• Coronavirus

    Informationen zu Studium und Lehre im Zusammenhang mit dem Coronavirus

    Zwei Studentinnen mit Alltagsmasken an Arbeitsplätzen in der Bibliothek
    © Universität Bielefeld

Studying in the winter semester 2020/21

Leerer Hörsaal

As part of the measures against the spread of the corona virus (Covid 19), everyday life at the Bielefeld University also had to change fundamentally. The summer semester 2020 took place as a pure online semester. In the winter semester most of the courses will take place online too.

These pages are continually updated.

Winter semester 2020/21 mostly as an online semester
  • Based on the current hygiene protection concepts, which are also considered appropriate and sufficient, and taking into account what is expected to be a reasonable number of students at the university, onsite courses and examinations can continue to be carried out in principle within the given constraints.
  • Nonetheless, in view of the current situation, teachers are advised to reduce contact by doing less on-site teaching and switching to digital services instead. It may prove to be possible to return to onsite teaching in the planned rooms at a later date, if this makes sense in terms of content and is organizationally feasible. Teachers who have decided to continue to offer onsite teaching under the current conditions, should have good reasons for doing so or have no possibility of offering alternative online formats without jeopardising the objectives of teaching and learning.
  • The "Corona Order" of the Rectorate for Education and Teaching for the 20/21 winter semester can be found here

 

Please update your contact details!

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is it extremely important that student contact details are accurate, for example, in the event of contact tracing. To ensure that all students can be reached quickly, all contact details stored in the system should be up-to-date, in case it is required. This is particularly important if you are taking part in an examination on-site, for example. Please make sure that your contact details are updated, and check whether you have provided a telephone number where you can be reached quickly.

You can update your contact data by first logging in to the self-managed application and status portal.

The field in which you must enter your contact details is called “Studium Korrespondenz” (Study correspondence) (See this help page.)

Registration with QR-​Code

Students and guest auditors do not register at building entrances, but instead in the places where they will be present for longer periods of time, such as seminar rooms, lecture halls, study areas, the library, the cafeteria, or other areas. To register, you will need to scan a QR-​Code using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

The library and the cafeteria have their own registration procedures.

Standard period of study

Current information on the topic of academic course work and examinations in connection to the Coronavirus measures is available on the following page:

 ➔ Coronavirus –Teaching events, coursework and examination requirements

  • The individual standard period of study has been extended by one semester
  • The standard period of study has been extended for students on leave of absence

What is the situation regarding the extension of the standard period of study in relation to the number of semesters noted on the final degree certificate?

  • Bachelor's/Master's degree: Examinations cancelled in March or early April 2020 will be registered to the winter semester 2019/20 in the transcript.
  • The date of the certificate is determined by the date of application (for BA and academic Master programmes) and by the date of the last examination/ coursework in the Master of Education.
  • The standard period of study is not recorded on the Bachelor's or Master's certificate. We check the adjustment on the Diploma Supplement that graduates receive with their degree, so that the individual standard period of study can be issued there.

What is the situation regarding the final degree certificate if I am studying a degree in which the study model is being phased out?

  • Bachelor's/Master's degree: Examinations cancelled in March or early April 2020 will be registered to the winter semester 2019/20 in the transcript.
  • The date of the certificate is determined by the date of application (for BA and academic Master programmes) and by the date of the last examination or course work (Master of Education).
  • The standard period of study is not recorded on the Bachelor's or Master's certificate.
  • We check the adjustment on the Diploma Supplement that graduates receive with their degree, so that the individual standard period of study can be issued there.
Teaching events, coursework and examination requirements for study

