What do I need to know about teaching and studying at Saarland University and who should I contact for more information?

As a higher education institution with official quality assurance accreditation, Saarland University places great importance on the quality of its teaching and its study programmes. We have put together a list of important information and key service points offering assistance with teaching-related issues.

What support and advice are available at Saarland University for online (digital, remote) teaching?

Digital teaching is an integral part of the university’s teaching strategy and is being constantly developed and improved. Since the winter semester of 2020/2021, the university has provided even more support for developing digital content. General information on teaching can be found on the Education and Quality Assurance Division web pages; please read the latest guidance documents  and the operational information for the current academic semester.

Additional information, manuals and training courses designed to facilitate the use of MS Teams and the university-wide open-source learning management system Moodle can be found on the pages digital teaching and academic teaching tools.

 

What do I need to know about my teaching load at Saarland University and when are the main teaching periods during the academic year?

For details about your teaching load, please refer to the regulations governing academic teaching duties (Lehrverpflichtungsverordnung). The regulations also include information on the rules for reducing teaching hours. If you have any questions about your teaching load, please contact your faculty management team wenden.

The dates of the main teaching periodsnternetseite for the next four semesters are usually published on the following university web page.

What do I need to know about organizing my courses? How do I arrange a room? Where will I find information on the contents of modules? How can I access documents such as study and exam regulations? How do I publish details about my courses?

The most important information for organizing your teaching is contained in the programme-related documentation. The main rules and the administrative framework are set out in the study regulations and the examination regulations. The module catalogues have detailed descriptions of course curricula and information on seminar attendance. To access these documents for Bachelor’s degree programmes (select the relevant subject, then click on ‘Programme-related documents’); for Master's degree programmes  (select the relevant subject, then click on ‘Official regulations’).

These documents explain how the different modules and courses are incorporated into the overall degree programme, what prerequisites students have to meet for particular courses and provide details of how examinations and assessments are structured, the grading system used and the time frames for grading and returning academic work (‘turnaround times’).

The courses/modules associated with your department are listed in the  Saarland University online course catalogue (LSF), including the courses/modules that you will be teaching. As each department has its own way of organizing its information in the LSF online course catalogue, please contact your departmental adviser or study adviser to learn how to present course/module information.

Questions concerning the structure and organization of teaching activities within your faculty are best addressed to the Dean of Studies, the relevant examinations office or the faculty’s study advisor. To see a list of contacts for your faculty, please select the relevant dean’s office that are listed here.

If a module/course needs to be cancelled due to a longer term health issue or because you will be taking a sabbatical, please contact the dean’s office in your faculty so that you know what to be aware of and which steps to take.

Teacher training degrees are subject to a number of special regulations. If you are involved in teaching students at Saarland University who are training to become school teachers, you can address any questions you have to the Centre for Teacher Education.

What support can I get if I want to learn about effective teaching methodologies and use best teaching practices in my courses?

 If you are interested in learning more about university didactics and in improving your skills as a university teacher, you can make use of the diverse range of advisory and support services offered by the University Didactics Unit.

Would you like to have your teaching performance evaluated? We strongly recommend that junior professors in particular have their modules and courses evaluated so that they can incorporate the findings into their own progress evaluations. The Dean of Studies in your faculty can give you further details about how teaching practice assessments are managed. The  QUALIS project offers a free service that supports the design and implementation of teaching evaluations. The QUALIS team can be contacted if you have questions or need advice.

 

I would like to design an (international) degree programme or get involved with academic continuing education. Who should I contact?

 The best approach is to start by discussing your ideas with your departmental colleagues and with the dean of studies. in your faculty. For advice and guidance on planning and implementing a new academic or continuing education programme, please contact Saarland University’s Quality Office, particularly the  programme development teamKey guidance documents, workflow descriptions, checklists and other information regarding programme development can be accessed here.

If you have any questions about continuing education courses, the staff at the university’s Continuing Education Center Saar (CEC Saar) can be contacted for assistance.

The university supports the development of French-language and English-language study programmes. One of Saarland University’s most notable features is the large number of international double degree and joint degree programmes.

The  Education and Quality Assurance Division (LS) provides support to the university faculties to help them develop, structure and schedule international study programmes. It also assists with quality assurance issues and helps to guide the passage of the new programme through the various university committees. For more information, please contact the programme development team.

