Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Questions and answers: Information for students

FAQ (last update: 26 February 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.

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 a building at all, a medical mask (minimum requirement of a surgical mask) must be worn at all times in the rooms, corridors, staircases etc. of all university buildings. As a result of a municipal directive, an everyday mask also must be worn outdoors on University Square and in many parts of the city centre.

An FFP2 mask only needs to be worn in certain practical in-person examinations.

Foregoing a mouth and nose covering is only permitted in special cases, e.g. for health reasons. In the case of 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.

My degree programme requires me to do an internship this semester, but this is currently not possible. What should I do?

Check whether the internship can be completed at another time. Usually course regulations do not prescribe - only recommend - it be done during a certain semester.

If a postponement is not possible, please discuss your case with your study course and exam committee. Internships vary so much in their nature that the university cannot make blanketed decisions about them.

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?

All exams with be conducted in a digital format until the end of April. Details and exceptions are regulated by a Rector’s Office Resolution from 26.1.2021 in conjunction with special hygiene regulations.

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? What do I need to consider?

As in the previous semester, instructors can choose other exam formats. In addition to a term paper or project work, there are online formats like oral exams via video conferencing, take-home exams and web-based open book exams. There are also online exams with video supervision (distance exams) in which no study aids are permitted and which require you to switch on your camera and microphone. The LLZ has compiled an overview.

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

What applies if I would like to withdraw from an exam?

You can cancel any scheduled 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.

The following applies to in-person examinations: After this deadline or on the day of the examination itself, you can only withdraw from the examination with a valid reason, for example due to illness or if you can prove that you are unable to attend at short notice due to corona (e.g., due to quarantine).

For all online exams (open book or take-home exams, distance exams), you can still withdraw from the exam attempt by the end of the following working day without stating a reason.

What if I don’t pass my module exam?

The maximum number of attempts for module exams in the bachelor’s and master’s programmes has been currently lifted (this applies to: module exams scheduled for summer semester 2020 and winter semester 2020/2021, but not for module exams in summer semester 2021).

In concrete terms this means: Any failed module exams are therefore considered non-attempted. You do not have to take any action yourself to ensure that no failed attempt is recorded; this happens automatically. If a failed attempt still appears in the Löwenportal, please contact your exam office.

Please remember: This rule does not apply to module exams or final theses which a student didn’t pass as a result of cheating. And in the case of an unexcused absence, 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.

What falls under an “unexcused absence” in the case of online exams (online-based open-book exam, take-home exam, distance exam or distance oral exam)?

An unexcused absence is when no login or authentication occurs at all for an online exam, i.e. the student is completely absent despite having registered for the exam. In this case, the exam is considered to have not been passed.

In contrast, there is no “unexcused absence” if at the end of the exam time no work is handed in/uploaded even though the student was confirmed as having been present in the digital examination room. Even though the exam has not been passed per se, in this case it is deemed to be a non-attempt.

Can I get a “second chance” if I receive a poor exam result (possibility to improve my grade)?

Students can apply to retake a module exam that they passed so that they can improve their grade if the exam was held between 1 April and 31 October 2020. The exam can be retaken one time up until winter semester 2021/2022. The better grade will then apply. Final theses are exempt.

Students in degree programmes with state examinations should contact their faculty’s exam office to find out whether this option is also available for their degree programme.

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.

Who can I contact if I have a question about digital exams?

For all organisational questions (e.g. about registering for or deregistering from an exam, the exam date, withdrawing or booking), please contact your exam office.

For all technical and content-related questions about digital exams, please contact your respective instructor or refer to the general questions on the LLZ Wiki.

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 living in Saxony-Anhalt entitled to emergency childcare for their children?

Yes. 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, you will get a so-called “Arbeitgeberbescheinigung” [employer’s certificate] which your exam office will confirm.

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 and providing information about other regulations for parents residing in - or whose childcare/preschools are in - other federal states.

The Corona situation is troubling me so much that I am having considerable doubts as to whether I can cope with my studies and whether the path I have chosen is even the right one. What can I do?

First things first: You are not the only one experiencing such feelings - neither under normal conditions and certainly not under the current situation.

As student counsellors, we are currently seeing an above-average number of such misgivings in a wide variety of forms. Don’t delay in speaking with a counsellor.

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?

You are no longer affected by this restriction as it was lifted on January 29 due to the declining 7-day incidence rate in Halle.

Nevertheless: unless it is necessary to be in attendance and/or mobile, we recommend avoiding contact with people and any non-essential 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?

Most of the validation stations can be accessed during the buildings’ opening hours. The stations that are currently not accessible are listed in our site directory   .

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 lead to an extension of the standard period of study?

Yes. Students who were enrolled in summer semester 2020 and/or winter semester 2020/21 and did not take a leave of absence can add a semester to their standard period of study.

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 normal deadline for submitting bachelor‘s certificates (January 31) has been extended to 31 March 2021. Students who apply for an extension to this deadline at the Admissions Office will have until July 31, 2021 to submit their certificates.

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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