16. July 2020

“Offer on-site teaching to as many students as possible” Offer on-site teaching to as many students as possible: Rector Michael Hoch presents plans for the winter semester

Rector Michael Hoch presents plans for the winter semester

The summer semester 2020 is coming to an end next Friday, and with it the first lecture period in the history of the University that has been carried out almost entirely online. In a new video message to all members of the University, Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch looks back at the soon-to-end semester and presents the University’s plans for the coming winter semester, which currently include a comeback of teaching on site.

Rector Prof. Michael Hoch
Rector Prof. Michael Hoch © Photo: University of Bonn
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“All in all, we have mastered the challenges of the digital summer semester very well,” Prof. Hoch says in his video message. “The performance of our professors, researchers, students and staff over the past weeks has been extraordinary and often exceeded what can be expected under normal circumstances. Having succeeded in maintaining the basic functionality of our University in most areas is an outstanding accomplishment.” Handling this exceptional situation has been a challenging effort for all members of the University, Hoch adds. “And it still is in many areas.”

Increasing on-site teaching where possible

In light of the positive experiences made over the past weeks as well as the new legal framework, the University is planning to increase on-site teaching in the coming winter semester as much as circumstances allow, Hoch announces. “This is particularly aimed at the many thousands of students in the first and second semester. They must be given the chance to get to know our University in the first place,” Hoch says. “Many students and professors have explicitly asked to keep on digital elements that have proven successful as complementary formats in the future.” Following an evaluation procedure, the faculties will decide which of these elements they will continue to use in the future, Hoch explains, stressing that health protection remains the University’s top priority despite plans of increasing on-site teaching:

“We are keeping a close eye on all risk groups–which is why our teachers and professors will not be forced to offer on-site courses and compulsory attendance for students will be limited to an absolute minimum, for example. At the same time, we are asking all teachers and professors to, where possible, do everything they can to enable students who cannot participate in on-site courses to successfully complete the winter semester.”

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Start of the lecture period postponed

The lecture period in the winter semester 2020/2021 will start later than usual, on October 26, 2020. Due to delays in the enrollment procedure caused by the pandemic, the lecture period for first-semester students in bachelor’s degree programs and in degree programs that are completed with a state examination or church degree will start another week later, on November 2, 2020. For all students, the lecture period will end on February 12, 2021.

The Rector’s video message is available on the uni-bonn.tv YouTube channel.

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