Information on the Coronavirus for Students and Teaching Staff

Instructions for Students and Teaching Staff in Connection with the Acute Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

General Information from Hesse's Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration on the Coronavirus in Eight Languages

Information Updates for Students and Teaching Staff at Hochschule Geisenheim University

Update - April 6, 2020 - Framework Plan for the Organization of Semester Schedules

Hesse's State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK) and all universities in the state have agreed on a joint framework plan for the organization of semester schedules. You will find the corresponding communication below. The starting date of April 20, 2020 as the beginning of digital teaching in the text refers to the universities, which would have only re-commenced teaching on April 14, 2020. At Hochschule Geisenheim University, the established rule of providing and attending digital classes now, where possible, continues to apply. Face-to-face teaching is not possible at the moment, but we hope that this will change over the course of the semester.

Hochschule Geisenheim University is working on a plan, based on the guidelines agreed with the HMWK, which takes the individual concerns of teaching staff, employees and students into account to the greatest extent possible.

Update - April 6, 2020 - Overview of Basic Library Services

The Library of Hochschule Geisenheim University is also obliged to limit the number of visitors to its facilities as far as possible and for this reason has introduced a skeleton service. In spite of this, the Library team aims to continue to support you as much as possible. For example, we are currently providing the following services:

  • The University Library can be reached from 9 a. m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday for information and enquiries (including extending borrowed media) via the usual means; by e-mail: Auskunft-Bibliothek(at)hs-gm.de, telephone: ­­­+ 49 6722 502 261, and WhatsApp: +49 171 10 27 571.
  • Books from the University Library collections can be pre-ordered by sending an e-mail to Auskunft-Bibliothek(at)hs-gm.de. The books will be available for collection once they have been registered in the respective user account.
  • An appointment for picking up pre-ordered media will be arranged with each user. Pick-up times are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The books will be placed on a table in front of the Library entrance where they can be collected without the need for direct personal contact.
  • For returns, please use the box in front of the entrance.
  • Three workstations have been installed in the Foyer of the Campus building, where you can access the Campus WiFi on your own devices, use the online services on site or view other literature. The workstations are spaced far apart and disinfectant is available.
  • Library staff will continue to support you in your book searches and handle your research requests.
  • Copying services are also available.
  • Online tutorials (via web interface) on researching and managing literature using Citavi are available.
  • Hochschule Geisenheim University's e-learning platform (Ilias) also features online courses on how to use the Library and literature research.
  • In view of the inter-library lending suspended by the HeBIS network, employees and students are being assisted in finding and implementing alternatives to inter-library borrowing.
  • Library staff can also provide assistance in accessing online media.
  • New literature will be ordered where possible and subsequently made available.
  • The copying and sending of ordered journal tables of contents and journal articles to employees will continue.

Should you have any queries or require further assistance, please contact the Library team using the channels mentioned above.

Update - April 2, 2020 - Timetable for Summer Semester 2020 / eLectures available online

The timetable including all eLectures is online.

By now, most of the summer semester 2020 courses have been set up in StudIP, and so far, the feedback regarding the University's digital alternatives to classroom teaching has been positive. To make these digital teaching and learning formats visible, the Sundenplan (time-tabling) team is working on adding notes to each course which will link directly to StudIP; this task should be completed by the end of this week.

Every scheduled course in summer semester 2020 will be given an additional ‘room’ in the schedule, labeled, "please note eLearning courses offered until face-to-face teaching starts again at HGU". The name of the new ‘room’ in the timetable is also a link which takes you directly to Stud.IP: http://studip.hs-gm.de. The schedule can be found, as always at https://www.hs-geisenheim.de/en/studies/students/timetable/.

Special Regulations for Federal Training Assistance (BAföG) in the Context of the Coronavirus Pandemic

In its Circular 6/2020, Hesse's State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts provides information on special regulations for federal training assistance (BAföG) in connection with the coronavirus pandemic; Article 5 of the COVID-19 Hospital Relief Act (BGBI. l., No. 14, p. 580 of March 27, 2020); amendment of section 53 German Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG); with retroactive effect from March 1, 2020. The document below contains the Circular and the Decree issued by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

 

Ongoing Language Courses

The Language Center teaching team is making ever effort to ensure students can continue their language learning in a variety of ways despite these challenging times. All information is available through the Stud.IP courses.

 

Update - March 26, 2020 - Availing of Digital Learning

The commencement of on-campus lectures in the 2020 summer semester has been postponed to April 20, 2020; lectures will re-commence on April 23, 2020. However, this does not mean that there has not been any teaching since the regular start of the semester on March 23, 2020. During this period, lecturers are required to develop digital teaching formats and make them accessible. In some cases, it may not even be possible to implement this quickly or at all.

As a student, however, this does not release you from the obligation to stay well informed and to make use of the digital formats provided. For instance, the continued payment of federal student grants (BAföG) is also tied to the fact that recipients taking avail of digital offers, if not, they may be exposed to the risk of losing their entitlement. (See specific provisions for the administration of BAföG for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.)

Psychological Counseling During the Coronavirus Crisis

The current outbreak of the coronavirus and its social, economic and psychological impact represents a major challenge for everyone. Many people may be fearful of contracting the disease, worried about their relatives, resentful towards others, or suffering from loneliness and cabin fever as a result of the social distancing rules imposed by the government. For many families and couples, living together in a restricted space is a unique stress test of its own.

