Corona virus: Current measures
The Covid 19 pandemic has proven to be a great challenge for all of us, one which can only be met by our university if we work together. We will use this website to keep you up to date with the latest information on all precautionary measures and arrangements intended to protect the university and its members.
Latest information: The 2020/21 "Hybrid" semester at Osnabrück University
The 2020/21 winter semester will be a hybrid semester with three course formats: (1) online courses, (2) hybrid courses and (3) face-to-face courses (in exceptional cases). Online courses will take place exclusively in virtual seminar rooms, and face-to-face courses in certified and suitable rooms. Suitable rooms in the university will also be allocated to teachers for hybrid courses.
Measures in the summer semester 2020
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on studies and examinations
Link list: Information issued by university departments and institutions
Frequently asked questions (updated June 29)
Dear Students of Osnabrück University,
We are investing considerable effort and energy in keeping our information up to date on these pages and in trying to answer as many of the questions we can in connection with the issues affecting a great many of you. Please therefore bear in mind that the information published here is liable to change on a daily basis.
In accordance with the so-called “phased plan” issued by the Lower Saxony state government which states that universities should conduct the current summer semester “in a digital format” until further notice, Osnabrück University launched an online semester on April 20th, 2020. In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, all persons at Osnabrück University were subject to strict and binding guidelines on safety and hygiene. Even if the number of new infections is in decline, it is still impossible to say how the situation is likely to develop in the coming months. Your safety and that of our staff and employees is our highest priority.
As a consequence, it is a requirement
- that all people wear a face covering in designated areas and in individual university buildings such as the library,
- that all main and side-entrances to the buildings of Osnabrück University remain locked until further notice,
- and that all on-campus examinations including doctoral examinations can only take place under certain conditions which the dean’s office in your respective School can inform you of.
- Face-to-face teaching during the summer semester 2020 can only take place in exceptional cases. Only practical courses that require specially equipped laboratories or rooms at the university are permitted to take place subject to special guidelines on safety and hygiene. Decisions to this end are taken on a case-by-case basis by the relevant dean’s office in close consultation with the members of the School responsible for teaching these courses.
How many credit points do I need to show proof of from previous studies in oder to be eligible to apply for a Master‘s program in winter semester 2020/2021?
Deviating from each master program‘s admission regulations, you will be provisionally admitted, if you can show proof of at least 120 credit points in a related study program when submitting your applicaton and if, based on your previous course of studies, it is expected that you will obtain your Bachelor‘s degree by the end of the first semester of your Master‘s program (by March 31 2021).
In which form will the summer semester 2020 take place?
The summer semester 2020 will take place as a digital semester. This arrangement also applies to guest students. Only practical courses that can solely be conducted in laboratories or dedicated facilities, can take place again, only under the premise that required hygiene and safety measures will be obeyed. In terms of this, the responsible dean’s office and faculty staff will evaluate and make decisions individually.
Please pay attention to the information regarding your study course provided by the responsible faculty. Further information regarding student advisory and continued education is to be found on the computer center’s and virtUOS website.
In which form will the winter semester 2020/21 take place?
The 2020/21 winter semester will be a hybrid semester with three course formats: (1) online courses, (2) hybrid courses and (3) face-to-face courses (in exceptional cases). Online courses will take place exclusively in virtual seminar rooms, and face-to-face courses in certified and suitable rooms. Suitable rooms in the university will also be allocated to teachers for hybrid courses. More information about the hybrid semester
Why do I have to pay the semester fee for the summer semester 2020 even though there will basically no lectures/courses/examinations with attendence be held at the university?
Students who are actively enrolled at a university and attending lectures, courses and taking examinations, regardless of the medium through which each is being offered, are not required to pay a tuition fee anymore since the abolition of the compulsory tuition fee in the winter semester 2014/2015.
