Studying and teaching
Updates, information and questions relating to studying and teaching
The coronavirus has had an impact on studying and teaching at FAU: face-to-face classes have been cancelled, seminars and lectures are now being held online and examinations requiring attendance in person can only be held if strict precautions are observed. We have therefore gathered all the information and updates relevant to students and teaching staff on these pages. We will add to it as and when necessary and make sure that it is always up to date.
Please contact the Student Advice and Career Service if you have any questions about studying. If you have any questions about dealing with the coronavirus, you can write to email@example.com.
On this page you will find answers to study-related questions and teaching-related questions. The latest information concerning examinations is available from the Examinations Office’s information page.
Current information on examinations and submission deadlines
Scheduled on-campus examinations may still be held provided that hygiene guidance is observed. Candidates may still travel to examinations that are held in a location which is further than 15 km away from their home. More information is available on the Examinations Office website. Information on the extension of submission deadlines for final theses and extension to deadlines for completing examination achievements for admission to a Master’s degree programme is also available on the Examinations Office website.
Do you have any questions about classes or lectures? UnivIS is the central platform for scheduling courses and lectures.
Starting at FAU this winter semester
When the winter semester 2020/21 begins, it will not be the same as in previous years. The coronavirus pandemic and its consequences mean that starting university will be a rather different experience for you, our new first year students. One thing we can promise you, however, is that together we will make it possible for you to get off to the perfect start at university. FAU, its institutions, faculties and partners will still offer a wide range of services and introductory events to help you find your feet as you start out at university.
Information on contact tracing in the winter semester, on the obligation to wear masks, and social distancing is available on the coronavirus hygiene website
Students can find tips for learning online and share their experiences with others on the StudOn platform online learning
The local health authorities (Gesundheitsamt) are responsible for tracking and tracing contacts. If you have tested positive, you are therefore obliged to contact the local health authorities and notify them of your test result. We would also recommend recording your positive result in the official German Corona-app.
We would ask students who have tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an examination or face-to-face class to inform the person in charge of the examination or teaching session. This person will then forward the information to the Examinations Office or Occupational Safety. Alternatively, you can let us know that you have tested positive for Covid-19 by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This means that even if the local health authorities are swamped with enquiries, we at FAU will be able to use the contact details available to us to trace and inform anyone who might have been near you in an enclosed area for any amount of time, and let them know that they may potentially have contracted the virus.
We would ask people in this situation to strictly avoid all contact and isolate as far as possible for the 14 days following the class or event during which the infection first arose, unless instructed otherwise by the local health authorities. If these people develop symptoms corresponding to an infection with SARS-CoV-2 or if their health deteriorates, they must immediately inform the local health authorities by phone.
Information on analog and digital contact tracking can be found on the Corona hygiene pages.
The latest information concerning examinations is available from the Examinations Office’s information page.
In implementation of the Cabinet’s decision of 26 November 2020, Section 21 of the Ninth Bavarian Regulation on Infection Prevention and Control Measures stipulates that there shall be no face-to-face teaching at universities from 1 December (initially until 20 December). FAU is therefore switching over entirely to online teaching.
Exceptions shall apply in the case of laboratory work and practical and artistic classes, provided strict infection prevention measures are observed.
An exception shall also be made for examinations, which may be held on campus provided hygiene guidelines are complied with.
Information on the regulations that apply at each of the faculties is available on the following pages:
Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology www.phil.fau.de/2020/07/20/lehre-im-wintersemester-2020-21
Faculty of Sciences: www.nat.fau.de/infos-corona-ws2020-21
Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law:
Faculty of Medicine: www.med.fau.de/studium/medizin/im-studium/hybrid_sem_ws20_21
Teaching in Master’s degree programmes taught in English will be available online, in order to ensure that international students who are not actually in Germany or at the University will still be able to study at FAU. For international students in other degree programmes, the general regulations for winter semester 20/21 will apply.
The critical value for coronavirus cases is currently exceeded in Erlangen and Nuremberg, meaning that these areas have now been placed in a higher risk category. According to the communication from the Bavarian State Ministry for Family, Labour and Social Affairs, the measures for high local rates of infection now apply. This means that pregnant students at FAU are now classed as being at a greater risk.
In consultation with the pertinent Supervisory Authority for Occupational Safety, pregnant students are now prohibited from accessing FAU until the incidence rate falls below 35/100,000 population again.
Pregnant students are not permitted to attend face-to-face sessions. This also applies to taking part in examinations on campus. Teaching staff are required to take the increased risk for pregnant students into consideration.
The FAU Family Service offers comprehensive advice on all issues concerning pregnancy and maternity protection. The Family Service can give you advice on both statutory and university-specific maternity-protection rules.
Detailed information is available on the Family Service website at: www.familienservice.fau.de/angebote/beratung
The following shall apply retrospectively from 20 April 2020 once the legal amendment to the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG) comes into effect on 1 August 2020:
Summer semester 2020 shall not be considered a study semester (Fachsemester) in the context of the standard dates and deadlines stipulated in the examination regulations for the degree programmes (new Section 99 (1) BayHSchG). This means that summer semester 2020 will not be considered when calculating the expiry of standard dates and deadlines and students will automatically be granted an extension. Students enrolled in summer semester 2020 will have their standard duration of studies extended by one semester, provided you have not already had a deadline extended on the basis of this rule (new Section 99 (2) of the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG)).
