Coronavirus - Important Information for Students

Dear students of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, 

on this page you will find all information that is currently relevant for your studies at Rhine-Waal University. 

We also ask you to open your university mailbox daily so that you do not miss any important information! 

You can read further general information about COVID 19 here and here in all languages. 

 

Entering Germany 

If you are coming from a country that is classified as a risk area you must follow the entry regulations set by the German Government. The names of countries considered risk areas are published on the website of the Robert Koch Institute: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebie... Arriving passengers from these countries must contact the responsible local health authorities immediately.

Hygiene guidelines 

On 3 June 2020 the Executive Board enacted new hygiene guidelines (currently only in German) to facilitate the return to partial on-campus presence for students and staff in certain necessary cases. These guidelines describe all hygienic precautions which must be taken in order to ensure the health and safety of all members of our University. They are intended to complement, not replace, legislation and other legal guidelines currently in force in Germany. Plans for returning to partial on-campus presence must be developed internally in the faculties, central facilities, administration and other departments at the University and submitted to the Executive Board for final approval. This is to ensure compliance with the legal requirements of the health authorities.

Before you begin planning, please consider the following:

  • The semester is to be conducted as successfully as possible.
  • Online forms of instruction and assessment have priority.
  •  Practical requirements for courses should be scheduled for the end of the summer semester 2020 lecture period or as far into the subsequent lecture-free period as possible.

Plans must be both reasonable and feasible to carry out. Moreover, the actual necessity of on-campus presence should be critically examined in each instance.

Together we are responsible for ensuring that these new guidelines are upheld. Our shared goal is to navigate the ongoing crisis safely and successfully.

Regulations to offset the negative academic effects of the coronavirus epidemic (news from 15.05.2020)

Recently, the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia enacted new legislation giving universities more flexibility to address the negative effects of the coronavirus crisis. In the days since, the Executive Board has developed new regulations specifically for Rhine-Waal University based on this legislative framework. The resulting document, entitled “Regulations to offset academic adversities caused by the coronavirus epidemic (SARS-CoV-2)”, was developed together with the University’s working group for digital education and, over numerous sessions, with the Faculty Conference as representative body of the faculties. This document combines the wide-ranging provisions enacted by the government with specific policies for our institution to ensure room for flexible decision-making.

This strategy is intended to not only safeguard the digital courses and concepts which have already begun, but also to give decision makers the flexibility to react to changing circumstances without the need for additional amendments. This flexibility was enacted on Friday, 8 May 2020 via publication in the Official Notices and entered into force the next day. The decision if and when to initiate these flexible policies rests solely with the Executive Board.

As the digital summer semester 2020 is already underway, the passages in these regulations put added emphasis on distance learning. This was also done to encourage continued motivation and respect for these ongoing efforts for the duration of the pandemic. Despite its digital focus, these regulations were formulated in such a way the University can shift to forms of instruction as the situation allows and provide the faculties with more room for their own decision-making processes. Final authority for the decision to return to on-campus instruction rests with the Executive Board, which is endowed by the constitution with the fundamental responsibility of ensuring academic operations – and thus that the teaching and examination obligations of our institution are fulfilled – in normal times and in times of crisis.

Students facing hardship will receive financial support (news from 30 April 2020)

Many students have lost jobs and income due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, putting them at risk of serious financial hardship. Education Minister Karliczek wants to grant these students interest-free support loans. According to current ministry planning, students – including international students – will be able to apply for interest-free loans of to 650 euros per month and applicant until March 2021. The ministry is planning to accept applications from 8 May onwards and transfer the first funds starting on 1 June.

Note also that a relief fund is currently being set up at Rhine-Waal University with the goal of providing swift and unbureaucratic aid to students.

Virtual greetings at the start of the summer semester 2020

Unusual times require unusual measures: Since a semester greeting for the summer semester 2020 cannot take place as a face-to-face event, Professor Jörg Petri, Vice-President for Studies, Teaching and Continuing Training, Professor Dr-Ing. Peter Kisters, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Transfer, and Professor Dr Tatiana Zimenkova, Vice-President for Internationalisation and Diversity, have decided to welcome new and returning students by video. Together they provide a virtual introduction to the “cemester” (Corona semester), including an overview of what awaits students and what they need to be aware of in this very unusual situation.

You can find the video here or on our social-media channels.

The importance of self-care during the coronavirus pandemic

In our current situation in particular, many of us must learn how to deal with our own fears and anxiety. Stressful situations can cause stress reactions in our body, for example elevated heart rates, restlessness or insomnia. Taking care of yourself and your health is more important than ever. This includes respecting your own inner feelings and striving for a healthy lifestyle.

