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Coronavirus

Information regarding the coronavirus disease

Taskforce Digital Teaching

Update 03/04/2020: Summer semester 2020: Start of the lecture period on 20 April 2020

In a letter dated April 3, 2020, the Bavarian State Minister for Science and Art, Bernd Sibler, Member of the Bavarian State Parliament, sent further information to the Bavarian state universities on teaching activities in the current summer semester against the background of the corona crisis, which includes the following key statements:

 

1. Semester and lecture times

The semester times in the summer semester 2020 remain unchanged at all types of universities.

The lecture period in the summer semester 2020 starts on 20 April 2020 at all types of higher education institutions (note: according to the already existing regulations for the HAWs/THs). It is still possible to shorten the end of the lecture period, which has been postponed from 12 March 2020 to 7 August 2020 on the basis of the "Ordinance on the Lecture Period at Universities of Applied Sciences and on the Teaching Period at Universities of the Arts in the Summer Semester 2020".

 

2. Teaching

The universities should offer the courses scheduled for the summer semester as comprehensively as possible. This is primarily achieved by developing and implementing digital courses. All students are strongly recommended by the Ministry to take advantage of these offers. The planning for the summer semester 2020 should also take the following semester into consideration.

With regard to the obligation of the teaching staff to cooperate in digital offerings, reference is made to the StMWK (Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art) letter of 31 March 2020, which states that every person obliged to teach has the obligation to cooperate in the fulfilment of the task incumbent on his or her university for the academic education of students.

With regard to the practical semesters, the StMWK points out that reasons for not being able to undertake ones practical semester caused by the corona pandemic may constitute "unjustifiable reasons". This should help to solve bottlenecks in the summer semester 2020.

 

3. Examinations

Examinations taken in the summer semester 2020 count. The universities are asked to clarify whether these examinations can be designed as free (additional) examination attempts or whether they can be repeated.

Nevertheless, all students are strongly recommended to take the offered examinations in order to avoid a delay in the progress of their studies.

It is suggested not to focus solely on digital examinations, but to clarify whether presence-based examinations can also be replaced by other forms of examination appropriate to the situation.

According to the StMWK, the implementation of digital examinations is permissible under higher education law, but this form of examination must be regulated in the examination regulations of the university. It is considered justifiable to specify a digital examination as an alternative examination form in a general examination regulation.

 

4.BAföG

As far as universities maintain their teaching activities by means of online offers, the following applies according to the current BAföG-legal decree: Students who receive BAföG benefits are obliged to use online offers to the same extent as normal teaching activities and to make use of them according to their possibilities and to continue their education in this way.

Students who are unable to provide all or any of the services planned due to the crisis should not suffer any disadvantages.

 

The university boards will deal with the individual framework conditions and their arrangement in a timely manner and you will receive further information.

In his letter, the Minister of State Sibler explicitly thanks everyone for the intensive preparations already underway and the short-term development of comprehensive alternative teaching concepts, with special emphasis on online teaching.

 

Your University Management

 

Update 30/03/2020: Taskforce Digital Teaching

Dear students,
Dear colleagues,

The containment of the corona pandemic continues to present us with challenges in maintaining university operations. We continue to pursue the strategy that our teaching staff use the time available to provide the best possible support for our students with the help of digital teaching methods.

In this context, a "Taskforce Digital Teaching" has taken up work at our university. The goals of the project team of about twenty members are in particular

  • Supporting the transition from classroom teaching to online supported teaching
  • Securing the teaching operation
  • Selection and provision of suitable tools
  • Design and creation of necessary system environments (hardware and software)
  • Advice and training in digital teaching

The following initiatives have already been launched:

1. Control and guidance of communication

Functional e-mail addresses have been set up to communicate requirements and suggestions to the project team, e.g. questions about tools for preparing online content (anforderung@oth-aw.de) or as a contact point for suggestions, tips and best practices (vorschlag@oth-aw.de).

2. Preparation of an information channel

We will provide a central information medium through which you will find help with questions, e.g. tool recommendations or screen casts for handling.

3. Setting up web conference rooms

Within the framework of the university infrastructure, conference rooms are being prepared in which meetings in the university, e.g. committee meetings, can be held. Web conference rooms are also being set up for lecturers to interact with students.

4. Moodle consultation

A web conference room will be set up to provide support in using the Moodle learning management system. This is also where lecturers can find quick help in using Moodle.

