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Information for Students

Studying at the University of Bremen during a Pandemic

An interview with Vice President Academic Thomas Hoffmeister

No campus life, but digital exams and loneliness in front of a screen at home – students and teachers are currently under particular strain due to the corona pandemic.

Professor Thomas Hoffmeister, Vice President Academic, talks to student Nele Schöning about burning questions concerning digital teaching, psychological stress, and the outlook for the summer semester.

On YouTube, you have the option to jump straight to certain questions / topics in the video.


All about Studying

You will be able to study digitally in the summer semester 2021. A return to sole face-to-face operations will not be possible in the summer semester 2021.

However, some degree courses have contents that cannot be digitalized. This includes laboratory sessions, for example. These cannot take place as distance learning. We are working on solutions so that we will be able to offer such sessions to everyone in a safe form in the summer semester.

If the situation surrounding the infection rate allows for it, we want to offer additional face-to-face formats in the course of the semester and especially enable access to student learning spaces. We are currently sounding out what such steps could look like in detail.

Yes, the maximum duration of the Preparatory Studies Program (VBS) will be extended from the original four semesters to a maximum of six for all current students. The maximum duration of trial studies will be extended from the original two semesters to a maximum of four for all trial students.

Students of the summer semester 2020 and winter semester 2020/21 who, during the course of their studies, wish to take more than the two permitted leave of absence semesters (as stated in the enrollment regulations) on “miscellaneous grounds,” can apply for this in the frame of their re-enrollment for the winter semester 2021/22 or later. This can be done online by uploading the so-called corona confirmation document from the President. Said students will receive a third or fourth leave of absence semester without providing any further reasons.

Winter Semester 2021/22 Application Process

Nationally, it applies that the application deadline for restricted-admission degree programs with the aim of acquiring a bachelor’s degree or the First State Examination in Law has been moved from July 15, to July 31, 2021. Detailed information on all application deadlines at the University of Bremen.

Internships for bachelor’s programs: For the bachelor’s degree programs Production Engineering – Mechanical and Process Engineering, Management and Production Engineering, and Public Health, the Academic Senate decided on February 03, 2021, that the internship may be completed after the program has begun, or rather during the course of the degree. For the bachelor’s degree program Inclusive Education, the obligatory internship is being waived as an exception for applications for the winter semester 2021/22.

There are currently no further pandemic-based changes to the application or enrollment requirements for the winter semester 2021/22. Please be sure to gather all the information on the general regulations and the rulings that apply to your desired degree program.

Regulations on Examinations

The University Executive Board and the faculties have agreed to have most of the examinations take place digitally as far as possible. From February 15, 2021, face-to-face examinations are possible with special permission by the examination boards. You can find theregulations for the face-to-face examinations hereand in the downloads area.

An exception to the regulation continues to apply to final bachelor's and master's theses that are dependent on university resources (laboratories, etc.). On a case to case basis, such work is still possible. Please contact your supervisor to discuss details.

The organization and realization of online exams is time consuming, which is why the  summer semester 2021 examination phase will be extended. The working time for final theses will also be extended. This was decided upon by the Academic Senate (AS) during a meeting on February 24, 2021. You can find the ruling hereand in the downloads area.

The AS ruling means the following for you:

  • The submission deadline for a bachelor’s / master’s thesis with a writing/processing period that lies entirely or partially between December 16, 2020, and September 30, 2021, or begins in this period will be extended by a total of three months (as stated in Amtsblatt Nr. 56/2021 and the AS Ruling from April 21, 2021). A further extension may be granted upon submission of a justified individual application to the responsible examination board.
     
  • The period for winter semester 2020/21 examinations will be extended. Face-to-face examinations must take place by May 15, 2021 and exam results must be in the system by June 15, 2021.
     
  • Registration for summer semester 2021 examinations must take place by July 15, 2021. Withdrawal from a summer semester 2021 exam is possible without providing a reason until July 15, 2021.

    In order to ensure that you have no disadvantages regarding the start of a re-take deadline due to postponed or cancelled examinations in the winter semester 2020/21 or summer semester 2021, examination results that have not been entered into the system by the end of the respective examination phase will be marked as “recognized withdrawal”.

Please contact your teaching staff regarding extensions of deadlines for your assignments.

Switching to online exams and turning face-to-face examinations into the exception was a necessary measure in order to offer the chance for exams to take place during the pandemic and under the latest restrictions.