The semester fee, amounting approximately 350€, consists of the following fees:
75€ administration fee which the University of Osnabrück is required to charge by law, based on the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act (§11 NHG). Exemptions of the mandatory fee, e. g. leave of absence, are also established by law in the Higher Education Act. The service provided by the University of Osnabrück (see § 11 section 3 NHG) which is based on this fee, is continuously being provided during the corona crisis and there is a high demand for digital courses, especially due to the current circumstances. The service includes regular updates/FAQs regarding the corona crisis, assistance and solution-oriented decision in terms of personal and individual situations regarding enrollment, absence of leave, exemption of long term study fees, internship, etc. Even though the university facilities are closed at the moment, our staff in various departments, such as the Students Office, Admissions Office, International Office and Examinations Office is still available via email or phone and doing their best to help you with any questions or concerns.
71€ student service fee which is also required to be charged by law, according to § 70 NHG in connection with the fee scale established by the student service – unless students are exempted from this fee for a particular and legally defined reason, e. g. absence of leave. The student service is charging this fee during the corona crisis as their service offer is in no way affected or limited due to the current situation.
207,55€ student body fee which includes the „semester ticket bus/train“ in the amount of 190,05€. The semester ticket is, still valid as usual, regardless the current circumstances (see FAQs).
Is the availability of the student service guaranteed?
If you cannot find the answer to your question in our FAQs, you can call the Infoline (StudiOS) at + 49 (0) 541 969 7777 or send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The staff of the Admissions Office and the Info-Line attempts to process your request without major delays but ask for your indulgence if this is not done to the usual extent due to increased inquiries. In case you have individual questions about examinations, please contact the examination office responsible for you or your examiner directly.
Can applications be submitted to the Admissions Office via e-mail?
Yes, applications can be submitted via e-mail. If forms are available for the respective applications (e.g. for leave of absence) digitally, they must be used, signed and sent in pdf- format as an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can the Campuscard be validated and issued?
Starting on 4th May 2020, the Campuscard can be validated and issued again at the StudiOS from Monday to Thursday between 10.30 and 14.30 and on Fridays between 10.30 and 14.00. Please obey the following rules, outside on the campus as well as inside the StudiOS building:
- wear a face mask
- pay attention to instruction signs and guides
- keep safety distance
We urgently ask to avoid major queues and crowds in front of the StudiOS building and cannot accept more than five people at once being inside the building. The Info-Point desk is currently closed.
Please note: According to current information from the Verkehrsgemeinschaft Osnabrück (VOS), they will continue to recognize the enrollment certificate as a semester ticket. If any problems occur, please contact the AStA first, as this is the contractual partner of the transport company.
Are certificates issued for health insurance companies, pension insurance institutions, etc.?
Due to the current situation, the usual certificates for health insurance companies and pension insurance institutions cannot be printed and sent by post.
Until 29th May 2020, the dispatch will be made digitally in pdf-format. The additional delivery of a print version will be made after 29th May 2020 upon request only.
How must proof of a disability or serious illness with effect of extension of study be provided in the application for exemption of the long-term study fees?
You can find information on long-term study fees at the following link: Costs of studying
In case an official medical certificate cannot be submitted due to the current overload of the responsible authorities, long-term study fees will be exempted if the perpetuation or the presence of a serious illness with an impact on the duration of the study period is proven by sending a simple medical certificate in pdf format to email@example.com. The official medical certificate must be submitted immediately, but no later than 30th September 2020. If the submission is not made by 30th September 2020, the long-term study fees for the summer semester 2020 are due immediately. A reregistration for the winter semester 2020/2021 will be made if the long-term study fees for the summer semester 2020 have been paid in addition to the usual fees and dues for the winter semester 2020/2021. As far as a dun has already been issued to charge long-term study fees for the 2020 summer semester, the above applies accordingly.
What are the deadlines for submitting the Bachelor's certificate for a provisional Master's enrollment?
In case you were only provisionally enrolled in the master's program in the winter semester 2019/2020 due to the lack of a bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification, the deadline for submitting the Bachelor's certificate or equivalent qualification as well as your acceptance letter is being adjusted as follows:
- You must obtain your bachelor's degree or equivalent by 30th September 2020 at the latest. The provisional admission expires if you have not obtained the Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification by the aforementioned date, i.e. not all academic achievements required for your degree are available.