 

The Taskforce Digital Teaching is committed to ensuring that our teaching is digitally supported. We are also working together with the faculties, the examination board, the study office and other institutions of the university to ensure that the summer semester 2020 is not disadvantageous for anyone. Further information will follow shortly.

 

Your university management

 

Update 19/03/2020: Regulation regarding the lecture-free period in the summer semester 2020

The Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art has issued and published the "Regulation of the Lecture Period at Universities of Applied Sciences and on the Teaching Period at Universities of the Arts in the Summer Semester 2020" in the Bavarian Ministerialblatt of 13 March 2020 (BayMBl. 2020 No. 113, 2210-5-1-WK). The regulation became effective on 15 March 2020.

The Ministry of State subsequently provided information to the universities on 18 March 2020, and the concretisations are legally binding:

According to § 1 (Lecture period at the universities of applied sciences) the lecture period in the summer semester 2020 at the universities of applied sciences starts on 20 April 2020.

On the basis of the above-mentioned regulation, and in particular on the basis of the concretization of 18 March 2020 by the StMWK, the period up to 20 April is a "lecture-free time". Since this defined lecture-free period (as in "regular" academic years) does not represent a "semester break", (compulsory) courses can be held here in accordance with the study and examination regulations - but not with attendance. For this purpose, the OTH Amberg-Weiden offers digital courses at least until April 19, 2020. These will enable students to prepare individually during this time.

For reasons of equal opportunities, students must not and should not suffer any disadvantage overall. We want to and will ensure that courses relevant to the exams will still be available from 20.04.2020 or, if necessary, will be offered again.

 

With a view to studyability and, above all, for reasons of equal opportunities, we will set the examination dates in such a way that even those students who will only be able to access the courses in question after the regular start of lectures on 20 April 2020 will have an appropriate amount of time to prepare for the examinations in the summer semester 2020. The examination period will be coordinated within the University Management, the Extended University Management and with the Examination Committee.

All lecturers are once again requested to provide online offers as far as possible in order to conduct courses of the summer semester 2020 in digital form until 20.04.2020 and possibly beyond this date.

In any case, the OTH Amberg-Weiden strives to ensure an orderly course of studies for the students (including the dual students) in the summer semester 2020.

 

Office of student affairs closed

Dear students,
due to the current situation we would like to inform you that the office of student affairs at both locations will not be open until further notice.
For urgent matters, please contact us via telephone and email.
If you study in Weiden, please send your dissertations via mail or drop them in the mailbox in front of the library,
in Amberg, please continue to clarify the submission with the faculty.

We wish you all the best, stay healthy.
Your office of student affairs in Amberg and Weiden.

 

Update 18/03/2020: Temporary closure of the canteens and cafeterias of the Studentenwerk Oberfranken from March 18, 2020


The Studentenwerk Oberfranken has announced that the canteens and cafeterias on the Amberg and Weiden campuses will be closed from March 18, 2020 until further notice.

University management
18/03/2020

 

Update 17/03/2020: Temporary closure of the university's computer labs from 17 March 2020

In order to prevent students from infecting each other in the computer labs (PC pools) at the university, the computer labs at OTH Amberg-Weiden will remain closed until further notice.

Services that are only offered in the university network of the OTH Amberg-Weiden can still be used via VPN.

Instructions for use and, if necessary, setup can be found on the info page of the computer center (“Rechenzentrum“): www.oth-aw.de/informieren-und-entdecken/einrichtungen/rechenzentrum/vpn-zugang-zur-oth/

In justified exceptional cases, students can apply for access authorisations from the respective faculty administrations.

University Management,

17/03/2020

New opening hours study office (Studienbüro) Amberg and Weiden

Dear students,

on this occasion we would like to inform you that the study office at both locations will only be open from 10 to 11 a.m. daily until further notice. For urgent matters, please use the telephone and e-mail. Please send your dissertations at the Weiden location by mail or drop them in the mailbox outside of the library, in Amberg, please continue to clarify the submission with the faculty/dean’s office (Dekanat).

We wish you all the best, stay healthy,

Your study office in Amberg and Weiden

 

Update 13/03/2020: Closure of the library reading rooms to the public

In a letter dated 13 March 2020, the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and Art instructed that from 14 March 2020, all library reading rooms at Bavarian state universities will be closed to the public for the time being until 19 April 2020. The rest of the service will be maintained.

