Coronavirus: Students’ FAQs
UDE ’s directive for the implementation of the Corona Epidemic University Ordinance (CEHVO) includes regulations regarding flexible teaching and examination formats, free-attempt (i.e. not counting towards the maximum number of attempts allowed) and repetition options for examinations, extensions of the standard periods of study and additional compensation for disadvantages under the current overall conditions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
The examinations that had to be cancelled in the winter semester 2019/2020 have been rescheduled and held.
In order to facilitate planning and conducting the examination phase for the summer semester 2020 during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, examinations will be spread over the entire non-teaching period.
Written tests and other examinations may once again be conducted in physical presence at the University of Duisburg-Essen if specific hygienic conditions are met. This information sheet is to inform you about the situation that awaits you when you get to your examination and the conduct that we expect from you.
- Protecting the health of our staff and students is very important to us.
Therefore, rooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between all uses, including the face-to-face examinations that are currently held, in order to further improve the safety of all individuals present.
- Classes for the upcoming winter semester will start on 2 November for all students throughout the university (an exception applies for medical students).
- Regulations for free shots at examinations, i.e. attempts that are not counted towards the maximum number of attempts allowed, and repeat examinations are in place. They are stipulated in the directive regarding the implementation of the Corona Epidemic University Ordinance (CEHVO) (only available in German).
- The university has decided to subscribe to the commercial Zoom video conferencing service for one year. You can use the service via https://uni-due.zoom.us/ using the Shibboleth login (with your University ID). As students, you can also use this licence and set up study rooms.
(Please consider the data protection notification from the ZIM: https://www.uni-due.de/zim/services/zoom (German only))
- Information regarding ERASMUS [Please refer to the information provided by the International Office: https://www.uni-due.de/international/en_faqs-covid-19.php]
- Everyday life at university
- Degree certificates
- Teaching and technology
- Loan laptops for students
- Data protection
- Information on the examinations for the summer semester 2020
- Submission of bachelor’s and master’s theses
- Financial matters
- Work placements
- New Students
- Other questions
- Psychological Counselling Service
- Disadvantage-compensating regulations
- Will the university be open again, with teaching taking place in classroom?
From Monday, 4 May, UDE has carefully started loosening some of the strict restrictions–initially for selected units and on the basis of an action plan for operations. Classes will predominantly continue to be held in the form of distance-learning formats. Safety and hygiene measures must be adhered to.
- When does the winter semester 2020/21 start?
Classes for the upcoming winter semester will start on 2 November for all students throughout the university (an exception applies for medical students).
- Will there be any teaching involving physical presence during the upcoming winter semester?
The faculties are preparing another semester which will predominantly consist of remote teaching. Selected classes that require the use of specific premises (e.g. laboratory practicals) will presumably be held for smaller groups.
- What is the catering situation at the university like?
The U-Café in Duisburg and the Gelbe Cafete in Essen are open again. For further information, see: https://www.stw-edu.de/en/detailview-news/coronavirus0/
- How will postponements due to the coronavirus affect the semester count? I have to complete my degree within the standard period of study.
For all students who are enrolled on a university degree programme or a programme that is completed by passing a state or church examination in the summer semester 2020, the standard period of study applicable to them individually will be increased by one semester if they are not on not on leave or enrolled for the relevant degree programme as a cross-registered students in accordance with Section 52 (2) ,of the Higher Education Act (HG) or Section 22 (2) of the Art Colleges Act (KunstHG).
- Is the University Library open?
The Humanities and Social Sciences Library and the LK Library are open subject to restrictions from Mondays to Fridays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The Medical Library is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays (Payment of fees, new library cards and renewal of cards: Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–4 p.m.)
100 individual workspaces each are currently available for use in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library and the LK Library, with another 50 workspaces available in the Medical Library. Members of the university can book the workspaces in the Humanities and Social Sciences and LK Libraries online (information only available in German). Spaces can be booked for the 8–11.45 a.m. or the 12.15–3.45 p.m. slots. The workspaces will be cleaned between all uses.