- If you have obtained your bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification by 30th September 2020, the certificate of this degree must be submitted to the Admissions Office of Osnabrueck University by 15th October 2020 the latest. With the submission in due time, you will be enrolled in the master’s program.
- In case the certificate is not submitted by 15th October 2020 and you are responsible for this, you will be deregistered by law after this period has ended. If the legal consequence is to be breached, you must tell the Admissions Office in good time why you are not responsible for the missing certificate.
- Please also continue to note the additional information on the provisional access authorization or provisional enrollment in a master's program in the absence of a bachelor's degree under the following link: Infos zum vorläufigen Masterstudium (in German).
Currently, we are urgently working to find a solution for applicants, who are not able to submit proof of 150 ECTS within the application period for winter semeser 2020/2021 because of canceled exams in winter semester have an official solution for this matter, it will be published in the FAQs.
Can an application for a leave of absence for the summer semester 2020 be withdrawn even though the leave of absence has already been approved?
It is still possible to withdraw the already approved application for a leave of absence for the summer semester 2020. Please send a corresponding informal application by 31st May 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that you will not be re-registered for the summer semester 2020 until the full semester fee has been transferred to the account of the University of Osnabrück.
For international students: What do admitted but not yet enrolled foreign students need to take into consideration?
Foreign students who have been admitted to a degree program for the summer semester 2020 at Osnabrueck University, but who have not enrolled due to the current situation, have the opportunity to enroll for the winter semester 2020/2021 without re-applying for the desired course of study at Osnabrueck University. The affected students should contact email@example.com by 15th April 2020 if they wish to "postpone" their current admission for the summer semester 2020 to the winter semester 2020/2021. A "postponement" of the admission granted for the summer semester 2020 beyond the winter semester 2020/2021 is not possible.
For international students: What happens to my visa/residence permit if I cannot apply for an extension at the Foreigner’s Office?
The Foreigner’s Office recently renewed their guidelines on how expiring visas and/or residence permits will be treated. Specifically, students do NOT need to apply for an extension if their visa/residence permit expires between March 18th, 2020 and August 30th, 2020. Instead, please print out this Allgemeinverfügung and keep it with you at all times. In combination with your current visa/residence permit (whether expired or not), this document serves as an extension until August 30th. Do check back on osnabrueck.de regularly in order to find out when exactly face-to-face appointments and applications for an extension will be possible. Naturally, if we hear any additional information, we will keep you posted. If you urgently require an appointment, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, kindly check out the info as outlined in our previous post on residency-related info. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Is the university library open and can I use it?
The Alte Münze library and the libraries in the Law, Economics and Natural Sciences / Mathematics departments are open weekdays during set opening hours for members of the university. In addition to lending and returning items in line with certain precautionary measures, it is also possible to reserve a work station in one of the reading rooms for the following day. Further information
Is there a mask requirement at the UOS?
In the university buildings with high public traffic and everywhere where changing constellations of people meet at the university, e.g. in the university library, the infopoint (StudiOS) and the university shop, mouth and nose protection must be worn in analogy to the regulations in shops and public transport, among others. Scarves, cloths, buffs or masks made by the students themselves can be used as protection. Without an appropriate mouth-and-nose protection, access can be denied.
Will examination attempts from summer semester 2020 be counted or will it be possible to take the examination again in summer semester 2020?