This instruction concerns the reading rooms of our libraries on campus in Amberg and Weiden.

Information on online access, electronic media, etc., which will remain available and can be used, as well as further information on using the library during this period, will be provided soon.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Klug
President
OTH Amberg-Weiden

 

Update 12/03/2020

As already communicated on 10 March 2020, the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and Art has postponed the start of the attendance-based events of the summer semester 2020 at the Technical Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences from 16 March 2020 to 20 April 2020 with the aim of containing or slowing down the spread of the coronavirus. On 10 March 2020, we were instructed by the Ministry to discontinue classroom teaching with immediate effect. Other functions such as administration, research or libraries are to be maintained in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Science.

On 10 March 2020, we also received further information from the Ministry on the handling and immediate adaptation of the corresponding regulations for the lecture period by the State Ministry.

It is a top priority for the university management to inform you as early as possible how things will proceed. Our goal is to ensure that students can continue their studies despite the changed conditions.

1. Enrollment

Students are enrolled as of 16 March 2020 according to the certificate of enrolment. The StMWK (The Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art) is currently working on solutions for related challenges, such as BAföG.

2. Lectures

The postponement of the start of the lecture period by the Ministry of Science to 20 April 2020 means that classroom teaching and practical courses accompanying lectures may only be held from 20 April 2020 onwards. In the period from 16 March 2020 to 19 April 2020, however, teaching formats that do not require attendance, such as online lectures, can be carried out in order to distribute the workload as well as possible over the semester despite the current situation. Therefore the period 16 March 2020 to 19 April 2020 is not a lecture-free period. According to the current situation, the lecture period ends on 10 July 2020.

There are various possibilities for online offers, which are communicated to the lecturers in a later email. Further information on the procedure and format of the respective courses until 19 April 2020 or for the entire summer semester will be communicated to the students by the respective lecturers as soon as possible.

We are required by the ministry to complete the total teaching time planned for the summer semester 2020. Courses that cannot be held online must therefore be made up for. Additional dates after 20 April 2020 are reserved for a further e-mail.

3. Exams, project and final papers

As things stand at present, the examination period of the summer semester will remain as planned. The examination schedules will be drawn up in good time by the chairpersons of the examination commission.

Examination access to the examinations of the winter semester 2019/2020, which is granted by colleagues at the beginning of the summer semester, is in principle also possible before 20 April 2020. For this purpose, students and their respective lecturers agree on an individual appointment. Group appointments are not possible. However, it is recommended that the examination inspection be postponed until after 20 April 2020.

The topics for seminar and project work should be assigned by the respective lecturers, e.g. via e-mail. For the presentation of topics, online events are a good option. The otherwise usual kick-off event for projects may also only take place online until 20 April 2020.

Bachelor's and Master's theses including the assignment of new topics will continue as planned. The submission deadlines remain unaltered. The final theses will of course continue to be supervised - usually online, e.g. by e-mail or by telephone. The registration of new Bachelor and Master theses is also still possible. Final presentations of bachelor and master theses are possible, but no other students may attend these presentations in addition to the lecturer before 20 April 2020.

4. University internal meetings, committee meetings

University internal meetings may take place until further notice.

5. Events

Events for which students acquire credit points may not be held until 20 April 2020.

Courses outside of teaching with external participants and a small number of participants can also be held before 20 April 2020 in individual cases. These individual case decisions are reserved for the university management. The same applies to continuing education events with external participants.

The Girls' Day on 28 March 2020 is cancelled and no further major events are planned.

The library remains open until further notice.

In this currently very dynamic situation, the university management will continuously announce changes. We ask for your understanding and for your help in coping with the current situation as well as the circumstances.

Please follow the instructions and thus make an important contribution!

You are also welcome to contact my colleagues in the university management, the deans and myself personally.

6. University Facilities

In this currently very dynamic situation, the university management will continuously announce changes. We ask for your understanding and for your help in coping with the current situation as well as the circumstances.

Please follow the instructions and thus make an important contribution!

You are also welcome to contact my colleagues in the university management, the deans and myself personally.

 

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alfred Höß
Vice President
OTH Amberg-Weiden

 

Recommendations of the OTH Amberg-Weiden for handling the coronavirus

The risk posed by COVID-19 to the health of the population in Germany is currently assessed as moderate by the responsible institutes and authorities (see www.rki.de). This assessment may change at short-notice in case of new findings. The university management is continuously monitoring the development and will update the catalogue of measures to be taken in the event of new findings.

