Studying Successfully during the Pandemic
Everything You Need to Know about Studying during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Information about Studying during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has been significantly impacting our daily lives and studies at the university. However, also thanks to the progress being made with regard to vaccination among the population, recent developments also created new freedom for university teaching. As governmental regulations have been eased, the University of Bonn is able to stronger focus on in-person events in the coming semester. Of course, the University of Bonn continues to prioritize the safety of its members against a coronavirus infection. Information on which regulations will apply in the coming semester is available here.

Winter semester (updated 29/11)

A virtual format should be chosen for events that do not have to be held on-site. If, exceptionally, these events are held on-site, the 3G rule applies. Public committee meetings (e.g. of the senate and the faculty councils) are to continue to be held on-site under compliance with the 3G rule. 

Events with a more social character (e.g., Christmas parties) should generally be avoided at present. If, after careful consideration, they are nevertheless held in the presence of others, the 2G rule applies. The rule also applies to participation in university sports, visits to museums and the botanical gardens, as well as concerts and performances.

As of now, it is mandatory to wear face masks (FFP2 masks or medical masks) during all events, including lectures, as well as at the place of work. Lecturers and participants are allowed to remove their masks when giving a speech.

After the successful introduction of 2G status cards for students and staff at the University of Bonn Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, 2G status cards are now being issued at the main building. 2G status cards help to speed up and overall simplify verification of 2G status. Status cards are being issued weekdays between 10 am and 2pm in the coat check area in the main building. Opting for a 2G status card is entirely voluntary!

If you would like to get your personalized 2G status card, please bring along the following:

  • Student ID or confirmation of employment (staff ID card, employer confirmation letter, business cards, etc.)
  • Official photo ID
  • Proof of full vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (at least 14 days have passed since the last required vaccination) or proof of recovery document (dated a minimum of 28 days and a maximum of six months ago).

After verification of data a picture of you will be taken. The 2G status card will show first and last name and an expiry date (if latter is different than March 31, 2022). The University will only store the number of the 2G status card and its expiry date. All other information, including your picture, will be deleted right after creation of the card.

With the coming into effect of the ordinance on coronavirus testing, coronavirus testing for all citizens is now again free of charge as of Saturday, November 13.

Under the current provisions of the CoronaSchVO, prior to holding events (e.g. lectures, examinations, practical courses, excursions, meetings, ceremonies, sessions of university bodies, supervision of work in labs or studios (e.g. bachelor's thesis), office hours with prior appointment – this list is not exhaustive) and prior to entering buildings, universities must verify that attendees have been tested, vaccinated or have recovered from the coronavirus. Due to organizational reasons, checks will take place at the respective entrances to buildings (incl. USL/MNL). In some cases checks may be held at the entrance to the event room. "Rapid" and PCR tests have a validity of 24 hours!

All visitors of the University must carry evidence for compliance with 3G and an official photo ID; visitors must be ready to show the documentation as requested by authorized persons upon entering the respective University building and when participating in events. Verification of 3G status will be carried out by security firm ASPO, student assistants or, in exceptional cases, by teaching staff themselves. Any person who refuses to be checked will be excluded from the event.

The following will be accepted as proof:

  • test certificates issued by a test center/GP or pharmacy (as app, QR-Code or hard copy)
  • documentation confirming the vaccination3 or recovery from the virus (as app, QR-Code, hard copy, vaccination passport)

Approved vaccines:

On the page of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute2 you will find all vaccines approved in the EU as well as the partly different names of these vaccines in other countries.

In the 2021/2022 winter semester, the focus returns on in-person events. However, the government has issued a few regulations specifically in this context, of which the most important points are presented here.

Vaccination for students (updated November 9)

In the 2021/2022 winter semester, the focus in teaching returns to in-person events. In-person events are only possible again as the majority of students, lecturers and staff got coronavirus vaccinations.

In addition to vaccinations offered by the City of Bonn, the Faculty of Medicine is organizing the following two vaccination opportunities for students in October:

First dose of the vaccination:

  • Tuesday, November 02, Hofgarten-Mensa, 12:00 - 03:00 pm
  • Wednesday, November 03, Mensa Poppelsdorf, 12:00 - 03:00 pm

Second dose of the vaccination:

  • Wednesday, December 01, Mensa Poppelsdorf, 12:00 - 03:00 pm

Vaccinations are free of charge, no appointments needed. The above offers also apply to students from abroad vaccinated with a vaccine not approved in the EU, provided the last vaccine was received more than 28 days ago. Please clarify any medical questions around the vaccination beforehand, e.g. with the doctors from the City of Bonn vaccination bus.