To protect your mental health during this difficult period, it is all the more important to pay special attention to what may seem like trivial concerns:

  • Maintain a regular daily routine with periods for work, breaks and relaxation
  • Exercise in the fresh air, stretch regularly and air your home thoroughly and frequently
  • Maintain healthy eating habits and make sure you drink enough; you could even use the time to try out new recipes
  • Limit your news intake about the pandemic to once or twice a day - this way you can stay informed without being physically and mentally in a constant state of alert
  • Make the most of new opportunities: Keep a diary, rediscover hobbies, rekindle old contacts via digital media
  • Stay in touch with friends and family and discuss any emotions that may come to the surface

People who already have mental health issues may feel particularly vulnerable right now. Below you will find a list of contacts:

Update - March 18, 2020: Restricted Library Service / Cafeteria Closed

Pursuant to the Fourth Ordinance on the Control of the Coronavirus of March 17, 2020 by the Federal State of Hesse, the following applies with immediate effect to the facilities of Hochschule Geisenheim University:

  • The Library will remain closed to the public up to and including April 19, 2020.  All of the Library's digital services will continue to be available.
  • The Cafeteria will remain closed up to and including April 19, 2020.
Update - March 17, 2020 - Postponement of Exams and Online Teaching Materials

The upcoming (repeat) exams will be postponed and will take place from the beginning of May.

Your lecturers are currently examining the possibility of using online teaching materials to help you utilize the interim time sensibly. From Tuesday, March 24, 2020 you can register for relevant courses in StudIP. We are working on digitized self-study materials for parts of the summer semester courses. For practical courses or formats that can only be carried out face to face, a solution will be found after the lectures restart.

If you have any questions, please contact your lecturers or degree program coordinators.

Update - March 13, 2020 - Provisions by the Federal State of Hesse

In a crisis meeting regarding the coronavirus situation on Friday, 13 March 2020, the cabinet of the Federal State of Hesse adopted a number of provisions concerning institutions of higher education and their teaching and research facilities.

  • The start of the semester/lectures at all institutions of higher education in the state will be uniformly postponed until April 20, 2020. Larger public events as well as further education and training sessions will not take place until lectures start.
  • Wherever possible, digital teaching and learning resources are to be made available until then.
  • Research, administrative and library services shall be maintained in accordance with the current risk assessment.
  • Examinations shall take place as a matter of principle. The institutions of higher education shall assess all examination dates for feasibility in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), with due consideration of the current risk situation. This applies accordingly to state examinations.
  • Ongoing and scheduled internships as part of degree programs are to be determined in accordance with the risk assessments for the place of assignment.
  • All students, researchers and staff employed in the administration of institutions of higher education returning from risk areas categorized by the RKI are required to observe a 14-day period of self-isolation.
  • Study and research trips to risk areas categorized by the RKI are not permitted.
  • Unless they cannot be postponed, all face-to-face conferences and seminars at institutions of higher education have been cancelled for the duration of the summer semester.

Depending on the type of lecture, all teaching staff should employ digital formats wherever possible. More information on this to follow.

Update - March 12, 2020

Dear Students,

Following the information from the President of Hochschule Geisenheim University on the preventative measures to contain the coronavirus (find out more here), we would like to ask you to do the following:

Minimize attendance times on the Geisenheim campus before the start of your studies:

Please try to arrange all organizational matters concerning your studies by e-mail or telephone with the respective staff members of Geisenheim University, and NOT in person.

Notifying Hochschule Geisenheim University in the event of quarantine:

If you have entered quarantine in line with the University’s preventative measures (find out more here), we ask you to inform the respective staff member for your study program at the Examinations Office by e-mail. The information will then be forwarded to the relevant module coordinators.

Sincerely,

Professor Alexander von Birgelen
Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs

Conduct in the Event of Symptoms of Illness or Following a Stay in a Coronavirus Risk Area

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommends that anyone who has been to a coronavirus risk area, even if they do not have any signs of illness, should avoid unnecessary contact with other people and remain at home where possible. (List of risk areas.)

The following applies to students as well as teaching staff: If you have been to a risk area within the past two weeks, please do not return to Hochschule Geisenheim University as normal. Students should inform their relevant module coordinator. Employees will find further information on what to do here.

If you feel any signs of illness or are unsure after having been to a coronavirus risk area, please call your general practitioner or the responsible health authority (Gesundheitsamt). The health authority for Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis, if you live there is Infektionsepidemiologie, Heimbacher Strasse 7, 65307 Bad Schwalbach; e-mail: gesundheitsamt.badschwalbach(at)rheingau-taunus.de; telephone: +49 6124 510621.

You may return to Hochschule Geisenheim University after two weeks provided no symptoms of illness have emerged.

Preventative Measures
  • Hygiene instructions are currently being put up in the lecture rooms and on lecture room doors, and students have also been provided with hygiene instructions by the Student Council, AStA.
  • The Infrastructure department will check the ventilation systems in the lecture rooms, where these exist, before the semester begins to ensure that the rooms are properly ventilated.
  • The cleaning staff of Hochschule Geisenheim University have been instructed to clean door handles and stair rails in the buildings more frequently.

 

Current Job Offers for Students

Crisis Management Support Staff Member (m/f/o) "Containment Scout"

Tackling the coronavirus together - your commitment is needed now! In order to contain Covid-19 infections in Germany, on behalf of the Robert Koch Institute, the Federal Office of Administration is currently looking for crisis management support staff (m/f/o) as "Containment Scouts". The assignment will be at a regional office of your choice and at the relevant local health authorities. The positions are full-time and initially for six months. Remuneration is in line with G3 TvöD, level 1 (2,325 euros before tax and deductions). Please apply quickly - the closing date for applications is March 31, 2020.

Public Phone Line

The Federal State of Hesse has set up a public phone line, which you can call should you have any questions regarding the coronavirus. The telephone number is 0800/5554666 and is accessible weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.