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Information for Students

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Dear Students!

In a joint effort, the University of Bonn's Rectorate, faculties and lecturers are currently preparing teaching alternatives that enable us to help contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. To protect our University member, especially high-risk groups, we are working hard to put into place the necessary conditions for digitally supported teaching in the summer semester 2020, and to provide you with advice and concrete support offers.

A few weeks ago, we set up a task force for teaching involving all faculties to address the new challenges university-wide. Our goal is to provide assistance regarding questions around implementing teaching and examination processes and to clarify how things will progress in the coming weeks. We ask for your understanding that there are not always immediate answers and solutions to the numerous questions and challenges that the current situation is posing. We are working together to find solutions as soon as possible and would like to thank you for your help and patience!

Below, please find answers to the most pressing questions. Please check back for regular updates.

Best regards,
Prof. Dr. Karin Holm-Müller
Vice Rector for Teaching and Studies

Please note the details on the transition to safe operations mode available in the general corona information section!

(New 05/27) Infromations for international students and doctoral researchers

The International Office offers all international students and doctoral researchers on its homepage additional support and information on topics such as residence permits, financial support, contacts and social activities.

(Updated 05/20) Exams

Steps are currently being taken to allow examinations which cannot be held online for objective reasons to be held on-site at University facilities. These will commence after the Pentecost holiday. The first on-site exams to be held are to be rescheduled exams originally scheduled for the end of winter semester 2019/2020. The anti-infection and occupational health & safety requirements will continue to apply for any written examinations for the summer semester of 2020 which have to be conducted on-site for objective reasons. The Rectorate will inform the faculties regarding the mandatory modalities and will provide an information sheet to students (distributed in part by the examination offices) on proper conduct in the exam setting.
Exam takers will be given a minimum two weeks’ advance notice in electronic form of the exam dates and of any formal changes to specific exams. The mandatory exam registration requirement provided for in the examination regulations (§ 61 paragraph 3 of the Higher Education Act [HG]) is categorically disapplied for both initial and repeat exam-taking attempts. It is furthermore allowed to withdraw from an exam without explanation and to stop taking an exam up until the point of submission of a written examination or completion of an oral examination. The submission deadlines for assignment papers and term papers have been extended in many cases due to library closures. Please contact your examination office or your advisor for information in this regard.

(Updated 20/05) Resuming teaching

With the approval of the state’s universities, the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia ordered that all teaching activities, including lectures, seminars and lab courses, were temporarily suspended until April 19, 2020 and that the summer semester of 2020 started in “online mode” on April 20. The end date of the lecture period is still July 17, 2020. The faculties and the Rectorate have mutually agreed to use the week of Pentecost (June 2-5, 2020), traditionally reserved for field trips and lab courses, as additional time for teaching. Whether lab courses can be conducted on-site starting June 2, 2020 (which are an exception approved by the Rectorate) depends on whether a hygiene and protection plan has been prepared for the lab course and implemented by the date in question. The maximum permissible group size is 20 participants per the general order issued by the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia (MAGS).

Teaching goes online

The lecture period starts on Monday, April 20, 2020 with online teaching. Already prior to the start of the semester, teaching staff can provide teaching material (e.g. reading material, practice questions) for their summer semester courses in digital format. To facilitate this as well as digital home learning, the University of Bonn provides the teaching and learning platform eCampus. In order for everyone to be able to use it, all courses registered in BASIS are automatically linked to an eCampus course and students already registered in BASIS will be added to the course. You will receive notification once this has been done. For subjects not involving assignment procedures, please contact your teachers.

The aforementioned link also allows teachers to easily contact you. It is necessary, however, that you either check your University of Bonn email account regularly or that you set up automatic forwarding to a different email account of yours. Instructions for automatic forwarding are available.

Even when regular teaching (in other words, teaching where physical attendance is required) is resumed again during the summer semester, information and material which is required for passing exams will continue to be made available digitally–also out of consideration for students who may not be able to physically attend courses at the time. Further information on specific courses is available at the electronic course catalogue BASIS and on the individual faculty websites.

For the time being, July 17, 2020 is the set end date of the lecture period. The faculties and the Rectorate have mutually agreed to use the week of Pentecost (June 2-5, 2020), traditionally reserved for field trips and lab courses, as additional time for teaching. Therefore, exceptionally, no field trips or lab courses will be taking place during this time.

