Regulations and Recommendations for the Winter Semester

September 5th, 2021 | by

In the upcoming winter semester, all face-to-face teaching activities will, in principle, be permitted again according to the State ordinances currently in effect.

On the basis of the currently known regulations, in-person courses can be held if they are in compliance with the following regulations and recommendations:

  • All participants of all in-person courses must be checked for compliance with the so-called 3G regulations when entering classrooms or lecture halls. Individuals who are neither fully vaccinated nor have recovered from Covid-19 nor have been tested are not allowed to participate in any face-to-face courses. Should a conflict arise, please contact University Security (+49 241 80 94250 or 113 from campus). Instructors are responsible for verifying that the 3G regulations are observed in their classrooms, and, of course, these same rules apply to them. Central University Administration (ZHV) is currently examining whether a visual marking of the Bluecard can be offered so that the checks can be accomplished more quickly. To encourage everyone to comply with distance requirements and the mask obligation, RWTH will station designated Corona Guides in the corridors of central lecture hall buildings again.
  • We will try to offer free testing through the university medical center for all the students who have been inoculated abroad with a vaccine that is not licensed in the EU, as well as for those that cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. You will receive detailed information about this shortly. All other students not belonging to the 2G group (i.e. they have recovered from a coronavirus infection or are fully vaccinated) must get the required proof of a negative test on their own, which will, by that time, be subject to a fee.
  • The obligation to maintain minimum distances between seats in classrooms also no longer applies. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that seats in classrooms or lecture halls be occupied in a checkerboard pattern and that masks be worn during class.

Please keep in mind that regulations and recommendations may change at short notice, particularly due to changes in the rates of infection. For example, the Ministry of Science has reserved the right to address increased rates of infections in the winter semester by ordering the immediate conversion of face-to-face courses into virtual formats.

The Crisis Management Team will let you know about any changes to the regulations and recommendations as quickly as possible.

RWTH strongly recommends that all courses with more than 200 participants be held as online courses from the beginning. Since a combination of face-to-face and online courses will be offered in the winter semester, online options must be offered throughout the semester. We cannot assume that students will be able to attend online courses during the scheduled time slots, as they might need more time to move around campus between classes or get home.

It is possible to hold hybrid courses in which one group of students participates in the classroom and the other via video conference. However, the students can then choose freely between attending the course in person or online each time for the rest of the semester. We are currently preparing recommendations for technically implementing this hybrid option.

It is up to the instructors to decide whether a course is offered in-person, or online, or as a hybrid version.

Legally, a higher number of participants than 200 is also permissible per the State ordinances currently in effect. However, the experiences of the last three semesters have shown us that we would like to use virtual teaching formats permanently, especially in large courses, irrespective of the rates of infection. In addition, we must consider the organizational effort and time it takes to check for students’ compliance with the 3G regulations as they enter their classrooms or lecture halls, which unfortunately makes it difficult to hold large courses on-site at the moment. We have agreed with the representatives of all faculties to offer as much in-person teaching and learning as possible, especially to promote social interaction and integration among the students, but we must also address the ever-evolving pandemic in a responsible manner.

The above rules will likely apply to lab courses, excursions, and student workplaces as well.

Different regulations may apply for students of the Faculty of Medicine. The Dean’s Office is responsible for deciding on these regulations.

Comments are closed.