If you have not been vaccinated yet, there are different options to get a vaccination appointment. Information and dates on vaccinations are listed on the City of Bonn3333333 and Rhein-Sieg-Kreis district websites4444444. The University of Bonn also offers vaccinations where possible and promptly announces these here and on social media.

Impfungen
© Colourbox

Teaching

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a considerable impact on the teaching operations of the University, the considerable efforts of all involved has meant that teaching could be resumed quickly. A number of different regulations have been issued during the course of the pandemic; we should like to provide an overview of the rules currently in force.

The view from the rear of a lecture hall. A camera is shown in the foreground, the display of which shows a member of the teaching staff. The background shows a blurred image of students seen from behind and a teacher standing in front of a whiteboard.
© Universität Bonn/Volker Lannert

Teaching

In the 2021/2022 winter semester, the focus returns to in-person events. Events may take place in person again, provided the 3G status of all course attendees has been checked. Verification of “3G status” is carried out at entrances to the buildings or to the rooms events are held. To keep the checking process as smooth as possible, please have your vaccination, test or recovery certificate plus ID ready. We look forward to finally welcoming you back in Bonn. All course information is available in BASIS (the digital course catalog).

The University of Bonn is offering new students a range of services:

Starting Your Studies Portal

The “Starting Your Studies810” online portal provides first-semester students with a wide range of information about university life and the city of Bonn, and the steps they need to take in order to make a well-structured and independent transition to university life.

Welcoming First-Semester Students

The University of Bonn has organized a series of events designed to welcome first-semester students911 to the University. All information about the format of these events is provided in the online portal.

The University has equipped lecture halls with technology to enable hybrid teaching formats in order to compensate for the participation restrictions to which on-site attendance is subject. Last winter semester, teaching performed on-site was made available online via livestream with integrated whiteboard notes.

The University of Bonn uses the online teaching and learning platform eCampus54 to provide access to teaching materials (texts, tasks, etc.) and permit digitally-supported home-learning. Further information about your courses is provided in BASIS, the University electronic course catalog65 and on the websites of the individual faculties. Teaching staff can link courses registered in BASIS with an eCampus course. Students who have registered for a course in BASIS are usually also automatically registered in the respective eCampus course. They will receive notification once this has been performed. Students interested in participating in courses which are not subject to a registration procedure should contact the teacher of the relevant course.

Teaching staff will contact students by email; please check your University of Bonn email account76 regularly7.

The University of Bonn has purchased a large number of Zoom licenses to enable live digital teaching. Zoom can be used with established software such as Adobe Connect and DFNconf. This enables interactive teaching in courses with a large number of participants. Assistance in the use of Zoom in University teaching is provided on a dedicated web page on e-Campus; alternatively you can contact the University of Bonn ZOOM support via email.

The University of Bonn accords the highest priority to comprehensive data protection during ZOOM sessions. To this end, we have made a number of adjustments to the system functions to ensure that they satisfy our standards. The University of Bonn Data Protection Officer has issued recommendations to ensure data-protection compliant use of this software. These recommendations are subject to continuous update and adjustment to the current version of the service. This enables us to reduce the IT security and data protection risks associated with the use of Zoom. We maintain ongoing consultation with the federal and state authorities and other universities and institutions of higher education in order to develop alternative solutions for the future.

The International Office of the University of Bonn provides extensive information on residence permits, financial support, contact persons and social activities tailored to the needs of international students and international doctoral students on a designated web page.

Following consultation with the course teacher, the examination board can stipulate that the completion of certain study achievements can be substituted for an attendance requirement as the prerequisite for admittance to examinations. Please contact the person responsible for your course to establish the valid regulations. If the examination regulations stipulate compulsory attendance for a course, this requirement also applies if the course is held online. Course teachers can require that their students register at each session using their real names or a pseudonym which has been communicated to them in advance to enable them to verify the attendance requirement. Teachers do not like addressing blank screens and will usually ask their students to activate their camera. You are not obliged to activate your camera, but we would ask you to consider this option, as it facilitates a profitable exchange between students and teachers and contributes to a constructive atmosphere in the seminar. Students concerned about their privacy can generate virtual background pictures as a method of protecting their privacy.