Current information on the topics of

  • Coursework and examination requirements
  • Seminars
  • Academic degrees and theses/ dissertations
  • Transition from Bachelor to Master programmes
  • Placements

in connection to the Coronavirus measures is available on the following pages

Coronavirus –Teaching events, coursework and examination requirements

Teaching and practical courses
  • The online formats and tools developed and introduced in the summer semester can be used for online courses. To carry outlectures and onsite practical courses, the room capacities for lecture halls and seminar rooms have been prepared that maintain the safety distances (1.5 m) and hygiene protection concepts have been drawn up.
  • Organisers of course are obliged to implement their hygiene protection concepts. They make it possible to conduct teaching and practical courses for up to 25 people in seminar rooms and up to 50 people in lecture halls. The actual number of participants allowed inthe respective rooms depends on the size of the rooms and is specified in the hygiene protection concepts.
  • Each event requires a registration of names and, if appropriate, where they are seated so that the public health authorities can trace contacts if there is a suspicion that any participant may have or is suffering from a communicable notifiable disease (e.g. Covid-19)
Use of Learning Platforms

In the online semester, the learning platforms Lernraum [learning room] and Lernraumplus [learning room plus], the video platform Panopto and the video conference platform Zoom are being increasingly used to support and conduct courses.

Further information is available on the pages of the ‘e-learning.Medien’ department of the Bielefeld IT Service Centre (BITS):

https://www.uni-bielefeld.de/lernplattformen

Information on BIS (Bielefeld Information System) relating to the electronic course catalogue (eKVV) and other systems for students

First Steps in Campus Management

Once enrolment is complete, students can access the various online services for organising their studies. Here we explain the

Information on the electronic course catalogue (eKVV)

The eKVV is the University’s electronic course catalogue. Every student creates their timetable here. In order to participate in a course, or use the corresponding learning platforms, the students must add the course to his or her timetable. Here we explain

Mailing list

At present, the most important information about the "digital summer semester" is currently being sent out by email. Students should make sure that their email address is registered and activated in the electronic course catalogue (eKVV). Here we explain everything about

Bielefeld information System (BIS) support and assistance

If you have questions about specific courses the teaching staff are the best people to ask. Their contact details can be found in the detailed overview of each course. We will gladly answer all other questions about the electronic course catalogue (eKVV). Click here for the

 

Studying abroad / Erasmus

Can I plan my study abroad for this upcoming winter semester

  • In principle: Yes, if partner universities are accepting students for the winter semester.
  • This has to be checked on a case-by case basis, but as matters stand at present, it should normally be the case.
  •  It is possible that, due to travel restrictions or coronavirus-related regulations, on-site teaching may not (yet) be offered at the corresponding university.

Will the Erasmus exchanges begin in the upcoming winter semester?

  • In principle, the International Office currently assumes that Erasmus stays abroad (including studies, placements, research stays and educational trips) will take place worldwide during the winter semester.
  • Bielefeld students are currently being nominated at the partner universities and we are also receiving nominations for the winter semester on an ongoing basis.
  • It is still unclear, however, to what extent the Erasmus programmes will initially start as an online semester, and when classroom teaching will be possible again.

Further information is available at GO Out

Studying with children

Are there special rules for students who now have to look after children at home?

  • Looking after children at home is recognised as an important reason’ in the sense of examination law.
  • Observing Coronavirus protection measures will continue to be ‘an important reason’ within the meaning of the examination law in the future.
  • On this basis, examination procedures can be modified, if this is deemed technically and organisationally feasible.
  • On the basis of statements made by parents, generous deadline extensions have already been granted.

Can deadlines be adjusted for parents who are students and still have to look after their children at home in the coming weeks?

  • Yes.
  • The regulations on the maximum extension of deadlines has been suspended.
  • In this respect, consideration has been given in particular to parents, who will benefit from this.

If I need to look after a child under the age of 18, will I be eligible for a hardship claim so that instead of a written exam I can do coursework?

  • The faculties have the option to offer other forms of examination, if this is appropriate for the subject.
  • A faculty's discretion to change the form of examination may be restricted to evidence of important reasons such as raising children, etc.