According to §26a of the general examinations regulations, as well as the examination regulations regarding study programs not included in the general examinations regulations, particular regulations were decided in terms of the particular circumstances regarding examinations, concerning potential significant impediments of the university’s procedures. It was decided that the sole identification of a significant impediment constitutes a valid reason according to § 15 section 1 sentence 1, i. e. that the test performance will be assessed „insufficient performance“, if the student does not notify the examination commitee by the deadline about the withdrawal of the examination or if he/she does not appear on the designated examination date without valid reason, or if he/she withdraws from the examination without valid reason after the examination has officially started. Furthermore, it was decided that that the attendance of the examinaion is not counted in case of any arising technical difficulties during the examination resulting that it cannot be successfully finished. These attempts are not included in the total number of available attempts
A withdrawal after the examination has been finished, is not possible. The examination will be assessed and included in the total amount of previous attempts, even though the examination has been assessed „failed“. Consequently, there are not examination attempts possible that are not being included in the total number of available attempts (no matter if the examination was not attended or not successfully passed.
Which face-to-face exams are allowed to take place in summer semester 2020?
- Oral individual examinations can take place if the safety measures are strictly obeyed. In individual cases, oral examinations can take place digitally under the responsibility of the respected subject. This has to be agreed with the respective examiners. There is no obligation on the part of the examiners to conduct video conferences., e. g. for high-risk patients.
- Face-to-face exams in groups (written exams) will only take place in exceptions during the summer semester since they present a high safety risk. Repeat exams or second exams from winter semester 2019/2020 will have priority so that the winter semester can be finished and there will be no delays of the study period. All exams that have been anyway scheduled to take place digitally, are still scheduled to take place as such.
- Face-to-face exams can only take place under the premise that high safetey and hygiene measures are strictly obeyed. A safety and hygiene concept, with a focus on distance measures, sanitizer/hygiene and possibly mandatory single-use gloves and face masks will be available by 4th May 2020.
- Currently, an additional paragraph in the examination regulations is being established, defining a body who is entitled to make an appropriate regulation when it comes to severe disruptions of the general procedures ath the university due to acts of nature, specifically regarding the change of forms of exams, prerequisites for admission, study records, switching to digital exams, etc. At the same time, it is intended to create a general framework for all students with focus on equal treatment. We will inform you as soon as these changes will be decided and become effective, in strict accordance with the mandatory involvment of the responsible committees (Faculty Council, the Central Study Commission, the Senate and the presidium).
Should students unsubscribe from relevant examinations with attendance themselves?
No, students should not unsubscribe from the face-to-face exams themselves. The opt-outs from examinations with attendance are made by the respective examination offices of the departments. However, this only touches on clearly affected types of examination and those that have been saved as part of the method of examination, e.g. written exams, oral exams, seminar papers or (artistic) presentations.
Is it possible to switch to other types of examination?
See explanation to question „Which face-to-face exams are allowed to take place in summer semester 2020?“
Are online exams / video conferences offered?
See explanations for question 1.
Is there a compulsory attendance for lectures and courses?
The currently valid regulations regarding attendance at Osnabrueck University will basically remain valid considering the specific circumstances of summer semester 2020 in terms of digital courses: compulsory attendance for some modules at the University of Osnabrueck is necessary since compulsory attendance is one of the requirements in order to successfully finish the courses. This is generally legitimate by law according to the Lower Saxony Higher Act (see § 7 section 4 sentence 1 NHG study and examination regulations) which allows to require compulsory attendance of courses, if necessary, in order to successfully finish the course.
Due to the partially challenging conditions of attending digital courses, unexcused absence of more than two lectures, that is usual accepted, should not lead to negative consequences for students. The members of the Central Study Commission (ZSK) also supports this agreement and it should be practiced, as far as possible. However, students are obliged to notify the responsible teacher via email before the end of the lecture if they are not able to attend due to technical reasons. If students are not able to successfully finish modules requiring regular attendance, they need to contact the responsible teacher and find an alternative solution. There might be a possibility of compensation.
Will the processing times of final theses, term papers, seminar papers, etc. be extended?
All possibilities should be used in the interest of the students.
