QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ON THE CORONAVIRUS AND ITS IMPACT ON THE RHEINMAIN UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES

General

In order to minimize the risk of infection for the general public, the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences must take the following measures:

  • Persons who have the coronavirus may not enter the buildings of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences until it is proven that the affected individuals have been cured or are no longer contagious. They are excluded from the university out of due concern for the protection of others. Persons who have had contact or are maintaining contact with individuals affected by the novel coronavirus (e.g. because they are caring for them), are also excluded from the university for the duration of the contact and for a further 14 days.
  • Persons who have been in risk areas within the last 14 days are excluded from all university buildings for 14 days after their entry to Germany, regardless of whether or not they are showing symptoms. Latest information on risk areas (in German)
  • The university expects all persons (staff/students) who enter the buildings to wear a mouth/nose protection (mask) in the corridors and common areas.
  • The university expects compliance with minimum distancing of 1.5 m.
  • The seminar rooms will remain closed outside of classes/examinations. The study spaces for students will also not be available to students until further notice.

 

Hygiene plan of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences

The hygiene plan of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences includes mandatory guidelines for all parts of the university, such as for room hygiene and upcoming examinations, and is a central part of our strategy for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on the latest directives from the state government and is updated on an ongoing basis.

Go to the hygiene plan of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences (PDF, 150 KB)

 

Format of the summer semester 2020 and the winter semester 2020/2021

In a joint letter, the Hessian Minister for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, Angela Dorn, and university presidents have announced state-wide guidelines for the organization of the summer semester 2020.

Download statement from 5 April 2020 as a PDF (PDF, 200 KB)

In a second joint letter, Angela Dorn and the university presidents provide information about the current status and next steps for the current semester and for also the beginning of the next semester.

Download statement from 8 June 2020 (in German, PDF, 220 KB)

Teaching in the summer semester will be run primarily using digital options. The dates of the summer semester will therefore not be postponed. The teaching periods may be able to be distributed in a flexible manner over the summer semester. The Deans’ Offices will determine the specific structure for teaching and examination periods at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences.

 

Opening of the university libraries at all locations for essential operations

All locations of the University and State library are open for the borrowing and return of items as part of essential operations (Opening hours).
Please enter the library only if your nose and mouth are covered and please keep your distance.
The workstations and reading rooms remain inaccessible until further notice. Special arrangements apply to the reading room at the Rheinstraße location (in German).

If you have queries or need assistance in finding material, please contact the appropriate section by e-mail (information-hlb(at)hs-rm.de) or by phone (Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) :

  • Borrowing questions: +49 611 9495 -1830
  • Other information and advice: +49 611 9495 -1820

You can find more detailed information on opening hours and other services (e.g. use of digital media, interlibrary loans) at https://www.hs-rm.de/hlb/corona-zeit (in German)

 

Will university buildings remain closed?

The university buildings have been open again at all entrances since 29 June 2020, from Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Important: All seminar and study work spaces will remain closed.

In special cases, exceptions may be granted under the condition that required social distancing rules and hygiene measures are met, in accordance with the university’s hygiene plan. These include, for example, access to libraries (open for essential operations), examinations, internships and work which requires access to laboratories. The applicable access provisions for the relevant rooms will be communicated on an individual basis.
For essential/administrative operations, keyholders have the necessary access rights, or will receive these from their managers.

 

Gatherings on university campuses

The state of Hesse decided on Wednesday, 10 June 2020, to ease the prohibition of contact. According the new rules, from 11 June 2020 groups of a maximum of ten people are again able to meet in public together. This also applies to the university grounds.

Read the full press release. (in German)

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What should I do if I believe that I have been infected?

Always first follow the advice on the Robert Koch Institute website. The RKI advises people who show symptoms and who have previously been in an area in which Covid-19 cases are occurring, or who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, to call a doctor or emergency medical services on the number 116 117.

This is very important: it is essential to contact the practice by telephone first, before visiting it in person.  By doing so, you will protect yourself and others.

