FAQ Students (coronavirus)

These FAQs answer questions in times of the corona virus 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 in order to tackle the difficulties arising for teachers and students as a result of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 epidemic and the hygiene and measures concept of the H-BRS in conjunction with the relevant ministerial ordinances and decrees, in particular the Corona Epidemic University Ordinance, the Corona Protection Ordinance as well as the general decree of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (MAGS) for teaching and examination operations, are legally binding. These FAQs are simply a supplementary service, and are not legally binding.

General information

You can access the current regulations of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg to cope with the challenges posed by the Corona virus-Sars-CoV-2 epidemic in teaching and studying in the 2nd version via the following link:

Corona Regulations issued by the President’s Office of Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in the 2nd version of 15.12.2020 (German)

In May 2020, the university's Measures and Hygiene Plan came into force, which was published in an updated version on the occasion of the winter semester. It regulates attendance at the university by laying down hygiene requirements and safety precautions.

The concept was developed with the involvement of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, the staff representatives and the President’s Office and is continuously being adapted to the current needs based on the dynamic of the pandemic. It is based on the requirements of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the occupational health and safety regulations of the federal government.

A mouth-and-nose covering is not only to be worn within the public areas in the buildings, but also on the grounds of the university and in face-to-face classes, if they can be held at all. It is also important to ensure that the minimum distance of 1.5 metres is observed. Shaking hands is not permitted. The cough and sneeze etiquette must be observed (in the crook of your arm instead of your hand). Hands must be washed regularly and thoroughly. Anyone who has a cough or fever must stay at home.

The ban on entering the university’s facilities applies to people who have been proven to have a corona infection. Only when they can prove that the illness has been cured e.g. by means of a medical certificate may they re-enter the university. A 14-day house ban applies to persons who have health problems that refer to Covid-19, as well as to persons who knowingly had or still have contact with people suffering from Covid-19. The ban also applies to people who have stayed in a risk area according to the classification of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) (for detailed definition see below) (14 days after return). The only exception to this rule is if they provide a medical certificate stating that they do not have a viral infection with SARS-CoV-2.

Anyone who has stayed in a risk area according to the classification of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is not allowed to enter the university for 14 days after returning home - unless it is confirmed by a medical certificate that there is no infection.

A risk area, according to the Corona Travel Regulations NRW, is a state or region outside the Federal Republic of Germany for which there is an increased risk of infection with the corona virus.

The German federal states or individual cities in Germany are not covered by this regulation.

The RKI provides a permanent overview of risk areas

For further information, see the FAQ: I am entering Germany from abroad, which rules do I have to observe?

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.

Teaching staff and other university staff are currently working from home to a greater extent in order to limit the incidence of infection. 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. Every month a grant can be ordered online. This applies until the end of the winter semester.

Organisational matters

Students who were enrolled at the H-BRS in the summer semester 2020 and in the winter semester 2020/21 and who were not granted leave of absence will have their individual standard period of study extended by one semester in each case.

You’ll find the precise wording in § 10 of the corona epidemic university ordinance of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

For the winter semester, the state's ordinance and, based on it, the regulations of the President’s Office have not provided for an increase in the standard period of study.

The updated certificate of enrolment is available in the SIS.

 

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

On the Sankt Augustin campus, the machine in the entrance area of the cafeteria is only accessible to a limited extent during cafeteria opening hours. On the Rheinbach campus, the machine in front of the entrance to the cafeteria is still accessible, so that the card can be easily topped up. Otherwise, you can recharge your card at the Bonn Student Services in Nassestraße (foyer).

If you're entering Germany from another country and have visited a high-risk area in the last 10 days, then you're required to stay in quarantine for 10 days after entry. www.rki.de/covid-19-risikogebiete

You need to complete this Digital Registration on Entry so that the local health authority can check whether you're staying in quarantine: https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de

Your travel and contact details will be passed on to the local health authority at the place where you'll be staying so you can be contacted there. At the earliest after 5 days a test can be performed, which releases from quarantine if the result is negative.

Further information on current requirements for entry to Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic and who is not required to stay in quarantine.