Moreover, you can access the databases for literature available in digital form via https://www.uni-due.de/ub/service.php (information page only available in German). The University Library is currently working to make numerous texts available in digital form.
- Are there delays in issuing degree certificates?
As the university currently operates with reduced presence on campus, it may take more time to have degree certificates signed since not all professors are regularly present at the university.
- I would like to enrol at UDE for my master’s degree. However, my previous university has not yet issued my bachelor’s degree certificate. What can I do?
If you do not have a bachelor’s degree certificate, you have to submit a specific form when enrolling for a master’s degree programme.
Please find the form here: https://www.uni-due.de/imperia/md/content/studierendensekretariat/bescheinigung_bachelorabschluss_extern.pdf
- My last examination for the bachelor’s degree was cancelled. Thus, I do not yet have my degree certificate and cannot enrol for my planned master’s degree. What can I do?
You can obtain credits for your master’s degree early. Previously, it was allowed to earn up to 30 CP in advance. You will now be able to earn even more credits for your master’s degree early. Please contact the central Examinations Office on this matter.
- Special funds have been made available in order to support students in the context of digital teaching and used to procure laptops that can be provided to students who do not have the means to buy their own devices. This is to ensure that students who do not own the required hardware also have the opportunity to participate in classes provided in digital form.
You can borrow the devices from the ZIM if you present corresponding eligibility confirmation from the AStA student council. To receive a confirmation of your eligibility, please submit a corresponding request to the AStA student council by post to the following address:
Finanzreferat des AStA der Universität Duisburg-Essen
The documents and information listed below must be submitted along with your request:
- your university e-mail address (stud.uni-due.de)
- a statement listing your monthly expenses (e.g. rent, food, insurances) and income (e.g. support payments from parents or spouse, wages, BAföG, scholarship)
- bank statements for all your accounts (current account, credit card, etc.) for the past three months
- current certificate of enrolment
If your monthly income exceeds €1,200 please explain why you would like to borrow a loan laptop. Please indicate if your account is a blocked account.
If you have any questions, the will be happy to help.
Please find more information here and (only available in German).
- I do not have access to a laptop/WLAN/technological equipment in order to participate in virtual classes. What can I do?
Teaching staff has been requested to at least provide material that enables script-based self-study (e.g. va Moodle or DuEPublico). Also, asynchronous teaching formats are to be given preference, i.e. live transmissions, etc. are to be avoided wherever possible, to allow you to study as flexibly as possible under the current difficult circumstances. UDE is trying its hardest to avoid disadvantages for you.
We are currently in the process of procuring a number of laptops that will be made available for students to borrow. We will provide information on this matter as soon as possible.
However, please be aware that laptops cannot be made available for all students. At present, everyone, including UDE staff, is requested to ‘improvise’ a little while longer.
- I do not have access to a laptop/WLAN in order to participate in virtual classes, but attendance is mandatory. What can I do?
Please contact the person who teaches the class and, if necessary, the Office of the Dean of Studies of your faculty to try and find a solution together.
- Tutorials and practical courses start earlier than lectures. Is that correct?
Yes, it is.
- I am attending an interdisciplinary course in which students who major in the field also take part this semester. Does this mean this course requires more effort now than if I took it in another semester?
Please contact the person who teaches the course. Teaching staff has been requested to design their classes in a way that allows flexibility. Thus, they may offer different types of examination requirements.
- I can access a course online, but I cannot hear any sound and no one has been able to help me. What if this problem cannot be solved in the course of the semester?
The ZIM team can certainly help you. https://www.uni-due.de/zim/hilfecenter/ (information page only available in German)
- If we currently have to submit tests, homework, excerpts, etc. online, does this replace the written examination that is required according to the examination regulations?
Unfortunately, there is no blanket answer to this question. If the teaching staff has changed the examination format, this may well be the case. However, it is also possible that there will be an (online) written examination at the end of the semester.
- The intended examination format includes group work and the presentation of findings (audio, video, podcast, etc.). What if I do not have the opportunity to do this?
