Service and AdviceCoronavirus: FAQ about student affairs and teaching
31 August 2020
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
For the winter semester – teaching activities begin on 2 November 2020 – every effort will be made to enable as much face-to-face teaching as is practicable in terms of the distancing and hygiene rules and the nature of the premises available.
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.
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.
Lectures, seminars and internships
How will lectures, seminars and practicals take place in the winter semester?
Both lecturers and students at Heidelberg University are united in their wish to return to in-person teaching. Consequently, Heidelberg University is trying to offer as many face-to-face events in small groups – from laboratory courses to colloquia for examination candidates.
As returning to on-campus activities can only take place to a limited degree due to precautions against the spread of the coronavirus, introductory courses for first-semester students are being given priority in the allocation of lecture halls. That way they can get to know the different forms of teaching and studying at the university, and can establish contacts with the lecturers and other students.
Large-scale lecture courses will probably have to take place digitally. As far as is technically and organisationally possible, lectures will be available to students as a combination of physical events and digital formats.
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. Application, admission and registration are largely possible online.
What arrangements are there for risk groups?
Risk groups are represented among both students and teachers. Out of respect for their special working conditions the faculties/departments will try to guarantee participation, e.g. through parallel offerings (digital/in-person) or facilities for online co-presence. This is also intended to cater for students who for various reasons cannot be physically present in Heidelberg in the coming winter semester.
Will there be welcome and introductory sessions?
Personal relations and exchange between teachers and students, including their fellow students, are essential for motivation and academic achievement. Consequently, welcome sessions at the start of the semester will take place in smaller groups than usual and getting-to-know-you events will be enabled in small groups during the semester. This also applies to sports programmes and work in general. Contact times and places for (digital) meet-ups will be extended and increased to make this possible.
What is Plan B if on-campus activities are not possible, or are suspended, in the winter semester?
In these cases the study programme will be continued digitally in order to be able to ensure regular academic progress in the winter semester.
Can laboratory practicals take place?
When teaching in special facilities, particularly during laboratory practicals, the 1.5m distance can be reduced as of 1 August 2020, as long as participants wear a mouth-and-nose cover and work in the same small groups of up to four people. The distance between the small groups must be at least 1.5m. The groups are to be formed on a definite basis with a list of names and no possibility of mixing; they are to stay together during the whole session, and also for courses lasting several sessions. The general legal conditions regarding occupational safety and hygiene remain applicable with particular attention to adequate ventilation, as well as to the access and participation arrangements.
Can excursions take place?
The same rules as for other teaching formats apply to excursions (e.g. fieldwork practicals, student excavations). The same hygiene rules as for public transport apply during transportation to the site. It is generally recommended that excursion participants move around and work in small groups of up to four people.
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?
For the implementation of on-campus practice teaching sessions, 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.
On-campus examinations will be conducted 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.
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 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.
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.
Baden-Württembergische Bank, Stuttgart
IBAN: DE28 6005 0101 0004 9617 81
(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?
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 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?
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 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, as well as decentralised libraries, have gradually opened their service areas, along with their lending and open stacks areas. It is again 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.
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.