Study or internships abroad

In principle, travel is currently considerably more difficult. The University advises against starting semesters abroad in regions classified as risk areas. Before leaving, students should inform themselves whether their host university is in one of the current risk areas. Students who still want to leave the country should definitely contact their host university beforehand.
 
ERASMUS students who are already in one of the places or regions classified as risk areas and who wish to cancel their stay, will not have any disadvantages to their funding. To answer questions regarding an Erasmus or PROMOS scholarship, please contact the International Outbound Mobility team.
 
Returnees from risk areas may not enter University premises or take part in University events in the first 14 days after their arrival and should inform their department accordingly.
 
Questions regarding student exchanges, especially those of students who are currently still abroad, should be sent to the e-mail address [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.].

Frequently Asked Questions

(Updated 20/05) I have exams upcoming this semester. How will exams be conducted, in view of the present situation?

It will be possible to take exams this semester as well, of course. Examination procedures may be changed, however, and/or exams may be held online in order to comply with applicable safety regulations imposed due to the situation. You will be notified promptly regarding examination procedures by your Degree Program Manager and the examination offices. Steps are currently being taken to allow examinations which cannot be held online for objective reasons to be held on-site at University facilities. These will commence after the Pentecost holiday (i.e. as of June 2, 2020). The first on-site exams to be held are to be rescheduled exams originally scheduled for the end of winter semester 2019/2020 The anti-infection and occupational health & safety requirements will continue to apply for any written examinations for the summer semester of 2020 which have to be conducted on-site. The Vice Rector for Teaching and Learning has issued an information sheet for exam takers on proper conduct in the examination setting.

(Updated 20/05) Who should I contact if I have urgent book needs?

Starting Monday, May 11, 2020, University of Bonn students, faculty and staff can resume book borrowing from the ULB. Required books can already be reserved online for pick-up at either the Main Library or the MNL Branch Library. This avoids users spending substantial periods of time in library facilities and the stacks. Until further notice, the ULB will be open for reserved book pickup Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 03:00 pm. In addition, the ULB is offering members of the University a digitization service for journals. External users who are not members of the University of Bonn will be able to use local ULB services again as soon as capacity and safety measures allow. To compensate for this reduced service, the ULB has waived the annual library usage fee until further notice. Further details are provided on the  ULB Bonn website. For information on other, peripheral libraries please inquire with your Institute or your advisor. Information on the opening of Institute libraries is posted on the general corona web page.

What does “digital teaching in the summer semester” mean?

To slow down the spread of the coronavirus and protect risk groups, universities all over Germany were forced to put on-site teaching on hold. As it is impossible to predict when on-site teaching can be resumed, the universities in North Rhine-Westphalia have decided to transition to online teaching in the summer semester 2020 – at least for the time being. This is to prevent students from having to prolong their studies and enable them to seamlessly continue their studies. The decision on whether to resume on-site teaching in the course of the semester will be based on the circumstances given at the time.

Where can I find online offers?

For many years, the University of Bonn has been working with the teaching and learning platform eCampus. All courses registered in BASIS have been linked to eCampus and are listed there accordingly. Students that were already admitted to a course have been automatically notified of their admission to the corresponding eCampus course. If you have not received such notification, please contact your module coordinator.

Where can I find information on what is expected of me in a course?

You will find all course information and materials on the respective course page on eCampus. This includes the requirements for successful participation.

Do I need to participate in an online examination?

No, you are not obliged to participate in such an examination. However, you are not entitled to an on-site examination either. We are offering online examinations so you can continue your studies without delay. The decision of whether examinations are held online is with the examiner or, respectively, the examination board. If you experience technical issues during an examination, you can withdraw from the examination.

I still need to complete examinations scheduled for the winter semester. How will I know when these are held?

You will be notified of the set examination date in your BASIS account at least one week before the examination. Examinations scheduled for later in the semester have a notification deadline of at least two weeks. Please make sure to regularly check your University of Bonn email account or to set up automatic forwarding of your messages to an external email account. (Instructions)

Where can I find information on changes in curricula or study schedules?

You will find degree program-specific information regarding your study schedules on your degree program website.

Due to my situation (childcare, no adequate internet access) or concerns regarding informal self-determination, I cannot or can only participate to a limited extent in digital courses. What shall I do?

