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Freie Universität Berlin Responds to the Spread of the Coronavirus

First day of classes for the upcoming summer semester will be postponed until April 20, 2020

№ 055/2020 from Mar 11, 2020

In response to the spread of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections, the start of the summer semester has been moved to April 20, 2020. In coordination with the State of Berlin, Freie Universität has decided on a total of eight measures, effective immediately, including the cancellation of conferences and conventions from now until July 20, 2020. Events organized by third parties at the university are also canceled.

An overview of the steps being taken at Freie Universität:

1. All conferences and conventions – including those organized by third parties – scheduled from now until July 20, 2020, are canceled.

2. All courses taking place during the current semester recess that involve classroom attendance are canceled. Freie Universität Berlin is currently working under the assumption that seminars, exams, and other teaching-related events with fewer than 50 participants will still be able to take place next semester. The university is looking into online teaching options. The Berlin Senate is trying to find a viable way to hold upcoming state examinations. People are also checking on possible leniency measures for students who receive support through the German Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG).

3. The first day of classes for the summer semester 2020 will be postponed until April 20. The date could, however, be pushed back again. Freie Universität is also exploring steps to allow for compact courses or online teaching to take place.

4. Research, administration, and library units will continue regular operations until further notice.

5. Freie Universität is involved in a higher education task force set up by the State of Berlin, whose purpose is to provide counsel regarding developments related to the spread of the coronavirus and to determine what steps are necessary.

6. Members of Freie Universität Berlin and visitors are urgently requested to quarantine themselves for fourteen days if they are returning or arriving from a risk area as defined by the Robert Koch Institute. This applies even if the individuals are not showing symptoms of respiratory illness.

7. Travel requests to risk areas for research, study, or other university business are not being approved at the moment. As an alternative, Freie Universität has audio and video conferencing technology available (https://www.zedat.fu-berlin.de/Telefonie/Konferenzen#Zentrale_Videokonferenzr_228ume).

8. Members of Freie Universität Berlin will be regularly informed of the current developments that affect university operations. Freie Universität Berlin will continue to share news on its coronavirus website regarding the virus’ impact on the daily lives of instructors, students, researchers, and employees https://www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/coronavirus/index.html. The website will be updated regularly with new information as it comes in.

Further Information

Mr. Goran Krstin, Press Spokesperson for the President, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-73106, Email: goran.krstin@fu-berlin.de