Frequently asked questions for students

Teaching and studying

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

(updated on 17.03.20, 9:00 p.m.)

To counter the further spread of the coronavirus, all on-campus teaching and study activities are sus-pended until 4 May 2020. All examinations and assessments requiring personal attendance are provi-sionally suspended until 24 April 2020. In certain urgent and exceptional cases, examiners may reach an agreement with the students to be examined that an oral examination can be conducted by video conference. Standard commercial video conferencing systems can be used for such purposes. The examinations offices have been advised to make appropriate adjustments to the completion times for academic assignments such as essays, term papers, Bachelor’s theses, Master's theses or theses in state-examined subjects.

In light of the resolution recently passed by the University Board, students are not permitted to enter campus until 24 April 2020. Student assistants are also subject to the rules pertaining to university employees (see FAQ for employees).

When will my classes and other scheduled activities begin in the summer semester?

(updated on 17.03.20, 9:00 p.m.)

The start of the main teaching period for the coming summer semester has been postponed from 6 April to 4 May 2020, which means that the teaching period will be shorter than originally planned. For courses or modules where class attendance is not mandatory, learning materials may be provided to students before the main teaching period begins (currently 4 May 2020). Students will not be dis-advantaged if they do not make use of this offer of online materials before the start of the main teaching period.

Important note: Official student status will still be acquired from the original semester start date, which for summer semester 2020 is 1 April 2020.

How do I contact the university’s service units while the university is closed?

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. However, all campus buildings are closed and are only accessible by members of staff tasked with providing basic operational services.

Core student services provided by the university’s administrative departments during the coronavirus emergency 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.

Where possible, non-essential services will continue to be provided by university staff working remotely from home. The university has issued the following directive  to all university employees. More detailed information provided by individual service units or academic departments is available on their respective websites.

How long will the libraries on campus be closed?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, libraries on campus will remain closed until 24 April 2020. Library users are asked to make use of electronic resources wherever possible. Reminder notices have been suspended and will not be issued during the closure period. If you have books or other media currently on loan, you may retain these items until further notice. Fines for the late return of library materials have been waived. This also applies to materials taken out through the interlibrary loans service.

More information and contact details are available from the relevant library websites:

Saarland University and State Library (SULB)

NTNM Library

Campus Library for Computer Science and Mathematics

DEJ Law Library (Deutsch-Europäisches Juridicum)

Library of the Faculty of Human and Business Sciences

Library of the Faculty of Humanities

Medical Section of the SULB (Homburg Campus)

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.

What about classes or courses where attendance is mandatory?

(updated on 17.03.20, 9:00 p.m.)

Classes or courses at which student attendance is mandatory are also suspended until 4 May 2020. Where necessary, those teaching activities at which student attendance is compulsory and that would normally have taken place before 4 May 2020 may be rescheduled and held after 4 May 2020.

What about ongoing courses and classes in the current winter semester?

(updated on 17.03.20, 9:00 p.m.)

From 17 March 2020 until 4 May 2020, no classes, courses or academic activities will be held at Saarland University. The use of e-learning tools is currently being assessed. Students who do not make use of e-learning materials before the start of the main teaching period will not be disadvantaged.

    Is the university still holding examinations?

    (Updated 24.03.20, 4:20 p.m.)

    All examinations and assessments requiring personal attendance are provisionally suspended until 24 April 2020. That means that no written examinations, oral examinations or other assessments will be held on campus until 24 April 2020.

    In certain urgent and exceptional cases, the examiners and the student examinees may agree to conduct the oral examination by video conference.

    The same applies analogously to doctoral degree examinations.

    Questions concerning the state examinations in the subject areas medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutical science and law and in teacher training degree programmes should be addressed to the relevant state examinations office (Landesprüfungsamt).

    More Information:  Webseite des Dezernates Lehre und Studium

    Does the coronavirus response plan affect enrolment, re-registration or student status?

    (updated 03/20/20, 4:47 p.m.)

    Important: The start of the semester relevant for student status does not change due to the postponed start of attendance classes (planned for May 4). The summer semester 2020 will begin on April 1, 2020.

    Having an infection or being at risk of becoming infected does not affect enrolment, re-registration or student status. However, as the university is closed processing times may be longer than normal.

    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).

    Where can I get my UdS Card validated? What is the final date that I need to validate it by?

    The General Student Committee (AStA) and the local public transport service operator ‘SaarVV’ agreed on 30 March that because of the current situation the Saarland University semester travel ticket for winter semester 2019/2020 will remain valid until 31 May 2020.

    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. We are endeavouring to maintain all the necessary administrative services during the period in which the university remains closed.

