Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Questions and answers: Information for students

FAQ (last update: 6 December 2021)

Courses

Are classes taking place in person or online in winter semester 2021/22?

Winter semester 2021/2022 had started in person – at full capacity, with the already established time slots and with hygiene guidelines that will vary depending on the situation.

The university is being compelled to make adjustments due to current levels of infection. As of 24 November, the university has therefore tightened its requirements for entry (tested status as part of the 3G rule; FFP2 mask requirement - see questions below). At the same time, the principle of offering in-person teaching will be maintained. Students will be informed by their lecturers about switching to hybrid or online teaching on a course-by-course basis.

University administrators have mandated online-only teaching - with the exception of special formats – for the last week before Christmas break (13 to 17 December, calendar week 50).

Should further changes be necessary, we will publish this information here.

Do I have to be vaccinated to attend classes?

No. Vaccinations are not mandatory.

Vaccinations have been shown to be an effective way to protect yourself and other students from becoming infected with the corona virus. The City of Halle’s Corona webpage    lists which private doctors are offering Corona vaccinations and where there are other vaccination opportunities.

Which method does the University of Halle use for providing proof (catchword: 3G rule) and contact tracing?

The so-called 3G rule (geimpft, genesen oder getestet) applies to all in-person classes. Only those who have been fully vaccinated, have fully recovered from the virus or who can provide a negative test result are allowed to enter the classrooms.

The so-called 3G rule (geimpft, genesen oder getestet) applies to all in-person classes. Only those who have been fully vaccinated, have fully recovered from the virus or who can provide a negative test result are allowed to enter the classrooms.

The following definitions shall apply:

Vaccinated: Fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved in Germany (plus an immunisation period of usually 14 days) which is documented by official proof of vaccination in a printed or digital form (e.g., in the federal government’s Corona-Warn-App).

Recovered: Official confirmation is also required to prove that you have recovered from an infection.

Tested: A negative test for the SARS-CoV2 virus can be done using a PCR test (not older than 48h) or an antigen test (“rapid test”, not older than 24h). The test must be carried out at a public testing station.
As of 24 November 2021, self-testing and self-disclosure are no longer accepted as proof of a negative test.

Attendees “automatically” declare that they meet this requirement when registering electronically, which is compulsory before every class. QR codes are posted at the doors which participants must use to register via the Löwen app. Participants do not need to check out. Attendees without a smartphone must enter their names on an attendance sheet. (Instructions | Check-in FAQ   ).

Proof of vaccination status (see above) must be carried digitally or in printed form while inside university buildings. Random checks will be made and there are consequences for non-compliance.

What happens if I cannot provide proof of 3G status?

If you are unable to prove that you have been vaccinated, have recovered from the virus, or have tested negative, you will not be allowed to attend classes in-person.

Random checks will take place in the classrooms. If you cannot show proof of 3G status, you will have to leave the classroom. In the event of repeated violations of the 3G rule, disciplinary measures may be enforced in accordance with Section 30 Paragraph 3 of the Higher Education Act, which can go so far as to forcibly unenroll you.

Is there a mask mandate at the University of Halle?

Yes! A medical mask must be worn in the lecture halls, corridors, staircases etc. of university buildings. As of 24 November, masks must be of an FFP2 standard or higher. Lighter surgical masks are no longer acceptable.

Masks must now be worn when seated without exception.

Refraining from wearing a mask is only permitted under special circumstances:

  • for health reasons (medical certificate required),
  • for classes that can only be held without a mask (e.g., music or sports training),
  • for instructors during their lectures.

In the case of a violation of these regulations, instructors may make use of their domiciliary rights.

Since the 3G rule applies in class - as described above - there is no need here (and only here!) to maintain the otherwise required minimum distance of 1.5 metres. As a result, the lecture halls can be used at full capacity.

For medical reasons I cannot be vaccinated and due to personal circumstances (vulnerable group, chronic illness, etc.) I do not want to risk attending class in person. What are my options?

Even though the university is basically returning to in-person teaching, our instructors are aware of such individual circumstances. Therefore, please discuss your case directly with your respective instructors.

We would also like to refer you to our numerous counselling centres, which are listed (in German) on the General Student Counselling Website   .

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.

Exams

How will exams be conducted in winter semester 2021/22?

As of 12 June, exams can be held in person again. Exam dates will be organised by the faculties. For more information, please refer to the Löwenportal, your faculty’s website, or your exam office.