For single parents who are in the process of taking their final exams, the Studierendensecretariat [student Office] issues certificates entitling the student to emergency care in childcare facilities. You can find more detailed information on the requirements here.

Further information on this topic is available on the webpage studying with children on the gender, diversity and family portal.

Current information on the topic of coursework and examinations in connection with the corona measures can be found on the following page: Coronavirus –Teaching events, coursework and examination requirements

Pregnant students

Pregnant students are also prohibited from working on campus for occupational health reasons. In exceptional cases, an individual risk assessment can be drawn up incoordination with AGUS, the university medical service and the responsible authorities (Detmold district government) and an exceptional permission to attend relevantonsite eventscan be granted (if no unacceptable hazard exists). Pregnant students are required to contact the AGUS staff unit.

Access to the buildings, learning at the University, virtual use of PC rooms
  • The buildings are closed to the general public. However, they are open to students and researchers who are picking up or returning books to the library. The main entrance to the main university building is open, as well as the entrance to Building X where the security office is located.
  • It is still possible to carry out research in the library. However studying and learning is not permitted in the library at present. The PC rooms of the University IT-services (BITS) remain closed, also in the faculties.
  • To enable students to access the software packages installed on these PCs, the University IT-service (BITS) offers the possibility to access these PCs from outside the University. Further information is available here.
  • The service units (e.g. Studierendensekretariat [Student Office], Examination Office, ‘InfoPunkt’ [information centre], General Student Advisory Service ZSB), International Office, the IT-service BITS etc. are closed to visitors. Questions and concerns will only be answered by email or telephone.
  • In exceptional cases, such as those students claiming hardship, students may work at individual student workstations in the faculty rooms. Please contact your teaching staff or the Deans of Studies if necessary. Registration is mandatory. Further possibilities to provide workstations to students on campus are still being examined.
Submission of documents and coursework and examination papers/theses

➔Instructions for submitting documents to the Studierendensekretariat [Student Office].

➔Information on the electronic submission of academic coursework and examination work.

 

Notes on Unicard and the semester ticket

Bielefeld University has decided by rectorial e-mail that personal visits to the service facilities will be possible again as of September 1st, 2020. This also includes the Infopunkt where you can normally pick up and validate your UniCard.

The UniCard will always be sent to you by post and pre-validated. However, this can only be done once you have taken the necessary steps to issue the UniCard (photo-upload). Please be patient and allow for some time for your card to arrive.

Please note that the Unicard will only be sent to you if you have never had a card from Bielefeld University before. For example, if you have a service card as an employee, have been a student here before, or have a library card as a library user or guest student, you must first send this old card to Infopunkt, Studierendensekretariat. You will then receive your new student card. If you still have an intact student card, you can even simply validate it and continue using it. If the old card is lost, please contact the Zentrale Leihstelle.

It has been agreed with the public transport companies that the semester ticket can be replaced by presenting the NRW ticket and a personal ID/passport. You can still print out the NRW-Ticket yourself.

If you have any questions about Unicard, please contact unicard@uni-bielefeld.de.

Successful study and organisation during the online semester

How can I better structure my days during the online semester? How can I study for exams efficiently? How can I organise group-work online? How can I plan my term paper and thesis/ dissertation? How can I keep motivated? How can I keep track of files, texts and deadlines?

For these and other topics related to learning, writing, presenting, self-organization and study during the online semester, students can find support and advice at the Peer Learning service.

overview of online workshops, learning material and contact details

Finances: Bafög (state financial assistance for education), semester fee, child benefit, and health insurance,...

 What is the current position on the extension of child benefit?

  • The German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and the State Rectors’ Conferences are trying to reach an agreement with the federal government on the extension of BAföG, child benefit and health insurance. This will be announced as soon as a decision has been reached.

Will I be asked to submit credit points to the BAföG office this online semester?

Will entitlement to BAföG (state financial assistance for education) be extended by a further semester?

