Frequently asked questions for students

Teaching and studying

How long have on-campus teaching and study activities been suspended for?

In summer semester 2020 courses will normally be delivered online using e-learning tools. More information: www.uni-saarland.de/sommersemester2020

The start of the winter semester 2020/2021 has been postponed until 1 November 2020. This decision was taken by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK – Kultusministerkonferenz) and applies to all universities in Germany (link to KMK resolution). As previously planned, the lecture period ends on February 5, 2021 (with exceptions, among other things, for study programmes that are subject to the Approbationsordnung (national regulation governing the acquisition of the licence to practice medicine, dentistry, etc.)). During the winter semester curricular content will be delivered using a combination of online remote learning resources and on-campus sessions with students attending in person. On 1 July, the rectors of the higher education institutions in Saarland published the following statement regarding university activities in the coming winter semester, which should be consulted for further details.

When will my classes and other scheduled activities begin in the winter semester 2020/21?

The start of the winter semester 2020/2021 has been postponed until 1 November 2020. This decision was taken by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK – Kultusministerkonferenz) and applies to all universities in Germany (link to KMK resolution). As previously planned, the lecture period ends on February 5, 2021 (with exceptions, among other things, for study programmes that are subject to the Approbationsordnung (national regulation governing the acquisition of the licence to practice medicine, dentistry, etc.)). During the winter semester curricular content will be delivered using a combination of online remote learning resources and on-campus sessions with students attending in person. On 1 July, the rectors of the higher education institutions in Saarland published the following statement regarding university activities in the coming winter semester, which should be consulted for further details.

Position Paper of the Executive Board: How should the coming winter semester 2020/21 proceed?

(Kopie 21)

Vor dem Hintergrund der aktuellen Pandemiesituation bereitet die Universität den Lehr- und Prüfungsbetrieb für das Wintersemester vor mit dem Ziel einer verantwortungsvollen Öffnung der Universität für den Präsenzbetrieb.

Dabei gilt es aus Sicht des Präsidiums, drei Rahmenbedingungen zu erfüllen (Stand 1. Juli 2020):

1. Jede Form der Präsenz an den Standorten der Universität muss stets und ohne Einschränkung eine Sicherung der Hygieneregelungen des jeweils aktuellen Pandemieplans gewährleisten. Dies gilt nicht nur für die einzelne Veranstaltung, sondern auch und in besonderem Maße für die simultane Durchführung einer größeren Anzahl von Veranstaltungen und erfordert Anpassungen der Semesterplanung und ein hohes Maß an Abstimmung.
2. Die Universität muss darauf vorbereitet sein, jederzeit und unmittelbar in einen temporären Lockdown zurückzukehren, ohne dabei den Studien- und Prüfungsbetrieb einstellen zu müssen.
3. Die während der pandemiebedingten Situation im Sommersemester 2020 erreichten technischen und didaktischen Neu- und Weiterentwicklungen sollen weitergeführt werden – die Krise ist auch eine Chance für einen Quantensprung in der Digitalisierung der Lehre.

Weitere Informationen dazu in dieser Stellungnahme des Präsidiums.

How do I contact the university’s service units in this summer semester?

The university is providing base-level services under its coronavirus pandemic response plan. All key services during the coronavirus emergency will continue to be provided by administrative staff working either on site or remotely. All core service units can still be contacted by phone or email.

Core student services provided by the university’s administrative departments include the processing of student admission and enrolment applications and providing advice and information to both prospective and current students.

Answers to all important questions concerning the current coronavirus emergency are available on the Saarland University coronavirus information webpage. This information is being continuously updated.

 The university has issued the following pandemic pland and directive  (intern webpage) to all university employees. More detailed information provided by individual service units or academic departments is available on their respective websites.

Will the submission deadlines for written assignments, term papers, Bachelor’s theses, etc. be extended?

The examinations offices have been advised to adjust the completion times for academic assignments (e.g. essays, term papers, Bachelor’s theses, Master's theses or theses in state-examined subjects) so that they reflect the duration of the closure.

Emergency Support Fund: Where can get help if I am facing unforeseen financial hardship as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic?

Saarland University has set up an emergency support fund for students financially affected by the ongoing coronavirus public health crisis. The university is working closely with the Studentenwerk (Saarland Student Services) and the university’s General Student Committee (AStA).

The aim of the emergency fund is to provide targeted assistance to students at Saarland University who are facing unforeseen financial hardship as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic and who may therefore not be able to continue with their studies. Examples of students facing unexpected financial hardship include those who have lost their part-time job because of business closures, or whose parents have suffered a loss of earnings. Students whose application is successful will receive a single grant payment typically not exceeding €300.

Students enrolled at Saarland University are eligible to apply for a financial hardship grant. To receive financial support you will need to demonstrate that you are facing unforeseen financial hardship that is jeopardizing your chances of starting or continuing to study at Saarland University. Your application will need to be accompanied by evidence of all your income (e.g. income you receive from the BAFöG federal grants and loans scheme, income from parents, etc.).