We have gathered a few thoughts for you below that will hopefully help you better manage the mental stresses caused by the coronavirus crisis. Read more

Presence events

All lectures, seminars, labs, internships, and examinations requiring you to appear in person are cancelled from Thursday, 19 March onward. All seminar and study rooms will be closed. Scheduled examinations will not take place. Solutions involving alternative examination formats are being worked on and will be announced soon by your Examination Board. 

Note that this restriction does not apply to examinations which do not require your presence on campus, e.g. take-home assignments, lab report and thesis papers. As before, these assignments, if sent by post, must be postmarked by the date of submission (sent ideally as a certified letter with notice of receipt). For examinations submitted by email, the time of receipt must be before the submission deadline. Thesis papers must be uploaded before the deadline in Sharepoint.

The application deadline is 15.04.2020. Applicants who still have questions regarding the registration for the summer semester 2020 are welcome to contact studierendenservice@hochschule-rhein-waal.de

Applications for deregistration can also be signed, scanned and sent to: studierendenservice@hochschule-rhein-waal.de 

Rest assured, we are working hard on ways to minimize not only the inconvenience of this decision, but also the disadvantages it places on you.

Will I continue to receive federal student aid (BAföG)?

The Federal Ministry for Research and Education (BMFB) has dictated to the German states and their financial assistance offices, which are responsible for disbursing federal student aid funds (BAföG), that payments must continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, students in Germany receiving BAföG will continue to receive their financial assistance even if their school, university or training organisation is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, as responsible state offices have been officially instructed to continue disbursing financial aid by the German federal government.

Official information from the BMBF is available in German here and here for reference.

What about student exchanges?

The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) is monitoring the situation. Students who have already started a stay abroad with the Erasmus+ program may cancel their stay at their own request. Students who are via Erasmus in the affected regions and cancel, will still receive Erasmus funding for the days spent abroad even if the required minimum duration is not met.

The International Center will support you with the planning of a later stay or postponement of the semester or internship abroad.

I had to prematurely end my semester / internship abroad. Will that affect my scholarship?

PROMOS scholarships do not need to be repaid. 

Erasmus students who were forced to end their stays abroad prematurely will receive scholarship funds for the period of time they spent abroad (even if this was less than the required minimum length of stay).

Students who were on an exchange at a partner university – and are still enrolled in online courses offered by that institution – will continue to receive their Erasmus scholarship even if they have returned to Germany.

What will happen with my semester abroad nomination for winter semester 2020-21?

Students approved for a semester abroad will still be nominated to our partner universities for an exchange in winter semester. Partner universities will contact each student after their individual nomination. 

Can I still do a language course?

Many different practice exercises are available for German in Moodle. Contact Mr. Brett Ellis (brett.ellis@hochschule-rhein-waal.de) if you are interested in them. Similar practice exercises for English will be rolled out soon. The International Center is currently planning online language courses exclusively for HSRW students using Moodle and the Webex tool from Cisco. More information will be published soon. We will also inform you of how and when to register. 

Which scholarships are available for financing my studies?

It is important for us, especially in the current situation, that you know which department/representative to contact in which regard and for which scholarship at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. This is why we collected the most important contact information such as information concerning responsibilities. Please find out about the scholarship regulations in detail on the mentioned webpages before you address our experts with precise questions. You can find all information here

Can I still apply for a Deutschlandstipendium?

Currently, the application process and deadlines remain unchanged. The selection committee will decide how to deal with potential delays in the study progress of current scholarship recipients. We will explore all possibilities to find a fair and favourable solution for students.

Does the Covid-19 Situation affect the duration of the scholarship?

The standard period of study has been prolonged by one semester for all students who are enrolled during summer term 2020 according to §10 the Corona-Epedemic-Act.  Due to §2 of the awarding guidlines of the Executive Board for the Deutschlandstipendium, students who have not exceeded the standard period of study for their degree are eligible for a sholarship. Therefore, the maximum scholarship duration will be increased to 8 semesters for students enrolled in a bachelor programm and to 4 semesters for students enrolled in a masters programm.

Online offers for students 

There are new online offers from the libaray on Moodle! Due to the global corona pandemic, many publishers are temporarily making e-journals, e-books and database content available for free - have a look here! A comprehensive overview of current corona research can also be found on the pages of the library

University sports go digital: check out the new online programme that you can join at home! 

The job portal on Moodle currently offers an additional secction for jobs during the corona crises. Check them our here

Information from your AStA

Electronic visa extensions in Kleve (15.04.2020)

Attention to all International students that refer to the foreign office in KLEVE for their Visa! 

