Corona Virus FAQ

Status March 30th, 2020

The coronavirus has caused a situation which calls for a responsible and foresighted crisis management on part of the University of Applied Sciences. Based on the decisions made by the “Senat des Landes Bremen” (senate of the Federal State of Bremen) together with the “Senatorin für Wissenschaft und Häfen” (senator for science and ports) several immediate measures have been agreed upon which will also impact the day-to-day operations at the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven. Said measures are binding for all university members and are valid with immediate effect and until further notice.

This page provides a constantly updated FAQ list including information on specific regulations and provisions made by the university as an effort to manage the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus.

General Information

March 23rd, 2020, Senator für Wissenschaft und Häfen (senator for science and ports): Umstellung der Bremer Hochschulen in den Notbetrieb

March 19th, 2020, Senator für Wissenschaft und Häfen: Organisationsverfügung 2020/01

March 10th, 2020 including an update on March 24th 2020, Senator für Finanzen (senator for finances) – only important for university staff, German only: Instructions regarding work- and service law related questions in terms of coronavirus: Aktualisierung der Hinweise zu arbeits- und dienstrechtlichen Fragestellungen im Zusammenhang mit dem Corona-Virus

March 12th, 2020, Senator für Finanzen (senator for finances) – only important for university staff, German only: Instructions regarding work- and service law related questions in terms of coronavirus: Hinweise zu arbeits- und dienstrechtlichen Fragestellungen im Zusammenhang mit dem Corona-Virus

March 12th, 2020, Senatorin für Wissenschaft und Häfen (senator for science and ports): decision concerning in-person teaching events at the state-owned universities of the Federal State of Bremen: Beschluss zu den Präsenzlehrveranstaltungen an den staatlichen Bremer Hochschulen

March 13th, 2020, Magistrat der Stadt Bremerhaven (municipal authorities of Bremerhaven) – only important for university staff and students with children, German only: operation of local schools and children’s day care facilities: Betrieb der Schulen und der städtischen Kindertageseinrichtungen

March 10th, 2020, Ordnungsamt Bremen (public order Bremen) – German only: general order regarding prohibition of events and gathering of people in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus: Allgemeinverfügung über das Verbot von Veranstaltungen und Menschenansammlungen zur Eindämmung des Coronavirus

February 27th, 2020, University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven: precautionary measures concerning the coronavirus situation: Vorsorge-Maßnahmen aus Anlass der Infektionen mit dem Coronavirus / Precautionary measure concerning the coronavirus situation

GENERAL INFORMATION

Obligation to report

Do I have to file a report with the authorities at the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven any coronavirus related issues

- An obligation to report in concerning the coronavirus is in effect in accordance with the letter No. 5B/2020 issued on March 24th, 2020 by the Senator für Finanzen (senator for finances of the Federal State of Bremen)

 - University staff have to report to the Dezernat 2 (personnel department - personalstelle@hs-bremerhaven.de) and students have to report to the registration and examination (studsek@hs-bremerhaven.de) office if:

- you have been to one of the high-risk regions as defined by the Robert Koch Institut (RKI)

- you have been to a country or region with a well-known increased number of infections-

- your personal environment includes a person who either has been tested positive for or is suspected to have been infected with the coronavirus

Emergency operation mode

When will the University of Applied Sciences adopt the emergency operation mode?

- As of Wednesday, March 25th 2020, 7 pm, all operations at the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven will be moved into emergency mode. Based on the current information this will  last through April 19th, 2020.

 What does the emergency mode entail?

- All in-person teaching events remain suspended; digitally supported formats and similar solutions shall be maintained where appropriate and in accordance with relevant general provisions.

- Exams which require in-person attendance must only be carried-out in justified individual cases and provided that all relevant regulations are observed. Otherwise, digitally supported exam formats remain possible.

- On-site, in-person research activities are to be discontinued – said activities may be continued only in justified individual cases and as far as possible in compliance with and observing all relevant regulations.

- The day-to-day operations will be reduced to a minimum required to ensure the safe running of each facility and for carrying out personnel and financial management tasks.

 

Which key facts do you need to know?

- The university's exterior doors will be locked at all times and can only be used with an electronic key which has been programmed accordingly.

- Exterior doors will be checked constantly as well as whether persons authorised by the on-site attendance list are on the university premises.

 -Working on-site during emergency operation conditions is only permitted providing the hygiene regulations are strictly complied with.

Normal operations

What do the stipulations regarding working hours entail?

- In accordance with the current agreement issued by the Government of the Federal State of Bremen, normal working operations shall be maintained as far as possible with on-site work presence limited to an utmost minimum.

- All university buildings will be locked - only persons listed on an attendance list may enter the facilities.

