting against infection and for occupational safety. A hygiene plan and risk assessment must be available in each case.

*Update* In the case of on-campus examinations, masks are also compulsory throughout, regardless of whether the minimum distance is observed. The 3G rule must also be respected.

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.

How do I contact the examination offices?

The examination offices are available by phone or email during the usual office hours.

How can I submit exam papers and coursework?

Please submit all written exam and study assessment work 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 State Higher Education Act (LHG) has made provision for online examinations and their special requirements (§§ 32a, 32b LHG).  BUT PLEASE NOTE: The holding of online examinations is only admissible if this is laid down in the respective examination regulations or in another university statute.

  • Oral examinations may be held as video conferences. Please make sure that the technical equipment is stable and give the examinees the opportunity to test the digital facilities beforehand. Before signing up, students must be informed about the organisational conditions and the closing date for registering. Furthermore, it must be clearly announced before the examination at what point it will be discontinued in the event of a technical disorder and what consequences will then arise (e.g. will the exam just be interrupted or need to be repeated?). Making a recording of the examination is inadmissible. The students’ identity can be checked by their showing a photo or student identity card at the start of the exam.
  • Online video examinations that are not held on the university premises are voluntary and subject to the students’ agreement, i.e. a parallel offer of an on-campus examination must be kept ready, in order to give them a choice of options.
  • In view of the high amount of organisation needed, the legislator advises against written examinations with video supervision. As compared with “open book exams” (writing exam papers with resources to hand), they offer no advantage relative to securing against deception and legal, technical and staffing considerations prevent their being implemented appropriately at present. “Open book exams” can e.g. be organised in various ways via Moodle.

Furthermore, compliance is required for the standardised hygiene rules for examinations.

What should be noted if students cannot arrive in time, or at all, for an on-campus examination for reasons connected with the pandemic?

If students cannot make it back from abroad for an on-campus examination, that must be examined individually in the light of the examination rules. Ideally, the dates and formats of examinations will be announced in good time to allow for compliance with entry and quarantine regulations.

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.

What should I do if I suddenly have symptoms of COVID-19 on the day of the examination?

In this case you must immediately notify the examiner/Examination Board that you wish to withdraw from the examination. Then you must present a doctor’s certificate without delay. The Examination Board will decide on the basis of the evidence and circumstances of the individual case whether the withdrawal is granted.

What must I do if I suddenly feel ill during the examination?

You must immediately notify the examiner/Examination Board that you wish to withdraw from the examination. Then you must present a doctor’s certificate without delay. The Examination Board will decide on the basis of the evidence and circumstances of the individual case whether the withdrawal is granted.

What do I do if before the examination or on the day of the examination I feel that I am not up to the strain of the present coronavirus situation and my ability to perform is reduced?

Here too it is possible to withdraw from the examination. The withdrawal must then be notified without delay to the examiner/Examination Board. A doctor’s certificate must likewise be presented. The Examination Board will decide on the basis of the evidence and circumstances of the individual case whether the withdrawal is granted.

In addition, please take note of the recommendation for action for students who contract COVID-19, or are suspected of being infected with it.

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.

Registration, deregistration and leave of absence

What registration deadlines apply for current semester?

Registration deadlines for the summer 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 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 fees (semester contribution, tuition fees) to re-enroll (continue your studies) 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?

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?

Current announcements on exchange programmes for the 2021/22 academic year are published on the website of the International Relations Division.

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

The University Library and its branches are open at the regular hours. The opportunities for use are oriented to the conditions of the latest Coronavirus Ordinance and the local situation. Please consult the websites of the respective libraries.

All digital offerings of the University Library continue to be available as usual. All members of the university may order media from the University Library for postal delivery (the cost of postage being covered by the person placing the order). In addition, the library has enormously expanded its collection of e-books for students and teachers. Many publishing houses are supporting Heidelberg University during the coronavirus pandemic by activating additional or so far unlicensed content.

Social care services and funding

What assistance and support is there at the university?

The Corona pandemic is still confronting us with challenges and influencing our daily life and studies. Studying looks different at this time but does not need to become a crisis! There are a host of support programmes available to meet these challenges.

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.