Visa extentions can now be done electronically in order to get an electronic Fiktionsbescheinigung (Temporary extension) via EMAIL. Please contact the foreign office ASAP if your current situation requires a visa extension. The application has to be sent BEFORE the visa expires.

You can send your documents and inquiries to auslaenderbehoerde@kreis-kleve.de

The social order was amended!

In a remarkable initiative, the Student Parliament voted on amending our social order. After a great group effort from the Bylaw Committee and Social Committee of StuPa, as well as its' Presidency and the AStA, an amendment passed unanimously and, once approved by the judicial department of the university, will be able to provide financial aid to students directly affected by the economic effects of the corona outbreak. We will continue to keep you updated on this process.

Corona Task Force

The university established a task force with members from all relevant departments. The task force meets every Monday (online) to update each other about the progress. Our role in these meetings is to provide everyone with an efficient flow of information, from the university to the students and vice-versa. As an active member, the AStA can assure you that everyone in the university is working on finding the most optimal solution for this upcoming semester, in a way that is the less disadvantageous to the students.

Working Group Digital Teaching 2020

The uni established a new working group that includes actors from the presidency, faculties, E-Learning-Centre, ZFQ, Department 5 and a student representative. From today on, Sebastian Ege, our student representative, will meet with the working group members twice a week (online) to bring the students' point of view into the discussion and to keep us informed about the progress and developments made. He will stay in close contact with students from all faculties. So please, contact your respective FSR with your concerns and demands regarding your faculties' plans to shape your studies this semester.

FAQs

For information about the university itself, general corona information and health tips, refer to our Facebook page or the university’s website.

Social Media

Because we are not able to serve the students in person, all our output will be available on social media. We will provide you with important information, sprinkled with some entertainment to help you stay up to date and hopefully reduce your boredom quite a bit.

Instagram: asta_hsrw

Facebook: asta.hsrw

Document Delivery

If you have urgent documents to be printed, but no printer at home, contact the International Department (e-mail below) with your documents attached and we will deliver them to you as fast as possible. Until now, this service is only available in Kleve, but we are working on establishing it in Kamp-Lintfort.

Online Office Hours

AStA has moved all of its’ work into home office. That means that all departments are there for you, every single day! Share with us your questions, proposals and ideas:

International Department: asta-international@hsrw.org

KLEvent Department: asta-klevent@hsrw.org

Political Education Department: asta-political-education@hsrw.org

PR Department: asta-pr@hsrw.org

Sport Department: asta-sports@hsrw.org

Social Department: asta-social@hsrw.org

University Policy Department: asta-university-policy@hsrw.org

Campus Representatives: asta@hsrw.org

Chairman: asta-chair@hsrw.org

Information about the libraries

Information on the services currently offered by the university library can be found here

Closure of the canteens 

To protect individual health and to slow down the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the canteens at the campus Kleve and Kamp-Lintfort will be closed from 17 March 2020.

Closing of further central facilities

Due to the current developments related to the Corona Virus (SARS-CoV-2), the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences will initially be closed to the public in the following areas from Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 to Sunday, April 19th, 2020:

  • Department of Student Affairs with Central Student Advisory Service, Student Service, Examination Service, Welcome Center and course rooms for university sports and music
  • Department of Information and Communications Technology with the service desk

In addition, we ask that you use the mailboxes for mail and avoid personal contact in the post office.

We are currently working on alternative arrangements for operations and will keep you informed.

We will be happy to answer your concerns by email or phone. Ideally, you should use the respective functional email addresses for this.

Advising

The Central Student Advisory and the Welcome Centre are still available to students and prospective students. If you are dealing with uncertainty, questions and anxiety in these trying times, please contact our staff. We are here to speak with you online or by phone.

The tutors of the Welcome Centre are also continuously providing helpful tips from a student’s perspective, which can be very valuable in the current coronavirus situation.

For counselling on academic and degree specific questions (e.g. your study progress) get in touch with the Study Guides of the Faculties.

Contact Central Student Advisory

Phone: +49 2821 80673 360 Email: study@hochschule-rhein-waal.de (auch zur Vereinbarung von Onlineberatungsterminen)

Contact Welcome Centre

Email: welcome-centre@hochschule-rhein-waal.de

Facebook: Welcome Centre

Contact Study Guides

Technology and Bionics: elena.buksmann@hochschule-rhein-waal.de
Life Sciences: lena.voelkel@hochschule-rhein-waal.de
Society and Economics: studyguide-fgo@hochschule-rhein-waal.de
Communication and Environment: elena.buksmann@hochschule-rhein-waal.de

Events cancelled 

Until September 2020 all events organised by or with Rhine-Waal University have been cancelled.