If your are interested in developing a cooperative agreement with a partner university, the International Office can provide document templates to assist with the further consultation and coordination with the partner institution. These documents cover areas such as student admission and enrolment procedures, fees, insurance requirements and, in some cases, the formation and operation of joint committees. Before it can be formally signed by the University President, the cooperation agreement must be reviewed by the legal adviser in the Education and Quality Assurance Division (Dezernat LS).

I am interested in being a supervisor on a cotutelle PhD programme. What do I need to know and who can I contact if I have questions?

If you are considering taking on the role of a cotutelle supervisor, you will first need to discuss and agree on the research topic and the supervision arrangements with your joint supervisor at the institution in the other country. The Legal Department can assist with the legal details of a cotutelle agreement and can provide appropriate document templates.

You can apply to the Franco-German University (Deutsch-Französische Hochschule – DFH) or to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for financial support for your proposed cotutelle project.

If you want to register a cotutelle agreement, please get in touch with the Legal Department at Saarland University. Other more general questions can be addressed to the staff at the International Office or to the team at GradUS – the university’s support centre for doctoral research students.

Where can I find out more about the students in my department?

If you need to know the number of students studying specific subjects in your department or if you need similar information, please refer to the student statistics page that Saarland University publishes. If you have any questions about student statistics, please contact the resource capacity planning and statistics administrative officer at the  Education and Quality Assurance Division.

If you would like to get in touch with the departmental student organization (Fachschaft) that represents your students so that you can introduce yourself, please refer to the web page on  departmental student organization elections where you will find the relevant contact details.

 

Who should I contact if I have questions regarding data protection and privacy in teaching and learning environments?

Saarland University has its own data protection officer whom you can contact if you are unsure whether you are complying with current data protection requirements, how you should store your data securely or when and how you are legally obliged to delete it.

 

I would like to set up an exchange programme. What do I need to know?

If you are interested in establishing an academic exchange programme, you can contact the International Office for assistance. The IO can provide sample documents such as statements of intent, cooperation agreements, inter-institutional agreements (Erasmus+) as well as student exchange agreements.

A new university cooperation requires the consent of the faculty (in the case of an Erasmus+ exchange agreement, the faculty is represented by the Erasmus subject coordinator) and comes into force when signed by the University President. If a new cooperation agreement differs from existing agreements, the agreement will need to be reviewed and assessed by the university’s Legal Department.

The university’s International Office coordinates funding support for exchange programmes, with funding provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the EU (Erasmus+, Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees) and the Franco-German University (Deutsch-Französische Hochschule – DFH). While the programme coordinator is responsible for the academic and curricular aspects of the exchange programme, the International Office manages organizational and administrative aspects, such as the call for applications, the initial selection process, nomination of successful applicants, issuing of letters of admission, help with the enrolment process and support and assistance on arrival in Saarbrücken. Saarland University’s Centre for International Students – ZiS – offers a programme of social and cultural activities that is designed to help international students settle into their new university environment.

If you would like to cooperate with one of our partner universities in the University of the Greater Region network (UniGR), please contact the team at the office of the  Vice-President for Internationalization and European Relations.

What do I need to be aware of if I have students with disabilities? Where can I get guidance in this area?

According to the 21st social survey conducted by Deutsche Studentenwerk (the German Association of Students Services) in 2016, around 11% of students have a disability and/or long-term health condition. The probability that you, too, will be teaching or supervising students with a disability or chronic medical condition is therefore relatively high. Many university teachers are unsure how they can support students with disabilities and what rights the students have in a university setting. The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Unit has established the Support Service for Students with Disabilities (KSB), which provides advice and assistance to students with disabilities and to their teachers and supervisors.  The KSB team is on hand to help you with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

 

What do I need to be aware of if a student is pregnant? Are there any special rules that I need to follow?

If a student is pregnant, there are a number of special procedures that you need to comply with. If you have any questions in this area, please contact the ‘Family-Friendly Office’ (audit – familiengerechte hochschule) for advice and assistance. The staff there will be able to explain the rights and obligations that students have when pregnant.

 

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments or requests, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

neuberufen[at]uni-saarland.de