 

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

Courses

Faced with the continuing pandemic, the Office of the President has established the conditions for teaching and learning in the winter semester 2020/21 by making the first and second changes to the regulations of the President’s Office of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus SARS-CoV2 epidemic (for formal reasons initially until 31 December 2020). According to the Ministry's announcement, however, we will be able to extend the regulations in good time for the entire winter semester. The regulations contained therein regarding examinations are already valid for the entire winter semester.

Regulations of the President's Office of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus SARS-CoV2 epidemic (15.12.2020) (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.

In view of the high incidence of infection, the following decision was was passed on 12.1.2021:

  • Face-to-face teaching in the winter semester 2020/21: The university will suspend face-to-face teaching until the end of the winter semester 2020/21 (31 March 2021). Online courses are not affected by this regulation; they will take place as before.
  • Examinations in the winter semester 2020/21: Examinations in the winter semester 2020/21 will take place, but will be held exclusively online.
  • Summer semester 2021: Teaching in the summer semester 2021 will be conducted exclusively online. If the infection status permits, additional face-to-face courses may be offered. Students who do not take part in these additional face-to-face courses must not suffer any disadvantage as a result. The decision on face-to-face examinations in the summer semester is still pending. The President's Office will bring it about and announce it in good time.

For questions regarding specific courses, please contact the lecturers and the departments.

Yes, there are. The President’s Office has decided on and published corresponding rules of conduct for digital courses to ensure that we treat each other with respect and appreciation in the digital seminar room.

Code of conduct for digital courses

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 on the basis of the regulations of the Office of the President, which apply in view of the specific situation of the Corona pandemic. 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.

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 H-BRS's measures and hygiene concept. Please coordinate the procedure in your specific case with your examiner.

Scheduled face-to-face examinations should be postponed to a date after 10 January 2021. If this is not possible for legal or factual reasons, it is permissible to conduct the examination as a face-to-face examination in exceptional cases. In these cases, the current infection control regulations, the requirements of the university's Measures and Hygiene Plan as well as the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute must be adhered to.

Experiments usually do not have to be stopped. 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. (See also item 5.3 of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

Between 16 December and 10 January 2020, face-to-face examinations may only be held in exceptional cases.

Until that time, the following had applied:, Examinations may also be taken as face-to-face examinations, provided that the provisions of the H-BRS Measures and Hygiene Plan and other ministerial requirements are strictly adhered to. (cf. also point 5.9 of the regulations of the Office of the President).

Please note the announcements of the department on this point, as changes may occur at short notice depending on the situation concerning the pandemic and further-reaching ordinances and decrees of the ministries.

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)

This may be the case, but repeat examinations can also take place in other examination forms. (See also item 5.6. of the Regulations issued by the Office of the President)

The first examination period in the winter semester 2020/21 begins following the lecture period and generally covers the period from 1 to 23 February 2021. In some departments, lectures are still held until 12 February, so that examinations do not begin until 15 February. The second examination period generally takes place from 15 to 26 March 2021. Please note the announcements of your department, some of which also examine beyond these periods.

 

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)

This period is in principle suspended, 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)

Summer semester 2020: The university had 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.  (See also item 9 of the Regulations issued by the President’s Office)

Winter semester 2020/21: There is no corresponding regulation for the winter semester 2020/21.

 

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 is difficult to assess. Since 1 October 2020, the German Foreign Office's (Auswärtiges Amt) worldwide travel warning has been converted into a country-specific assessment, so that differentiated indications for all countries are once again being published worldwide: 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 (German).

Many of our European partner universities will accept students as usual. However, in some non-European countries there are 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. You should seek advice from your faculty and the International Office.

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.

However, weigh up your decision carefully and put health considerations first. If you are continuing your stay, you should weigh up the risks mentioned in the travel warnings and clarify with your department whether recognition of your course achievements abroad is assured even under the risks mentioned. For your individual decision, you can also ask the local German representation abroad for advice on whether a return journey is advisable in the current situation and possible due to travel restrictions.

 

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.

 

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