Alongside online oral exams, several other online exam formats will be implements. The software from the e-test center for open-book exams and Stud.IP as a Learning Management System (LMS) also offer various tools for the realization of online examinations (e.g. via Dolt, time-locked folders, ILIAS, and EduWork Builder). Please get to know the tools and what to expect and also pay attention to the information from your lecturers.

The so-called Digital Examination Regulation (“Digitalprüfungsverordnung”), which was decided upon by the Senator for Science and Ports, has applied to the realization of examinations in digital form since February.

The ZMML has developed a checklist to ensure the best possible chance for you to prepare for your exams.

The General Part of the Examination Regulations was changed in May 2020 due to the difficult conditions for teaching and studying caused by the corona pandemic. These changes include for example that the summer semester 2020 and winter semester 2020/21 do not count towards the deadline for the retaking of failed examinations and that the failure to participate in registered examinations between March 13, 2020, and September 30, 2021, will count as a “recognized withdrawal” and not as a “fail.” The changes to the General Part of the Examination Regulations and the relevant ruling from May 2020 can be found in the download area. There is also another document that provides additional information regarding the counting of semesters (Explanation of Amendments to General Parts - Interruption of the Counting of Semesters (in German only).

Registration for summer semester 2021 examinations must take place by July 15, 2021. Withdrawal from a summer semester 2021 exam is possible without providing a reason until July 15, 2021.

You can find further information on this in the Academic Senate Ruling dated February 24, 2021.

General Safety and Hygiene Standards on Campus

You can read and download the updated General Safety and Hygiene Standards for the winter semester 2020/2021 here.

In addition to the current regulations, since February 1, 2021, it is obligatory that all persons aged 16 or above wear a medical-grade mask. It remains unchanged that children and youths up to 15 years of age are obliged to wear a mouth-nose covering. The regulation applies in all areas of movement (entryways, exits, hallways, elevators, etc.), in sanitary facilities, or waiting rooms in university buildings, and all outside areas of the university. Surgery masks, FFP2-standard masks, or comparable masks are considered medical-grade masks.

Surgical masks will be handed out by security at the entrances to university buildings.

If an office is being shared, staff in administration, the faculties, and deaneries must also wear medical-grade masks when seated. This also applies to all meetings.

If all other safety measures are met (distance regulation, spit protection, regular ventilation, etc.), it is possible to refrain from the wearing of masks in shared offices, if all parties involved agreed to this.

Under the above stated conditions, the use of masks can also be refrained from during face-to-face interviews (appointment and job application proceedings).

In addition, the currently valid Corona Ordinance of the Bremen State specifies that the obligation to wear a mask may be waived under the following conditions:

You might not be obligated to wear a mask due to a medical indication or due to pregnancy. Please always carry your medical certificate with you to the university so that you can present this when someone asks you about your missing mask.

Additionally, the obligation to wear a mask does not apply for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, those accompanying them, and, for persons who communicate with them.

(Additions/changes are to be expected).

Recommendations on how long the different masks should be worn:

For the textile mouth-nose covering, the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) recommends to wear masks no longer than three hours during light physical activity (e.g. office work).

Surgical masks should not be worn longer than two hours during moderate physical activity (e.g. janitorial exercises). This time period can be extended to three hours during light physical activity, provided that the mask has not yet become wet. After that, a break of 30 minutes should be adhered to, after which the mask can be worn again for the same duration as before. For FFP2 masks without an exhalation valve,  masks should be worn no longer than 75 minutes, followed by a 30-minute break with a maximum of five uses per work shift.

You can find more information on mouth-nose coverings, medical-grade masks, and particle-filtering partial masks here (in German only).

Yes, the university has done so. You can find the tabular overview here.

Even if the regulations appear complex, we ask that you very carefully adhere to the correct ventilation of the individual rooms.

All state universities in Bremen are continually in contact with the Senator for Science in order to react quickly to a change in situation, if required.

We ask that you help to reduce the number of infections by behaving appropriately and taking the known hygiene regulations into consideration.

If you had contact to a person now confirmed as having coronavirus, immediately contact your doctor or the after-hours service of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of the City of Bremen (https://www.kvhb.de/bereitschaftsdienst) by phone. Do not go to a doctor’s practice in order to reduce the risk of infection.

You will receive further instructions from your doctor or the after-hours service of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of the City of Bremen.