    Are there restrictions regarding work placements or internships?

    (updated 18.03.20, 13:00 p.m.)

    Students are not permitted to undertake work placements or internships in a designated higher-risk area.

    All foreign work placements or internships planned for summer semester 2020 must be postponed.

    Students who are unable to undertake their planned work placement or internship should contact the relevant examinations office.
    If you are studying to become a teacher and are due to undertake a school teaching placement, please contact the Centre for Teacher Education (Zentrum für Lehrerbildung) for advice.

    What do I need to know about study-related trips and study abroad semesters?

    Students at Saarland University who have planned study-related travel to another country for the present or coming semester must postpone travelling until further notice. This restriction covers all study-related travel, including study trips, excursions, study abroad semesters, foreign work placements or internships, etc.

    In light of the unprecedented impact of the global coronavirus epidemic, study abroad periods that had to be shortened or that were terminated earlier than planned can still earn ECTS credits.

    A student studying abroad as part of the Erasmus mobility programme or of one of the programmes funded by the DAAD (UdS mobil, “Ostpartnerschaften”)  who returns to Saarland University earlier than originally planned shall get reimbursed even if the total time spent was less than the required minimum period. Please contact your coordinator in the international office (E-Mail outgoing(at)uni-saarland.de).

    Following the recommendations of the Foreign Office, Saarland University asks all students, who are currently abroad to return to Germany.

    If you have recently returned from travelling abroad, please follow the recommendations issued by the health authorities. They strongly urge anyone returning from a foreign country to self-isolate for a period of fourteen days and to minimize personal contact with others to the greatest extent possible: https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/fileadmin/Dateien/3_Downloads/C/Coronavirus/BMG_Flugblatt_de.pdf

    The university is committed to the idea of close international relations and will facilitate international mobility as soon as possible based on the travel information published by the Federal Foreign Office and on the information issued by local health authorities. Stays abroad can then be undertaken provided that they are compatible with any travel restrictions existing at that time and have been approved by the host institution. The university currently recommends that anyone returning from abroad should voluntarily self-isolate for fourteen days irrespective of whether the country from which they are returning is a designated higher-risk area.

    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. The university gym Uni-Fit has also had to close its doors at the present time. However, the team at Saarland University Sports instead offers online courses, such as Pilates or yoga. These are free of charge, but registration is required. 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.

    Where can I volunteer during the Corona pandemic?

    University President Manfred Schmitt sent the following appeal to all students on March 26 with the request to support the Saarland University Hospital and other health facilities in coping with the crisis situation so that medical operations can be maintained.

    Dear Students,

    Already last week, the Faculty of Medicine issued a first call for help to the medical students at our university because of the current coronavirus public health emergency. We would like to take the opportunity and thank all those who have already contacted us and registered online. Your registration has been processed, and you do not need to do anything else for the moment.

    With this extended appeal for help I would like to address all students and all employees of our university: If possible, please support the Saarland University Medical Center (UKS) or other medical facilities in coping with the emergency situation and help to maintain the medical services.

    To support Saarland University Teaching Hospital, please click on the following link to register: https://forms.gle/q2VgqdVUERdcaXX86. You will be asked to fill in a short questionnaire that will help clarify how you can help and in which you will need to state your contact details.

    In addition, I would also like to draw your attention to the appeal published by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family (Ministerium für Soziales, Gesundheit, Frauen und Familie): https://www.saarland.de/254853.htm (available in German)

    If you need to be granted temporary leave in order to support the UKS, please contact the Personnel Department. Saarland University expressly supports you if you wish to provide full-time support as long as you are not a member of the university’s on-site skeleton staff providing essential services during the campus shutdown. However, if you are required to work on site, we can’t grant you temporary leave, but you are invited to support the UKS in your free time.

    Medical issues

    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

    Die Coronavirus-Pandemie ruft bei vielen Menschen Angst- und Unruhezustände, Schlafprobleme und niedergeschlagene Stimmung hervor. Bei Menschen, die bereits psychisch belastet sind, verstärken sich vielfach die Symptome. Um Menschen, die aufgrund der aktuellen Situation belastet sind, beizustehen, haben die psychotherapeutische Universitätsambulanz und das Weiterbildungsinstitut für Psychotherapie Saarbrücken an der Universität eine unentgeltliche Notfall-Hotline eingerichtet.

    Diese ist für Personen gedacht, die durch die aktuelle Situation psychisch belastet sind und ein kurzfristiges  Klärungsgespräch brauchen, in dem gegebenenfalls weitere sinnvolle Interventionen geplant werden. Auch können sich Personen melden, die bereits in ambulanter Psychotherapie sind, aber aufgrund landesweiter Einschränkungen (häusliche Quarantäne, Schließung des Praxisbetriebes etc.) im Rahmen der Corona-Pandemieaktuell keinen Zugang zu dieser haben.

