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FAQ for Students

Current questions and related answers on the immediate measures against coronavirus spread.

Frequently asked questions

Update: February 17, 2021

 

Studying
 

 


Examinations

 

 


Study guidance service

 

 


Campus Card

 

 


Financing 

 

 


University library

 

 


Access to buildings and facilities of the university

 

 


Studying in, and students from, risk areas

 

 


Other questions

 

 

Answers

 


Studies

 

Due to financial constraints, I am unable to complete the re-registration on time. Can I apply for an extension of the deadline?

The university management has decided today to extend the main deadline for re-registration for the summer semester 2021 until 28 February 2021; the end of the additional deadline will be postponed accordingly to 14 March 2021. A separate application is not required. The semester fees and contributions remain unchanged (cf. https://www.hu-berlin.de/de/studium/bewerbung/imma/rueckmeld).

 

I have been provisionally enrolled in a Master's degree programme in the summer semester 2020. Does the extension of the submission deadlines for final papers and term papers also postpone the deadline for the proof of graduation?

No, the deadline is not postponed. If you have been provisionally enrolled in a Master's degree programme, you must prove that you have successfully completed your studies by 31 March 2021. In order to pandemic-related delays, you have been granted a flat-rate extension until the end of the second semester.

If several study and examination achievements are not available and cannot be proven by the above-mentioned deadline, you will be downgraded to the Bachelor's degree programme at the beginning of the summer semester 2021. If you can already estimate that you will not be able to prove successful completion of your studies by the above-mentioned deadline, you have two options open to you:

  • Extension of the deadline

If there is only one examination still open (e.g. registered thesis) thesis), you can submit an informal application to the Admissions Office by 31 March 2021. the Enrolment Office by 31 March 2021 to be able to submit the degree at a later date. Please enclose a confirmation from the Examinations Office that you have registered for your last examination. This can be submitted by post or in digital form. A transcript of records is also accepted if the examination office explicitly states that only one last examination performance is missing. On this basis, an extension can be granted until 30 April2021 at the latest.

You then prove successful completion of studies either by a written confirmation from the Examinations Office or a simple copy of your degree certificate. If the Examinations Office enters the degree in the examination administration system, no separate proof is required.

  • Re-admission to a Master's degree programme after downgrading

If you are able to present your successful degree before the end of the summer semester 2021, it is possible to enrol you - without having to reapply and not bound by the currently valid application deadlines - in the 3rd semester of the previously studied Master's degree programme. In this case, send an informal application for re-admission to the Master's degree programme with proof of successful completion of studies to the Enrolment Office.

 

How will the 2020/21 winter semester be taking place?

Courses at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin are generally held in digital formats until the end of the winter semester. Exceptions apply to compulsory practical formats that cannot be carried out digitally, e.g. laboratory or workshop practicals and sports practicals. Participation is voluntary for students; non-participation does not result in any disadvantages for them. In practical formats and courses, the maximum number of 25 participating students should not be exceeded as a matter of principle. The documentation requirements must be complied with.

Furthermore, in courses, practical formats and examinations, students are required to cover their mouth and nose with a medical mask (so-called surgical masks or masks of the KN95/N95 or FFP2 standards).

Concepts for classroom formats were already developed in the summer semester and rooms were certified according to the requirements of the university's framework hygiene plan.

Against the background of the current infection situation, this procedure takes special account of Humboldt-Universität's responsibility for the protection of its students, teachers and staff and enables a flexible response to the future development of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Please inform yourself about the courses offered in the AGNES portal.

 

When will the lectures for the 2020/21 winter semester start?

The winter semester starts on 2nd November 2020. The lecture term for this semester ends on 27nd February 2021.

 

Where can I get information about starting my studies?

All information about starting your studies at the HU and about the induction events can be found on the Study Guidance Service website.

 

What hygiene and distancing regulations apply during in-person events?

When conducting and participating in courses, practical formats and attendance examinations and in the buildings of the HU, it is compulsory to cover the mouth and nose with a medical mask (so-called surgical masks or also masks of the KN95/N95 or FFP2 standards), with the exception of sports practice in practical sports courses.

In order to minimise the risk of infection, all persons involved in the lecture or course are encouraged to adapt their behaviour to the circumstances, in line with the HU's General Hygiene Plan (PDF). This includes:

  1. observing the min. distance of 1.5 m from other people, even if wearing a mask;
  2. adhere to coughing and sneezing etiquette; and
  3. washing one’s hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water for 20–30 seconds and independently disinfecting them before entering the event room. Washbasins, liquid soap and paper towels are available in the sanitary facilities for cleaning one’s hands.

