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The Current Situation and Developments at Freie Universität Berlin / First Day of Classes on November 2, 2020

News from Oct 30, 2020

The resolutions recently reached by Chancellor Merkel and the state minister presidents as well as the decisions made on Friday, October 30, 2020 by the State of Berlin and Berlin’s universities and colleges all support the measures already put forth by Freie Universität Berlin’s Executive Board on October 20, 2020.

Along with the rest of Berlin’s universities and colleges, Freie Universität will adhere to the measures and precautions stipulated in phase 2 of Berlin’s phased plan until further notice. It is within this framework that Freie Universität – honoring its sense of social responsibility – hopes to help contain the pandemic by reducing mobility and interpersonal contact at the university to a minimum.

In accordance with the resolution of the Executive Board passed on October 20, 2020, the following regulations shall apply to teaching, research, and administrative operations at Freie Universität Berlin from Monday, November 2, 2020 onward:

Studying and Teaching:

  • Classes shall be held remotely and online as a general rule. Exceptions include practical classes that cannot be digitalized and introductory events for new students with a maximum of 25 people. The number of participants may be increased to 40 in specific justified cases, in line with special precautionary hygiene measures, and by prior agreement with the Coronavirus Taskforce.
  • Examinations on-site may continue to take place in compliance with the current regulations on social distancing and hygiene measures, depending on available room capacity.
  • Students and instructors shall be further obliged to wear a protective cloth mask that covers the mouth and nose at all times during on-site classes. Disposable surgical masks are also acceptable.
  • University libraries shall remain open and available to members of the university and external users for lending services and on-site work.
  • Students may continue to use the university computers and library spaces available for working and studying.
  • Without exception, classes and examinations will not take place from December 14, 2020 to January 8, 2021. The contact hours and classes that were to take place onsite during this period may be held in advance or made up later on. Online remote classes and examinations are further permitted.

Work and Research on Campus:

  • Administrative and research operations will continue to be carried out. Organization of shifts and remote work shall be the responsibility of the respective departments and divisions. Employees should only work on-site if this is essential to keeping operations up and running.
  • Wearing a protective cloth mask or surgical mask that covers the mouth and nose in areas of traffic or common areas in Freie Universität buildings shall remain mandatory. This rule also applies to rooms occupied by several people at once; the mask is to be worn at all times in these cases. Special site-specific measures shall apply to offices used by more than one person; however, wearing a protective cloth mask or surgical mask that covers the mouth and nose is strongly recommended.
  • Generally speaking, work meetings are to be held online.
  • Only employees and students of the university – as well as specifically invited guests and contracted service providers – may access Freie Universität buildings.
  • Academic committees are permitted to convene on-site, but only if strictly necessary. We recommend carrying out these sessions remotely and online.
  • Externally organized events will not take place on the premises of Freie Universität until further notice. It should be assumed currently that no on-site events will take place until after March 31, 2021.

Freie Universität Berlin will continue to coordinate with the other universities and colleges in Berlin in conjunction with the Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research, while also closely monitoring how the pandemic develops. Employees and members of the university will be kept updated throughout and immediately informed of any new developments.



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