Further information.

If you are a contact person of the first class (close family or domestic contact or similar), you must enter isolation for 10 days. You are not allowed to come onto campus during this time.

Please fill out the linked form and send it by email to the Administrative Department for Human Resources (personal@vw.uni-bremen.de). Please also inform “your” faculty. 

For detailed information, please refer to the pages of the Administrative Department for Human Resources: www.uni-bremen.de/dezernat2/aktuelles (in German)

Please adhere to the self-isolation requirements.

During the isolation period, it is not possible for you to leave your home or receive guests that do not live with you without prior authorization from the Health Department (general ruling by the Pubic Order Office of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen based on §28 German Infection Protection Act – IfSG). Only the Health Department may decide on exceptions.

You may not come onto the university campus.

Please contact your examination office or student advisory office if you have questions concerning examination or consequences for the course of your degree.

Please fill out the linked form and send it by email to the Administrative Department for Human Resources (personalprotect me ?!vw.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de). Please also inform “your” faculty. 

You must adhere to the Health Department’s guidelines. This especially applies with regard to the point in time when the isolation/quarantine period is over and you may enter the university campus, for example.

Please contact your examination office or student advisory office if you have questions concerning examination or consequences for the course of your degree.

Please fill out the linked form and send it by email to the Administrative Department for Human Resources (personalprotect me ?!vw.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de). Please also inform “your” faculty. 

Stays abroad and international students

As the closure of German embassies due to corona is threatening the degree starts of freshmen, the University of Bremen has implemented two important measures:

1Distance studying
Generally, distance-learning is possible for the internationally oriented degree programs. Please speak to the responsible person for your degree about the online teaching on offer and the examination regulations. Distance students will be enrolled as usual – please send us the required documents after admission and transfer the semester fee. The usually obligatory proof of health insurance in German is waived as long as you reside abroad.

Please note that you must pay the fee retroactively for the whole of the semester if you travel to Germany during the semester.

The timely submission of certified copies of all required documents for non-EU citizens is being waived for the enrollment in the summer semester 2021 until April 26, 2021. More information is included in the Academic Senate Ruling 9064 dated February 3, 2021.

Please note the following:

  1. The requirement of submission of certified copies is being waived. Simple copies with corresponding translations, if the documents are not available in German or English, suffice. It remains unchanged that the translations must be carried out by a sworn translator.
     
  2. Certified copies of the documents must be submitted by students at a later point in time, without a relevant reminder having to be issued.
     
  3. Please note that every single case of fraud during enrollment will lead to a retraction of enrollment as per § 38 BremHG.

If you return from a private or work trip abroad, varied rules apply, depending on in which country you stayed:

Returning from a risk area

If you have spent time within the past 10 days in a risk region, the following applies:

 

  • Please immediately return, by direct means, to your “own home or another suitable accommodation option,” after your return.
  • You must now self-isolate for 10 days (starting from entry into Germany).
  • It is not allowed that people who do not live in your household visit you in this time.
  • Please fill out the linked form and send it by email to the Administrative Department for Human Resources (personal@vw.uni-bremen.de). Please also inform “your” faculty.  
  • Please inform the responsible local authority and register via https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de/#/. For further information on digital registration on entry visit https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus-infos-reisende/merkblatt-dea/faq-dea.html.
  • Should you take a corona test after entry, it is obligatory that the test may only be carried out five days after entry into Germany, at the earliest. Additional information and information on testing options for Bremen citizens can be found here. Here, you can find out which Health Department is responsible for you. It is not possible to submit a negative test to the university, as only the Health Department has the authority to end the isolation period earlier than planned.

You may provide a test result to the Health Department for this. Said test must fulfil certain requirements (test result in German on English, molecular-biological test, test must have taken place no longer than 48 hours prior to entry into Germany).

Additional information and information on testing options for Bremen citizens can be found here.

Here, you can find out which Health Department is responsible for you.

It is not possible to submit a negative test to the university, as only the Health Department has the authority to end the isolation period earlier than planned.

The regulations for returning from a risk region apply whether you have travelled to Germany on land, by air, or by boat.

Entering from a region that is not deemed a risk region is uncritical and no isolation measures must be met.

Please contact Barbara Hasenmüller at the International Office. Alternatively, you can find more information here.

International students who are already in Bremen have general questions regarding their stay, financing etc. should contact Jutta Paul and Claudia Pellegrina at the International Office.