The Federal Government COVID-19 Warning App

We recommend that students make use of the COVID-19 warning app provided by the German Federal Government. This enables you to find out whether you are at increased risk of developing an infection and at the same time, protect others.

A view into the main auditorium from the stage. A number of tables spaced apart in the main auditorium at which students are sitting, waiting to start their examination.
© Universität Bonn/Volker Lannert

Examinations

The University of Bonn has implemented a number of measures designed to permit the holding of university examinations. Online-supported written examinations, term papers in lieu of written examinations and (in exceptional cases) on-site written examinations are currently being deployed in order to ensure that students can continue to sit examinations.

Examinations

Students can borrow iPads (for use at home or in the USL) from the USL to enable them to sit online examinations. Please note that we do not recommend using these devices for examinations taken in the eCampus-Test format. The University of Bonn provides 40 iPads for use by students from the University of Bonn. They can be obtained from the MNL Branch Library. Please consult the announcement from the USL12 for further information.

*** The handout is no longer valid and will be revised for the upcoming exam period. ***

The Rectorate has issued a handout outlining the regulations issued to ensure student safety before, during and after an examination. Please comply with all the specifications to ensure the best possible level of protection for yourself and others.

The University has collected all the current regulations pertaining to the conduct of online examinations in the new “Teaching Digitally” portal on eCampus. Although aimed predominantly at members of the teaching staff, this page provides students with all the relevant documents, guidelines and regulations relating to the conduct of online examinations. For example, the portal provides further information about the aids which are permitted for use in examinations and the recommended procedure for online examinations.

Students completing their final thesis in winter semester 2020/21 and/or summer semester 2021, will be granted 14-day extension to their deadline. The deadline will end on the 14th day of this extension at the time originally determined for the original deadline. If no time was established for submission of the thesis, it can be handed in by midnight of the 14th day of the extension.

Students completing a term paper, project report, seminar paper or a comparable text in winter semester 2020/21 and/or summer semester 2021, for which a multi-week completion period with a specific submission date has been specified, will be granted a 14-day extension.

A

Abstand/ Distance

H

Händehygiene/ Hand Hygiene

A

Alltagsmasken/ Community Masks

L

Lüften/ Ventilation

Hygiene Requirements

Even if on-site teaching and examinations are currently organized in exceptional cases only, situations can arise - for example during an on-site examination covered by the exceptions - which require the on-campus presence of a student. Should you be required to attend campus, please familiarize yourself with the regulations relating to on-campus behavior issued by the State of NRW and the City of Bonn.

A student is disinfecting their hands at a disinfection station placed in front of an entrance to a university building. Two further students wearing masks are walking towards the building whilst maintaining a distance from each other.
© Universität Bonn/ Volker Lannert

Hygiene

As of now, it is mandatory to wear face masks (FFP2 masks or medical masks) during all events, including lectures, as well as at the place of work. Lecturers and participants are allowed to remove their masks when giving a speech.

Keep the mask with which you have been issued and wear it on your journey home and then dispose of it in the domestic waste. If you would prefer not to wear the used mask on your journey home, please dispose of it in the waste bins marked for used masks only.

Disinfectant dispensers have been set up in front of all entrances to University buildings to facilitate entry. Please apply disinfectant to your hands before entering University buildings. We recommend that you wash your hands with soap and water at regular intervals.

All seminar rooms and lecture halls allow for sufficient airing. This will be performed either automatically using a ventilation system or by manually by opening windows and doors. Information about good ventilation practice will be displayed at the entrance to every room. The room must be thoroughly aired every 30 minutes during a break of approx. five minutes (ideally through cross-ventilation, i.e. opening opposite windows and doors; otherwise through impact ventilation, i.e. opening all windows). Impact ventilation time: 10 minutes in summer, 5 minutes in spring/fall, 3 minutes in winter (outside temperature < 6 °C).


Questions and Answers

We constantly receive questions about studying during the pandemic. Please address specific questions regarding your degree program to your degree program manager or the relevant Examination Office.

FAQ

With the coming into effect of the ordinance on coronavirus testing, coronavirus testing for all citizens is now again free of charge as of Saturday, November 13.

University of Bonn staff can also take a test at the testing center on Poppelsdorf Campus. All information is available on the intranet.

