Dr. Kristin Schöps, who is the head of the Student Service Center, on the challenge of finding flexible arrangements for enrollment, times to schedule examinations and scheduling classes.
The Student Service Center is the primary source of information for all current and prospective students. Many of them have contacted you and your team over the past few weeks. What inquiries have you had to most frequently deal with?
Since all teaching activities have been stopped, we have mainly been getting questions about enrollment for the summer semester. Many applicants want to know whether or not the application deadline will be extended because of the Corona crisis and how it will be possible to enroll at the university without being there in person. Especially the international applicants are very concerned and anxious. They are not allowed to enter Germany and have doubts as to whether or not they will even be able to begin their studies. Currently we are only enrolling students through postal correspondence. In order to do this it is also necessary for students to transfer the semester fee. This is the next hurdle international students have to overcome: The banks abroad are also currently closed. Many students have asked us for a deferment of payment. This also includes the students who have to re-register for the summer semester. We are trying to accommodate all of the requests we receive. Depending on the individual case, our goal is to make the most favorable decision for the students.
Incidentally, enrollment is still possible until April 20, 2020. Applicants who would prefer to begin their studies in the winter semester of 2020/21 will have their admission to the program retained.
When teaching activities were stopped it coincided exactly with the second examination period of the winter semester. Examinations could not be carried out and final papers could not be defended. When will postponement dates for the students be announced?
During that time, we were particularly in demand. Many of the students were no longer able to defend their oral bachelor or master examinations. In order to enable future graduates to enter the professional work force, the Anhalt University’s Board of Management (Präsidium) passed special regulations for exceptional circumstances with regard to the graduation procedure. This states that students who have already completed all their coursework and examinations will be able to obtain their degree as planned even without defending their final theses. Incidentally, this also applies to all pending proceedings up to April 20, 2020. All other postponed examinations from the regular examination period of the previous winter semester are to be held during the semester. The department’s teaching staff now have the responsibly to plan concrete examination dates.
Libraries, computer pools, laboratories or workshops are all relevant for self-study and exam preparation. However, everything is closed at the moment. Do students have to hand in their theses on time or are there plans in place to extend the deadlines for term papers, seminar papers or final theses?
The regulation changes that have been issued by Anhalt University’s Board of Management in exceptional circumstances address these issues. Deadlines for the submission of term papers, seminar papers and theses have been extended until April 20, 2020. This means that they can be extended for a period of up to five weeks (March 13 to April 19, 2020). The decision regarding the extension period for the submission deadline is made by each department’s examinations committee (Prüfungsausschuss). A form for this is available in the student portal. Students who do not need to work in the library, in the workshops, in the PC pool or laboratory can of course complete their final theses on time and submit them electronically. The regulation regarding the submission of final theses in a printed and bound form has been temporarily suspended.
The specific exceptions and resolutions adopted by the university management can be found here:
- Derogation for conducting the final colloquium from March 16 to 31, 2020 (as of March 16, 2020)
- First supplement to the derogation of March 16, 2020 (as of March 20, 2020)
- Derogation for teaching and examination operations starting on April 20,,2020 (as of March 30, 2020)
BAföG recipients are also worried that they will not be able to complete their studies within the regular time frame and will, therefore, have financial difficulties. How can you help them?
The Studentenwerk's student finance office (Amt für Ausbildungsförderung) is responsible for the implementation of the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG).
Students who find themselves in economic distress due to the current situation should contact the Studentenwerk directly. The Studentenwerk Halle will offer financial aid within the means it has at its disposal.
Lectures in digital form will start on April 20, 2020. How are the new student timetables designed and when can students be expected to have access to them?
The student timetables for the Bernburg, Dessau and Köthen campuses will remain as a standard planning framework. The semester will, therefore, not be completely upended but will be supplemented with digital courses provided by the departments. In some cases, there will also be an inter-module exchange between the summer and winter semester modules. It will not be possible to create digital versions of all courses. Nevertheless, I am confident that we will be able to provide students with timetables after Easter.