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Information for Teaching Staff

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.


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 March 31, 2021, or begins in this period will be extended by a total of three months. 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.

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).

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

In agreement with the Staff Council, the adopted VC policy will also remain valid for the next two semesters. This means you can continue to use Zoom in your teaching. Please note, the restrictions also remain valid, for example regarding cloud storage, which we can organize centrally.

Furthermore, the open source product BigBlueButton (within Stud.IP and via the ZfN) is also available for teaching and for student learning groups.

For confidential communication, the University of Bremen continues to provide StarLeaf.

We would like to draw your attention once again to the ZMML's handouts on digitally supported teaching.

Another general note:
The requirement of data economy derived from data protection law means that as little personal data as possible should be collected, processed, and used. For this reason, you will also find information on how to use Zoom in the most data-saving manner possible in the handouts.


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