Students can sit online examinations in the USL reading room in Adenauerallee, where they can use the stable Internet connection. Examination candidates can reserve a place in the reading room 48 hours before the date on which their examination is to take place. The workplaces reserved for this purpose are fitted with electricity sockets; nevertheless, we recommend that you charge your laptop fully beforehand. Please consult the announcement from the USL for further information.

The University provides 40 iPads for students who do not have sufficient technical resources to complete online-supported written examinations. They can be obtained from the MNL Branch Library. Please consult the announcement on the USL homepage.

Following consultation with the course teacher, the examination board can stipulate that the completion of certain study achievements can be substituted for an attendance requirement as the prerequisite for admittance to examinations. Please contact the person responsible for your course to establish the valid regulations. If the examination regulations stipulate compulsory attendance for a course, this requirement also applies if the course is held online. Course teachers can require that their students register at each session using their real names or a pseudonym which has been communicated to them in advance to enable them to verify the attendance requirement.

Teachers do not like addressing blank screens and will usually ask their students to activate their camera. You are not obliged to activate your camera, but we would ask you to consider this option, as it facilitates a profitable exchange between students and teachers and contributes to a constructive atmosphere in the seminar. You may have the option of using pictures as virtual background on Zoom and in this way protect your privacy.

The results of the student survey are published on the web pages of the Center for Evaluation and Methodology of the University of Bonn.

All important information about BAföG during the Coronavirus pandemic is provided on the dedicated web pages of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. BAföG recipients should not experience disadvantage due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The General Students’ Committee (AStA) at the University of Bonn has adapted the criteria for receiving interest-free loans from the Student Assistance Fund to the exigencies of the current situation and provides quick, uncomplicated help for students who are currently experiencing financial difficulties. Further information is available on the General Students’ Committee (AStA) homepage and the announcement from May 7.

The University of Bonn has used the online teaching and learning platform eCampus for a number of years. Members of the teaching staff can link the courses which they have registered in BASIS (the digital course catalog) with courses in eCampus, so that they are identical on each platform. Students already registered for the course have been informed of their acceptance in the eCampus courses via email. Should you have failed to receive the corresponding information, please contact the person responsible for the module.

Information about the course, course materials and the requirements for participation is provided on the relevant course page in eCampus.

No, students are not required to sit such an examination. However, you are not entitled to sit an on-site examination. The University has taken the decision to provide online-supported examinations to enable you to continue your studies. Should you experience technical problems at any time during the examination, you can withdraw from the examination.

Subject-specific information about your study schedules is provided on the website of your degree program.

The representative for students with disabilities, Marion Becker, has summarized all the support measures for students with disabilities on her homepage “Support Services for Students with a Disability”. It lists all the contact information for further advice and support (please note: we are unable to provide a link due to the relaunch of the web page).

Should students find it impossible to participate in online teaching, they have the right to a semester on leave (see § 15 Enrollment Regulations - Einschreibungsordnung). Students can apply for a semester on leave at the Student Registry. They will be required to state reasons. Students on leave are not able to sit examinations, with the exception that they can repeat failed examinations or course assessments or other work requisite to admission for a course resulting from a semester abroad which they spend on leave, or due to the need to perform childcare or care for a close dependent relative. Precise information about these exceptions is provided in § 15 para. 2 of the Enrollment Regulations (Einschreibungsordnung).

Please consult the Office for Family Services regarding any questions pertaining to the combination of family responsibilities and university studies. Its staff is happy to provide advice and support relating to this issue in these challenging times.

The University provides a range of tools to this end. Please make use of any fora on eCampus, set up by the member of staff teaching the course and in which you may be able to exercise certain rights.

All members of the University of Bonn, including international students can use the “Rosetta Stone interactive language learning program”, for which the University of Bonn has a campus license. They can also engage in a language exchange (tandem) organized by the Language Learning Center (SLZ). The General Students’ Committee (AStA) also runs its own language learning exchange program. The Goethe Institute website also provides information about the topic “practicing German free-of-charge”. The Deutsche Welle also provides materials on its website. A more interactive method of learning German is to attend the “Sprachcafé International” (an international language exchange cafe) organized by the General Students’ Committee (AStA). This is open to all students.

Further Information about COVID-19

Main Page

Return to the main page, from where you can navigate to a range of subpages.

Information for Teaching Staff

Members of the teaching staff will find the most important regulations applicable to university teaching during the pandemic here.

Important Documents

All the important documents relevant to university operations during the pandemic are available here.

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