This happens automatically and will be indicated accordingly on the certificate of enrolment and transcript of records. All that is included on your final academic record and your degree certificate is the date you sat your final examination (achieved the degree of XYZ on xx.yy.zzzz). It does that state the number of semesters you studied or whether or not you exceeded the standard duration of study.
More details on how this rule works and examples are given on the Examinations Office website website.
All degree programmes at FAU will start regular teaching in the winter semester 2020/2021 on 2 November 2020. This is with the exception of degree programmes in medicine/dentistry for students in their 2nd semester and above, which will start again on 12 October 2020. First year students in these degree programmes will start like everyone else on 2 November 2020. Due to the close connections with State Examination degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Medicine, the lecture period for the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in Molecular Medicine will also start on 12 October 2020 for students in the 3rd semester and above. This applies in particular to classes for the 3rd and 5th semester for the Bachelor’s degree programme and classes for the 3rd semester in the Master’s degree programme.
All information on semester dates is also available on the semester dates website.
All libraries will be closed from 19 December 2020, provisionally until 10 January 2021. Please make use of the various online services the University Library offers and refer to the coronavirus FAQs for more detailed information.
All study areas will be cordoned off from 17 December, and existing reservations will be cancelled.
The University Library offers an introduction to the library via Zoom for all students who are new to FAU. All important information about using the library is summarised on the welcome page.
Students who are intending to travel to Germany for their first semester or students who returned to their home country in the lecture-free period and are now ‘stuck’ there due to travel restrictions are facing a particularly difficult situation. We will do our best to help you as much as we possibly can.
If you are anxious about missing part of the semester here, please rest assured that you are of course entitled to use any of our digital teaching resources, provided you have access to the internet where you are.
If you have any individual problems, please either contact your lecturer directly or the Student Advice and Career Service email@example.com. Our colleagues will be happy to help you.
In a change to the rules valid over the summer, since 11 September 2020, international students no longer require proof for the German embassies that it is absolutely necessary for them to enter Germany. All they need is a letter of admission from the university. As it is clear that German universities intend to offer a mixture of online and face-to-face teaching in winter semester 2020/21, a letter of admission from a university is accepted by the German embassies as sufficient proof that the student has to attend classes in person, and they will process the visa application.
Teaching at FAU in winter semester 2020/21 will largely consist of online teaching combined with individual face-to-face classes (‘hybrid semester’).
This means that face-to-face classes will be able to be offered in addition to online teaching if necessary, provided we are able to do so in accordance with legal provisions and regulations aimed at preventing infection and provided we are able to organise it (for example if sufficient rooms are available and students are able to attend).
Teaching staff can find information and support for offering classes online on the FAU online teaching website.
Occupational Safety at FAU has published a summary on its website (in German) of the guidelines and standard procedures which must be observed during field trips and excursions.
An overview is available on the RRZE website.
Important help and information about Zoom is available on the FAU online teaching website.
The ILI team can offer you a Zoom coaching session to help you switch over to online teaching as quickly as possible. Experienced colleagues at FAU are available to walk you through the basic functions of the software live in a Zoom meeting. You can cover any questions you have during the 30 minute video conference, and then you should be able to start straightaway with your first session. You can book an appointment online.
If you are planning a class for up to 300 students, you should use the ‘meeting’ function in Zoom, which is available to all members of staff at FAU. ‘Meetings’ are designed to be a collaborative event in which all participants are able to share their screens, switch on their audio and video and see and hear other participants, provided they have also switched on their audio and video.
If you are planning a class for more than 300 students or if you have special requirements for your classes, you will need to request the ‘webinar’ option. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, writing ‘Zoom webinar’ in the subject line.
The same regulations apply for attendance of online teaching as for attendance of regular face-to-face classes. Attendance cannot be made compulsory if the face-to-face class did not meet the legal requirements for this either.
In addition, we would explicitly ask you to pay special consideration to students who are classed as being at-risk or who are in a special position due to caring for children or helping out in hospitals.
That is not a decision that FAU can take. It is up to the institution in question to decide whether or not the placement can go ahead.
The social work, psychological and legal counselling services run by Student Services can be reached by telephone or e-mail. The psychological counselling service also offers appointments for a video chat.
Social work unit
Phone: + 49 9131 800275
Phone: + 49 9131 8002-750 Mon-Fri 8.30am -12.00pm to arrange an appointment
Appointments are currently only available by telephone or video chat.
The drop-in consultation service is offered via this phone number on Tuesdays from 1.30pm to 4.30pm for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Innovation in Learning Institute at FAU offers a Zoom room where students can go to meet other students for an informal chat. Events are published on the FAU online learning website.
Students’ Representatives feedback form
The Students’ Representatives have set up a feedback form where you can post any problems and questions you may have with respect to the coronavirus pandemic. The representatives will try to answer your questions directly. They also hope to be able to identify any areas which are causing problems and forward these to the people responsible for them at FAU.
Everyone is, of course, also welcome to contact FAU directly:
Please take care of yourselves in these turbulent times, and rest assured that we take your concerns into consideration in all the decisions we make.
We would appreciate it if you could send us any topics which you feel have not been covered sufficiently to the e-mail address email@example.com. We will then include them in our FAQs.