Ask the person who teaches the class if an examination in another form is possible. All teaching staff has been requested to allow you to study flexibly under the current difficult circumstances. UDE is trying its hardest to avoid disadvantages for you.
- Do I have to register again if the times or dates of courses change of will my registration be upheld?
No. If you have registered via LSF, your registration remains valid even if the course hours change.
- According to the degree programme rules and regulations, having passed examinations from the winter semester, which I have not yet been able to take, is required for admission to classes of the summer semester. How can I participate in classes in the summer semester?
Please ask the persons who teach the classes. Teaching staff has been asked to allow flexibility with regard to the planned programme sequence. However, there may be valid reasons why this is cannot be possible in individual cases.
- I have been assigned to a tutorial group. However, my timetable has changed due to adjustments resulting from the corona situation. According to information from the chair it is ‘not possible to swap the assigned groups’. What options do I have to participate in a tutorial and avoid timetable clashes with other courses?
Please ask the persons who teach the classes. In most cases, an individual solution can be found.
- I cannot find any information on a class on the websites of the faculty/the department/the lecturer or on LSF. Whom can I contact?
Please contact the person who teaches the class or their secretary directly.
- Why is it not possible to send information that is published on the websites of the chairs and faculties to students?
As the current situation is highly dynamic and can change rapidly, the effort required to constantly send out e-mails would be quite high. Therefore, we would like to ask you to continue to refer to the central website regularly in order to find information about the current situation at UDE with regard to the coronavirus.
- I need further material in addition to the documentation provided in order to understand the subject matter. How can I access textbooks, etc. for self-study purposes?
The University Library is working on gradually resuming operations while also implementing strict safety and hygiene regulations. Moreover, you can access the databases for literature available in digital form via https://www.uni-due.de/ub/service.php (information page only available in German).
Please note that textbooks cannot be sold on campus this semester for health and safety reasons.
- I have not received a password for joining a class online and am unable to access the course (Zoom/Moodle/Jitsi, etc.). Whom can I contact?
Please ask the person teaching the class. They should be able to give you the access details and will add you to the relevant course if necessary.
- I do not have sufficient memory capacity to download the programmes required for course participation. Is browser-based participation possible?
The Zoom, Jitsi and BigBlueButton services provide browser-based access options.
- I have questions regarding slides, etc. and have written an e-mail to my lecturer. They referred me to Moodle, but I would like to protect my personal data and prevent inferences about my identity based on posted questions. How can I post questions anonymously in Moodle?
Teaching staff can set up anonymous forums in Moodle where inferences about the authors of questions are impossible. Suggest that the person teaching the relevant class set up such a forum. The opportunity to ask questions anonymously will certainly also be helpful to your fellow students.
- Will the examinations for the summer semester 2020 be held as usual?
In order to facilitate planning and conducting the examination phase during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, examinations will be spread over the entire non-teaching period. (30.10.2020)
- Will the free-attempt regulation apply for the summer semester?
All examinations that belong to the summer semester from an organisational perspective are included in the free-attempt regulation, i.e. your first attempt at an examination in this semester will not count towards your maximum number of attempts.
- Which protective measures are in place at UDE regarding written and oral examinations?
Please adhere to the measures defined in the information sheet for students on the procedure for face-to-face examinations in order to protect yourself and others in the best possible way.
In addition, examination rooms are aired out for one hour, cleaned and disinfected after each use.
Please note: You have to wear a face mask within UDE buildings up until you reach your seat in the examination room. During the examination, you may take your mask off.
- Why is the deadline for withdrawal from examinations one week before the exam? I feel that this is too long.
The existing regulation that you can withdraw from an examination at short notice by submitting a doctor’s note if you fall ill continues to apply.
- How will I be informed of the date, time and location of my examination?
You will receive an e-mail notification from the campus management system if changes are made to the examination details. You can then log in via https://campus.uni-due.de/cm using your login data in order to view the new date and time. In addition, the dates will be published on the relevant web pages of the Examinations Office.
- When will I be informed about the new date and time at the latest?
Two weeks before the relevant examination date at the latest.
- Where can I find information about my cancelled oral examinations?