-  In accoradance with the circular letter issued by the Finanzressort (department of finances) regarding employment and public services law. These include the duty of notification by the employee, the employer's authority to inssue directives  still have an obligation to report, and the employer has instruction authority as well as the employer's caretaking obligations in terms of handling at-risk groups as well as provisions concerning the presentation of a medical certificate

- Healthy persons have a general obligation to render work performance. This also includes among others meetings, appointment committee and faculty meetings and the like taking into consideration behavioral and hygiene advice according to the Robert-Koch-Institut. In this regard
large enough rooms shall be used in order to ensure appropriate spacing between persons.

- If a staff member has been personally exposed to a person who is infected or suspected to be infected with the coronavirus, said staff member is obliged to notify the Dezernat 2 either by telephone or electronically before commencing work in order to clarify any further actions.

- The already announced isolation measures shall apply to all persons who have travelled either to a country which belongs to the at risk regions according to the Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI, www.rki.de) and therefore is on the list of countries with a travel warning according to the Foreign State Department (AA, www.auswaertiges-amt.de) or to a country with an increased number of infections. Meaning that for 14 days after departing from such a region you are not allowed to resume your work on the premises of the University of Applied Sciences. Salary payments will be continued for staff members who are unable to come to the University of Applied Sciences due to the isolation measures as we assume that the contractual tasks will be fulfilled as far as possible. Please notify the Dezernat 2 – personnel issues. For students affected by isolation the duration period is considered as sick leave. Please notify the registration and examination office in this regard.

- University staff members who are on sick leave are required to notify the Dezernat 2 immediately in this regard as well as about the duration period. If the sick leave takes more than three calendar days generally a medical certificate has to be submitted. In order to avoid doctor’s offices and not contribute to their work load a medical certificate in case of flu-like symptoms may be submitted only on day six of the sick leave. Such regulation will initially apply until and including March 31st 2020.

- On account of these particular circumstances the University of Applied Sciences makes use of a special regulation concerning working hours for special at-risk persons. Persons who are especially compromised by a possible infection through the virus due to acute sickness / pre-existing condition / other situation may file a special application including an appropriate justification. Details are to be clarified with the respective supervisor and have to be submitted to Dezernat 2 – personnel, and in compliance with application procedures.

- University staff members who have to ensure child care due to closed schools and children’s day-care facilities ordered by the authorities and the lack of alternative child-care options may apply for paid special leave for the required time period. It is sufficient to submit an informal application explaining the personal situation to the Dezernat 2 in this regard. Due to numerous cancelled official holiday child-care programmes the University of Applied Sciences is prepared to further grant said special leave all through Easter vacation time as well. In this case and if no other child-care option is available an application with a specified statement can be submitted asking for continuing aforementioned regulation until the end of the Easter vacations.

Additional helpful links

STUDENTS

Teaching

What does suspension of in-person teaching entail?

- In close cooperation with the state-owned universities of the Federal State of Bremen, the “Senatorin für Wissenschaft und Häfen” (senator for science and ports) has decided to suspend all in-person teaching events at the state-owned universities through April 17th 2020.

- This also applies to student work and self-learning groups since the University facilities are closed for the public including students and therefore ar not available as study location. This applies to all well-known learning spaces including those in house Z.

- The teaching staff shall provide study material which encourages and guides self-studying and taking into account teaching specific demands and options.

- Examinations shall be continued nonetheless by adhering to a careful risk assessment. In this regard the oral defence of thesis shall be conducted in strict compliance with the recommendations for hygiene protocols.

- University affiliates may purchase special equipment according to the coronavirus regulations in order to maintain office and other operations. In this regard procurement protocol has to be observed (a procurement request has to be submitted).

- The suspension of in-person teaching is NOT to be understood as an extension of the semester break.

- Students shall join all relevant ELLI files. This applies to lectures, exercises, labs, compulsory electives etc.

- There are several options to carry-out suspended in-person teachings such as providing students with presentations or homework assignments as well as using a live-chat function, which may be scheduled during the lecture’s originally scheduled time period and can also be used for discussions.

Which time limits for filing an objection are applied for examinations?

- Currently we are busy working on a procedure on how to carry-out opposition proceedings. In case of a justified doubt concerning the grading of an examination and, as a preventive measure a student may already file an objection even without reviewing the exam, noting that a statement will follow upon post-exam review. If necessary such an objection may be withdrawn or pursued later.

When will in-person teaching be resumed?

- Ideally, in-person teaching shall be resumed as of April 20th, 2020. More detailed information, however, will be probably available after easter.

Practical semester, internship and semester abroad

Do I have to start an internship and/or semester abroad?