Employees who have had contact with someone who has been confirmed as having the coronavirus must immediately contact the responsible public health department (“Gesundheitsamt”). This contact must be made in all cases – regardless of whether or not symptoms appear.

The German Federal Ministry of Health has set up a coronavirus hotline. This number is +49 30 34 64 65 100.

A coronavirus hotline from the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs can also be contacted on the number 0800 5554666, each day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Please also follow the instructions from the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.

 

Do students and staff who have been in quarantine need to be tested before they are again allowed to take part in university life?

Local health authorities who have ordered the quarantine will decide this. Their instructions must be followed. The authority will also decide whether the quarantine should be lifted and whether there should be any restrictions.

 

Social contacts: What should I generally be aware of in everyday study or work routines?

To minimize the risk of infection, the hygiene rules must be complied with. Social contacts should be reduced as much as possible. For everyday working routines, it is therefore recommended to use digital options (telephone, e-mail etc.) wherever possible and limit in-person contact. For example, office hours should take place online or by phone if it all possible, until further notice.
At present, students should enter the university only for essential reasons and should practice appropriate behavior when doing so (keeping a distance, handwashing etc.).

 

How will students and staff be notified about the latest measures and information on handling the coronavirus at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences?

Comprehensive information and advice will be sent by e-mail, with summaries provided on the university website www.hs-rm.de/corona and via official social media channels. Staff will also receive advice and tips for working from home on the HSRM Intern internal pages (using their HDS login). The university administration therefore requests you to continue to check your university e-mail regularly. Should new, relevant information for staff and students of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences be made available, the president’s office will announce this via the channels noted above.

 

Who can people associated with the university contact if they have specific questions?

The RheinMain University of Applied Sciences has set up a co-ordinating team. The team can be reached at corona(at)hs-rm.de. Please first check whether your question has already been answered by the FAQ before contacting us.

What options do I have to hold lectures, seminars 2020 etc. online?

For teaching in summer semester 2020, the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences is making available the products Webex Meetings (in German) and Webex Training (in German) from Cisco. You can use these to livestream your lectures, as well as to carry out tutorials (“Übungen”), seminars, and office hours. At this link (in German) you can find installation instructions, an overview of features and tips for using the tools in various teaching and learning scenarios. Please also include asynchronous formats in your plans, due to the varying technical equipment of students.

In additiono to holding synchronous, live events, the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences offers numerous other options for online or online-supported teaching:

  • Make available scripts and other teaching materials for preparation and revision on Stud.IP and ILIAS.
  • Record screencasts of your presentations or simply explanatory videos.
  • Create tutorial units with work instructions and completion deadlines.
  • Make available self-tests that support the content you are covering during the semester to your students to help them track their progress.
  • Support online-based cooperation using group functions.

Familiarize yourself with these and other options on the pages of the Didaktik und Digitale Lehre team (in German).

 

What should I do if I am a staff member and am in one of the risk groups?

State employees who belong to a risk group can now work from home. Working from home is permitted for this risk group up to and including 12 June 2020.

“The Hessian state government has decided that state employees who are over 60 years of age, as well as people with certain pre-existing conditions, may work from home if their job allows them to. The Robert Koch Institute believes that there is a significantly higher risk of a more severe illness caused by coronavirus for persons aged over 60 years. This higher risk also applies to people with certain pre-existing conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, diseases of the respiratory system, liver, kidney, cancer, and staff who have weakened immune systems.” (Source: Press release from the Hessian state government, in German)

In the event of doubt over whether you are included in this group, please seek medical advice.

Should it not be possible to work from home, or it is no longer possible to do so – possibly because of the duration of the ongoing situation – your activities should be conducted at the workplace while adhering to the social distancing rules and hygiene standards from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). This applies particularly if your role includes specific tasks at the university that need to be completed in order to maintain university operations. Members of risk groups should check with their managers to what extent working from home is still possible. Should it become apparent that the work to be completed can only be done with an in-person presence at the university, there is generally an obligation to comply with this. Should you or your manager have concerns about whether the work environment on campus complies with the advice from the RKI, the Occupational Medicine Service (BAD) of the university may be asked to provide an assessment.

