Current information from HFU about the Corona virus: www.hs-furtwangen.de/coronavirus

Corona virus FAQs

Status: 25 March, 2020, 4.00pm

Academic studies have been suspended until 19 April 2020. This includes lectures and examinations.

I'm a first semester student. How do I get access to the HFU online services?

First semester students in the Summer Semester have received access information for the university online services by post or email from our Student Services Department. Find out how it works in this PDF (German; English).

Please note: you must register at least once on the FELIX learning platform in order to be authorised to use it in the future. You and your course members can then be invited to join courses in FELIX if required.

Can I work on my thesis at the moment?

If it is no longer possible to carry out the thesis as planned due to the corona virus situation, an extension of 6 months (9 months for a master's) is initially possible (under normal regulations). Application for an extension, including a statement by your primary supervisor, should be made to your dean of studies.

The following options are also possible:

  1. The thesis supervisor agrees to an alteration of the thesis so that it can be completed without the part which has not been carried out, e.g. is mainly based on literature.
  2. Application to the Faculty Examination Board or your dean of studies to cancel the thesis. In this case a new thesis topic should be submitted within two months.
  3. If suspension of the working time of the thesis leads to a (gross) working time of more than 6 (9) months, apply to the Head of the Examinations Board responsible for your faculty. Other normally required certification (company confirmation) can be waived. However, the primary supervisor must confirm that the period of suspension applied for is appropriate.

The faculty can initially authorise an extension of two months, or a change of topic for theses written in Summer Semester 2020  which would normally be started on 1 March. Application to suspend or cancel thesis work can be decided at a later point (e.g. in May) should the corona situation continue longer.

(Text altered: 25 March 2020, 4.00pm)

How can I submit my thesis?

As long as corona restrictions are in force (currently until 20 April 2020), theses must be submitted in electronic form by the given deadline. The printed copy required by the Study and Examination Regulations (SPO) must be submitted to the primary supervisor, with his or her agreement, at a later point in time if it is not possible to submit the printed version by post by the deadline.

Submission should be done over FELIX if this has already been set up by the faculty (e.g. on the Tuttlingen Campus). Otherwise, please send a PDF file by email to the primary and secondary supervisors, as well as a copy to the Department Office (Dekanat).

Thesis Presentation
The faculties will inform students whether an alternative type of examination (video chat or similar) can be offered instead of a presentation or colloquium. Please check yourself with your dean of studies if you will have to do a thesis presentation or colloquium in the near future.

(Text altered: 25 March 2020, 4.00pm)

I am currently in my internship semester. What should I be aware of?
  • Change:  If you wish to change your internship position during the internship semester, apply to the internship coordinator of your faculty.
  • Cancellation: If it was not possible to start the internship, or it was only possible for a short period of time, it is possible to cancel the internship. Cancellations will be accepted in Summer Semester 2020 without special permission. Apply to the internship coordinator for a cancellation.
  • Reduction of length of internship: If you are unable to complete the required 95 presence days for your internship due to the corona situation, you can apply to your internship coordinator for a reduction of the number of required presence days stating the exact reasons. However, a minimum of 80 presence days is required. Home-working days approved by the company count as presence days.
  • Bringing forward the next study semester: If you wish to  enter the study semester which normally follows the internship semester right away, please apply to your dean of studies.

(Text altered: 25 March 2020, 4.00pm)

If I want to take a leave of absence or a B semester, or have my credits recognised - what should I do?

Effective immediately, applications of any type should be sent digitally.

  • An application for accreditation cannot be submitted until lectures begin and documents can be examined. This must be carried out by each individual lecturer and therefore cannot be done until lectures begin.
    Recognition of credits is possible in the first 3 weeks of lectures.
  • The signed application for leave of absence (scan or mobile phone photo) should be sent by email to the dean of studies and the Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt). The Examinations Office will send an acknowledgement.
  • For Applications for leave of absence for Summer Semester 2020 generally: approval from the dean of studies is not necessary.
  • The signed application for a B-semester (scan or mobile phone photo) should be sent by email to the Examinations Office. The Examinations Office will send an acknowledgement. Approval from the dean of studies is not necessary.
  • Applications to bring forward lectures can be submitted within a period of 2 weeks after lectures begin. The form which must be used for this must be signed off by the dean of studies.
  • Electives and languages can be registered for within a period of 2 weeks after lectures begin.
I have to hand in written work. Are there any new regulations for this?

In principle, effective immediately, all project work, documentation, internship semester reports, etc. must be submitted digitally. If your supervisor agrees, the printed version will no longer be required, or the printed version can be submitted at a later point in time. If digital submission is not possible, the supervisor will decide on a later submission date.

Can projects start already?