  • The question cannot be answered with a definite YES at present
  • The state of NRW is in discussion with the federal government about the implications of extending the standard period of study by one semester for BAföG recipients.
  • Currently, BAföG does not contain any regulations that extend the maximum period of funding by one semester across the board (equivalent to the extension of the individual standard period of study resulting from the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance for Higher Education).
  • Nevertheless, students can be funded for an appropriate period of time beyond the maximum funding period, provided that the pandemic has caused unavoidable delays to their studies.
  • In general: Questions about student funding are best asked directly at the BAföG Office, as they can provide you with detailed information and help. The BAföG Office has extended its telephone service hours and can now be reached Monday to Friday. You can find the contacts and consultation times on the website of the Studierendenwerk [Association for Student Affairs].
  • The BAföG advisory service of the AStA [Student Union] is also a good contact point.

Am I still entitled to BAföG if I am unable to provide the required academic certificates because the exams have been cancelled? What should I do if the courses that I need to register on the BAföG certificate do not take place due to the pandemic?

  • If your studies have been delayed due to the corona pandemic then this justifies a later submission of the academic certificate according to § 48 paragraph 2 in connection with § 15 paragraph 3 no. 1 BAföG.

How do I retain my student status with my health insurance provider if I have lost my job due to the Coronavirus crisis and therefore can no longer pay my health insurance contribution?

  • This must be clarified urgently with the respective health insurance company.
  • According to Book V of the German Social Code (SGB), students must be insured or prove that they are exempt from compulsory health insurance.
  • So far, the federal government has made no exceptions to this regulation that we know of.

 

What about the semester fee already paid for the summer semester? Do we get our semester fees back (proportionately) because the semester has been shortened and some services have been cancelled?

  • There are currently no plans to reimburse the semester fee in whole or in part.
  • The semester will take place as an online semester.
  • The semester tickets can still be used, public transport is still in operation.
  • Furthermore, the social contribution also includes items that benefit students (such as the contribution to the ASTA [student union} which provides a social loan to students in financial difficulty.

Is there financial support available for international students?

  • The ISSC [International Student Support Centre] has an overview of which emergency aid, loans or grants can be claimed by international students. 
  • It provides advice and support in the application process or acts as an intermediary for cooperation partners such as ViSiB [Association to Support International Students in Bielefeld] or ASTA [student union].
  • Financial assistance intended exclusively to address the financial impact of the Corona pandemic affecting international students is currently unavailable.

For students in financial difficulty (e.g. due to job loss, etc.) the Federal Minister of Education has launched a bridging aid in the form of loan from the KfW Bank, which is interest-free in the start-up phase. In addition, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has provided funds to the student emergency support grants of the Studierendenwerke [Association for Student Affairs]. These emergency grants will be allocated according to the usual funding rules to students experiencing acute financial hardship and are non-repayable. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for a start date to accept emergency funding applications. The AStA [Student Union] also provides a social fund to help students with living costs in this challenging time.

On the following pages you will find further information about Costs & Financial Support.

Help in a crisis

Faced with difficult life and study situations, students can turn to the central Student Advising Service (ZSB) for help. In the current situation, this may include psychological and social stress as well as study difficulties associated with the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of the University. Students are encouraged to contact the ZSB by phone or by email at zsb@uni-bielefeld.de if they are experiencing difficulties.

Overview of all information and advisory services at Bielefeld

University Sport

All university sports events are cancelled. The UniFit, sports hall and swimming pool are closed. During this time, university sport is transferring some of its activities online.

Students and occasional students over 50 years

As the semester is taking place largely online, is it also possible for occasional students to attend courses?

  • As long as courses are open to occasional students and these take place online, then in principle participation is generally possible. The faculties are responsible for the allocation of course places as well as any restrictions to participation, if deemed necessary.

Is study over the age of 50 possible?

  • In principle there are no restrictions if the course is held online. However, if capacity is limited, priority will be given to students in training.