HRK: Summer Semester must not be squandered

March 24th, 2020 | by

For the 2020 summer semester, the German Rectors’ Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz – HRK) calls for disadvantages, especially for students and young researchers, to be limited in the wake of the restrictions caused by the spread of the corona virus. “The nationwide tightening of the contact restrictions in force since Monday in order to contain the corona crisis shows the dynamics of the current situation. Despite these difficult circumstances, the universities attach great importance to maintaining scientific operations in the summer semester 2020. Our sincere thanks and appreciation go to all university members who are doing their utmost to promote teaching and research in the given situation,” explained HRK President Prof. Dr. Peter-André Altin in a press release.

In principle, the 2020 summer semester must definitely be recognised as a regular part of a degree programme or qualification. “In the interests of the students, teachers and researchers, this must not be a wasted semester. All efforts of the universities are aimed at continuing scientific work as comprehensively as possible. This means that for students, this time must count as a period of study if they wish to do so. And for teachers and researchers, there must be no gaps in their biographies in terms of teaching experience or research achievements,” added HRK Vice-President Prof. Dr. Ulrich Radtke. “We want to open up as many examination and degree options as possible and make them legally compliant. However, it is essential that we take into account the fact that many candidates are currently only able to prepare themselves under difficult conditions and that, despite all our efforts, face-to-face courses and examinations can only be partially replaced by digital formats. This must not be to the detriment of those concerned. Compensating for disadvantages, for example by not counting the semester towards the standard period of study or by postponing examination dates, is extremely important for all students, but especially for socially weaker students or students who have to care for families and children. We must also think of the medical students who now support the clinics. Thankfully, the Federal Government has already made a corresponding provision for BAföG,” said HRK President Alt, who also sees the crisis as an opportunity: “The universities will take their responsibility seriously. Science is geared towards solving problems and will therefore also use the opportunities for action offered by digitisation as far as possible”.

Comments are closed.