Service and AdviceCoronavirus: FAQ about student affairs and teaching

27 May 2020

DEGREE-RELATED ACTIVITIES

The lecture period for the 2020 summer semester at Heidelberg University started on 20 April. Degree-related activities are taking place with digital methods. Absolutely essential events requiring personal attendance on campus, such as examinations and practical classes which need special laboratories or work areas, can be held from 4 May onwards, as long as the necessary requirements for them are fulfilled and the relevant approvals have been obtained. The Rectorate grants exceptional approvals for absolutely necessary on-campus examinations and courses. In every case, risk assessments and hygiene policies must be on hand, and the activities must be coordinated with the Occupational Safety Department, as appropriate. Information about restricted on-campus operations is published in the newsletter of the administration "Caroline" and sent to all dean's offices and heads of institutions and facilities. In the last few weeks, the Rectorate, university administration, university computing centre, faculties and central facilities have been working at full speed, in the interest of students, researchers and staff, to lay the foundations for digital communication channels and the use of digital teaching formats. 

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

The Service Portal for prospective and enrolled students continues to be available to you from Monday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm and on Friday from 9am to 1pm. It can be reached directly by phone on +49 6221 54-5454 and by email at studium @ uni-heidelberg.de. Personal consultation is possible during the usual office hours of the Service Portal for Prospective and Current Students. For organisational reasons, we kindly ask you to make an appointment in advance by telephone on 06221 - 54 20801 - in order to avoid waiting times.

The Service Portal is the first point of contact for information, advice and administrative services provided by the Student Administration and the Student Advisory Office for German and international students.

The Central Student Advisory Office is still available to you with the offer of individual advice and study-related coaching. The advice is given by phone. Appointments for individual telephone counselling can be made via the Service Portal.

The Career Service offers vocational guidance by phone on all topics related to your future professional career. Appointments can be made via the service telephone or by email.

The International Relations Division offers general study advice for international students at Heidelberg University. Personal consultation is possible during the usual office hours of the Service Portal for Prospective and Current Students.
For organisational reasons, we kindly ask you to make an appointment in advance by telephone on 06221 - 54 20801 - in order to avoid waiting times.

Lectures, seminars and internships

Will seminars and lectures take place in the 2020 summer semester?

Digital teaching and learning methods are to be used wherever possible. Please check on the LSF pages, Moodle and the websites of the relevant teaching units for the latest news on whether, and in what way, the desired lecture, seminar or class will take place. If in doubt, contact the lecturer in charge.

Can course-related internships be started or continued?

In view of the generally applicable safety and prevention measures, course-related compulsory internships are suspended and will be continued at a later date. In the case of course-related compulsory internships  that do not take place at the university (e.g. industrial placements), whether they go ahead is up to the hosting organisation.

Which services are available for digital collaboration and teaching?

Many new 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 

In view of the already visible limitations in the German data networks, synchronous teaching (live streaming) is to be largely dispensed with and mainly asynchronous teaching is to be offered instead. Besides reducing the risk of breakdown, this will enable the students to access the teaching materials more flexibly in their own time.

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* For this purpose, an application needs to be made for the limited approval of practice teaching sessions. Amongst other things, the application requires a risk assessment and a hygiene plan for the use of decentralised rooms. Other preconditions are set out in the application form. Please note: The number of people involved in an event is currently limited to ten.

Examination and course requirements

Will examinations take place? When will remaining exams be scheduled?

*Update* Doctoral exams can take place in the smallest possible group (a maximum of ten people), with due regard for all protective regulations.

On-campus examinations can be held from 4 May, as long as the relevant rules for protection against infection and occupational safety standards are observed. An application to this effect can be made using the form “Application for on-campus examinations and practice teaching sessions in the 2020 summer semester”. The Rectorate grants exceptional approvals on the above grounds and with due regard for occupational safety, the available risk assessment and the hygiene policy.

With regard to final oral exams in BA, MA and state examination programmes, it is – as of now – sufficient to report them using the form “Notification of final oral examination in the 2020 summer semester”. Through their signature, the person responsible for the examination declares that the details on the form will be respected, a risk assessment is available and the applicable regulations for infection protection will be implemented.

I can’t take my exam but it is a prerequisite for the next module in the summer semester. Can I still sign up?

If coursework or exams cannot be completed in time due to the immediate measures related to the coronavirus, and yet they are prerequisites for enrolling for modules, that has to be clarified with the supervisor of the module in question. One option is to enroll “with a proviso”, i.e. with the precondition of meeting the course requirements and taking the exams later. Another possibility is postponement or changing the order of modules.

Are the examinations offices closed?

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).

I am a teacher and would like to conduct an on-campus examination. How does that work?

For this purpose, an application needs to be made to conduct on-campus examinations. Amongst other things, the application requires a risk assessment and a hygiene plan for the use of decentralised rooms. Other preconditions are set out in the application form.

*Update* With regard to final oral exams in BA, MA and state examination programmes, it is – as of now – sufficient to report them using the form “Notification of final oral examination in the 2020 summer semester”. Through their signature, the person responsible for the examination declares that the details on the form will be respected, a risk assessment is available and the applicable regulations for infection protection will be implemented.

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.

Will the state examination for the Gymnasium take place as planned?