Please refer to the schedule on the web pages of the Examinations Office for information on oral examinations. If you have specific enquiries, please contact the responsible chair directly.
- Is it possible that the format of an examination changes? If so, how will I be informed about this?
The format of an examination can be changed up until one week before the respective examination date. You will receive an e-mail notification from the campus management system if changes are made to the examination details. You can then log in via https://campus.uni-due.de/cm using your login data in order to view the new format.
- Do I have to officially withdraw from an examination even though a regulation is in place that failed examinations will not be counted? When is the deadline for withdrawals?
Yes, it is required that you withdraw. The deadline for withdrawals is one week before the examination in question.
- What happens if I miss an examination without an excuse?
Examination attempts that are marked as ‘failed’ or ‘insufficient’ due to absence without an excuse, an examination offence or a breach of regulations are not included in the regulation that failed attempts do not count towards the maximum number of attempts allowed.
- Effective immediately, theses are to be submitted as usual, i.e. three printed and bound copies in DIN A4 format and in suitable electronic form. In exceptional cases, a thesis may be initially submitted in electronic form in order to meet the deadline. However, the printed and bound versions must subsequently also be submitted as soon as possible (a maximum of three working days later). If theses are initially submitted exclusively in electronic form, a written declaration that you have composed the thesis entirely by yourself must be attached to your electronic submission.
- Does the coronavirus pandemic affect my BAFöG grant?
No. The Federal Minister of Education has assured that BAFöG grants will continue to be paid even during closure periods due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students receiving BAFöG will not suffer any disadvantages due to protective measures. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has pointed this out in a decree addressed to the Training Assistance Offices.
- In addition, the extended standard period of study is to be accompanied by an increase in the maximum eligibility period for BAföG funding in North Rhine-Westphalia. Since the standard period of study is officially extended by one semester, students are also to receive BAföG for an additional semester.
- Please find further information at https://www.bmbf.de/en/karliczek-no-disadvantage-for-bafog-recipients-due-to-coronavirus-outbreak-11174.html
BAFöG entitlement will remain in place even if recipients engage in measures against the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, additional earnings are worthwhile. Additional income of anyone who is involved in the fight against the current coronavirus crisis in the health care system, in social institutions or in agriculture will only be taken into account for the period of their employment. A corresponding amendment to the law has been passed. If, for example, students with medical knowledge engage in the health care system, this is a valuable contribution to overcoming the pandemic crisis.
https://www.bmbf.de/de/karliczek-bafoeg-anspruch-bleibt-bei-engagement-gegen-corona-pandemie-erhalten-10653.html (German only)
- Does the postponement of the semester and examinations affect my BAFöG grant?
‘In view of the current exceptional situation, Federal Minister Anja Karliczek has ensured planning and financial security quickly and without requiring much paperwork to the benefit of BFAöG recipients. The federal ministry has pointed out to the federal states and their Training Assistance Offices, which are responsible for handling corresponding matters, that BAföG grants are to be continued to be paid out in pandemic-related case scenarios. Students and pupils who are dependent on grants under the provisions of the German Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG), should not suffer any financial disadvantages if lectures or classes at their training institution are temporarily cancelled or if the start of the semester is postponed entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.’ https://www.bafög.de/
- Will the semester fees be (partly) reimbursed?
As a matter of principle, this is not possible. A corresponding decision would have to be taken consistently across ALL higher education institutions in NRW. If a reimbursement of the semester fees were to be considered, it would be required to engage all parties involved (Studierendenwerk, AStA,transport associations) in the decision. However, the services of these parties may (in parts) be utilised even during a hybrid semester.
- Contrary to my planning, I had to re-register for the summer semester 2020 because I have been unable to take an examination/an examination has been postponed. Do I still have to pay the semester fee?
Yes, initially you will have to pay the semester fee.
A decision as to whether the semester fee can be (partly) reimbursed would have to be taken consistently across ALL higher education institutions in NRW. If a reimbursement of the semester fees were to be considered, it would be required to engage all parties involved (Studierendenwerk, AStA,transport associations) in the decision. However, the services of these parties may (in parts) be utilised even during a hybrid semester.