Projects which do not require any contact with other people can be given the go-ahead to start by the teacher, or can be continued by students, before lectures begin. Authorised cancellation of projects is possible if no partial examinations were required. In other cases, please contact your project supervisor.

Am I able to view my exam papers at the moment?

It is not possible to see your exam papers at the university until lectures begin. You can contact your examiner to find out whether it is possible to talk about your papers by telephone or video chat.

What are the new rules for signatures?

Home-working and the lack of personal contact have made several new rules regarding signatures necessary.

Until further notice, the original hand-written signature normally necessary on various documents used in everyday work can be dispensed with (exception: degree certificates and job contracts, particularly fixed-term contracts).

We recommend that forms, confirmations, notifications, etc. are printed out and signed, then either photographed or scanned and sent as an email attachment. It is also permitted to attach a scanned signature to a blank electronic form. If it is not technically possible to take a photo or a scan of a signature or of a signed document in an isolated case, a notification, a request or similar, can simply be sent by email.

Special rules for daily time sheets (valid from Wednesday 25.3.2020):
Until further notice, daily time sheets can be sent by email to your superior as a PDF without a signature. After being checked, they will be forwarded, without a signature but with a brief remark, by email to arbeitszeitnachweis(at)hs-furtwangen.de.
For staff - please enter the following in the subject line of the email: place of work, faculty/department, name, AZN March 2020 (e.g. Fu, GSG, Mustermann, AZN March 2020).
A solution for HIP is currently being sought.

Information for those responsible for cost centres and authorised signatories:
According to information from the Ministry of Finance, it is sufficient if the legal responsibilities exercised (e.g. documents are factually and computationally accurate) are documented by being sent as an email. It must be possible to assign the document clearly (e.g. by invoice number or transaction number). In cases of doubtful identity, additional confirmation must be sought and documented (e.g. by phone or a video conference). Regulations governing the storage of information on budgeting, handling cash and accounting remain unchanged.

I would like to start offering online lectures. Where can I get support?

The Learning Services Department has put together "Guidelines for online teaching" for all HFU teaching staff which can be found on the FELIX learning platform. These guidelines will be extended and updated in the next few days and weeks.
Link to guideline (Login with HFU account)

A FELIX forum has been set up to allow exchange particularly between faculties.
Link to forum

There is also an online course entitled „Von der Präsenz- zur Online-Lehre“ (From face-to-face to online teaching). This course will also be extended and updated in the next few days and weeks.
Link to online course

Are oral examinations currently taking place?

In principle, oral examinations are not possible until lectures start again (currently 20 April 2020)
In keeping with the regulations on equal opportunity currently in force, the choice of an alternative type of examination in exceptional cases is also not allowed.
An exception to this rule is the oral examination for the thesis: see regulations under "How can I submit my thesis?".

Are the central stores and printing shop open?

Yes, with reduced opening hours:

Central stores and printing shop in Furtwangen:

  • Tuesday: 7.30am - 12.00 noon and 1.00 - 4.00pm
  • Thursday: 7.30am - 12.00 noon and 1.00 - 4.00pm
  • Friday: 7.30am - 12.30pm

Telephone: 07723 920-2252

Central stores in Schwenningen:

Monday - Friday: 10.00am - 12.00 noon

In emergencies call the technical hotline at: 07720 307-4296

 

It is suspected that I have the corona virus. What should I do?

For employees: If you are showing symptoms of the illness and have been tested for the corona virus, inform your workplace immediately by email at the following addresses: lagezentrum(at)hs-furtwangen.de and personalabteilung(at)hs-furtwangen.de.
As soon as you have the results of your test, whether positive or negative, again inform the university without delay under the same email addresses: lagezentrum(at)hs-furtwangen.de and personalabteilung(at)hs-furtwangen.de.

Your doctor's note confirming your inability to work (the yellow form) should be uploaded to HIP or sent by post to the Human Resources Department. You should also register your absence from work due to sickness in HIP.

For students: inform the university under lagezentrum(at)hs-furtwangen.de.

Why is e-learning not being introduced right away?

Introducing online teaching at Furtwangen University before 19 April is not expedient for the following reasons:

  • It is not possible to ensure that all students are treated equally and, as a result, that there are no legal issues.
  • A structured and cross-faculty approach is necessary. This cannot be carried out in an ad hoc manner.
  • Partial online teaching would unnerve students even more.
  • Furtwangen University is working flat out to make online teaching possible for ALL, while meeting legal and equal opportunity requirements:
    • Stable systems are the basis of responsible online teaching. The network of the German Research Network (Deutschen Forschungsnetzes), for example, has repeatedly crashed in the last few days.
    • Colleagues in the Learning Services (online teaching) Department are working flat out in cooperation with the relevant parties to stabilise and extend system capacity.
    • Teaching staff would be required by the University Board of Executives to adapt course content for online teaching by 19 April. Although at Furtwangen University we have established broad support systems and, in comparision with many other universities in the state, already use digital teaching widely, changing over to "100% online teaching" presents a challenge with regards to both infrastructure and teaching. This can only be met with a structured approach to change based on appropriate preparation.
    • Assistance for individual preparation for the start of lectures on 20 April will be posted online by the end of this week (week 12).

Therefore: Furtwangen University is using the time until 19 April to establish the basic requirements for planned, legally correct and systematic online teaching in preparation for the case that regular face-to-face lectures cannot be held from 20 April.

Background: by order of the Ministry of Education and the Minstry of Social Services on 11 March, universities in Baden-Württemberg are required to discontinue lectures until 19 April 2020. The order of the State Government on infection prevention measures against the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus (Corona regulation - CoronaVO) of 16 March provides the  legal basis for this. State regulations regarding online teaching were added as a supplement to the regulations passed on 16 March.

I am a visiting student in Germany. What should I do?

Please contact the International Center (international-fu(at)hs-furtwangen.de on the Furtwangen Campus or international-vs(at)hs-furtwangen.de) on the Schwenningen Campus to inform them where you are currently staying, and give them a telephone number and email address where you can be reached. Please inform them immediately if you are under quarantine or have any questions about returning to your home country.

Our International Center is in constant contact with our partner universities abroad.

If you are enrolled for the Summer Semester, you will be able to start your studies at HFU as soon as lectures start again (currently planned for 20 April 2020).

How long will the Summer Semester last?

Currently no teaching (including e-learning) or exams will take place until 19 April. This is based on a decision by the Baden-Württemberg government which has announced that all academic work should halt until 19 April. This is to ensure that all students are treated equally and that there are no legal issues.

There are two possibilities as regards the start of lectures:

Plan A: If lectures start on Monday, 20 April 2020
Lectures will be held:

  • on Saturdays
  • in the Whitsun week, i.e. there will be no Whitsun holidays from 2 - 6 June
  • on all Fridays after public holidays, i.e. on the Friday after Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) and after Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam)

End of the lecture period: Friday, 17 July 2020
Examination period: Monday, 20 July until Friday, 7 August 2020, including Saturdays

Plan B
If it is not possible to start lectures on 20 April 2020, the Ministry of Education will issue new guidelines. In this case the lecture and examination periods may extend until the end of August.

At the moment this is entirely unclear and will depend on the general guidelines for all state universities in Germany as well as the guidelines in our region.

Professors and programme coordinators are requested to look into the possibilities of holding lectures in a different format from 20 April 2020, as we must assume that normal teaching cannot be resumed even on 20 April. We want to be prepared for this eventuality.

This will require the development and coordination of initiatives in the coming weeks. We aim to achieve a unified and coordinated approach for all concerned.

Do I have access to the HFU buildings?

HFU is not closed. Access to HFU buildings is possible using the HFU-card. We are currently working on a solution for any students who have not yet reactivated their HFU-cards for the Summer Semester.

For staff: as long as there is no confinement to our homes in our region, and if working at home is not possible, it is possible to work on the HFU premises. To avoid infection of others, personal contact with other HFU staff should be kept to an absolute minimum.

What is happening with labwork?

Plans are being made to stop the processes in the labs in stages. Deans and heads of labs are requested to check and prepare for the controlled closure of labs under their responsibility. Besides technical and personnel issues, (who, what, and in what order?), potential problems and the severity of such problems (compromising of important infrastructures and devices, hazards, physical damage), as well as measures to mitigate these effects as far as possible, should also be documented. Serious problems which may occur in closing down the labs, and problems for which no suitable measures can be taken, should be registered at the control centre by email (lagezentrum(at)hs-furtwangen.de).

Currently HFU labs are still operational for research, development and transfer. All recommendations for the prevention of infection (reduced social contact, maintaining distance, hygiene), and above all, the normal lab safety rules, particularly regarding working alone, must be followed. According to the Board of Executives of the University, the situation may change on a daily basis, and therefore they strongly advise against starting any experiments which require long-term processing and monitoring.

I would like to work from home. What do I have to be aware of?
  • The University Board of Executives requests all staff and professors to take any and all measures to work at home where at all possible from 16 March on. Please leave your private contact details with your superior or dean.
  • Deans and Heads of Department are requested to maintain an overview of those who are working at home.
  • This step is intended to prevent an unnecessary commute to the University and to minimise personal contact as much as possible. It is also intended to ease any childcare problems which may occur.
  • Plan to reduce overtime and take leftover holiday in the coming weeks, inform your superior and register them on HIP or by email at personalabteilung(at)hs-furtwangen.de.
  • Unless overtime and holiday is being used up, all staff and professors are considered to be at work. If necessary those working at home may be required to come to the University, also at short notice.
  • For this reason emails should be checked regularly to enable any issues or questions raised by our students to be dealt with quickly.
  • Additionally, we ask all colleagues concerned to set up all technical systems in a way that ensures they will not have to be continuously monitored. This includes any on-going laboratory experiments.
  • HFU buildings are closed and are only accessible with the HFU-card.

General enquiries to: lagezentrum(at)hs-furtwangen.de

Are the libraries open?

No. The libraries on all three campuses are closed until further notice as of Wednesday, 18 March 2020.

  • The full range of digital services offered by the libraries can also be used at home (search for books and media).

  • For advice on services, please contact the libraries by email or by sending a ticket to the service desk.

  • If publications are required which are not available in our digital inventory, please contact the library by email.

  • Borrowing periods for all media have been extended until 4 May 2020. Until then it is unnecessary to extend the borrowing period and no reminders will be sent.

  • For urgent enquiries, the libraries can be contacted over Whatsapp at 017665821965.

Are canteens and cafeterias open?

No. The student canteens and cafeterias on the Furtwangen and Schwenningen Campuses will initially remain closed from Tuesday 17 March until 19 April 2020.

See: https://www.swfr.de/en/information-about-the-coronavirus/

Does my matriculation for the Summer Semester remain valid?

Yes.

 

Who can I ask if I have questions about my study programme?

The list of contact persons can be found here: List of contact persons.

Which university events are affected by the decision?

No events will  take place on the University premises until 19 April.

This also includes:

  • Studium Generale, Furtwangen and Open Campus Lecture, Tuttlingen, 19 March
  • Girls Day, all campuses, 26 March
  • Health Congress, Furtwangen, 1 April

Some events after 19 April have already been cancelled:

  • University Careers Fair, 6 May

Please refer to the events calendar for current information.

Are planned excursions affected?

Excursions planned to take place in the period until 19 April 2020 must be cancelled.

 

Did the First Semester Welcome event take place on 16 March?

No, the First Semester Welcome event did not take place in any form on any of our campuses on 16 March. You will be advised of the new date (after 20 April) and form of the First Semester Welcome in due course.

 

Start of lectures postponed until 20th April

Coronavirus (I23022-1)

Given the international spread of the Covid-19, our commitment is to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our community. This pandemic is a global reality that we cannot ignore. We have observed with attention, detail and rigor the official statements of the competent authorities of Germany and the recommendations of the WHO, regarding the evolution of this disease.

Following the Baden-Württemberg state government announcement, Furtwangen University will postpone the start of lectures until 20th April 2020. This measure does not mean that the university is being closed, it merely extends the current semester break. This means that the university remains open, research work is still being carried out, and staff will be present.

Postponing the start of the semester is an attempt to slow down as much as possible the spread of the corona virus. Academic and university events have been suspended until further notice at all our campuses.

All other regulations (regarding business trips, hygiene, notification of symptoms etc.) remain unchanged and must continue to be observed.

Registration regulations

Due to the rising number of COVID-19 corona virus cases, for the protection of everyone at Furtwangen University you are urgently requested to follow the instructions below:

  1. Anyone who has returned from one of the areas which the Robert Koch Institute considers at risk, plus the entire countries Austria, Switzerland, France, Danmark and Luxemburg, is not allowed to enter University premises for 14 days upon their return. The list of at-risk areas is constantly updated (in German only): https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete.html
  2. The same applies for anyone who was, or is, in contact with a person infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Such persons are also not allowed to enter the University for 14 days following contact, unless they can show that they are not infected.
  3. Anyone affected under 1.) or 2.) should immediately contact the University by email at lagezentrum(at)hs-furtwangen.de to clarify the situation with regard to employment law. Please ensure that you include a contact phone number in this email.
  4. We ask any employees planning business trips in the near future, in particular business trips abroad, to discuss with their superior which trips are essential and which could be taken at another time.

Business trips to at-risk areas will not be approved. The same restrictions apply to student excursions, etc. For approved business trips, the deciding factor is whether or not the destination is considered an at-risk area on the day of departure / whether the route goes through an at-risk area.

We ask any students affected to contact the Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt) and the contact person in the relevant faculty by email or phone to find solutions which avoid or minimise any detrimental effect on your studies.

Contact details

We would like to emphasise once more that we consider these measures to be absolutely essential to protect all concerned.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at: lagezentrum(at)hs-furtwangen.de

Additional information

Additional information on current developments and how to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus can be found on the website of the World Health Organization.