Please see the following for further guidance:
Final theses ‒ deadline extensions for the submission can be granted if e.g. literature can no longer be borrowed on site because of closed libraries. Find out at the website of the university library (in German) alternative ways to provide print literature. Extension options also apply in general for work based on current data collection, which is currently no longer possible in many areas. In these cases, the topic can also be readjusted if necessary. If necessary, experimental work can be replaced by literature work. Applications for deadline extensions and changes of the topic must be made informally to the examination office responsible for the respective subject. The department responsible for the subject also regulates everything else.
Term papers, seminar papers, etc. – Basically, the above explanations for dissertations apply. Here, in particular, it must be examined to what extent the closure of the libraries has consequences for the topic of the respective work. The examiners should also consider whether it is not possible to write good or very good term papers, etc. based on limited literature, in which the students show that they have the intended competences (for example, if the last academic achievement is concerned and an extension would have the effect of prolonging the study time).
What are the requirements for the layout / form of final theses, term papers, etc.?
As a general rule, dissertations must be submitted in printed and case bound form. If observance with the form is currently not possible, the final theses must be submitted as a pdf-document within the deadline (initially) including the declaration of independent writing of the bachelor or master thesis. The printed and case bound form as well as the other required documents must be submitted later within a reasonable period. The same applies to term papers or seminar papers.
Will final documents be issued and made available?
Due to the current situation, certificates may not be issued or sent in the required form. The bodies responsible for signing the certificates will explicitly point out this fact on request, which should be sent to the examination office responsible for the respective subject or to the Records Management Office PATMOS, stating the course of study and stating the final grade, confirming successful completion. It is also confirmed that the certificate will be delivered as soon as normal operation permits. Proof of the course examination, which is saved in the university system, is also attached. The cover letter and performance overview will then be made available to the applicants digitally in pdf-format.
For the extended submission deadlines for the master's certificates for the recruitment process in the practical training for teaching positions in general education schools for the first half of the 2020/2021 school year, see also: https://www.mk.niedersachsen.de/download/128257 (in German).
What rules apply to internships?
School internships that had to be canceled due to the closure of schools, as well as internships outside of schools that could not be completed due to the corona virus, will not be continued. Information on any compensations that need to be provided is available from the respective internship officer. More detailed information on school internships is available on the website of the Center for Teacher Education (ZLB) (in German). The respective contact persons of the ZLB can also provide information.
Please note: The practice block belonging to GHR300 has not been canceled so far, but has been suspended until further notice.
Which requirements exist for the layout / form of dissertations?
Dissertations can also be submitted as a PDF document.
Information issued by university departments and institutions
At this point we have bundled up links leading to specific information by our university departments and institutions (in German). Is there some important bit of information missing? Please send a link via e-mail to the online editing team.
FB 1 Prüfungsamt Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften
FB 1 Institut für Geographie
FB 1 Fachgebiet Kunst/Kunstpädagogik
FB 1 Kunsthistorisches Institut
FB 1 Historisches Seminar
FB 1 Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
FB 1 Textiles Gestalten
FB 3 FAQ-Liste Erziehungs- und Kulturwissenschaften
FB 3 Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft
FB 3 Institut für Evangelische Theologie
FB 3 Institut für Islamische Theologie
FB 3 Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikpädagogik
FB 3 Fachgebiet Sachunterricht
FB 3 Institut für Sport- und Bewegungswissenschaften
FB 4 Physik
FB 5: Biologie/Chemie
FB 6 Mathematik/ Informatik
FB 7 Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
FB 7 Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
FB 7 Institut für Germanistik
FB 8 Institut für Gesundheitsforschung und Bildung (IGB)
FB 8 Institut für Psychologie
FB 9 Wirtschaftswissenschaften
FB 10 Rechtswissenschaften
Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft (IKW)
Erich Maria Remarque-Friedenszentrum
Information and downloads for university staff
Information for Teaching Staff
The 2020/21 "Hybrid" semester: The 2020/21 winter semester will be a hybrid semester with three course formats:
(1) online courses, (2) hybrid courses and (3) face-to-face courses (in exceptional cases). Online courses will take place exclusively in virtual seminar rooms, and face-to-face courses in certified and suitable rooms. Suitable rooms in the university will also be allocated to teachers for hybrid courses. As the maximum number of places in these rooms is limited and probably insufficient for all anticipated students, it will also be necessary to set up a virtual room for these courses to enable students not present on site to participate.