We recommend that all members of the OTH Amberg-Weiden (i.e. all professors, lecturers, staff and especially students) who are abroad during the semester break or at present, visit the websites of the Robert Koch Institute, the WHO, the Federal Foreign Office  and the Federal Ministry of Health for up-to-date information. The Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety has also set up a telephone hotline (Tel. 0 91 31/ 68 08 51 01).

If the current situation in our region changes, we will inform you immediately via this page.

University Management, 10/3/2020

 

In connection with the current developments, the Crisis Committee of the Bavarian State Government adopted the following measures and findings (bullet points 1 - 3) for all Bavarian universities at its meeting on 1 March 2020:

1) Travel returnees from risk areas without symptoms

Adults who have been in a risk area (according to the Robert Koch Institute, risk areas are areas in which continued human-to-human transmission can be suspected) within the last 14 days and who do not show any symptoms of illness are not required to be excluded from work or service. However, in order to inform about the whereabouts, employees of the Free State of Bavaria are obliged to send an e-mail to gesundheit @ oth-aw . de immediately after their return; please put superiors in "CC".

If symptoms of the disease occur, those affected should stay at home and contact their family doctor or the SHI-accredited medical on-call service (telephone number 116 117). These employees should also immediately pass on the information by e-mail to gesundheit@oth-aw.de and put superiors in “CC”.

The university management of OTH AW specifies:

  • Persons without disease symptoms
    Professors and staff members who do not suffer from symptoms of illness are asked to work from home during the 14-day incubation period, if possible in consultation with their supervisor.
    For lecturers, the regulations regarding the performance of teaching and presence at the university apply accordingly.
    Students are also requested to inform the university by email to gesundheit@oth-aw.de.
  • Persons with disease symptoms
    Professors, lecturers, employees and students who already suffer from symptoms of illness (such as fever, muscle pain, diarrhoea, coughing, colds) and have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient are asked to stay at home, contact their family doctor or the SHI-accredited on-call service (telephone number 116 117) immediately and, if necessary, inform their superior by telephone. Persons who have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient within the last 14 days, even if they do not show any of the above symptoms, must contact their health office (telephone number 0921 / 728-228) immediately.

    If a COVID 19 infection is reported, supervisors should forward this information to gesundheit@oth-aw.de

2) Missions / Delegation visits

Business trips by employees of the Free State of Bavaria to risk areas will only be approved in accordance with the letter from the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and Art (status 2.3.2020) if there are compelling reasons for doing so.

The university management of OTH AW specifies:

  • Please limit business air travel to the absolute minimum. Business trips in general - as far as possible - please switch to online meetings.
  • If business trips to non-risk areas are not taken out of personal concern, any cancellation costs incurred cannot be refunded according to travel cost law principles. Please take this into account when booking.
  • Please also consider the necessity of delegation visits to the campus: Delegation visits from risk areas defined by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)are not permitted unless there are compelling reasons for them.

3) Events

The crisis management team recommends that all event organisers and local authorities should, with immediate effect, base their decisions on the risk assessment criteria of the Robert Koch Institute when deciding whether to hold major events. This may mean, for example, that a major event must also be cancelled or postponed.

The university management of OTH AW specifies:
Major events with more than 1,000 expected participants are not currently planned at OTH AW. Until further notice, the decision to cancel or postpone events is made by the employee who organizes the event and is responsible for it.

4) Students

Students who wish to begin or continue their studies at OTH Amberg-Weiden in the summer semester 2020 and who have been in a risk area for the last 14 days are asked by the university management of OTH Amberg-Weiden not to visit the university during the incubation period of 14 days. The affected students please send an email to gesundheit @ oth-aw . de

Course of studies
For students who have not been in a risk area during the 14-day incubation period, there are currently no restrictions on teaching activities. Professors and lecturers are required to provide all teaching material on Moodle.

Worst case scenario would be a confirmed Covid 19 case at our university. In this case the lectures should be changed to online meetings and practical courses should be made up for at a later date.

5) General hygiene recommendations

In order to keep infections as low as possible - also in view of the current wave of influenza – we ask that the following measures be observed:

  • Pay attention to hand hygiene: Always wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Please use disposable tissues only once and also for coughing and sneezing, alternatively: sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm.
  • Please also note the more detailed hygiene tips from the Federal Centre for Health Education.
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