Archive for February, 2021

Königshügel Stadium Reopens With Restrictions

February 25th, 2021 | by

Due to the current amendments to the Coronaschutzverordnung (Coronavirus Protection Ordinance) of North Rhine-Westphalia of February 22, individuals can once again take part in limited sports activities on and in all public and private sports facilities. In doing so, a minimum distance of five meters must be maintained between other individuals and groups at all times. “We are happy we can resume sporting activities on a small scale in coordination with the Crisis Management Team,” explains Peter Lynen, director of the University Sports Center (HSZ). The HSZ asks all individuals using the facilities to pay attention to the prescribed distancing rules and thus ensure everyone’s health is protected.

Takeout Option at Mensa Vita Starts March 1

February 23rd, 2021 | by

Following the reopening of Mensa Academica, Studierendenwerk Aachen continues to expand its catering services for students. On Monday, March 1, Mensa Vita at Campus Melaten will also reopen. Mensa Vita will then be open from 11:30am to 2:30pm, Monday through Friday. For the time being, only takeout food will be offered to guests. There will be a choice of two dishes: a vegan/vegetarian option for 2.10 euros and the “classic” with fish or meat for 2.60 euros.
In accordance with the current Coronaschutzverordnung (Coronavirus Protection Ordinance), only students and university employees are entitled to use the dining hall. Studierendenwerk asks guests to understand that their affiliation to the University will be checked at the entrance, as in the main dining hall. Otherwise, operations will continue, taking into account all necessary protective and hygiene measures. For the time being, it will not be possible to consume food and beverages in the building, on the terraces, nor the entire outdoor area. Guests must wear FFP2 masks or medical masks in Mensa Vita.

Studierendenwerk would like to emphasize that the takeout operation is primarily intended as a form of emergency provision for students in need. All those who do not depend on food from the dining hall are asked to use other catering options.

Recording Coronavirus Test Results in the App

February 23rd, 2021 | by

The Corona-Warn-App is an important tool in responding to the pandemic. The RWTH Crisis Management Team recommends all university members use the app in order to interrupt possible chains of infection at an early stage. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) provides extensive information on using the app for this purpose:

In addition, the RKI has published an overview aimed at individuals taking a coronavirus test (PCR) – for example, in test centers or a family doctor’s office. The poster outlines the five steps required to register the coronavirus test in the app and share it in case of a positive result so that other users of the app can be warned. The poster (RKI notes that it is not accessible) is available here:

Medical Masks Mandatory for In-Person Courses and Exams

February 22nd, 2021 | by

In today’s Coronavirus Protection Ordinance, it is mandated that medical masks must be worn during all in-person courses and exams. The Crisis Management Team and the RWTH Management point out that this regulation must be observed at all times.

In-Person Exams Moved to Period of April 12 Through May 7

February 22nd, 2021 | by

Despite the large number of exams that are now being held via various online formats, RWTH is nevertheless forced to reschedule the remaining exams, which are currently not allowed to be held on campus, however, exceptions to this regulation may apply. All in-person exams that were originally scheduled to be held February 15 through March 6 and cannot be offered in an alternative exam format, will now be moved en bloc to the period of April 12 through May 7. Students should note the following points concerning the postponement:

  • Due to the postponement, the affected exam dates are not displayed in RWTHonline at the moment, as the display option has been temporarily deactivated. For this reason, students cannot see these exam dates in the “Exam Dates” view in the “Exams” application. Their registration for these exams, however, remains valid.
  • The postponement of the exams should be finalized in the system by the end of next week. After that, all RWTH Faculties will strive to make the necessary adjustments as quickly as possible and release the exam dates for students.
  • The responsible examiners will inform students individually once the exams have been reactivated in the system.
  • For all exams rescheduled in this way, registration will be reopened and remain open until the new deadline of 7 days before the exam. This, however, only affects the postponed exams – not the online exams.