Courses in the summer semester 2020: With the exception of certain examinations and practical courses, all scheduled courses, lectures and seminars will take place exclusively in an online format during the summer semester. Information on using online teaching methods as an alternative to face-to-face teaching was communicated to the teaching staff on March 13th, 2020. Further guidelines and current information on the relevant advisory services and training courses can be found on the websites of the university computer center and virtUOS. Online-support for questions related to online teaching is also available.
Examinations: Written examinations must also be taken online during the summer semester and can only be taken as on-campus examinations in exceptional circumstances as per the instructions issued on June 29th, 2020 (in German). Preparing an examination room for an examination must take place in accordance with the relevant guidelines. Should a candidate become infected as a consequence of an on-campus examination, then the designated notification chain should be adhered to. Documents in German:
If you are planning excursions, field courses or course projects, please follow these Guidelines (in German).
In keeping with enhanced safety precautions, all Osnabrück University buildings with a few notable exceptions will remain closed. If you pass through designated areas with a high level of public access, for example the library, the Uni-Shop or the Infopoint (StudiOS), you are required to wear a face covering. In addition, you are required to observe regulations on social distancing and hygiene. Guidelines have been drawn up to this effect in a document entitled guidelines for the workplace and during working hours (in German) which you should follow during the pandemic until further notice. Special information posters are available which provide information on specific codes of behavior in the rooms and corridors which can be used as required.
From June 4th, 2020 onwards, face-to-face job interviews can resume as long as they are conducted in accordance with the strict guidelines covering personnel selection procedures. Important information on the organization and conduct of job interviews during the coronavirus pandemic in both the online and face-to-face formats, together with relevant documentation, can be found here:
Information on conducting personnel selection procedures (in German):
Information for young academics
Dealing with the consequences of the coronavirus/COVID 19 safety precautions in research projects
National and international funding organizations have reacted to the coronavirus pandemic by taking a number of steps to account for the limitations young academics are facing with their research. Some donors have decided on blanket measures; other donor organizations will require decisions to be taken on a case-by-case basis. It is for this reason that cases will be examined and assessed individually. It is therefore recommended that young academics talk to their superiors and their project supervisors to identify the individual options available to them if their work has been delayed by the pandemic. In addition, questions about extensions to externally funded projects can be addressed to the university’s research consultants.
The upper time limits for positions leading to a qualification have been extended by half a year.
The law governing short-term contracts at universities – the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG) – has been expanded to include a transitional ruling: The upper time limit for academic and artistic employees who are in their qualification phase is to be extended by the length of time by which university and scholarly activity has been disrupted.
Information and guidance for young academics at Osnabrück University
The PhD/Postdoc Career Center (ZePrOs) provides support regarding all non-subject specific questions concerning the doctorate, PhD financing options, different qualification paths in the Postdoc phase, strategic career planning and further topics. Furthermore, the ZePrOs team offers information and consultation in the case of conflicts in the context of work or research or during doctoral examination procedures.
The Equal Opportunities Office offers comprehensive consultation services on equal opportunities and sexual harassment as well as on various forms of discrimination.
The team of the Organisational Development Division accompanies divisions and teams through change processes, helps build teams, advises employees on a wide range of topics related to their professional roles and responsibilities and offers trainings tailored to their needs as university employees. In addition the team supports and advises international members of staff on language, cultural and administrative issues arising from adapting to life and work in a new environment.
The International Office advises and takes care of international students, PhD students and visiting scholars.
The service of the Center for Information Management and Virtual Teaching (virtUOS) includes information and technical support regarding digital teaching.
The ombudsperson for good scientific practice is the contact person for questions concerning the safeguarding of good scientific practice.
The Staff Council (Personalrat) is the contact institution for all matters relating to employment relationships.