FAQ Students (coronavirus)

These FAQs answer questions about topics such as the Study Guidance Service, the Federal Education and Training Assistance Act which provides for financial assistance for students (Bundesbildungsförderungsgesetz, BAföG), scholarships and exams.
Note: The only regulations that are legally binding are those issued by the Office of the President of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences in order to tackle the difficulties arising for teachers and students as a result of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. These FAQs are simply a supplementary service, and are not legally binding.

Availability

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the university's offices currently offer only limited opening hours and individual appointments. However, you are welcome to contact them with your enquiries by phone or email. Please refrain from spontaneous visits. You’ll find the contact data on the different websites: Registrar’s Office, International Office, Examination Service, General Study Guidance Service, Sankt Augustin Language Centre, Rheinbach Language Centre, Library
You’ll find the offices of the departments on the department websites: Natural Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Technical Journalism (EMT), Computer Science, Management Sciences and Social Policy and Social Security Studies.

Most members of the university staff are currently working from home, especially during the lecture-free period. In general, office phones have been diverted, so that you can contact them by phone, at least in most cases. The safest way of sending enquiries is via email.

BAföG, scholarships and funding for studies

You’ll find the following information page (in German) on the website of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): https://www.bafög.de/keine-nachteile-beim-bafoeg-wegen-corona-756.php, https://www.mkw.nrw/presse/bafög-bezug_corona and https://www.bmbf.de/de/faq-ausbildungsfoerderung-und-corona-krise-11215.html

Please also contact the BAföG office responsible for you: https://www.studierendenwerk-bonn.de/finanzieren/. For questions regarding the impact on a scholarship, please contact the scholarship funding body.

The following offers are available, among others, for students urgently seeking part-time work:

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is offering temporary assistance for students in urgent need of support due to the pandemic. The temporary aid has been extended. Students can also apply for a grant from the Studierendenwerke for September.

Organisational matters

The individual standard period of study was increased by one semester for students who were enrolled (and were not on leave of absence) at the university in the summer semester 2020. You’ll find the precise wording in § 10 of the corona epidemic university ordinance of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The software needs to be updated in order to include the extension of the individual standard period of study of 1 semester for students in the summer semester of 2020.
A product has already been requested from the software manufacturer by the University. Unfortunately, we can only issue you with an adapted certificate of study in the second half of the year. We will inform you of any progress.

 

Yes, the machines can be used for renewals as usual.

This is not possible on the Sankt Augustin campus, since the machine is in the canteen. Please ask one of your neighbours whether you can use their card for your laundry. Otherwise, you can top up your card in the foyer of the Bonn Student Union in Nassestrasse.
On the Rheinbach campus, the machine is still accessible in front of the entrance to the canteen, so you can top up your card there without a problem.

All persons entering Germany - both foreign and German students - who have stayed in a risk area within the last 14 days before entering Germany (see list of the Robert Koch Institute www.rki.de/covid-19-risikogebiete ) must undergo a (free) corona test. You can also present a test in German or English language from a German or an RKI-recognised test laboratory that is not older than 48 hours.

Recognised test centres are:

https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Tests.html?nn=13490888

Only with a negative test result a 14-day quarantine obligation can be avoided!

A negative test result can, however, only be a snapshot. Therefore, a second test 5 to 7 days after the first test is recommended. Please contact the responsible health authority accordingly.

All travellers entering or returning from non-risk areas should also be given the opportunity to be tested for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours after entering Germany voluntarily and free of charge. You can find out about the nearest test centre in your place of residence by calling 116 117 or by contacting the responsible public health department: https://tools.rki.de/PLZTool/

In general, there is a ban on entry to the university in the following cases:

  • for any person with a corona infection until a medical certificate confirms that the disease has been cured or is no longer contagious.
  • for persons (for 14 days) who have health problems that are indicative of the virus. Exception: a medical certificate confirms that there is no corona infection.
  • for persons who knowingly have been or are still in contact with people who are infected with Covid-19, for example because they are caring for them: for the duration of the contact and for 14 days beyond. Before returning to the university, a medical certificate must be submitted to prove that the person is not infected.

All students are asked to plan their entry from abroad well in time, regardless of a test, so that they enter the campus only 2 weeks later if possible.

FAQ about tests in English:

https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus-infos-reisende/faq-tests-entering-germany.html

The plan and other relevant topics can be found here: https://www.h-brs.de/de/massnahmen-und-hygienekonzept-corona (German only)

 

Courses

Lectures in the winter semester 2020/2021 generally begin on Monday, November 2, 2020, with the following exceptions:

  • Social Security Management – Accident Insurance (BA): Lectures start on 5 October 2020.
  • CSR & NGO Management (MBA): Lectures start on 12 October
  • Management Accounting and Management Control (MSc) as well as Innovation and Information Management (MSc): Lectures start on 23 October 2020

In the remaining courses of study, the events start on 2 November. Pre-courses take place before the start of the regular courses. Further, detailed information can be found on the websites of the departments.