- As a general rule starting an internship at a domestic company or abroad or a semester abroad at the moment depends on the rules and regulations of the respective university or company as well as on the information and provisions given by the Robert-Koch-Institut and the Federal Foreign Office.

- Students who intend to start their semester abroad and/or their compulsory internship may face an isolation period which will be treated as sick leave and therefore will be recognised. The same applies to students who have to finish their internschip prematurely due to the coronavirus in order for them to still be able to return to Germany.

- In case students are at all unable to start their semester abroad and/or internship, e.g. because the company cancelled the internship, they have the opportunity to apply for a semester leave of absence on short notice.

- If the respective company or organisation is willing and able, working from home may be an option. During the present exceptional situation proved performances rendered in such a form shall be rcognised as internship period.

- If after traveling to the internship location an isolation period is required this will be recognised as sick leave as well.

- If the time abroad is served at a university please clarify with the respective university authorities whether ECTS credits can be aquired either through e-learning or similar offers or in any other forms which do not require in-person attendance. If possible it is recommended to render the required academic performances at the university in question.

- In case you either wish to or have to terminate your stay abroad due to own health concerns or by administrative order, the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven will try to create appropriate compensation offers which will help you to complete your studies within the alloted time and without losing any ECTS credit points and/or time. For questions or to clarify details please e-mail your respective contact person from your degree programme

 

Which opotions are available for students who are currently completing a curricular-based practical semester or internship in a company?

- Work from home ordered by your employer will also be recognised.

- If your employer terminates the internship prematurely we shall find a solution together in order to avoid unduly delays in your studies. If any problems occur in this regard please contact your respective supervisor. 

Submission of theses

Is it still possible to submit Bachelor or Master theses?

- Bachelor or Master theses have to be submitted to the registration and examination office digitally. A printed format has to be handed in later. Please make sure that your documents were received. The post boxes in house K will not be accessible during emergency operation mode.

Funding through BAföG (Federal Education and Trainings Assistance Act) / DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)

Will funding through BaföG or DAAD be jeopardised due to suspension of in-person teaching?

- The Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) provides information regarding BAföG and the impact on the teaching caused by the coronavirus. Please check out the following website – among others: https://www.bmbf.de/de/karliczek-keine-nachteile-beim-bafoeg-wegen-corona-11122.html

- The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides information regarding DAAD funding on its own homepage https://www.daad.de/en/coronavirus/

First year students

- The first year welcome event planned for March 16th 2020 was cancelled

- In-person teaching events at universities in the Federal State of Bremen have been suspended through April 17th 2020

- Further information will follow

CAMPUS

Digitalisation

Which issues are to be observed when using digital communications tools?

- Since for the foreseeable future communication by e-mail will the key tool of communication it is important to follow some rules in this regard. In order to avoid any additional attacks on the security of the particular university-own systems please do not forward any .doc or .xls files by e-mail or upload such file formats onto ELLI or Nextcloud. Such formats may contain self-executing macros.

- Best suitable are .pdf formats - when files have to be edited jointly you can also use .docx .xlsx .pptx formats (including respective libroffice formats).

- Please consider the size of the files to be forwarded and use Nextcloud for exchanging larger files in order to disburden the e-mail server. Instructions on how to use Nextcloud are provided under: https://www.hs-bremerhaven.de/fileadmin/user_upload/zbrv/Nutzerdoku-nextcloud.hs-bremerhaven.de-v4.pdf (only available in logged in state)

 

Which communication infrastructures can be used?

- ELLI is an important support tool for teaching. The ELLI team has collected numerous useful tips regarding online teaching – those can be found under https://elli.hs-bremerhaven.de/goto.php?target=cat_158499&client_id=elli

Library

How is the library affected?

- Please check https://www.suub.uni-bremen.de/ueber-uns/neues-aus-der-suub/corona-virus /(English version under construction) regarding general provision for using the "Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen" (state and university library of Bremen) including the facilities in Bremerhaven.

- The sub-location in Bremerhaven has been closed through April 17th 2020.

Student Café (StuCa) / Mensa (canteen)

Are the StuCa and canteen affected?

- The StuCa will be closed through April 17th, 2020 as a precautionary measure.

- The Mensa (canteen) and Cafeteria run by the "Studierendenwerk Bremen" will be closed until further notice. Please check out www.stw-bremen.de/en/news/coronavirus-latest-information-about-closings for current information.

EMPLOYEES

Business trips

What do the stipulations regarding business trips and excursions entail?

- As a general rule, approval for business trips and excursions which are scheduled within the aforementioned time period will not be granted. Hence, already granted approvals shall be deemed revoked. However, if a business trip is absolutely necessary, a (new) application can be submitted which will be carefully examined and considered individually.

