Archive for March, 2021

CHE Study on Universities Dealing With the Coronavirus Crisis

March 31st, 2021 | by

A study by the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE) has now revealed that the RWTH students surveyed were extremely satisfied with the way the University is handling the coronavirus crisis.

According to the study published in March, RWTH respondents rated the University’s overall handling of the pandemic significantly better on average than students at the other participating universities. More than 80 percent felt that the University was handling the situation “very well” or “well”. The organization of studies during the coronavirus pandemic was also rated very positively by most of the students surveyed. The fact that RWTH created the possibility for students to continue their planned course of study despite the particularly difficult situation was particularly appreciated.

The framework conditions for virtual teaching were generally highly rated. Here, the technical framework conditions for courses (sound quality, stable transmission, etc.) were perceived positively. Teaching concepts adapted to virtual concepts and the instructors’ motivation was also rated significantly better by students in Aachen than the German average. Despite the difficult circumstances for field trips or laboratory practicals, students positively emphasize that although only a few excursions were carried out, the organization and implementation of the concepts were very good.

For this study on coronavirus management at German universities, CHE surveyed more than 27,000 students at over 150 different German universities. Students from a wide range of disciplines were asked about the organization of their studies during the coronavirus pandemic, the general conditions for virtual teaching, and the implementation of field trips or laboratory practicals. RWTH students of biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, medicine, dentistry, geography, and earth sciences participated in the survey.

The complete study is available at

Updated Guidelines on Teaching, Learning and Exams

March 30th, 2021 | by

The Guidelines on Holding Exams, Courses, and Exam Reviews have now been updated to meet the requirements of the current situation:

Guidelines on Holding Exams, Courses, and Exam Reviews

No In-Person Written Exams, Oral Exams, Exam Reviews, and Classes Between March 29 and May 23

March 26th, 2021 | by

In an extraordinary meeting held yesterday in light of the current COVID-19 situation, the deans of academic affairs and the examination board chairpersons decided to put the following rules into effect: Between Monday, March 29, and Sunday, May 23 (Pentecost), RWTH will not hold any in-person written exams, in-person oral examinations, or in-person courses.

Exemptions apply to

  • any courses and events in the degree programs in medicine and dentistry, for which the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Medicine is responsible,
  • and lab courses that have been exceptionally approved.

Exam dates shall no longer be postponed in order to ensure that all parties involved can plan ahead in the best possible way. Starting March 29, it will no longer be possible to take an in-person written exam in addition to a parallel remote exam. In-person exams will only be held again once the threat of the pandemic subsides. Any approvals for holding in-person exams (both parallel and only exams) have been revoked. Those affected by this decision within the next two weeks have already been informed about the situation on March 19 to allow them sufficient time to prepare.

According to the Rectorate and the Crisis Management Team, students who cannot take an online exam for medical reasons can apply to the examination board to take an in-person exam due to their exceptional circumstances. In light of the current, heightened risk of getting infected with COVID-19, no other reasons will be accepted. Students can continue to apply to take an online exam before the scheduled exam date due to their exceptional circumstances.

Students who have opted out of taking an online exam to take the exam in person should be allowed to take the online exam, as the regulations have changed since they first decided against it. Since written exams will no longer be held in person, student assistants hired to ensure that the safety regulations are adhered to (“Corona Guides”) can be tasked with other responsibilities. Instructors responsible for online exams with more than 400 participants are encouraged to contact the central room booking service (

In order to avoid overloading our IT-systems during the lecture period, the ITC has set up an additional temporary Moodle space for any take-home-exams to be held after the lecture period has begun. Analogous to the previous procedure in RWTHmoodle, the recording of the exam results is to be ensured by the instructors themselves. In addition, Dynexite’s functionalities have been expanded for a limited time to include an upload for use with online exams. You will receive separate information on this in due course.

Instructors may apply for approval to hold lab courses or practical training in person throughout the entire summer semester if the necessary distancing and hygiene requirements can be met. In their request email to the Crisis Management Team, instructors must include a confirmation from the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs that the lab course cannot be rescheduled for legal or specific reasons or if rescheduling is unreasonable for the student.

Excursions cannot take place until further notice. If any changes are later made to the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance, the regulations will be adjusted accordingly.

