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Study and teaching activities to start in digital mode: Berlin universities agree principles for the implementation of the 2021 summer semester

Joint press release by the Senate Chancellery for Science and Research and the State Conference of the Rectors and Presidents of the Higher Education Institutions in Berlin (LKRP)

The Berlin universities and colleges will start the 2021 summer semester as planned between 1st and 12th April 2021, and will initially hold lectures in digital mode. This has been agreed by the Senate Chancellery for Science and Research and the State Conference of the Rectors and Presidents of the Higher Education Institutions in Berlin (LKRP).

Absolutely essential practical formats and exams that cannot be carried out digitally may still be conducted in person provided the applicable measures for protecting against infection are observed.

The principles agreed for the implementation of the summer semester furthermore provide for the possibility of opening up for more in-person events if and to the extent that the course of the pandemic allow for this over the coming months. The Berlin phased plan for college and university operations under pandemic conditions will provide the joint framework for action and decision making for the universities and colleges and the Senate Chancellery for Science and Research, so that they can react reliably and at the same time flexibly to a dynamic occurrence of infection in the 2021 summer semester.

More specifically, the principles agreed for the 2021 summer semester are as follows:

  1. The lecture period for the summer semester will start as planned between 1st April 2021 at the universities of applied sciences and 12th April 2021 at the universities and art colleges, and on the appropriate dates at the private colleges and universities.
  2. The summer semester will start in digital mode. If and to the extent that the events of the pandemic permit, opportunities for in-person studies and teaching will be opened up over the course of the summer semester. The universities and colleges will inform students at an early stage about which courses and exams are able to switch to in-person mode if the rate of infection allows for this.
  3. When carrying out in-person teaching, priority will be given to those courses that are unable to be carried out digitally. Furthermore, in the event of a possible switch to in-person courses, the universities will set their own priorities for how they will accommodate the course of studies as dictated by the pandemic, the special requirements for study programmes, and the specific conditions on site.
  4. The academic libraries will support teaching activities and the examination process with their online offerings, scanning services and loan facilities. They will expand their range of services, for example, by opening up workstations, if and when the rate of infection allows for this.
  5. The cafeterias of the student services and support body Studierendenwerk Berlin will resume their Click & Collect offer as needed.

In the event of a switch to classroom teaching, courses for new students are to be taken into particular account. In addition, a digital or hybrid teaching offering is to be arranged in order to provide the best possible support to students who cannot take part in in-person events.

Examinations that have to take place in person will be carried out in compliance with the applicable measures for protecting against infection (distancing and hygiene regulations, limits on the number of participants, etc.). If the pandemic situation improves, examinations that can only be carried out under difficult conditions online will increasingly be able to take place in person over the course of the summer semester. Examinations that had to be deferred from the 2020/21 winter semester to the summer semester are to be given priority if they are indispensable for advancing in the course. The universities will try to avoid deferring exams into the summer semester like this.

During the past two semesters, the universities have established extensive offerings that provide advice and support for students under the specific conditions of the pandemic. In order to also reach those students who, for various reasons, have not or could not yet take advantage of these offers, the universities will also use formats in the 2021 summer semester for proactively addressing the students.

Further information

The complete paper: “Principles for implementing teaching and study activities in the 2021 summer semester at the Berlin universities and colleges”

The phased plan for the Berlin universities and colleges

Media contacts

Hans-Christoph Keller
State Conference of the Rectors and Presidents of the Higher Education Institutions in Berlin (LKRP)
Press Spokesperson

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Tel: 030 2093-12710
Email: hans-christoph.keller@hu-berlin.de

Matthias Kuder
Press Spokesperson for Science and Research
The Governing Mayor of Berlin
Senate Chancellery for Science and Research
Tel: 030 9026-5010
Email: matthias.kuder@wissenschaft.berlin.de

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