Current news about Corona

Dear members of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences,
Dear students and staff,
Dear friends and supporters of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences,

On March 22, the German federal government, together with the 16 state governments of Germany, decided to implement new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. In particular, gatherings of more than two people were banned in order to reduce social interaction to a minimum. This is only the latest in a long list of restrictions over the past days and weeks that, truly, were inconceivable only a short time ago. The coronavirus has changed how we live and work in Germany fundamentally, in some cases dramatically.

Drastic changes were necessary at our University, too. This crisis is serious and we have acted accordingly: the lecture period was postponed, all events and gatherings were cancelled and emergency staffing measures were implemented on March 19. Each decision was made to reduce social interaction and increase social distancing to protect our health and avoid straining the German healthcare system in this critical time.

To protect ourselves and others, we are forced to do without that which makes us so proud and unique: direct, open and meaningful social exchange among so many diverse peoples not only among students and staff, but also with our many friends and supporters, the public, industry and other institutions throughout the region. Not only that: education, research, academic discourse – all of it has been put on hold or is only available in limited, unfamiliar ways.

Keeping our distance from each other is key at the moment. Yet even in this crisis, it is incredibly important to ensure that both the economy and society continue to function as much as possible. This notion also applies to our University as well. In order to continue working together, we must be ready to blaze new trails or shift our attention to other (digital) solutions. Work must go on and every day our IT department, the faculties, AStA and our administration, just to name a few, are experimenting with creative new solutions to show that, despite extreme social distancing, it can. In times like these, it is more important than ever to rely on logic and reason, and to maintain our humanity. Our cohesion, social tapestry and solidarity with one another are top priorities.

For you, dear students, I know how difficult the situation already is. You do not know when your exams will be. You are wondering whether the summer semester will start. You are worried that you might not be able to finance your studies. We are committed to doing our utmost to mitigate any adverse effects you will face from this situation to the fullest extent of our abilities. If you are worried about your job, your apartment or your future, please contact us. We are here to stand at your side and help you as much as possible.

Before I conclude, I want to take a moment to thank the many people who have worked hard and contributed so much over the past days and weeks despite the ongoing situation. I also want to thank the many people who will be helping to ensure that Rhine-Waal University remains operating in the weeks to come. But in particular I want to thank everyone who has shown their solidarity and offered us their help and support.

This crisis brings significant challenges and difficult times demand not only our flexibility and creativity, but also logic and level-headedness. But one thing is more certain than ever: Only together will we overcome these challenges. Only together, in shared responsibility and solidarity.

And in this spirit, I would like to conclude with some simple requests: please take care of yourself and those around you, isolate at home as much as possible and stay healthy!

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Locker-Grütjen