Information on welcome events and preliminary courses is also provided by the registrar's office: First Semester Welcome of the H-BRS (German)

 

We are pleased that you have chosen our University! The departments are currently working on concepts to ensure that you, as a first semester student, will receive a warm welcome at H-BRS during this special time. You will be informed in due time about all scheduled dates by email or on the departmental information pages.

There will be no return to the usual attendance in the winter semester either. A hybrid winter semester is currently being planned.

This means that the courses will be held partly in attendance and partly digitally. Compared to the summer semester, more courses will be offered in attendance again, provided that the infection situation allows it. In particular, however, large courses in cramped lecture halls should be avoided. On the other hand, courses with a high practical component such as laboratories, exercises and practical training should be made possible in class.

The concrete planning is carried out by the departments.

Please refer to the announcements and information provided by your department regarding the question of whether an event will be offered in attendance or digitally.

The examination boards can each suspend compulsory attendance for individual courses or for all courses for a degree programme. (See also item 4.5 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

The examination board responsible for you can suspend these conditions for the duration of validity of these regulations. Any  student affected can submit an application to the responsible examination board. The examination board can also suspend these conditions for all students on the degree programme. (See also item 4.6 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Examinations

Please contact your department in good time. They will make every effort to find a reasonable solution and reschedule the submission deadline to a later date.

You can hand in your work personally at the reception or submit it by post. Please note if sending by post that the date of the stamp applies when determining whether your thesis has been submitted by the deadline. The departments are working to create online submission options as a substitute should the situation require it.

The copy shop on the Sankt Augustin campus is still open, and you can print your thesis there (https://druckpunkt-on.net)

Colloquia can be offered either digitally via video conference or in presence, in compliance with the rules of distance of the Robert Koch Institute as well as other infection regulations. Please coordinate the procedure in your specific case with your examiner.

You are not required to stop conducting experiments. However, please make absolutely sure that you abide by the measures intended to slow the spread of the virus. Keep your distance from colleagues and only spend as much time at the University as is necessary, and only visit the University as often as needed.

The relevant Examination Boards may issue different rules. The students will be informed accordingly. (See also item 5.8 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

If the examiner recommends it, the Examination Boards responsible may stipulate different examination formats and/or a different length of time for examinations. The departments will inform you accordingly. (See also item 5.1 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Students must be informed three weeks before each exam date at the latest if the format and/or length of the exam has been changed. If this notification period cannot be observed, students who have registered for the exam have the option of withdrawing from the exam without suffering any consequences. (See also item 5.2 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Before the start of the exam, the exam candidate must identify themselves.  They usually do so via a sworn declaration, with which they provide assurance that they are the person to be examined and that they are not using any impermissible aids.

If online exams are held via video conference, the student taking the exam also identifies themselves by comparison with a valid photo ID document. During the process, the examinee must be visible. Further details will be issued in due time. (See also item 5.3 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Yes, it can. Exams can also be held as face-to-face exams on condition that all regulations are observed according to the infection protection law, and there is strict adherence to hygiene rules and other recommendations issued by the Robert Koch Institute. (See also item 5.9 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Possibly, but repeat exams can also be held in another exam format. (See also item 5.6 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

On the whole, the examination periods for the summer semester are scheduled for 29 June to 31 July 2020 and from 1 September to 31 October 2020. Additional dates may be scheduled and will be announced in due time. August will probably remain exam-free.

Requirements for exam qualifications, practical semesters and semesters abroad or other professional practice study phases

 

If the mandatory requirement for admission to an exam cannot be met due to the restrictions arising from the pandemic, the Examination Board responsible may waive this requirement in part or entirely at the request of the student.

In appropriate cases, the Examination Board responsible may also waive this requirement for all students on the degree programme (for as long as the regulations issued by the Office of the President apply). (See also item 6.2 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

The examination board responsible determines whether the necessary requirement will have to be replaced by another performance or repeated. (See also item 6.4 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

In general, this deadline will be put back by one semester, unless the Examination Board responsible decides on another rule.  (See also item 6.5 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Registration for exams, withdrawal from exams, attempts to view exam files

The Examination Boards may specify different registration deadlines. According to the examination regulations, students must register for written exams electronically. If documents need to be signed (such as the approval of a topic of a final thesis), the signed documents can first be scanned or photographed and sent in advance via email. The departments will issue instructions about all further steps. (See also item 7 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

In general, the rules contained in the relevant examination regulations apply. However, the difference here is that a doctor’s note no longer needs to be presented if you need to withdraw from an exam due to an illness that began before the start of the exam. (See also item 8 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Yes, the university has decided that for all students who took part in an examination in the summer semester 2020, failed first attempts will not be taken into account in the attempt count.
Specifically, the regulations of the Presidential Board stipulated: "Examinations that are taken for the first time and not passed are considered not to have been taken. The responsible examination committees can also make regulations beyond this." (See also item 9 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

If you are allowed to view your examination results, you must observe the special rules relating to the pandemic restrictions.