The Crisis Management Team and University Management are aware of the stress these postponements must be causing students as they prepare for their exams. Their aim is to now help students plan ahead in the best possible way.

Free Attempt Regulation Effective Until End of Summer Semester Exam Period

February 17th, 2021 | by

The Crisis Management Team and Management of RWTH would like to assure students that the free attempt regulation is still valid until the end of the summer semester exam period. This means that an exam graded as “failed” or “insufficient” is considered to not have been taken.

This does not apply if students fail to attend an exam without providing a good reason or if the exam is assessed as “failed” or “insufficient” due to a cheating attempt or any other breach of regulations. In such cases, the attempt will indeed be counted.

All students should note that, as a rule, they can withdraw from an exam up to 24 hours before the exam date without specifying a reason for doing so. If they are unable to take an exam due to illness and can no longer deregister from the exam, students may, however, withdraw from it (even retroactively). As a rule, they must obtain a certificate of inability to take an exam on the day of the exam and submit it to the Central Examination Office, or ZPA, on the third working day after the respective exam date at the latest. The certificate can be sent via email.

No In-Person Exams or Courses Until March 7, 2021

February 15th, 2021 | by

In accordance with the NRW Coronaschutzverordnung (Coronavirus Protection Ordinance) published on the weekend, the rules and regulations currently effective will initially be extended until February 21 and then, presumably, continue to be effective in more or less the same form until March 7. For this reason, University Management and the Crisis Management Team have agreed on the following regulations with the examination board chairpersons:

No courses or exams will be held in person until March 7. This applies to both oral and written exams. Exceptions apply in the field of medicine and for lab courses that have already been authorized. Further exceptions can only be made in special cases that are to be approved by Div. 1.1 (see Point 2.).

The following options are available for exams scheduled up to March 7.

  1. Exams can be offered in alternative assessment formats. Generally approved alternative formats are: oral exams via Zoom from home or remote exams where candidates are not observed. Other alternative formats may be approved by the examination boards, e.g. ungraded module components may be recognized in the form of homework or bonus points.
  2. According to the currently valid general decision of the examination board chairpersons, exams can be held online as proctored remote exams (take-home exams) via Zoom. Due to the personal rights of the students, this is only possible if they explicitly grant their consent. The CLS handouts must be carefully observed: If students do not agree to participate in a proctored remote exam, they should be offered one of the following options:
  • An alternative format, such as an oral exam, can be offered.
  • The examiner may offer students the opportunity to take the exam on the second exam date if this has been scheduled in the current exam period that runs until the end of April. Please note that no firm statements on whether these in-person exams can actually be held can be made for the time being.
  • If there is only one date scheduled for the exam in the current exam period, an exemption may be granted by Division 1.1:, so that students may take the same exam as the remote exam and at the same time in a lecture hall of RWTH. This means that no further exam date is necessary.

It is up to the instructors to decide which option to offer.

  1. Exams may be postponed. The new exam dates will be scheduled for the summer semester lecture period and must be agreed upon in close coordination with the faculty’s exam schedulers. Rescheduled in-person exams in ZuseLab may be held in May at the earliest.

The Crisis Management Team strongly urges university members to make use of remote exam formats, as due to the COVID-19 mutations, it is currently impossible to predict whether in-person formats will be possible again in April, for example. They are aware that this announcement has been made at very short notice. Unfortunately, they are also only informed of the official requirements at very short notice. The best way to keep your planning on track is to take the remote exams.

All In-Person Exams Canceled through February 21

February 12th, 2021 | by

Due to the expected adjustments to the Corona Protection Ordinance, RWTH decided in a special meeting of all examination board chairpersons on Thursday, February 11, to cancel all in-person exams at RWTH through the end of next week (i.e., until February 21). This applies to in-person written and oral exams as well as exams scheduled to be held in ZuseLab.