The final oral exams for the secondary school teachers (Staatsexamen Lehramt) could not take place as planned and have been postponed. On 27 April 2020 the Rectorate of Heidelberg University fixed the following new examination period: 2 June to 31 July 2020. Those planning to take examinations in this period must actively sign up again with the State Examinations Office for Teachers in Karlsruhe by 6 May 2020, 4pm.

Since the libraries are closed, the State Examinations Office for Teachers in Karlsruhe has announced extensions of the time available for submitting academic papers or theses already registered for the teachers’ state examination. The examinations office cannot yet say exactly how long this extension will last. Students concerned will receive individual information from the State Examinations Office for Teachers. The Ministry of Education has created an FAQ page that gives relevant information under “Erste Phase der Lehrerbildung”.

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.

What happens if the teaching practice semester abroad has had to be discontinued?

For students who, due to the coronavirus crisis, have had to discontinue a placement as a trainee teacher at a German school abroad, or end their position as an assistant teacher, the Ministry of Education is currently working on opportunities to catch up the lacking practice time in Baden-Württemberg. This will apply if the placement abroad is to be counted towards the semester of teaching practice in the Master of Education.

Registration, deregistration and leave of absence

What registration deadlines apply for the 2020 summer semester?

For the 2020 summer semester, Heidelberg University has made generous arrangements regarding registration deadlines. In light of the current situation, it is also possible to make individual inquiries on extending the deadline. Further details for, respectively, German and international applicants can be found on the Student Affairs websites under registration deadlines.

How can I currently register, deregister or apply for leave of absence? (for Germans and educational residents)

Applications for registration, deregistration and leave of absence may be made and submitted in writing in the normal way. Further information can be found on the study pages.

How can I currently register, deregister or apply for leave of absence? (for international students and EU citizens)

International applicants who have completed a bachelor’s programme as their first degree at a German university must file their application online to register for a consecutive master’s programme only with restricted intake and send the printout of the written application with all required documents to the Administrative Office for International Students, Seminarstraße 2, 69117 Heidelberg.

Newly admitted international students are kindly asked to use the following email address for any questions they may have about written registration: immatrikulation.international @ zuv.uni-heidelberg.de.

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

Applications for deregistration and leave of absence may be made and submitted in writing in the normal way (see above).

Can I enrol in the practical year (PY) in the 2020 summer semester without having passed the second state examination in medicine?

Passing the second state examination in medicine is a prerequisite for enrolment in the PY. Since the second state examination in medicine has not taken place this year, the requirements for the 2020 summer semester are different. Students can start their practical year without confirmation of having passed the second state examination in medicine and must submit a copy of their admission to the second state examination (letter from the state examinations office – LPA) in order to enrol or transfer to Heidelberg University. The enrolment will take place in written form (see above).

International students enrol or transfer to Heidelberg University in an exclusively written procedure. For this, please send an email directly to the Service Portal and give a postal address in Germany. On receipt of your email, the administrative assistant responsible for your country in the Administrative Office for International Students will contact you and send you all the documents required for enrolment or transfer.

I can’t submit my certificates in time for the application/admission to 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?

For an application it is initially sufficient to submit your transcripts of records or relevant proof of academic achievement.

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.

What will happen if I can’t continue my studies in the 2020 summer semester due to the coronavirus pandemic?

In the case of illness, the general regulations apply. In other cases in which students cannot resume their studies in the 2020 summer semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Rectorate will see to it that the semester is not counted as an academic or subject-related semester.

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?

Your student ID card will be sent by post, as usual.

Where can I validate my student ID card now?

It is still possible to use the validation machine in the administration building at Seminarstraße 2 (ground floor, left, in front of the Service Portal) to validate student ID cards from Monday to Friday between 10am and 2pm.

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 Student Administration or International Office via the Infotelefon +49 6221 54-5454 so that the deregistration can be officially checked and, if necessary, corrected.

Study abroad and ERASMUS

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

Students who plan course-related study abroad are urgently requested not to travel at present. No trips abroad are possible until further notice in the context of university exchange and scholarship programmes. The contact here is the International Relations Division.

What must I do if I have to terminate my ERASMUS stay?

We need preferably a final confirmation from the host university (also by email), alternatively tickets for your trip back. If no final confirmation can be obtained and the host university has so far not provided initial confirmation of the time you started your stay, we will need additional proof. Besides naming the starting date of your study abroad, you must supply evidence such as travel tickets to the host university or the lease for your accommodation there. The ERASMUS subsidy will be paid for the period for which this evidence is shown.

Can I also continue the discontinued semester online from home?

At the end of the study abroad, online periods can also be recorded in a final confirmation from the host university. This confirmation is evidence of the whole duration of your study time at the host university, if applicable including online periods and any exams you may have taken. The ERASMUS subsidy will be paid for the period for which this evidence is shown.

University Library, institute and departmental libraries

Can the services of the University Library be used again?

The University Library in the Old Town and its Im Neuenheimer Feld branch are gradually opening their service areas. The information centres have been accessible since 28 April, along with the lending and open stacks areas. It is again possible to order books and collect them at the library. Since 4 May the reference areas of the University Library in the Old Town and the Im Neuenheimer Feld branch have been open to members of the university subject to conditions and restrictions.

In addition, since 11 May the following three large libraries have opened with restricted operations and a strongly reduced number of workplaces: the Bergheim Campus (economics and social sciences) library, the Law faculty library and the CATS (Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies) library. Further institute and departmental libraries will gradually follow.

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 gives information about conditions for entering the buildings and the digital library with enhanced services.

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.