Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Questions and answers: Information for students

FAQ (last update: 29 October 2020)

Courses

When are lectures set to begin in the winter semester?

The lecture period has been postponed for all students, including first-year students. It will begin on Monday, 2 November 2020 and end on Saturday, 20 February 2021. Christmas break will be from Monday, 21 December 2020, to Sunday, 3 January 2021.

The only exception will be for higher-semester students already enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine. For these students, lectures will begin as originally planned on Monday, 12 October 2020, and end on Saturday, 6 February 2021.

Is there a mask mandate at the University of Halle?

Yes! A mouth and nose covering must be worn in all classes at the university. This also applies to all other university events, such as orientation for first-year students.

Contrary to previous regulations, this rule now applies even if a minimum distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained. Foregoing a mouth and nose covering is only permitted in special cases, e.g. for health reasons.

Please note that due to a directive of the city of Halle, a mouth and nose covering must also be worn throughout the entire city centre (including University Square!).

How will teaching be conducted in the winter semester?

Our motto will be “to provide as much in-person teaching as is socially responsible”. Classes for first-year students will preferably take place in person. Overall, a mix of in-class teaching and online formats (a “hybrid semester”) can be expected. In short:

  • A mouth and nose covering (everyday mask) must be worn at all times in the rooms, corridors, staircases etc. of all university buildings. A minimum distance of 1.5 m must also be maintained wherever possible. Instructors have the domiciliary right to ensure that these rules are followed.
  • No more than 50% of seats may be occupied in lecture halls and seminar rooms (designations should be complied with).
  • The university has rented out additional space off campus (Händelhalle, Steintor-Varieté, Volkshaus) in order to relieve excess crowding.
  • There will be a deviation in the usual “time slots” for classes: More generous breaks will bring the schedule back in line and are intended to minimise contact and provide good ventilation.

The basis for these measures is a decision    by the Rector’s Office. All information is subject to change without notice and changes may occur rapidly and even multiple times depending on infection levels. Please keep yourself regularly informed about the current situation.

Due to the rate of infection, some cities and districts in Germany have been declared risk areas, for example the capital Berlin. If I come from these areas, am I allowed to travel to and participate in in-person classes or exams at the University of Halle?

Corona-related restrictions of movement within Germany are decided by the individual states. Saxony-Anhalt has not yet decided to implement any measures to this effect. Travel from all German regions is currently possible (as of: 13/10/2020). Please check for updates on a daily basis.

It is therefore possible to participate in in-person classes or exams if you are not exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19 or other cold symptoms on the day in question. However, we ask that you carefully consider your travel plans and in-class participation if you are travelling from affected areas and have visited affected persons or places.

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 summer semester?

Exams that take place on site at the university will continue to be the exception. The Rector’s Office emphasised this once again in the resolution it passed on 20 May. Furthermore, these exams may only be carried out under strict hygienic conditions. Exam dates will be organised by the faculties. For more information, please refer to the Löwenportal, your faculty’s website, or your exam office.

Is it possible to take exams in a different way?

Yes, it is possible, for example, to do a term paper instead of an exam, as this does not require your physical presence at the university. The senate passed a statute containing special regulations.

During this online semester, lecturers can also specify other exam formats. In addition to a term paper or project work, there will be oral exams via video link and 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.

What if I don’t pass my module exam in the summer semester?

The maximum number of exam attempts for module exams in the bachelor’s and master’s programmes has been lifted for the entire summer semester 2020. Any failed module exams are therefore considered not taken. This also applies to module exams from winter semester 2019/2020 that have yet to be taken, and to summer semester exams, which may not be offered until winter semester 2020/2021. This rule does not apply to module exams or final theses which a student didn’t pass as a result of dishonesty.

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.  While an exception was made for the summer semester, and examinations could be  taken even without having “student status”, all students must now re-register  for the winter semester if they still have exams to take after 30 September 2020  - regardless of whether or not they are make-up exams. For re-registration after the deadline (31 July), 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?

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.

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   .

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).

Organizational details

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. Admissions Office and Department 1.3 - Tuition Fees). Please clarify any issues by e-mail, post or telephone.

The information centre has reopened in the Löwengebäude, however due to hygiene regulations, only basic services are allowed in order to deal with minor matters. 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, face-to-face meeting).

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?

Our validation stations are currently accessible without restrictions. Stations are located in the Löwengebäude at University Square, in the Weinberg dining hall, at the Francke Foundations and in the library on the Steintor campus.

The show of goodwill by the public transport company for the semester ticket (proof: non-validated student ID + certificate of enrolment for the summer semester 2020 + official photo ID) expires at the end of the semester. In other words: If you want to use the semester ticket starting on 1 October 2020, you must have “valid until: 31.03.2021” printed on your student ID card 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. Students who have already transferred the fee for the winter semester will be refunded this money promptly.

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

Saxony-Anhalt is also currently planning to extend the standard period of study by one semester due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic in summer semester 2020. The draft law is expected to be passed by the state parliament in October. 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).

The deadline to provide evidence of a qualifying degree has also been extended for students who have started a master’s programme in the previous two semesters (i.e. in WS 19/20 or SS 2020). They now have until 30/09/2020.

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.

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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