The situation is difficult for all of us. With this latest decision, we hope to have struck the right balance between giving our students security in their future planning and keeping everyone involved safe. Online exams make us a bit more independent of the virus. Take care of yourselves and stay healthy!” said Professor Aloys Krieg, Vice-Rector for Teaching an Learning at RWTH.

DFG to Expand Support Measures for Funded Projects

March 26th, 2021 | by

The German Research Foundation DFG is expanding its financial support for researchers and research projects affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing restrictions on public life.

As a result of this decision by the Joint Committee of the largest research funding organization for science and research in Germany, the support measures in numerous DFG funding procedures in place since May 2020 will be extended.

In addition, various support measures will be expanded or newly introduced for selected funding procedures. This was announced by the DFG in a press release dated March 26, 2012.

Maundy Thursday Still an Exam Day

March 24th, 2021 | by

There has been some confusion regarding working on Maundy Thursday following the deliberations of the Prime Ministers’ roundtable. According to press releases issued this morning, Maundy Thursday (April 1) will still be a regular working day this year. Exams and classes scheduled for this day will therefore also run as planned.

“Of course, we have been trying to develop a plan for possible postponements since yesterday together with the written exam planners. Please ignore any emails sent so far regarding possible postponements. If anything at all changes, which we, unfortunately, cannot rule out these days, we will inform you accordingly,” explains Vice-Rector for Teaching and Learning, Professor Aloys Krieg.

Tomorrow there will be another extraordinary meeting with the examination board chairpersons and the students, in which the procedure during the lecture period should be agreed upon. Information should follow on Friday.

Coronavirus Compliant Tennis Now Possible Again

March 24th, 2021 | by

While the University Sports Center’s tennis courts at the Prof.-Pirlet-Straße facility are still being prepared for the season, tennis players may already use the Königshügel all-weather court, starting now. Under the current Coronavirus Protection Ordinance, however, only singles play is allowed. Registration for this is done in pairs – that is, both players must be part of the booking.

Click here for more information and to register:



Citizens’ Tests – Free Rapid Testing for Coronavirus

March 19th, 2021 | by

The Städteregion Aachen provides up-to-date information on all testing opportunities in Aachen and the region on its website: This website also includes information for people who live in neighboring countries and work at RWTH. In the future, a software program or app should facilitate the search for test centers and appointment bookings.

The March 12, 2021 regulations regarding taking a free rapid COVID-19 test (“Citizens’ Test”) during working hours continue to apply.

Coronavirus Self-Tests Can Be Pre-Ordered From the RWTH Purchasing Portal

March 19th, 2021 | by

You can now pre-order coronavirus self-tests from the RWTH Purchasing Portal. The self-tests are expected to be available next week. The Rectorate and the Crisis Management Team have also decided that all employees working in areas exposing them to an increased risk of infection (wherever the applicable minimum distance cannot be observed at all times, e.g. when working in workshops or labs, supervising lab courses, etc.) are to be offered at least two coronavirus self-tests by the respective university institution each week. As per usual, health and safety materials are paid for with available funds at the respective higher education institution. If no (or insufficient) funds are available, the respective faculty should be contacted.

Read the rest of this entry »

RWTH Intends to Offer Vaccinations

March 19th, 2021 | by

As soon as it is legally possible and vaccines are available, RWTH intends to establish a vaccination offer at the University Medical Center along the lines of the popular annual flu vaccination service. Due to an increasing number of inquiries, we have set up an FAQ page on vaccinations in consultation with the Rectorate and the Crisis Management Team.

Support Available Through Equal Opportunity Office’s Family Service

March 16th, 2021 | by

Being a student parent is challenging in normal times. Now things have gotten even harder during the coronavirus pandemic. That is why Magdalena Marsiglia of the Equal Opportunity Office’s Family Service has compiled all the current support measures available to student parents in one place, so they can quickly find the help they need. Find the FAQs addressed to those who are both parents and students in times of Corona here: Studying as a Parent. Advising sessions will continue to be offered by appointment – either by phone or, upon request, via Microsoft Teams. The Equal Opportunity Office has also put together an info sheet that will be updated regularly with the latest coronavirus-related developments. Please note that this info sheet is only available in German.