- According to the degree programme regulations, I have to complete a work placement in Germany. What can I do now?
Please contact your degree programme coordinator.
- According to the degree programme regulations, I have to complete a work placement abroad. What can I do now?
Please contact your degree programme coordinator.
- I am new at the university. What information is available?
Please consult UDE’s portal for new students: https://www.uni-due.de/erstsemester/ (German only)
In addition, your faculty and student representatives will inform you about subject-specific offers.
You can also find current information on events in the context of your degree programme in the myUDE app.
- What will happen with the preparatory courses for STEM subjects (MINT)?
The preparatory courses will be held exclusively online this year. You can register for the online preparatory courses from 1 September 2020.
Please find further information here: https://www.uni-due.de/mint/
- What about public transport tickets for the preparatory courses?
Even though the preparatory courses will be held online, the ticket for preparatory students will be available. Please find further information provided by the AStA student council here (German only).
- Will there be a (virtual) orientation week?
The orientation week in the upcoming winter semester will take place between 26 and 30 October 2020. Most introductory events are expected to take place in digital form.
Please find further information here: https://www.uni-due.de/erstsemester/orientierungsphasen/ (German only)
Please note that the enrolment process this year differs from the one applied in previous years due to the current situation. Please find further information here in the portal for new students.
- The current situation troubles me. Is there anyone I can turn to for mental support?
Please contact the Psychological Counselling Service, which is offered by the ABZ at UDE:
https://www.uni-due.de/abz/studierende/psychologische-beratung.php (German only)
In particular, we will continue to focus on students who take on care tasks for underage children and relatives in need of care, as well as students who are pregnant, students with disabilities, and students with chronic or mental impairments. Individual compensations for disadvantages are intended to prevent these students from being disadvantaged in their special situation, who are often faced with special challenges due to the effects of the corona pandemic, when providing study and examination services. In principle, compensation for disadvantages is granted by the respective examination board and should be addressed to them accordingly. Due to the special current situation, all university offices are called upon and endeavour to find solutions for individual concerns as quickly and with as little bureaucracy as possible. First of all, talk to your lecturer to see if there are any helpful regulations. Alternatively, or in the event of no success, you can contact the Dean of Studies.
The following offices offer further advice and information:
- Counselling centre for inclusion in case of disability and chronic illness: https://www.uni-due.de/inklusionsportal/index.php
- Information portal family-friendly university: https://www.uni-due.de/familiengerechte-hochschule/studierende.php
- Studierendenwerk: https://www.stw-edu.de/beratung/soziale-beratung/studium-mit-kind/
- Equal Opportunities Officer: https://www.uni-due.de/gleichstellung
- Central ombuds office for students: https://www.uni-due.de/de/studium/ombudsstelle/
- Staff unit for occupational safety, health & environmental protection: https://www.uni-due.de/verwaltung/arbeitssicherheit/
- General information about studies and maternity leave: https://www.uni-due.de/studierendensekretariat/studium_und_mutterschutz.php
- ASTA Social Policy Unit: https://www.asta-due.de/willkommen/referate/referat-fuer-sozialpolitik/
- ASTA department of students with disabilities and chronic diseases: https://www.asta-due.de/willkommen/autonome-referate/bcks/
- What will happen to study taster days?
It will still be possible to admit prospective students for taster days. If you are interested, please contact teaching staff.
- Will credit points be awarded for volunteer activities during the crisis?
In addition to activities coordinated by UNIAKTIV, the IOS offered a course in its ‘Methodological competence, personal and social skills (E1)’ field in the summer semester. In this course, students’ individual commitments were made the subject matter of learning and participants entered their experience and learning processes in portfolios or diaries and their reflections were then discussed and categorised within the group. 3 CP can be awarded for participation in the ‘Engagement und Lernen in Zeiten von Corona: Praxisseminar zur Anerkennung und Reflexion von gesellschaftlichem Engagement’ course.
You will be informed about options provided in the winter semester.