You must complete the application in full and must include a copy of your certificate of enrolment. If your application is incomplete, it will not be processed. When applications are being processed, preference will generally be given to applicants who have described their current financial circumstances in a concise and transparent manner. Please note that there is no entitlement in law for applicants to receive a hardship grant. Please also note that grants can only be awarded subject to the availability of emergency funds.

Applications can only be submitted online using the online application form. You will also be required to declare that the information included in your application and any supporting documents you submit are true and complete. If a grant was awarded on the basis of incomplete information or incorrect information that was submitted intentionally or negligently by the applicant, the university may demand repayment of part or all of the award. Decisions on such matters will be taken by the University Board.

Saarland University will collect the applications submitted and initially check them to see that they meet the formal requirements. The applications will then be reviewed and assessed by the selection committee. Your data will be treated with strict confidentiality. Your attention is drawn to the data privacy statement on the application form. Saarland University or the Studentenwerk will notify applicants about the result of their application by email.

Please be aware that we cannot answer questions about your application during the assessment phase. Selection interviews will not be held. Please do not send enquiries regarding the coronavirus emergency fund to the Admissions Office or to the Examination Offices at Saarland University, nor to the Studentenwerk or elsewhere. Please do not ask university professors to write in support of your application; supporting documents of this type will not be considered when processing your application.

If you are eligible for support from the coronavirus student emergency fund, please submit your application online in the period 9-17 April 2020 via the following link:

Application form

I am an international student. Where can I get help if I have problems or questions regarding the coronavirus crisis?

International students who need assistance or have questions can email or call the Welcome Center for advice.

Saarland University
International Office | Welcome Center
+49 681 302-71128 (or +49 681 302-71122 / +49 681 302-71129)
Email: welcome(at)uni-saarland.de

In an acute emergency, please contact the emergency services (phone 112) or the police directly (phone 110).

Which childcare support services does the university offer?

Many students at Saarland University need assistance with childcare while daycare centers and schools are closed due to the Corona pandemic. Therefore, the services of the online babysitting database are made available again to UdS students and employees. Please note that the database can only be accessed from campus or via VPN. Financial support for babysitting services that are required due to study-related circumstances (e.g. attendance-based online classes) is still available upon request. For further information, please contact the Audit Family Office: familie(at)uni-saarland.de.

The Equal Opportunities Unit at Saarland University furthermore organised an additional initiative starting in May 2020: Saarland University’s Parents’ Network, a platform to coordinate and share childcare among parents. Further details as well as the rules and regulations connected with the use of the platform can be found on the Parents’ Network’s website.

Where can I get my UdS Card validated?

Saarbrücken Campus: Until further notice, a UdS Card with the printed logo of the local public transport service operator ‘SaarVV’ can only be (re-)validated at the validation terminal located in the Welcome Center. The validation terminal can be accessed during the day (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Homburg Campus: The validation terminal in Homburg can be accessed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For your own protection, please comply with the general hygiene rules when using the terminal.

Please also note that you can only (re-)validate your card if you have successfully re-registered for the forthcoming semester.

What should I do if I am due to spend time studying abroad or need to travel abroad for study purposes?

(Last update: 8.6.2020)

If the Federal Foreign Office has issued a tourist travel warning for a particular country or region, the university strongly advises you not to travel to that country or region for study-related activities. However, it may well be reasonable to spend a study abroad period within the greater Saar-Lor-Lux region. If a tourist travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office is in place, careful and thorough preparation is essential before travelling to that country or region for study-related purposes. When planning a study trip abroad, please remember that health and safety must always be your priority.

The laws and regulations of the host country must also be observed at all times. In the event of an emergency while staying abroad, you should contact the relevant German diplomatic mission in the host country. If you are planning to spend an extended period abroad, please register with the elefand database maintained by the Federal Foreign Office.

When planning a study abroad period, the following points must be observed:

  • Entry restrictions for the host country and/or quarantine rules after entry
  • Conditions/restrictions that apply when studying, working or staying at the host institution
  • Letter from your insurance provider confirming that you have adequate health insurance, personal accident insurance and public liability insurance for the relevant region (we recommend taking out repatriation insurance covering transportation back to Germany in the event of illness or injury)
  • Availability of transport services for the outbound and return journeys (please note that the cost of travel may have increased); travel tickets should be purchased with a ticket cancellation and refund option

The Federal Foreign Office has announced that it will not be organizing any further repatriation flights for German nationals abroad. Anyone returning to Saarland from a stay abroad must comply with Saarland's health and quarantine regulations.

Funding support for study abroad periods
Funding bodies such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will not be providing funding for study abroad trips to regions for which the Federal Foreign Office has issued a travel warning. If you are nevertheless currently planning a DAAD-funded study abroad period, please note that force majeure cannot be used as the basis for cost refund claims.