It is essential to notify your manager of your status and to co-ordinate with him or her about home office options.

More information on risk groups (in German)

 

What should I do if I am part of a risk group but my job is not possible to carry out from home?

It is essential to notify your manager of your status and to co-ordinate with him or her about home office options. If you do not have the ability to work from home, you must perform your duties at the university. The distancing and hygiene regulations must be followed when doing so.

 

I live with people at home who are members of a risk group. Can I work from home in this case, if I am an employee?

You may work from home only if mobile working provisions in accordance with the prevailing work agreement have been approved, or under existing approvals under the teleworking work agreement.

 

Childcare in the event of closure of daycare centers and schools

If daycare centers and schools are closed, flexitime, leave, and special leave without pay may be taken in accordance with the usual provisions. Parents who are affected may, in consultation with their managers, also work from home until 31 August 2020 inclusive if their jobs permit them to do so, in accordance with instructions from the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK). Please co-ordinate with your manager about the options for mobile working in accordance with the e-mail from 29 June 2020.

Please see the provisions on documenting time spent on work activities on the Arbeiten im Homeoffice (working from home) internal guidelines pages (in German, accessible with an HDS login).

 

Childcare for particular occupational groups

From 2 June, limited regular childcare in daycare centers will again be offered for certain occupational groups (in German) in Hesse. This also includes sole caregivers and individuals who are employed in core areas of research and academic administration and who are required to perform their duties in the workplace. For these groups, the short-notice emergency childcare in Fluggi-Land will also be available again.

In order to access childcare in your daycare center or at Fluggi-Land, you will need this form and written confirmation from your manager that justifies the necessity of your presence at the university. Sole parents require only the form, as they have a right to childcare even when working from home.

Please send these documents to the HR department by post. After the approved form has been returned to you, you can present this to your daycare center.

 

Can I bring my children to work, given the difficulty of childcare arising from the current school and daycare center closures?

No children may be brought to work, in order to reduce the risk of infection.

 

Relatives in need of care in the event of closure of adult daycare facilities

If an adult daycare center is closed due to measures taken to avoid coronavirus infections, flexitime, leave and leave without pay may be taken in accordance with the normal provisions. In addition, staff caring for a family member may, in consultation with their managers, also work from home until 31 August 2020 in accordance with the instructions from the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK), if their jobs permit them to do so. Please co-ordinate with your manager about the options for mobile working in accordance with the e-mail from 29 June 2020.

Please see the provisions on documenting time spent on work activities on the Arbeiten im Homeoffice (working from home) internal guidelines pages (in German, accessible with an HDS login).

 

What are the rules for working from home from 1 July 2020?

In accordance with the instructions from the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK) of 28 May 2020, staff who are not part of a risk group and who do not having caring responsibilities will return to the workplace from home offices from 1 July, in compliance with distancing and hygiene rules. Additionally, the new work agreement on mobile working from the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences that has been in force since 30 June 2020 provides more flexibility, in consultation with managers. Please read the related instructions in the e-mail from 29 June 2020.

Irrespective of the work agreement on mobile working, staff who are members of the exceptional group listed in the HMWK instructions may continue to work from home in coordination with their managers until 31 August 2020, provided that their work is suitable for this.

Staff will also find tips and information about working from home on the HSRM Intern internal pages (using their HDS login).

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Reporting sick: What should I do if I feel sick?

If you feel sick, have a fever or show signs of having a cold, please stay at home and call in sick.

All staff must continue to report as sick to their department from the first day of illness. Only from the fourth calendar day of illness is there a requirement to produce a certificate of incapacity for work.

 

Are public events and conferences being held?

