Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Questions and answers: Information for students

FAQ (last update: 12 January 2021)

Courses

How will teaching be conducted in the winter semester?

Despite the lockdown, a persistently high number of infections make it necessary to suspend the blend of classroom teaching and online formats (“hybrid semester”) planned under our motto of “providing as much in-person teaching as is socially responsible”. Teaching will be exclusively digital/online until at least 31 January.

Only exams that have already been scheduled may take place in person; however, the Rector’s Office strongly recommends that faculties switch to digital formats. Practical laboratory courses, field exercises, excavations, as well as music and sports tutorials are still possible when the special hygiene concepts are followed.

The basis for these measures is a decision    by the Rector’s Office, supplemented by current agreements (29/10/2020) with the City of Halle. All information is subject to change without notice and changes may occur rapidly depending on infection levels. Please keep yourself regularly informed about the current situation.

Is there a mask mandate at the University of Halle?

Yes! If it is necessary to enter at all, a mouth and nose covering (everyday mask) must be worn at all times in the rooms, corridors, staircases etc. of all university buildings. This also applies when waiting in front of buildings. As a result of a municipal directive, this mask mandate applies to broad swaths of the city centre (including University Square).

Foregoing a mouth and nose covering is only permitted in special cases, e.g. for health reasons. If there is a violation of these regulations, instructors may make use of their domiciliary rights.

I have been invited to a video conference in Stud.IP. How do I participate and what do I need to bear in mind?

Our instructors are using various video conferencing systems that all work in a similar fashion. Here is a quick guide to the technical requirements and how to conduct yourself in a large video conference or webinar.

How long do I have in the winter semester to register for my modules in the Löwenportal?

Normally, you have until two weeks after the start of lectures to sign up for modules. This deadline has been extended to 31 December 2020. For organisational reasons, we nevertheless request that you register for the modules as early as possible.

Unlike in the summer semester (where an exemption was made), modules can only be registered for and taken if all mandatory participation requirements have been met.

Exams

What will apply to classroom exams during winter semester?

Currently, upcoming exams may only take place in formats that do not require in-person attendance. Only exam dates that were already scheduled by the faculties before the end of 2020 may currently be held on site under strict hygiene requirements. However, the Rector’s Office strongly recommends switching to digital formats here as well.

Exam dates will be organised by the faculties. For more information, please refer to the Löwenportal, your faculty’s website, or your exam office.

What other exam formats are there?

As in the previous semester, instructors can choose other exam formats. In addition to a term paper or project work, there are, for example, oral exams via video conference or online exams. The LLZ has compiled an overview.

For the “open online exam” format there is a freely accessible sample test with many different types of questions to try out.

The latest special provisions are outlined in a statute approved by the Senate and apply beyond the “actual” semester to exams which, given the circumstances, can be taken up until 31 May 2021.

Are there any changes regarding whether and how I can cancel an exam?

Yes, this is also regulated by the aforementioned statute. You can cancel an exam in the Löwenportal without stating a reason up to two days before the scheduled exam (Saturday/Sunday/holidays not included). Therefore, if your exam is scheduled for Monday, you would have to cancel at some point on Thursday. If the exam is scheduled for a Friday, your cancellation must be submitted by Wednesday.

After this day or on the day of the exam itself, you can only cancel an exam with good cause, e.g. due to illness or if you can provide proof that you are unable to attend at short notice due to corona (e.g. due to quarantine).

What if I don’t pass my module exam?

The maximum number of exam attempts for module exams in the bachelor’s and master’s programmes has been lifted for winter semester 2020/2021. This is also an update of the special provisions from the previous semester. In concrete terms this means: Any failed module exams are therefore considered not taken.

Please be aware however: This rule does not apply to module exams or final theses which a student didn’t pass as a result of dishonesty. And in the case of an unexcused absence (see also the next question!) it will be considered a failed attempt.

This is handled differently for state examination courses: The same also applies in principle to all teacher training programmes (further information here), as well as to the medicine, dentistry and pharmacy programmes, but not for law. The rule has yet to be determined for other study programmes.

Do I have to re-register and pay semester fees if my studies are delayed due to pending examinations?

Yes, if you still have to take exams after 1 April 2021, including those that need to be made up.

For re-registration after the deadline (31 January), the rules for "late re-registration" apply.

Students  can apply to wave additional fees for second degrees (“undue hardship”) if they  can prove that they were not responsible for the delay in graduating.

Everyday student life

Currently, there are severe restrictions to everyday life. How are student life and the services offered by the Studentenwerk affected?

Events offered by University Sports and Collegium Musicum remain suspended.

The current regulations also affect the services provided by the Studentenwerk. A special page on the Studentenwerk website    explains what applies to their cafeterias and café bars, whether facilities are open or closed (day care centres, counselling centres), and what you need to know about BAföG.

Are student parents entitled to emergency childcare for their children?

No, not in principle. Exceptions are only made for single parents and in cases of hardship which are decided on a case-by-case basis.