    Die Hotline (0681 302-71021) ist ab 26. März täglich zwischen 13 und 16 Uhr erreichbar. Im persönlichen Gespräch wird entschieden, ob eine sofortige telefonische Beratung zur Entlastung ausreichend ist oder ob weitere Kontakte sinnvoll wären. Die Art der Kontakte (Telefonat, persönliches Gespräch in den Räumlichkeiten der Ambulanzen oder Videosprechstunde) sowie deren Umfang werden individuell mit den Betroffenen je nach persönlicher Lage abgestimmt.

    Weitere Informationen: Psychotherapeutische Universitätsambulanz

    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.
    Wie kann man sich anstecken?

    Menschen können sich gegenseitig anstecken. Der Hauptübertragungsweg ist die Tröpfcheninfektion (direkt über die Atemwege oder indirekt über die Hände, die mit Schleimhäuten in Verbindung gebracht werden). Aber auch sogenannte Schmierinfektionen können als Ansteckungsweg nicht ausgeschlossen werden. Dabei werden Erreger über eine Kette von Berührungen weitergereicht.

    Eine Infektion über importierte Waren ist sehr unwahrscheinlich, da im Vorfeld eine Kontamination –  also Besiedelung mit Erregern – stattgefunden haben müsste und dann das Virus nach dem weiten Transportweg noch aktiv sein müsste. Ob das neuartige Coronavirus in flüssigem oder getrocknetem Material mehrere Tage überleben kann, ist aktuell noch unbekannt. Aber es liegen noch keine Fälle vor, in denen das geschehen ist.

    Wie groß ist die Gefahr im Vergleich zu anderen Infektionskrankheiten?

    Die Symptome bei einer Infektion mit dem Coronavirus sind Husten und – allerdings nicht in allen Fällen – Fieber. Im schlimmsten Fall könne es auch zu einer Lungenentzündung kommen. Ungefähr ein Viertel aller Fälle verläuft laut Weltgesundheitsorganisation sehr schwer. Bei den Todesfällen in China infolge der Infektion mit dem Erreger 2019-nCoV handelt es sich vor allem um ältere Menschen mit teils schweren Vorerkrankungen.

    In den meisten Fällen werden die Infizierten wieder gesund. Die Behandlung verläuft so wie bei anderen Atemwegserkrankungen. Eine spezifische, das heißt gegen das neuartige Coronavirus selbst gerichtete Therapie steht derzeit nicht zur Verfügung, so die Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung. Experten gehen davon aus, dass das Coronavirus nicht so ansteckend ist wie beispielsweise Influenza (Grippe) oder Masern. Nach bisherigen Erkenntnissen ist das Virus auch weniger ansteckend als der SARS-Erreger. Da die Datenlage laut Bundesgesundheitsministerium noch unzureichend ist, gibt es bisher nur Einschätzungen von Fachleuten.

    Warum gibt es noch keinen Impfstoff?

    Weltweit wird an einem Impfstoff gegen das Coronavirus geforscht – doch das braucht seine Zeit. Weltweit wird an einem Impfstoff gegen das Coronavirus geforscht – doch das braucht seine Zeit.

     

    Wie kann ich andere schützen?

    Generell werden die Maßnahmen empfohlen, die grundsätzlich bei ansteckenden Krankheiten ratsam sind. So sollten akut Erkrankte zu Hause bleiben, um sich auszukurieren, damit das Virus nicht weiterverbreitet wird. Dies gilt auch für enge Kontaktpersonen von Personen mit nachgewiesener Infektion. Ansonsten siehe den Punkt „Wie kann ich mich vor dem Coronavirus schützen?“.

     

    Sind Gesichtsmasken sinnvoll?

    Der Nutzen von Gesichtsschutzmasken zum Selbstschutz ist umstritten. Diese sollten Infizierte bzw. Erkrankte tragen, um das Übertragungsrisiko auf Mitmenschen zu mindern. Entscheidend sind das Material und der korrekte Sitz der Maske. Es gibt keine hinreichende Evidenz, dass das Tragen eines Mundschutzes einen Gesunden vor einer Infektion schützt.

     

    Current information on emergency operation and the corona crisis

    You can find current reports under "News for employees" on the university's employee portal.

    The special page on the corona virus also provides an overview of the university's emergency operation and answers to common questions (FAQs) from students, as well as a link list with information pages and news tickers on the corona crisis.