Remote exams, such as take-home exams or online exams, can, however, take place. We are once again asking our instructors to consider whether remote testing might be an option for their exams.

Early next week – once we have the specifics on how NRW plans to implement Chancellor Merkel’s and the state premiers’ latest decision   – we will let you know how we will proceed with the exams scheduled for the last week of February and the first week of March.

The in-person written exams that are canceled now will be rescheduled in consultation with the Faculties and departments’ exam planners at the beginning of the next lecture period.

The exceptions allowed under the Corona Protection Ordinance for medicine and previously approved lab courses are not affected by the cancellation.

Help With Implementing Remote Exams

February 7th, 2021 | by

As the coronavirus pandemic’s trajectory and its impact on the examination period remain extremely difficult to predict, the University has decided to investigate and implement alternative options to ensure that exams can be held in a timely manner. Instructors have the option of offering exams as online (proctored) exams. Based on the instructors’ constitutionally protected freedom in research and teaching, the decision in this regard is entirely up to them.

 The following rules and regulations apply:

  • No in-person exams may be held at RWTH up to and including February 14. Exceptions apply in the field of medicine and for lab courses.
  • Exams can be taken online (as take-home exams) with or without Zoom proctoring, entirely independent of students’ actual location.
  • Participation in online proctored exams is voluntary – students can also choose to take the exam later instead, for example, in-person in the resit exam period. The instructors are responsible for offering an alternative in-person exam option close to the time of the remote exam.
  • In an online proctored exam, students will participate in a Zoom meeting, where they will be monitored by their instructors or their staff via the students’ (smartphone) camera or webcam. The exam session will not be recorded.
  • Before students take the exam, they must have officially declared that they have chosen to take it as an online proctored exam. For each exam, the respective departments will ask students how they have decided to proceed, e.g., via RWTHmoodle. Students are also required to submit an affidavit stating that they have not cheated during the exam. Cheating attempts will be prosecuted.
  • Students are urgently asked to provide a phone number where they can be reached during the exam. This is solely for the students’ benefit, so that they can be contacted, for example, in case of technical problems which they might not be aware of during the exam. The phone number, which is submitted voluntarily, may only be used for the purpose mentioned above. It must be deleted immediately after the exam has been successfully completed.
  • The Center for Learning and Teaching Services (CLS) offers comprehensive guidelines on online (proctored) exams, which are available for download at:
  • Instructors must inform the students about the exact procedure of the exams and the conditions under which they are to be held in advance.
  • Instructors are to avoid putting extra stress on RWTHmoodle with any additional activities during the exam period, as a large part of the exam processing is done via this system.
  • Instructors should check immediately if these online alternatives are an option for their exams. As a rule, the exam will have to take place on the original, centrally planned date. The actual start date may be postponed at short notice to avoid peaks – the chairs will be informed accordingly.
  • Faculties and departments will soon ask the instructors how they intend to conduct their exams and will pass this information on to exam planning. If the remote exams require more members of staff, please contact the respective faculty.

It will not be possible to offer online proctored exams in all cases. If, due to the pandemic, in-person exams cannot be held on the scheduled dates, the exams will be postponed to a later date.

Please also note that the consolidated guidelines on teaching and learning have been adapted to reflect the current regulations. The latest version dated January 29, 2021, can be found here in German and English.

Mensa Academica Resumes Takeout Service

February 3rd, 2021 | by

Following the six-week closure resulting from lockdown measures, Studierendenwerk Aachen is now resuming operations at Mensa Academica. They are planning to sell two different takeout dishes to students and university employees on weekdays from 11:30am to 3 pm, starting Monday, February 8. the daily choices include one vegetarian and one meat-based dish.

As in previous months, only students and employees of the four Aachen universities who can prove their university affiliation are eligible to access the dining hall. All necessary precautions and hygiene  measures will be observed in the dining hall. For the time being, it will not be possible to eat or drink inside the building, on the terraces, nor in the outdoor area.

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