Public events will not be held until 31 October 2020 and must be canceled. In-person conferences and meetings that cannot be postponed will not take place during the summer semester and must be canceled.

 

How should work, field, study, and research trips be handled?

The university expects that staff will not make any trips to countries outside the Federal Republic of Germany that the Federal Government has deemed the region to be a risk and if this travel is not urgently required.

Managers and those undertaking work trips must carefully evaluate whether the work trip is absolutely essential. Alternative communication options such as video and telephone conferencing should be given priority in the evaluation.

Applications must demonstrate to the university administration that it is essential to carry out the specific work trip and that no alternative communication options exist.

You can find the application for work travel during the coronavirus pandemic here (in German).

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I have general authorization to travel between the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences campuses in Wiesbaden and Rüsselsheim. Do I need to eliminate these work trips?

Travel and work-related trips between the university campuses are exempt from the ban on work travel.

 

Will internal training courses continue to take place?

No in-person AGWW events and internal iwib seminars will take place until at least 30 September 2020. You can find the online services at www.hs-rm.de/iwib and www.agww-hessen.de.

 

What happens if I have become infected and am in quarantine? Will I continue to receive my employee salary?

If an employee has become infected and/or is placed under quarantine and/or his or her incapacity for work is certified by a doctor, the usual continued payment of wages for illness or equivalent compensation will apply.

 

Will I continue to receive my salary if the university is closed?

As far as we are currently aware, staff will receive continued payment of wages or appropriate compensation even in the event of a temporary closure of the university.

This provision will also apply to student assistants. Staff who are capable of working, and whose jobs permit them to do so, should work from home during this period.

In the event of a closure, you will be informed again in detail about appropriate provisions.

Issuance of degree certificates

Degree certificates are now gradually being printed. Once your degree certificates are ready at the Admissions Office, you will receive a corresponding message from the office with instructions for collecting the documents or having them posted. No action is therefore required on your part.

Students from the Wiesbaden Business School will be advised by their faculty when their degree certificates are ready. In urgent cases, please contact the WBS ServiceCenter at service-wbs(at)remove-this.hs-rm.de.

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What form will teaching take in the summer semester from 20 April 2020 onwards?

Teaching in the summer semester will be run primarily using digital options.

Students are being asked to keep themselves informed by checking the specific webpages for their degree programs for more detailed information. Please also check the e-mails for your university account regularly in case you are notified by the Dean’s Office or by those in charge of individual programs about current measures by e-mail.

Joint letter (5 April 2020) from the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts and university presidents with state-wide guidelines for the organization of the summer semester 2020: Download as a PDF (in German)

Joint letter (8 June 2020) from the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK) and the university presidents the current status and next steps for the current semester and also for the beginning of the next semester. Download as PDF (220 KB)

 

Will there still be in-person events this semester? Will the small group internships that take place in subjects such as engineering potentially be able to take place in the second half of the semester?

We hope that on-campus programs will be possible again soon. However, given the dynamic nature of the requirements set by the Federal Government, we do not know when on-campus teaching will again be possible in what form. This also applies to internships. It is likely that a mix of in-person and online formats will be offered.

We advise you to keep informed by checking the specific webpages for your degree programs for more detailed information. Please also check the e-mails for your university account regularly in case you are notified by the Dean’s Office or by those in charge of individual programs about current measures by e-mail.

 

When will the winter semester 2020/2021 begin? Will the winter semester 2020/2021 run in person again?

The winter semester 2020/2021 will officially commence as usual on 1 October 2020, however the start of lectures is set down for 2 November 2020 throughout the state. Classes for higher semesters may begin as early as October 2020. The relevant faculty will inform you of the details.

Whether the winter semester 2020/21 will again take place in person remains uncertain. Currently we are assuming that a mix of in-person and online formats will be offered.

 

I have not validated and/or received my StudentCard. How can I now receive a SemesterTicket (semester public transport pass)?

Validation of the StudentCard is now possible again. Validation stations are accessible at all locations during the building opening hours.

