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Finally back to proper uni again

The 2020/21 winter semester is kicking off at the Humboldt-Universität: with lots of in-person teaching as well as online formats, but, above all, with open buildings


The 2020/21 winter semester starts on 18th October at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). After three semesters online, this marks the transition to teaching activities in lively lecture halls and seminar rooms.

Prof. Dr Niels Pinkwart, Vice President for Academic Affairs:

“We are pleased that this is possible again. After such a long time, many can surely hardly wait to go back to their departments and once again meet at the coffee machine, at the advisory clinics or in the library. I very much hope that everyone will work to ensure that things can stay this way and that we will once again be a real community of teachers and students. For this to succeed, it is important that the hygiene rules are adhered to and that as many people as possible are vaccinated.”

For students and employees who have not yet been vaccinated or who need their second vaccine dose, a mobile vaccination team will be offering vaccinations on 11th and 15th October in front of the Grimm Centre (University Library) in Berlin-Mitte and on the campus in Berlin-Adlershof (see information below).

Teaching & study activities

For the roughly 37,600 students at the HU (as of 8th October 2021), a somewhat more normal life will hopefully now begin again on campus. The nine faculties of the HU offer around 4,500 lectures and courses. More than 60 percent of these are planned to take place in in-person and blended learning formats.

The exact offering may vary depending on the academic discipline and the individual make-up of the curriculum. For technical reasons, hybrid courses can only be offered in individual cases and not across the board.

Students can find out about the courses on offer in the AGNES portal. This indicates, in each case, whether a course will take place in person, digitally or as a blended course.

The buildings of the Humboldt-Universität are open as normal and may be entered without special permission in order to pursue research, teaching and study activities. This is important for many students in order to be able to use the HU’s free Wi-Fi network again – for example, for their online courses.

Masks & distancing

It is still compulsory to wear a mask in all circulation areas, as well as during lectures, courses and events. As before, exceptions apply for practical sports courses that are conducted on the basis of separate hygiene concepts.

In enclosed rooms, a safe distance of at least 1.5 metres from other people must be maintained.

For events where the minimum distance between people is less than this, it is compulsory to wear an FFP2 mask. This does not apply to lecturers. For them, it is sufficient to wear a simple medical mask as long as the distance between them and the audience is 1.5 metres or more.

Access & documentation of attendance

What is known as the “3G principle” applies. This means that in order to access the premises, one must have proof of vaccination against or recovery from the virus, or proof of a negative test result, which must be no more than 48 hours old.

Checks for such forms of proof will be carried out at random by the guards and security staff. Teaching staff are also entitled to check for such proof. Furthermore, these checks will be supported via the web-based application (in german).

Mobile vaccination team visits the HU’s Mitte and Adlershof campuses

As many students as possible are to be able to safely take part in on-campus events in the coming winter semester in accordance with the applicable official regulations. For this reason, numerous opportunities for getting vaccinated are being offered on the campuses of Berlin’s higher education institutions at the start of the winter semester – above all, for fresher students.

On 11th and 15th October, a vaccination bus will be coming onto the Mitte and Adlershof campuses and offering students and employees the opportunity to get a first or second vaccine dose to provide protection against COVID-19. It is not necessary to book an appointment in advance.

Orientation Week

From 11th October 2021 onwards, the general student advisory service at the Humboldt-Universität will be offering daily online informational events about studying at the HU. The various departments and faculties have also put together a programme

for their new students and will be providing content on specific subjects.

Matriculation ceremony

The Humboldt-Universität’s matriculation ceremony will take place on 18th October 2021 on the Campus Nord. Programme

  • 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Information fair on the Campus Nord by the auditorium tent (Audimax II), with information booths from the University Library, the Career Centre, the University Health Management, Music at the HU, the Student Council (RefRat), Humboldt Innovation (start-up service and the Humboldt Store), the Language Centre, the Sustainability Office, the Germany Scholarship programme (Deutschlandstipendium) and the International Department.
  • 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.: Matriculation ceremony in the auditorium tent (Audimax II). The keynote address will be given by Guilia Silberberger (Der goldene Aluhut). There are a limited number of seats in the auditorium tent. The matriculation ceremony will also be broadcast live on the HU’s YouTube channel.
  • 5.30 p.m. onwards: conclusion to the festivities on campus.

Further information


Press Office of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin,