How Are German Universities Responding to Coronavirus Pandemic

Germany is taking the necessary measures to limit the social interaction of people in public areas in order to stop the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Federal Government has announced that gatherings of any kind, including bars, theatres, or cinemas, are to be banned for the time being. All citizens must put into practice the necessary safety measures, which include proper hand washing and social distancing, among others in order to prevent the number of infected persons from increasing.

German universities are also responding to the coronavirus pandemic, reports portal, although not to the greatest extent. Universities have postponed the beginning of the summer term until April 20th, 2020 (officially, all universities in the Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg regions). However, some universities still remain open, while research is being carried out with the participating staff. Examinations, on the other hand, are still continuing to take place.

The right to information is essential, to both domestic as well as international students. As a result, most universities in Germany are updating their websites with news of coronavirus (COVID-19), or providing answers to some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs), regarding the coronavirus, online classes, examinations, or deadline extensions.

Lecturers are advised to prepare for the possibility of online classes and digital teaching or learning. This is particularly essential, taking into consideration that numerous countries of the world that have been touched by the pandemic, are currently avoiding face-to-face teaching and opting for virtual learning instead, as a way to prevent the virus from spreading.

Although a new virus, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been reported to spread through person to person contact. What this means is that infected people can spread the virus through cough/sneeze droplets. Thus, it is important to keep proper hand hygiene, avoid crowds of people, avoid physical contact, and use tissues or the crook of your arm whenever you sneeze or cough.

It is important to know that universities are cooperating in the fight against coronavirus. Some universities have dedicated e-mail addresses or management teams as a means of student support. Most universities in the states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have closed their student facilities and libraries, providing operating hours for advising and departmental administrative offices only through email.

Anyone who has been staying in an area that was designated as a risk area by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), is prohibited from entering the higher educations in Bavaria for a period of 14 days after leaving the risk area. Similar decisions by the other German states are also likely to be made.

In addition, the DAAD has announced that Individual Scholarships for studying in Germany will not be available for the summer semester 2020. Support will be extended to those who are already holders of scholarships and unable to return to their home countries. University summer courses have also been annulled for 2020.

You can find more information for international students in Germany in our article here.

Keep in mind, coronavirus symptoms include high temperature, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone who has these symptoms is advised to call their doctor and consult them before visiting a hospital or pharmacy. You can find your local health authority by postcode, using the search tool on the Robert Koch Institute website.

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