If you feel you require emergency childcare, you can submit an application to the respective day care centre or day care provider. If the application requires more than your certificate of enrolment, please ask your exam office for a so-called “Arbeitgeberbescheinigung” [employer’s certificate].

On the subject of emergency childcare, please also refer to the information provided by the Family Office, which is currently also building up a network of student parents.

Due to the current situation, I have fallen into financial hardship. What can I do?

The bridging aid for students previously offered during the first lockdown phase will be reintroduced.

Studentenwerk Halle provides advice on financing issues and has set up a special Corona webpage   .

Due to the corona pandemic my parents are no longer able to financially support me like before. What options do I have?

You can apply for BAföG. The local Studentenwerk is responsible for consultation and processing. More detailed information    can be found on its corona page.

If you are already receiving BAföG, you can apply to update your application with information about your parents’ reduction in income to allow you to qualify for a higher BAföG rate this year.

In the meantime, the planned extension of the standard period of study aims to extend the length of BAföG payments (see below).

To what extent am I, as a student, affected by the current 15 km-radius rule?

It is possible to come to Halle. If you are officially registered here, you are basically returning to your place of residence. Non-Halle residents may also enter the city to visit educational institutions (i.e. commuting to and from).

The situation is different in the opposite direction: The city of Halle has decreed that residents must currently stay within a 15-kilometer radius of the city unless they have a valid reason. There are no clear rules on whether this includes, for example, weekend trips home to be with family. In summary: Unless it is absolutely necessary for people from outside of Halle to travel to Halle, we recommend avoiding contact and any unnecessary journeys.

Are there places when I can go between in-person classes and/or to take part in digital learning?

Please note that all lounges are currently closed.

Where can I find current information about the ULB and its branches?

The University and State Library (ULB) provides information about the current situation on its website and in FAQs.

Organisational matters

I have tested positive. What should I do now?

First and foremost, we hope that your symptoms are mild and wish you a speedy recovery! If you have to suspend your studies for a longer period of time, the same rules apply with regard to organising your studies as those which apply to longer illnesses (possibility of a leave of absence). We provide information on special exam regulations in a separate section.

If, despite the suspension of classroom teaching, you have recently been in contact with other people at university locations, please inform those in charge (e.g. examiners) or the Chancellor’s Office. Even though there is no obligation to report this to the university - because the authorities will initiate their own track and trace procedures - this additional information will greatly help us speed up the process.

There is a case of infection in my wider social circle. What is the next step?

For digital classes: you do not need to take any action.

In the very rare instance of in-person attendance: If you yourself are not considered a direct contact and do not have to go into quarantine, you can participate in events as per normal. However, keep a close eye on the state of your health and, where possible, voluntarily limit your number of contacts.

I seem to be experiencing typical symptoms.

In this case you may not attend any in-person university courses. Please keep your distance from the university, get tested, and comply with the general rules and regulations (quarantine, etc.).

Have office hours resumed?

The exam offices are still unable to offer in-person office hours. Neither is the Department of Studies and Teaching (Student Service Centre incl. „Infothek“, Admissions Office and Department 1.3 - Tuition Fees). Please clarify any issues by e-mail, post or telephone.

Please use the mailbox in the Löwengebäude    to submit documents to the Admissions Office.

Initial contact with General Student Counselling must first be made by phone or e-mail. Later, other counselling options are available by prior arrangement (Skype, web conferencing).

The opening hours of the BAföG Office are listed on the Studentenwerk’s webpage   .

How do I validate my student ID card? Can the card still be used as a semester ticket without a stamp?

The validation stations    currently available are located in the Löwengebäude on University Square and at the Francke Foundations. Other locations (Weinberg dining hall, Steintor library) are currently not accessible.

The show of goodwill by the public transport company for the summer semester ticket (simplified proof without valid stamp) has ended. If you want to use your student ID as a semester ticket, you now need to have “valid until: 31.03.2021” printed on it for the winter semester 2020/2021.

The state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt decided in its session on 7 May 2020 to abolish long-term tuition fees. What does this mean?

Starting in the winter semester 2020/2021, long-term study fees will no longer be charged. Therefore, all official notices pertaining to this are no longer valid and students will no longer have to pay the listed fees.

Will the exceptional circumstances in the summer semester 2020 lead to an extension of the standard period of study?

Yes, the state parliament passed a corresponding amendment to the Higher Education Act on 15 December 2020. The standard period of study will therefore be extended by one semester for the summer semester 2020. A decision has yet to be made as to whether there will also be an extension for the winter semester 2020/2021.

This particularly affects BAföG payments, which may be granted for one semester longer. You can find out more from the Studentenwerk    as the authority responsible for this.

What happens if I have started a master’s programme in WS 2020/21 but am still unable to submit my bachelor’s certificate? How much time do I still have to do this?

Due to the current situation, the deadline for submitting bachelor's certificates has been extended to 31 March 2021 (instead of 31 January).

My question isn’t included here – what should I do?

Please write to – we would be happy to answer your individual questions. These FAQs will be expanded if necessary. We will also promptly publish the latest developments here.

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