 

Will Saarland University Sports be offering any alternative (virtual) training programmes?

In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the courses and training programmes at Saarland University Sports have been suspended until further notice. However, the team at Saarland University Sports instead offers online courses, such as Pilates or yoga. It has provided as well a set of instructional videos and visual aids for exercises that you can do at home and that you can access by going to the Saarland University Sports website.

Medical issues and psychological support

Coronavirus telephone hotline for university employees and students

The Institute for Sport Medicine and the occupational medical officer at Saarland University have set up a coronavirus telephone hotline for members of the university. University employees and students can call the hotline if they have coronavirus health questions. Tel. 0681 302-70400, Monday to Thursday 8.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., Friday 8.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

Medical questions can also still be sent by email to: krisenstab(at)uni-saarland.de

 

Wo finde ich psychologische Hilfe? Notfall-Hotline der Universitätsambulanz

Free emergency hotline set up by the Psychotherapy Outpatient Clinic and the Psychotherapy Training Institute (WIPS)

If you have existing mental health issues and you are feeling particulary anxious or uneasy in the current situation, are having difficulty sleeping or are feeling down or depressed, the Psychotherapy Outpatient Clinic and the Psychotherapy Training Institute (WIPS) located on the Saarbrücken campus have set up a free emergency hotline. The hotline can be reached daily on 0681 302-71021  between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Further information: Psychotherapeutische Universitätsambulanz

I am a student or an employee of Saarland University. Who can I contact if I need psychological support?

The "Psychologisch-Psychotherapeutische Beratungsstelle im Studentenwerk" is there for you:

Due to the current situation and in order to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus, we avoid face-to-face-counselling. However, we now offer phone counselling. In order to make an appointment, please contact us by email: ppb(at)studentenwerk-saarland.de

New: During the phone hours specified below, we are available for phone counselling (phone: 0681 / 302-2515).

The phone counselling allows you to talk to a psychologist without first having to make an appointment. The steps to be taken from there will be discussed individually with you. In case you cannot reach us during our phone hours, you can also write us an email and we will make an individual appointment with you.

Our phone hours are:

monday                     10.00 - 11.00 a.m. and 2.00 - 3.00 p.m.

tuesday                      2.00 - 3.00 p.m.

wednesday               12.00 noon to 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 - 3.00 p.m.

thursday                    2.00 - 3.00 p.m.

friday                         10.00 - 11.00 a.m.

To find out more about the possible topics that can be discussed in counselling sessions, please refer to the following website:  https://www.studentenwerk-saarland.de/en/Beratung/Einzelgesprache

The PPB also provides tips on how to cope with contact restrictions  during the current corona pandemic.

Wie kann ich mich vor dem Coronavirus schützen?

Aktuell geht es vor allem darum, die Ausbreitung des Virus so gut es geht einzudämmen. Dazu sollten Beschäftigte und Studierende insbesondere auf eine gute Händehygiene, ausreichend Abstand zu Erkrankten sowie auf die übliche Husten- und Nies-Etikette achten. Zu folgenden Maßnahmen wird geraten:

  1. Regelmäßig und gründlich Hände waschen und möglichst wenig ins Gesicht fassen.
  2. Zur Begrüßung auf Händeschütteln und Umarmungen verzichten.
  3. Der Abstand zu Krankheitsverdächtigen oder Erkrankten sollte ca. 1-2 Meter betragen. Darauf sollten selbstverständlich auch Infizierte und Erkrankte achten.
  4. Soweit es geht, Türklinken, Handgriffe und Haltestangen etwa in Bussen und Zügen nicht anfassen
  5. Räume sollten regelmäßig gut gelüftet werden. Die sogenannte Husten- und Nies-Etikette sollte eingehalten werden:
    • Beim Husten oder Niesen mindestens einen Meter Abstand von anderen Menschen halten und sich wegdrehen.
    • Am besten ein Einwegtaschentuch benutzen - nur einmal verwenden und anschließend in einem Mülleimer mit Deckel entsorgen. Wird ein Stofftaschentuch benutzt, sollte dies anschließend bei 60°C gewaschen werden.
    • Nach dem Naseputzen, Niesen oder Husten gründlich die Hände waschen.
    • Ist kein Taschentuch griffbereit, kann in die Armbeuge geniest werden.

Weitere Informationen zu Mund-Nasen-Masken: https://www.zusammengegencorona.de/informieren/masken-mund-nasen-schutz-kann-bei-der-eindaemmung-der-epidemie-hilfreich/

 

Current information on the campus shutdown and the coronavirus public health crisis

For more information on the latest developments, please go to the university’s staff portal: Neuigkeiten für Uni-Beschäftigte (available in German only).

Saarland University‘s coronavirus information webpage contains information on the campus shutdown  and answers to frequently asked questions for employees.