The teaching rooms are equipped with dispensers with disinfectant wipes for interim cleaning/surface disinfection. Tables is to be wiped down with disinfectant by each user before and after use.

Rooms are ventilated at the beginning of and after each event, as well as during the events at appropriate intervals. At present, regular brief and intense ventilation should be carried out over the whole area of the window for three to five minutes approximately every 20–30 minutes.

Please refer to the Guideline for carrying out on-campus courses and lectures (PDF) for more information.

 

What distancing and hygiene regulations apply at the Humboldt-Universität?

 

The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin continues to pursue the goal of containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic for the benefit of everyone’s protection and ensuring a broad level of safety for its members. Distancing and hygiene regulations must be adhered to at all times. For further information and rules (e.g., relating to keeping distance, covering one’s mouth and nose, washing one’s hands properly, cleaning surfaces, etc.) please refer to the HU's General Hygiene Plan (PDF).

According to the SARS-CoV-2 Infection Protection Measures Ordinance of the Land of Berlin, it is compulsory to cover the mouth and nose with a medical mask (so-called surgical masks or also masks of the KN95/N95 or FFP2 standards) on all circulation areas and in common rooms (copying room, tea kitchen, WC, etc.).

The obligation to wear a mask also applies in all rooms of the university whenever more than one person is present. It is still permitted to work at one’s own workstation without a mask.

For offices that are occupied by multiple people, open-plan offices, laboratories, and the like, for which protection is provided by means of suitable measures in line with the SARS-CoV-2 occupational health and safety standards, there is no obligation to wear a mask. Here, it is strongly recommended that masks be worn.

Exceptions apply to people who have been adjudged to require constant attendance for reasons of disability, or who are unable to comply with the applicable distancing and hygiene regulations.

Office, event and seminar rooms must be ventilated for at least 3–5 minutes every 20–30 minutes. The frequency of ventilation must be adapted to the number of people. Details on this can be found in the General Hygiene Plan.

 

Where can I find the hygiene recommendations of the Charité?

Hygiene recommendations of the Charité for carrying out examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF).

 

Can I participate in on-campus activities if I have symptoms of a respiratory illness?

You can find all the essential information on dealing with respiratory illnesses at the colleges and universities of Berlin in this infographic (PDF).

 

Where can I find out about digital teaching at the HU?

If you have specific questions about individual courses or lectures or about the courses that are offered for particular subjects, please first contact the responsible members of teaching staff (you can find their contacts in the course’s entry in AGNES) or your Student Council or the advisors for studies and teaching in your faculty.

If you are in general interested in the implementation of the digital summer semester or if you have questions/suggestions to improve the offering, you can take a look at the webpages of the Digital Teaching Task Force.

The Task Force is an ad-hoc work unit made up of employees from the bologna.lab, the Computer and Media Service, and the International Office that primarily advises the HU institutions and teachers on technical and didactic issues relating to online teaching. However, the recommendations and instructions concerning digital teaching and the use of tools such as Moodle, Zoom, Camtasia, SnagIt, and much more, may also be of interest to students.

 

Does the 2020/21 winter semester count as a credited subject semester?

Yes, the winter semester counts as a normal semester, i.e. the semesters are counted as usual. In Berlin, the legislator compensates for pandemic-related delays in study time by extending the standard period of study individually, provided that no leave of absence has been granted.

 

In a press release from the Governing Mayor it is stated that the 2020 summer semester will not be counted towards the standard period of study. Where can I get this attested?

On 11 December 2020, the Governing Mayor and Senator for Science and Research, Michael Müller, signed an ordinance that makes the regulation of § 126a BerlHG also applicable for the winter semester 2020/21. Accordingly, an individual standard period of study that deviates from the standard period of study and is extended by one semester applies to persons who were enrolled in the winter semester 2020/21 and were not on leave of absence. A corresponding certificate for the winter semester 2020/21 is available in AGNES  after log in under the menu item "Certificates".

Will digital lectures and courses remain digital until the end of the lecture term?

Yes. Courses and lectures at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will be held in digital formats during the 2020/21 winter semester. You can find exceptions to this in the reply of the question ”How will the 2020/21 winter semester be taking place?

 


Examinations

This section is currently being updated.