Are any exceptions being made for failed module exams?

The following exceptions applied in summer semester 2021 as well as in the two preceding semesters (summer semester 2020; winter semester 2020/2021 – including exams held after the semester ended):

The maximum number of attempts for module exams in the bachelor’s and master’s programmes has been currently lifted. 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. 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 rules apply to all teacher training programmes (further information here), as well for the medicine, dentistry and pharmacy programmes, however not for law.

  • Please note: These exceptions will NO LONGER apply to exams conducted in winter semester 2021/2022. This also applies to make-up exams for modules from the previous summer semester. Failed attempts will therefore once again be recorded!

What other exam formats are there? What do I need to consider?

As in the previous semesters, 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.

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 the end of 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 2022, 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 does this affect student life and the services offered by the Studentenwerk?

Incident rates determine whether in-person activities can be held at the University’s Sport Centre and the Collegium Musicum. Please check their websites (Sport | Music) and look out for emails containing information.

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

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?

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

The bridging aid for students    previously offered during other phases of the pandemic ended on 30 September 2021.

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).

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 you have recently had contact to other people at university locations, please inform

  • those in charge (e.g. examiners) AND
  • the dean’s office of the respective faculty AND
  • the Chancellor’s Office.

This will set in motion an established internal chain of reporting; you do not need to take further action with respect to the university. However, current regulations require you to inform your personal contacts - whether inside or outside the university – through your own channels.

Someone had the Coronavirus in one of my classes. What do I do now?

Lecturers will contact you through the internal chain of reporting, and, if necessary, implement appropriate measures (e.g., temporarily switch to online teaching).

Take frequent tests, even if you have been vaccinated. The authorities (public health department) will determine whether or not you classify as having had contact with the person based on the circumstances and will get in touch with you accordingly. Please also see the question below.

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

Keep a close eye on your own health and, where possible, voluntarily limit your number of contacts. You may be classed (sometimes with a considerable delay) as having had contact. If so, follow the instructions of the authorities.

If you yourself are not considered a contact and do not have to go into quarantine, you can attend classes in person as normal. In this case, please be particularly cautious.

I’ve been noticing that I have typical symptoms.

Depending on the season, cold symptoms are a common occurrence and can have many different causes. It has always been important to minimise or avoid contact with other people if there is a risk of infection (also with other diseases).

This has become even more important in light of the Corona pandemic, which is still ongoing. Even though the “3G rule”, which the university is consistently applying, significantly minimises the risk of infection, being vaccinated against or having recovered from the Corona virus does not provide one hundred per cent protection against infection and transmission. Therefore, when typical symptoms occur, we strongly recommend taking a rapid test or a self-test as an added safeguard.

Have the service and student counselling centres reopened?

Most of the service centres were contactable at the height of the pandemic but were not allowed to offer in-person student counselling. Currently, many service and student counselling centres are returning to normal operations - but without a fixed, university-wide schedule. Therefore, please check directly with the respective offices to find out if and when in-person visits are possible (e.g. exam offices | student counselling listed by study programme).

The Infothek in the Löwengebäude – as well as the Student Service Centre (including General Student Counselling and the Admissions Office) – has reopened on 1 November for in-person appointments. 3G rules shall apply. Please continue to use the mailbox in the Löwengebäude    to submit documents to the Admissions Office.

The opening hours of the BAföG office can be found on the corresponding page of the Studentenwerk’s website   .

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   .

With the start of the winter semester (i.e. starting 1 October 2021), the special provisions the public transport company had put into place will cease. From this point onwards, students will no longer be able to use their student ID card (USC) as a semester ticket without getting it validated first.

The USC will therefore only be accepted as a ticket if it has a stamp for the new semester (in this case: “valid until: 31/3/2022”).

Will the exceptional circumstances lead to an extension of the standard period of study?

Yes. Students who were enrolled in summer semester 2021 and/or winter semester 2020/21 and/or summer semester 2020 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 a longer period of time as a result. You can find out more from the Studentenwerk    as the body responsible for this.

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

The normal deadline for submitting your bachelor’s certificate has been extended as follows:

Commencement of studies in summer semester 2021: the new deadline is 30 September 2021 (instead of 31 July).

Commencement of studies in winter semester 2021/2022: the new deadline is 31 March 2022 (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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