Students who cannot participate in online courses can apply for a semester on leave (cf. Section 15 Enrollment Regulations). Applications stating reasons can be filed with the Student Registry. Please note that when on leave, you will not be able to participate in examinations (except when retaking a previously failed examination or when completing course assessments/participation requirements in connection with a semester abroad or internship for which the semester on leave was taken, cf. Section 15 Para. 2 Enrollment Regulations).

Will online courses be held during the week of Pentecost?

Due to the postponement of the lecture period, the University management has decided to also allow teach during the week of Pentecost. Your teachers will provide you with further information.

How can participants of a course get in touch with each other?

The University is offering different tools for this purpose. We want to particularly point out the possibility of creating a forum on eCampus, provided your teacher has activated this feature and granted you the necessary user rights.

I have just completed my studies abroad or am enrolled at another university in Germany, and now I urgently need to be granted credit for completed course work and examinations so that I can continue my studies in Bonn. Can I apply electronically and will my application be processed?

Yes, if you can provide legally enforceable proof of your completed course work or examination, e.g. by certificate from the partner institution. As long as this condition is met, credit will be granted as usual. When in doubt, please contact your degree program manager.

Where can I find information on my planned stay abroad?

In light of constantly changing circumstances, please contact your host university directly. Your host university will be able to best assess the local situation.

I am an international student in Bonn enrolled for the winter semester 2019/20. I am not enrolled for the summer semester 2020, but I still need to complete a postponed examination and need my Uni-ID to do so. What shall I do?

It is currently not possible to participate in examinations or obtain a Uni-ID without being enrolled. Please contact your degree program manager for further advice.

I urgently need credit points from vocational/practical elective modules to obtain my degree. Will I be granted credit for jobs or internships that I arrange for myself?

Please contact your module coordinator and degree program manager for advice on this matter. The examination board decides on whether credit is granted for individual activities.

I cannot submit my final thesis in hard bound copy because all copy shops are closed. What are the consequences?

Please contact your responsible examination office, which will most likely accept submission in PDF under the current circumstances with the provision that you hand in hard bound copies at a later point. Even if you have not handed in hard bound copies of your final thesis, the examination offices can issue an official notice attesting to you having obtained the degree, provided that your final thesis has been graded “passed” or higher. Your degree certificate can only be issued after submission of the hard bound copies.

How do extended deadlines and unaccessible literature delaying my final thesis and therefore the course of my studies affect my BAföG?

The Kultusministerkonferenz states: “[...] The state governments will urge the federal government to develop flexible solutions for e.g. BAföG, child allowance and health insurance that match the everyday realities of students in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. [...]”

I have extensive experience in digitally enhanced teaching. Whom can I contact if I wish to offer support as a digital tutor?

The Bonn Center for Higher Education coordinates the training and deployment of digital tutors. Please contact [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] and briefly outline your previous experience with digital teaching.

Can I share a computer or laptop with a fellow student to participate in online sessions?

Yes, you can share devices to participate in online sessions as long as they are not part of an examination, unless a course unit requires clear identification of each participant. For your own protection, please take the current recommendations by the Robert Koch Institute as well as regulations issued by the federal and state governments (e.g. regarding contact restrictions) into account.

I was unable to participate in an examination due to the coronavirus and therefore to complete my bachelor’s program. Can I still enroll for a master’s program if I have already been admitted?

This is at the discretion of the respective master’s program’s admission office that has issued your letter of admission. Please refer to the contact named in your letter of admission. If the admission office agrees to your enrollment without a bachelor’s degree and you have another university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur), you may enroll under the condition that you submit your degree certificate within 6 months of enrollment.
 

I am currently a student at another university. Due to the coronavirus, I was unable to obtain my degree or even deregister. I want to enroll at the University of Bonn for the summer semester. Is it still possible to enroll until revoked or with delay at the University of Bonn?

If you wish to enroll for a master’s program, please make sure to first clarify with the program’s admission office whether you can enroll without a bachelor’s degree. You will find a respective contact on your letter of admission. Once this is clarified, please refer all questions regarding your enrollment to the Student Registry.
Please note that, as a rule, you will not be able to enroll at two German universities at the same time. With regard to obtaining your degree, you should therefore contact your former university and ask for further proceedings in this matter.

 

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