 

Will any on-campus exams be taking place in the 2020/21 winter semester?

Examinations that have already been planned may be conducted in attendance, provided that the spacing and hygiene rules are observed. The faculties check whether a planned examination can be offered as a presence examination in compliance with these rules. If this is not possible, make-up opportunities or alternative forms of examination are offered. Please inform yourself on the internet on the websites of your faculty.

In principle, participation in attendance examinations is voluntary. However, please note the following: If you do not feel able to take part in a presence examination, you must withdraw from the examination registration in good time. In this case, you will not suffer any disadvantages for non-participation.

 

I failed an exam. Can I repeat the exam?

In principle, final module exams can be repeated twice and final theses can be repeated once. However, on 17th September 2020, the Berlin House of Representatives passed a resolution amending the Berlin Higher Education Act which regulates that exams that are taken in the 2020 summer semester or 2020/21 winter semester and failed shall be considered to have not been taken. This does not apply to examinations that are assessed to have failed due to an attempt at cheating or an unexcused absence. Theses must be repeated with a new topic.

 

Although exams that have been failed are considered not taken, I see in AGNES that one of my exams was graded 5.0, so I failed. Where can I request that this exam be considered not taken?

A separate application is not required. Humboldt-Universität implements the statutory regulation ex officio/ on its own motion. This means that all examinations taken and failed with reference to the summer semester 2020 or winter semester 2020/21 that fall under the legal regulation will be deleted on the day after they are entered in the examination administration system (AGNES portal). You will be notified of this deletion by e-mail to your e-mail address at the HU. Please note that the HU cannot guarantee the confidentiality of the contents of the e-mail if you have set up a forwarding to an external e-mail address.

 

I failed my final attempt at an exam. Can I repeat that exam as well?

The statutory regulation does not differentiate between failed exams and exams that were failed on the final attempt. This means that even exams that are failed on the final attempt are considered to have not been taken if they belong to the 2020 summer semester or 2020/21 winter semester and have been or will be failed

 

I failed my final attempt at an exam before the amendment to the Berlin Higher Education Act came into force. Is this exam also now considered to have not been taken?

The statutory regulation applies in principle to all exams that are attributed to the 2020 summer semester or 2020/21 winter semester which have been failed or will fail.

 

I have already received a notification from the examination board that I failed my final attempt at an exam. Where can I apply for the exam to be considered to have not been taken?

You do not need to make a special application. The Humboldt-Universität implements the statutory regulation on its own motion. After the exam that was failed on its final attempt is removed from AGNES, you will receive a new notification from the examination board, cancelling the notification stating that the examination was failed on its final attempt.

 

I failed my final attempt at an exam and was unenrolled because I can no longer successfully complete the course. Can I now re-enrol?

So long as you were unenrolled due to a failed final attempt at an exam that is subject to the statutory regulation, once that exam that was failed on its final attempt has been removed from AGNES, you will receive a new notification from the examination board cancelling the notification stating that the exam was failed on its final attempt. The decision about your unenrollment will then also be cancelled and you will be re-enrolled after paying any necessary fees and contributions. You do not need to make a special application. The Humboldt-Universität implements the statutory regulation on its own motion.

 

I passed an exam but I am not happy with the result. Can I repeat the exam?

The statutory regulation only applies to exams are attributed to the 2020 summer semester or  2020/21 winter semester which have been failed. It is not possible to repeat an exam to improve your grades. This does not affect the implementation of any remonstrance procedure if you want  to raise objections to decisions relating to course work and exams.

 

Due to the renewed lockdown, I can no longer take my child to daycare/school. Since emergency care was also refused, I now barely have time to write my term paper/final thesis and will probably not be able to meet the deadline. What should I do now?

 

The Senate Chancellery - Science and Research and the State Conference of Rectors and Presidents of Berlin Universities (LKRP) announced on 8 January 2021 extended processing times for final papers and term papers. At Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, therefore, the deadlines for written theses and term papers in the context of Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes will be suspended until 31 March 2021, with retroactive effect from 4 January 2021. The faculties are currently in the process of passing the corresponding resolutions.

For periods beyond this, please submit an application for compensation for disadvantages to the relevant lecturer if it is a course assignment, or to the relevant examination board if it is an examination. Justify your application accordingly and enclose suitable proof. You can also make a proposal in the application as to how the disadvantage can be compensated, e.g. by extending the processing time. Further details are regulated in § 109 of the Interdisciplinary Statutes for the Regulation of Admission, Studies and Examinations at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Fächerübergreifenden Satzung zur Regelung von Zulassung, Studium und Prüfung der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (ZSP-HU).