- Already booked trips need to be cancelled and already accrued costs must be immediately reported to the "Dezernat 3" (department for budget and finances).

- Students are required to collect receipts or documents for already accrued expenses. Due to the exceptional situation and the lack of regulations in this regard, expenses cannot be reimbursed at the moment. However, we are working on a solution.

Academic Senate

Will academic senate meetings go ahead as scheduled?

- The recotared has agreed to postpone the academic senate meeting, which was scheduled for March 24th 2020. This decision was necessary due to the shelter in place decree issued by the Federal Government and State Governments on March 22nd, 2020. Currently various communication options are being examined. All academic senate members will be contacted by the rector directly in order to process the current agenda.

Working remotely from home

During emergency operation mode the university staff working on-site shall be reduced to an absolute minimum. Therefore the university administration has created a list of persons who are required to work on-site. For all other persons not included in this list working remotely from home has not only been approved of but has been mandated due to the emergency mode and in accordance with the letter issued by the Staatsrat (State Council).

Following conditions apply for working remotely from home (hereafter referred to as working remotely) as of March 20th through April 19th, 2020:

- Remote working employees have to make sure that all data protection regulations will be observed.

- Remote working employees have to comply with health and safety regulations (among others: working hours, breaks and rest periods) as well as occupational safety regulations.

 - The daily regular working hours are considered to be fulfilled - whether remotelty working from home or on site.

 - Therefore it is not required to notify the personnel department on working hours.

- This may vary for university staff members employed in research projects where proof of working hours maybe required. In this regard regulations stipulated by the funding agency have to be observed.

- Working from home shall not result in extra work or overtime.

- When working remotely availability by phone within the core time as laid down in the flexible work time programme or, regarding part-time employees within the agreed core time has to be ensured so that the employee may be contacted by the supervisor or the university administration.

 - When working remotely you are required to frequently check and process your e-mails or forward them to the respective stand-in.

- Upon request by the supervisor or the university administration the employee working remotely is required to appear at the University (e.g. for co-ordination purposes with supervisors, meetings etc.)

 - In case of inability to work the respective supervisor as well as the personnel department are to be notified as usual.

- Both, the supervisor or the university administration, are entitled to terminate this agreement at any time and require on-site attendance.

- Apart from that the current version of the provisions stipulated by the Senator für Finanzen (senator of finances), the Senatorin für Wissenschaft und Häfen (senator for science and ports) as well as by the university administration are to be applied. (Information in this regard is provided via e-mail and can be found on https://www.hs-bremerhaven.de/en/organisation/departments/study-preparation/corona-virus-faq/ – both shall be checked regularly also during working from home).

 

Additional information regarding the planning of on-site attendance and working remotely from home

- Currently the post room only accepts external incoming post twice per week - on Thursdays and Fridays. The same applies to outgoing post. Outgoing post shall be dropped off into the post box marked "Ausgangspost" in house K until 8.30 am the latest on Thursdays and Fridays. Incoming post will be processed and distributed on those days as usual. On a daily basis the university-own post boxes will be emptied and repective incoming post distributed accordingly as usual. This also includes courier mail.  

VARIOUS

Events

Which events are affected by cancellations?

Following events have been cancelled:

- Welcome event for first year students on March 16th 2020

- Internship exchange for DMP students (Digital Media Production) on March 18th 2020

- Studieren ohne Abitur (Studying without qualifying high school degree) on March 19th 2020

- Startup weekend on March 22nd 2020

- AStA insurance information on March 24th and 25th 2020

- Algenstammtisch (algae community meeting) on March 25th 2020

- Member meeting on March 25th 2020

- Social entrepreneurship on March 26th - March 28th 2020

- Girls Day / Boys Day on March 26th 2020

- Student advisor meeting on March 27th 2020

- Annual general meeting VdWT on March 28th 2020

- Blood donation on April 14th 2020

- NSF Bremerhaven - Bremen Global on Mach 16th 2020

- Courses as well as information events and road shows for pupils as well as guided campus tours during aforementioned time period

- Further education in accounting (Bilanzbuchhalter) – lectures on March 16th, March 18th, March 21st, March 23rd, March 25th and April 15th

- Further education in port business administrator (Hafenfachwirt) – lectures on March 19th, March 24th, March 26th, March 28th, April 2nd, April 14th and April 16th

- Deutschlandstipendium – Bowling with sponsors and scholarship holders on April 16th 2020

The list will be constantly updated!

The crisis centre of the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven includes the rectorate as well as other advisory offices and is at the moment working hard at providing support and regulations for the individual sectors. In case you cannot find adequate information on this site regarding individual questions please contact us under corona@hs-bremerhaven.de