 

How is the StudentCard issued?

Students who were newly enrolled in the summer semester 2020, can now collect their StudentCards from Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m to 12 noon at the i-Punkt of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden:

Campus Kurt-Schumacher-Ring 18
65197 Wiesbaden
Building A, garden level

Please use the entrance to Building A on the garden level by the i-Punkt (at the end of the path that starts at Building G).

The StudentCard can only be issued personally, not to an authorized person. Please bring your current personal ID/passport and your current SemesterTicket for students (RMV/RNN/NVV ticket) with you.

Note: The StudentCard can only be handed out in exchange for the original SemesterTicket, not in exchange for the transitional ticket that was valid until 30 June and which was made available to print out on COMPASS. The original SemesterTicket is the “Preliminary student ID” on gray paper that you received after enrollment.

Your SemesterTicket is valid until 30 September 2020. You must have exchanged your preliminary student ID for the StudentCard by this date.

Students who are studying a degree at the Rüsselsheim campus may collect their StudentCard in Rüsselsheim (Am Brückweg 26, 65428 Rüsselsheim, room A-009) on the following two dates.

  • 21 July 2020 from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.
  • 29 July 2020 from 9.30 a.m. to 12 noon

Outside of these two dates, the cards can be collected from the i-Punkt in Wiesbaden.

Students who did not collect their StudentCard in the previous semester may also collect it at the above locations and times.

There may be waiting times due to high demand.

 

What should I do if I am a staff member and am in one of the risk groups?

The following provision for risk groups among state employees will also apply analogously to students and student assistants with severe pre-existing conditions.

IMPORTANT:All student assistants at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences who are in one of the risk groups can work from home. Working from home is permitted for this risk group until 31 August 2020. Please make arrangements for this with your manager. Please note that there is no obligation to work from home for the risk groups listed above. This is an option which the affected staff should consider individually, seeking medical advice where necessary. You can find more information in these FAQ under Information for staff.

It is essential to notify your manager of your status and to co-ordinate with him or her about home office options.

IMPORTANT: All students at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences who are in one of the risk groups should seek medical advice to clarify to what extent taking part in an exam requiring in-person attendance constitutes an unreasonable health risk. In such a case, please notify the examiner without delay and before the exam is held.

 

Will exams take place at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in summer semester 2020?

All examinations in summer semester 2020 that do not absolutely require in-person attendance will generally take place. The form in which this can happen falls under the responsibility of the relevant Examination Board. Please also pay attention to the latest information from your faculty.

Written theses may be submitted by post. If this is not possible, documents or written assignments may be submitted digitally. If theses are submitted digitally, please ensure that a deposit copy is handed as soon as is possible. A written declaration should be made to certify that the submitted digital copy and the printed copy are identical. You can find out details from the responsible Examination Board.

Theses which include an (artistic) physical object may be submitted in the first instance using digital photography if arrangements are made for this with the examiner. The details should be clarified with the relevant supervisor. In this case too, the original should be submitted once this is possible.

 

What should I do if I am classed as being part of a risk group with a greater restriction on my freedom of movement when prohibitions on contact are loosened for non risk-groups and on-campus examinations are held?

If you a member of a risk group and are therefore unable to take part in an in-person examination, please contact your Examination Board. You should apply for compensation for your disadvantage, which may take the form of a contactless (digital) examination or a postponement. You will need to provide medical evidence that you belong to a risk group. It is up to the Examination Board to determine the exact compensation for the disadvantage. Alternatively, you may consider bringing forward modules from later semesters that require contactless examinations (e.g. term papers) and to take a problematic module later. The Student Counseling service for your degree program will be happy to advise you in this regard.

 

Is it true that examination attempts will not be counted in this semester?

No. It is correct that you will have easier withdrawal options prior to an examination. However, once you have started an examination, the usual rules familiar to you will apply.

 

Can I sit an exam if I am subject to an exclusion order?