If you have not passed an exam, you should be granted viewing access to the results soon afterwards. (See also item 10 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Compensation for disadvantages and hardship cases

If the high-risk group belongs to one of the groups defined as such by the Robert Koch Institute, any disadvantages arising will be compensated.

If a student is unable to take part in a modular examination in the planned exam format for reasons connected to the pandemic, and for which they bear no responsibility, and if they endure particular hardship as a result, they may submit an application to the Examination Board. The Examination Board may then grant a separate exam date in a suitable examination format.

Such hardship cases apply in particular when they occur just before the student is due to complete their programme of study and is prevented from doing so as a result. (See also item 11 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Semester and internships abroad

The development for the winter semester 2020/21 is difficult to assess. The worldwide travel warning issued by the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) has been lifted for many European countries, but has been extended for other countries until 31 August 2020: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/covid-19/2296762 (German). This applies to all risk areas that are identified by the Robert Koch Institute on a daily basis: www.rki.de/covid-19-risetikogebiete (German).
Many of our European partner universities will accept students as usual for winter semester 20/21. However, in some non-European countries there are still travel restrictions, quarantine measures and possibly problems on the return journey. Travel to countries for which a travel warning exists at the time of departure is neither approved nor supported by the university. The risk of later non-recognized achievements abroad lies with the student.
However, you should not stop your travel plans hastily, but wait and see how things develop, especially after August 31, 2020. You should seek advice from your faculty and the International Office. It may also be possible to postpone your stay until the summer semester 2021 (application deadline 01.09.2020).

All students should register in the list for electronic registration of Germans abroad of the Foreign Office (Elefand List). Although server overloads may occur from time to time, this registration is strongly recommended. Please also contact the International Office if you have not already done so, so that we can send you further information if necessary. Only you can decide whether you want to travel back or stay on site for personal reasons.

The departments will try to find individual solutions here. Please contact your supervisor or the chairman of the examination board.

The departments will try to find individual solutions here. Please contact your supervisor or the chairman of the examination board.

Please contact the secretay's office of the department or the head of the degree programme.

First, contact a doctor by telephone. Do not go to the doctor's office. Only with a doctor's certificate will tests on corona be performed. If you do not have a family doctor, please contact the hotlines in your place of residence:

In Bonn: +49 228 775351 and +49 228 775352 (Mondays to Thursdays from 8 am to 6 pm, Fridays until 3 pm)

In the Rhein-Sieg district (Sankt Augustin, Rheinbach, Hennef, Meckenheim, Troisdorf, etc.): +49 2241 13 3333 (24-hour service).
You can also send an e-mail to the public health department at coronavirus@rhein-sieg-kreis.de.

The medical on-call service (telephone number 116117) can always name a doctor in your area. Important: Do not dial the emergency numbers 110 and 112! These are intended for life-threatening emergencies.

Please also note the information provided by the university administration on the coronavirus: https://www.h-brs.de/en/information-sars-cov-2-covid-19

 

Autonomous Systems

You can send the Head of MAS exam board an email saying: I hereby deliver a soft-copy. I will deliver the necessary hardcopies when they are available again.
Concerning the deadline (DL): In its meeting yesterday all PAs of the department of computer science have decided that all DLs of all currently due theses have been extended to 19 April 2020 (no further notice from the student needed). If you don't need the time, it would be nice if you could keep the old DL though.

Our exam regulations did allow electronic exams since long-times, including the colloquium. Given the current times it's the way to go in this case since this avoids face to face contact.
We use to prefer skype for this but our whole campus is in transition to use zoom right now. In the very moment when this issue has been resolved, you can ask your exam board. They will be able let you know the details.

Nobody knows an answer to these issues to date. The university will do it's best to not let students suffer from the current situation. Yet clear plans concerning the rehearsal of the examination can – at this stage – rightfully not be made.
For information about Bafög please contact the Bafög-Amt.

University and District Library Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (HuKB)

Transmission paths and hygiene tips

Coronaviruses are transmitted by droplet infection, even via the patient's own hands when touching their mouth or nose involuntarily. The possibility of transmission via surfaces depends on many different factors. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has answers on the matter: "Can the new type of coronavirus be transmitted via food and objects?": www.bfr.bund.de/en/can_the_new_type_of_coronavirus_be_transmitted_via_food_and_objects_-244090.html

The updated rules of conduct for protection against the coronavirus are available from the Federal Ministry of Health: https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/en/press/2020/coronavirus.html (German)

Protective masks should be worn where a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between people cannot be maintained. The German Social Accident Insurance (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung) provides an overview of mouth-nose protection and respiratory masks: https://www.unfallkasse-nrw.de/service/nachrichten/schutzmasken-richtig-verwenden-1509.html