Working and Financial Aid

Generally, the German National Association for Student Affairs provides advice and information on social matters and working whilst studying. Please note that the information on working and internships applies to enrolled students. Those who have taken a semester’s leave cannot receive a BAföG loan, a scholarship, or discounts for taxes, health insurance etc.

Flyer on working alongside your studies: https://www.studentenwerke.de/de/content/jobben

FAQs on studying during the corona pandemic: https://www.studentenwerke.de/de/content/corona-faqs-der-studenten-und and welfare advice from the Bremen Student Services Organization: https://www.stw-bremen.de/de/beratung-soziales/sozialberatung. Information on the social fund from the German student funds can be found under the question “Can I apply for financial aid?”

You can find more information on job and internship advertisements, as well as other information regarding your career and career start here: https://www.uni-bremen.de/en/career-center

The loan fund of the Bremen Student Services Organization has been increased by the Bremen Senate to 500,000 Euro so that students in need of help can be financially supported. Students who have come into financial difficulties due to the corona crisis can apply for an interest-free loan of up to 550 euros each month from the Bremen Student Services Organization. The loan will be paid with retrospective effect from April 1, 2020 and for up to three months. Furthermore, the acceptance criteria for such a loan will be reduced.

Students in need who are enrolled at the University of Bremen or another university in Bremen State can apply. Foreign students may also apply for a loan.

Information on the application process

Students, who have already applied for BAföG in the past, only have to submit an informal application with the missing documents. Old details should be updated. This also applies if the BAföG application was rejected. The Bremen Student Services Organization provides more detailed information. Further documents are required if the student has never applied for BAföG. Information on this is also available from the Bremen Student Services Organization.

This loan is not intended for those who already receive BAföG. There is another way in such cases: If a student’s situation has changed due to the corona crisis, for example if their parents are now in the short-time working system and can no longer support them as usual, the student can submit a BAföG amendment application.

There is additional help for international students: The charitable organization XENOS provides financial aid especially to foreign students in difficult situations. More information can be found on the XENOS website.

 

According to the decisions made by Bremen State Parliament in February 2021 (“Gesetzesblatt 26”) and March 2021 (“Gesetzesblatt 36”), regarding changes to Bremen State Higher Education Law and changes to Bremen State Law on Legal training and the First State Examination in Law (“Gesetzesblatt 47” and “Gesetzesblatt 52”), the individual regular study duration for students of the winter semester 2020/21 and summer semester 2021 will be increased by one semester. The relevant calculations, i.e. concerning an extended maximum period of funding, will be carried out by the BAföG Loan Office.

Students who were not able to attain the required number of credit points in the winter semester 2019/2020 or summer semester 2020 due to the corona pandemic and are thus unable to provide proof of a positive credit point balance after the end of the 4th semester as per § 48 BAföG (form 5), can submit proof of a negative credit point balance with reference to the situation for the winter semester 2020/2021. The students will then receive a form, with which they can provide an explanation of the circumstances in order for the examination office at their place of education to confirm this. The same procedure applies if students were not able to complete their degree within the maximum duration of funding due to the corona pandemic. Further information can be found here: https://www.stw-bremen.de/en/node/19009

 

More Informations:

Unfortunately, it is not possible to currently offer open office hours. Please use this opportunity to pose your question via email or phone. You will receive information here and via a circular as soon as it is possible once more to attend an office hour or make an appointment.

 

The cafeterias operated by Bremen Student Services Organization will remain closed until further notice, due to the corona pandemic.

Based on the current infection rates, the learning spaces provided by the university and Bremen State and University Library cannot be used until further notice.

The loaning of books and other basic services can be used from January 13, onwards. The Central Library and Juridicum Library will also be open to a restricted numbers of users. Detailed information on the emergency operation mode can be found on the SuUB website: https://www.suub.uni-bremen.de/home-english/. Please make sure you gather all the relevant information prior to going to the library.

General Information on the Coronavirus

What are coronavirus symptoms? How should infected persons behave? We have collected general information on the novel coronavirus.

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Studying as a Parent

The Family-Friendly Studying Work Group (AG Familienfreundliches Studium) offers advice on studying as a parent under the current conditions due to the coronavirus.

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Downloads

General Safety and Hygiene Standards

Rapid Decisions

Archive for Previous Rulings