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More digital teaching in the winter semester: Berlin colleges and universities prepare further measures to ensure studies under pandemic conditions

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

In view of the increasing pandemic activity, the Senate Chancellery for Science and Research and the Berlin colleges and universities have agreed to initiate further measures as part of the phased plan for college and university operations under pandemic conditions. In doing so, the universities and colleges want to make a proactive contribution to containing the pandemic and keep the risk of infection for students, teachers and employees as low as possible. In order to achieve this goal, the proportion of digital teaching will be increased again in the 2020/2021 winter semester.

Only absolutely essential practical formats that are fundamentally unable to be carried out in digital form are to still take place on campus. Exceptions are also envisaged for induction events for first-semester students. All other courses that are already being held on campus, or which were planned to be, are to be transferred over to digital formats by 2nd November 2020 at the latest. Research and administrative operations can continue to take place on campus in compliance with the applicable hygiene and distancing requirements and university-specific regulations.

For universities and colleges in Berlin that have already started their lecture period or that will start it on 2nd November, the following measures have been agreed under phase 2 of the Berlin phased coronavirus plan:

1. Courses will be held in digital formats. Exceptions apply for: - Absolutely essential so-called practical formats that are fundamentally unable to be carried out digitally, such as practical training in laboratories or workshops, practical sports exercises, artistic lessons at art and music colleges, or practical teaching as part of clinical medical courses;

- In-person formats for inductions for new students/freshers as well as international students who are commencing their studies in Berlin for the first time.

- In these exceptional cases, the maximum number of participants of 25 students is not to be exceeded. In large lecture halls that have sufficient, powerful ventilation systems, the maximum number of participants is 40 students.

2. On-campus examinations may be carried out subject to adherence with the hygiene and distancing regulations.

3. It is compulsory to wear a face mask in all university and college buildings. This also applies when implementing and participating in on-campus courses and when using workstations in the academic libraries of the universities and colleges. The obligation to wear a face mask continues to apply in offices whenever people are not at their workstation or if they cannot maintain the minimum distance of 1.5 metres.

4. In the week before Christmas (16–23/12/20), only exams and courses that are fundamentally unable to be carried out in digital form will take place at the universities and colleges. No in-person events will take place at the universities and colleges in the week following New Year's Eve (04–08/01/21). Digital exams and digital courses will be possible during both of these weeks. Academic deadlines will remain unchanged.

5. Administrative and research operations on campus will continue to be maintained in compliance with the applicable hygiene and distancing requirements and university-specific regulations.

6. Access to the universities and colleges is being suspended for the general public. Access is only granted to members of the universities and colleges as well as guests who are essential for research, academic and teaching and administrative operations, and users of the academic libraries.

Further information

State Conference of the Rectors and Presidents of the Higher Education Institutions in Berlin (in german)

Press contacts

Hans-Christoph Keller
Press Spokesperson for the HU Berlin

Tel.: 030 2093-12710
hans-christoph.keller@hu-berlin.de

Matthias Kuder
Press Spokesperson for Science and Research, Senate Chancellery

Tel.: 030 9026-5010
matthias.kuder@wissenschaft.berlin.de

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