IIndividuals who are subject to an exclusion order may not take part in examinations. These individuals should contact the Examination Board for their relevant degree program.

 

How can I contact the Admissions Office, Student Counseling Office and the iPunkt?

i-Punkt:

The iPunkt can be contact by phone and by e-mail from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m (until 1 p.m. on Fridays). From 22 June 2020, the i-Punkt is open daily from 9 a.m. to 12 noon for the personal collection of degree certificates and certified documents.

Go to contact options

Admissions Office:

The Admissions Office can be contacted by phone and e-mail from Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Go to contact options

Student Counseling Office:

Until further notice, you can contact the Student Counseling Office directly by e-mail or via the online counseling portal. Via the i-Punkt, you can make an appointment to meet by telephone, video or online chat:

Go to contact options

The Psychological Counseling team is offering phone appointments:

go to the contact options

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Can I access childcare?

From 2 June, limited regular childcare will again be offered in childcare facilities in Hesse for certain occupational groups. Students are included in these groups. For these groups, the short-notice emergency childcare in Fluggi-Land will also be available again. For emergency childcare in Fluggi-Land, it is sufficient to present your student ID. To find out what documents are required for childcare at other daycare centers, please contact the relevant institution.

 

Are cafeterias open?

All catering facilities operated by Studentenwerk Frankfurt am Main remain closed.

 

Is it possible for AStA and other student bodies to also use online meeting software for which you have licenses, such as Webex?

Yes, this is possible. As contracts are currently being signed, more detailed information will follow shortly.

 

What is the situation with Adobe and Microsoft licenses? Can these also be used by AStA or purchased on preferential terms? This is currently under review.

Students can also use Adobe products until 31 May 2020. Adobe is updating its license terms. The faculty administrators will be notified as to how you can authorize students on the Adobe portal. For Microsoft the situation is different. In this case there is the option to use Microsoft 365. Unfortunately there are currently difficulties with access rights. The IT and Media Center (IMTZ) is working with the provider to resolve the issue.

 

What provisions are there for internships outside the university?

For students who are completing an internship, external thesis etc. outside the university, the regulations of the internship organization apply in addition to the regulations of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences. In the event of contradictions between the provisions of the internship organization and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, the regulations that protect your health more comprehensively shall apply.

In the event of contradictory regulations or if there may be potential consequences for your academic achievement, please contact your supervisor at the university (preferably by telephone or e-mail) to co-ordinate the next steps.

 

Will I continue to receive my ‘BAföG’ financial support if the university has closed or if there are entry bans?

German Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek has stated that BAföG recipients do not need to worry about disadvantages arising from the coronavirus epidemic. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) ruled in a decree on Friday, 13 March 2020 that BAföG recipients will continue to be paid their educational assistance even in the event of university closures or bans on entering other countries.

The BMBF also announced in the same press release that first-year students whose first semester will be delayed due to the pandemic will receive their BAföG assistance as if the in-person lectures had begun on the date originally scheduled. It has also been decided that the participation in online teaching options will be made compulsory under the requirements for receiving financial assistance as soon as online teaching becomes available at educational institutions.

The responsible office for educational assistance (‘Amt für Ausbildungsförderung’) at the relevant student union (‘Studierendenwerk/Studentenwerk’) will be available to assist.

Read the full press release

Further information from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) about BAföG (in German)

You can find more information about student funding on the website of the Studentenwerk Frankfurt am Main (in German)

 

I’m spending a semester abroad and would like to withdraw from this. What happens then?

No-one should be obliged to undertake or continue to study abroad, even if the travel is not to or via a risk area, as defined by the Robert Koch Institute or German Federal Foreign Office. If the planned travel cannot take place or is aborted due to the coronavirus, we will declare these study abroad periods to be “force majeure” events.

 

Will preliminary and block courses or internships within the university etc. take place?

Preparatory and block courses, internships within the university, and all other teaching-related events that require in-person attendance will be run online if possible.