 

 


Study guidance service

 

Are the in-person advisory sessions taking place?

In-person advisory sessions are being suspended in all departments and are being replaced by alternative forms (telephone advisory sessions or online advice).

More information about advisory services online and by telephone
 

Can I go to the HU study guidance service with questions about my studies?

The Compass hotline can be reached by phone on 030 2093-70333 and also by email. However, in view of the restricted operations, the responsible unit is not fully staffed, and so our service is not available at the accustomed pace.

 

Where can I find out about offers for assistance and contact points for domestic violence during the coronavirus?

Domestic violence is a problem even outside of pandemic times. However, during periods when there are curfews and bans on contact, those affected can no longer evade the violent person and have only limited contact with support persons. Not everyone’s own home is a safe place for them during this coronavirus crisis.

The central women’s representative at the HU provides information on her website about contact points and offers of assistance (PDF). 

 


Campus Card

 

How do newly enrolled students get their Campus Cards (including semester travel season ticket) for the 2020/21 winter semester?

You can get your Campus Card at one of the issuing machines. It is imperative that you book a fixed appointment for this in advance.

Please use the online appointment selection service for this on AGNES and note the following:

  • The machines in the Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum and in the main building of the university can be used from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm
  • In the Erwin Schrödinger Zentrum, the units can be used from Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 4 pm
  • It is not possible to use the units without an appointment.
  • You can only enter the building if you have proof of your booked appointment. You will receive this immediately after selecting the appointment, and you can also then access it at any time via the above link after logging in with your HU student account. Please bring the proof with you in printed form or in electronic form.
  • Please leave the building again immediately after updating your Campus Card.
  • Please wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose (everyday face mask) when in the building and observe the signs and the compulsory minimum distance from others of 1.5 m.

More information about the Campus Card can be found at https://www.cms.hu-berlin.de/de/dl/campuscard.

 

What do I have to bear in mind if I want to update my Campus Card for the 2020/21 winter semester?

You have the option of updating your Campus Card for the 2020 winter semester at the validation machine. It isimperative that you book a fixed appointment for this in advance.

Please use the online appointment selection service for this on AGNES and note the following:

  • The machines in the Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum and in the main building of the university can be used from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm                                        
  • In the Erwin Schrödinger Zentrum, the units can be used from Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 4 pm
  • It is not possible to use the units without an appointment.
  • You can only enter the building if you have proof of your booked appointment. You will receive this immediately after selecting the appointment, and you can also then access it at any time via the above link after logging in with your HU student account. Please bring the proof with you in printed form or in electronic form.
  • Please leave the building again immediately after updating your Campus Card.
  • Please wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose (everyday face mask) when in the building and observe the signs and the compulsory minimum distance from others of 1.5 m.

More information about the Campus Card can be found at https://www.cms.hu-berlin.de/de/dl/campuscard.

 


Financing

 

I have questions about student financing during the coronavirus pandemic. Who can I speak to about this?

The Studierendenwerk Berlin advises students on questions regarding student financing. Information on the topic as well as contact details can be found on the websites of the Studierendenwerk Berlin.

The advisory council (RefRat) offers a BAföG federal student funding and student finance advice service via email at beratung.bafoeg@refrat.hu-berlin.de.

The Franz-Mehring-Platz social affairs advice service of the student services and support body Studierendenwerk Berlin advises students and prospective students at the Humboldt-Universität.

 

I am receiving BAföG student funding and have to present proof of achievements to keep receiving the funding, but due to the restricted teaching and examination operations in the 2020 summer semester, I can't provide proof of all the necessary achievements. 

With the introduction of a different, individual standard period of study that is one semester longer than the normal standard period of study, both the deadline for submitting proof of achievements and the maximum permitted funding period are also extended.

 

What is the "Online Campus Participation Fund" and how can I apply for it?

As of 6 January 2021 the aplication for the "Online Campus Participation Fund" is possible. The Covid19 pandemic has led to a sustained shift in teaching and learning towards digital methods. This leads to new challenges for both students and teaching staff. However, studies must not fail due to a lack of equipment. The "Fonds zur Teilhabe am Online-Campus Berlin" (Fund for Participation in the Online Campus Berlin) aims to provide students and lecturers with IT technology and work equipment so that they can participate effectively and efficiently in the digital semester. The State of Berlin has filled the fund with 3 million euros.

