It is not easy to find a pattern in the regulations that the universities have developed for the fourth and hopefully last Corona semester.

Everyone somehow wants to get back to being present, but how far and in what way - that differs a lot, even at universities of similar size.

There is actually only one rule that applies to students almost everywhere - regardless of whether it is a large city university or a small town university of applied sciences: If the minimum distance of 1.5 meters cannot be guaranteed, a mask must be worn in the lectures.

Sarah Obertreis

Editor in business.

  • Follow I follow

But even with the 3-G rule, there are outliers: The Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, for example, will waive the requirement in the coming semester that students who have not been vaccinated or who have not recovered have to be tested. Instead, it is believed that it makes more sense here to send students to the lectures with mask compulsory and at a distance, and to oblige them to reserve their seats in the lecture hall in advance.

Most other universities, however, rely on vaccination, recovery or test certificates and have looked for ways to check them as quickly as possible.

The most widespread is the route taken by the University of Münster: During this week, all vaccinated or recovered students could pick up badges that are stuck on the student ID and display the 2-G certificate.

Many universities have the evidence checked by external service providers at the lecture hall entrances.

Large universities such as the University of Cologne have even tried this beforehand.

In the case of smaller events, the lecturers should often check the evidence themselves.

This has led to complaints, for example at the TU Berlin.

In Hanover they hand out vaccination wristbands

There were also protests in Hanover because the universities there are offering bracelets instead of badges that show whether the employees and students have been vaccinated or have recovered. “We understand that universities are looking for pragmatic solutions. However, we reject any publicly visible identification of vaccinated people, ”said the Education and Science Union.

Students also complained in many places because the universities had asked them to move to their respective study locations, but now hardly offer any events in person. At the University of Mannheim, the economics department rescheduled and is now offering first-semester exercises on site. “Contrary to expectations, some are surprised by another online semester,” said the student representatives at the state ASten meeting of North Rhine-Westphalia.

A large part of the universities had actually announced that they would allow most of the events to take place in attendance again after three pandemic semesters. At the University of Potsdam, for example, it should be 90 percent of all seminars and lectures, at the University of Frankfurt some departments even only hold events on site. The Technical University of Munich also announced that face-to-face events should become “the rule” again.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the state government has even stipulated that universities must predominantly offer face-to-face teaching this winter semester.

The rector of the University of Münster spoke of a "hopefully normal semester".

He welcomed around 4,000 students to the city's football stadium.

“It's time to bring the campus back to life,” said the rector of the University of Bochum.

At his university, however, large lectures are still held exclusively digitally.

The first semester welcome also took place via video.

The University of Bonn turned its traditional ceremony in the auditorium into a hybrid event.

The LMU made a digital "dance into the semester"

No other university hosted the first-semester welcome on site as large as the University of Cologne, but when it comes to face-to-face events, people are comparatively cautious here: around 50 percent of the lectures and seminars are offered in the lecture halls. "We want to make sure that we don't have to go all the way back into the digital due to too strong a presence," said the Cologne Rector. His university has tried to prepare itself with more desk workstations for students for the fact that it can happen that consecutive events are offered in different formats - a seminar in person, immediately afterwards an online lecture. Then the students do not have the opportunity to sit down at their own desks at home in good time.

At many universities, only smaller events are allowed in attendance, but in the introductory week, get-to-know breakfasts and game evenings could often take place.

To be on the safe side, RWTH Aachen decided not to hold its city rally for around 6,900 freshmen.

The LMU in Munich tried to create a party atmosphere despite the distance and invited the Munich Club Harry Klein to play music for a “dance into the semester” after a virtual tour of the university grounds.

Occasionally the universities feel that the hybrid concepts put off students.

The University of Stuttgart reported a ten percent drop in applicants.

Last year, 15 percent fewer students started at the University of Magdeburg than before the pandemic.

"And a recovery is not yet in sight for 2021," said the rector.

Keywords: students, universities, rule, university, city university, regulations, town university, presence, lectures, events, pattern, evidence, pandemic, concept, fourth