Further information can be found on the website of the Studierendenwerk Berlin.

 

What is the "Grant for the Start and Completion of Studies" and how can I apply for it?

Starting 11 January 2021 the aplication for the "Grant for the Start and Completion of Studies" is possible. This one-time grant aims to provide financial support for a successful start and completion of studies. It is aimed at students in need and takes into account the special burdens of international students. This is done by means of a financial subsidy for living expenses or additional expenses in these phases of study, e.g. for purchases, deposit payments, travel, living expenses to be bridged, additional expenses for final theses, etc.

Further information can be found on the website of the Studierendenwerk Berlin.

 


University library

 

Which university library services are currently available? Can I borrow books?

Academic libraries may only offer online services and lending until 15 February 2021.

For more detailed information and opening times, please refer to the University library website, which is continuously updated.

 


Access to buildings and facilities of the university

 

How do I get into the main building of the Humboldt-Universität?

As of 1st November 2020, the university’s buildings are normally open from Monday to Friday between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. and on Saturdays between 8 am and 4 pm, while adhering to closed regular operations. 

Site-specific deviations are arranged in co-ordination with the respective users of the properties. 

Access is permitted strictly to members of the university only*, unless approval has been granted. The university will not be opened up to the general public.

The guards and security personnel are performing random checks to confirm people’s reasons for being on-site.

Students have access to the buildings in order to participate in on-campus activities. The Humboldt-Universität main building is accessed via the entrance in the back courtyard (Dorotheenstraße 18–20).

* Researchers, teachers, employees and students at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

 

Which buildings of the Humboldt-Universität are closed to the public?

All buildings of the Humboldt-Universität are closed to the public.
 

Can I get food in the canteen again?

No, due to the current infection situation, the canteens will remain closed until further notice.

More information can be found on the Studierendenwerk website.

 

Are the university sports courses taking place?

Courses are being offered in online formats, outdoors and indoors, in strict compliance with the contact and hygiene regulations.

Further imformation can be found on the websites of the university sports services.

 

Are the Language Centre courses taking place?

Yes. The courses offered by the Language Centre will as far as possible take place digitally again.

 

Will there be any public events?

Up until the end of the year, no in-person public events (e.g., as part of the Children’s University, Berlin Science Week, the Kosmos lecture series, etc.) are permitted.

University-internal events, such as project meetings (e.g., PIs of a Collaborative Research Centre (CRC/SFB)), colloquia, etc., may be carried out in certified rooms. Approvals are the responsibility of the dean’s office. The applicable distancing and hygiene regulations must be adhered to.

 

Will ensembles as part of “Music at the HU” be rehearsing?

Choir and orchestra rehearsals and concerts by the ensembles of “Music at the Humboldt-Universität” are not currently possible.

 


Studying in, and students from, risk areas

 

Will study and research trips abroad still be allowed?

(Is currently being updated)
 

If students or visiting academics are from a risk area, who can they contact?

The International Office supports students, doctoral candidates and visiting academics from risk areas who are concerned about the well-being of their family members. Those affected can turn to the following contact persons with any questions or problems:

Can students and guests coming from risk areas attend the Humboldt-Universität at the moment?

(Is currently being updated)

 


Other questions and answers

 

Is the Staff Council for Student Employees (PRstudB) still processing applications while operations are restricted?

The Staff Council for Student Employees is carrying on its business as normal. This means that all cases sent by the Human Resources department (Personnel Management Unit) are being processed.

Contact: prstudb@hu-berlin.de

Monday 10 am to 12 pm on 0151 1699 7645 (Student assistants advisory service) Thursday 6 pm to 8 pm on 0151 1554 6166 (Student assistants advisory service)

More information can be found here:
https://vertretungen.hu-berlin.de/de/prstudb

 

Information for students with care obligations

Students with care obligations (e.g. looking after children or caring for relatives) can find “Coronavirus information for families” here:
https://www.familienbuero.hu-berlin.de/de/corona-informationen-fuer-familien

 

Information on the compatibility of studying and family

Further information on the compatibility of studying and family can be found here:
https://www.familienbuero.hu-berlin.de/de/themen-und-informationen/studieren-mit-kind.

If you have any further questions, the Family Support Centre will also be happy to advise you either by phone on 030 2093 20015 or by email at familien@hu-berlin.de.