• Coronavirus

    © Manuela Ewers

Organizational decree of 23.03.2020

Due to the continued spread of the coronavirus, Bielefeld University will be put into reduced basic operation mode from Monday, 23 March 2020. The aim is to take the most far-reaching measures possible to reduce the risk of transmission while ensuring that university operations can continue on a necessary level. This decree summarizes some of the existing regulations once again while supplementing or correcting others.

Reduced basic operation mode means:

Teaching

Teaching

  • Up to and including April 19, there will be no face-to-face teaching at Bielefeld University. This is regulated by a decree issued by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW) on March 13, 2020 that sets April 20 as the start of the summer semester. Public events outside of teaching activities are prohibited by order of the city of Bielefeld until April 30.
  • Following a further decree of the MKW on 16 March 2020, all scheduled examinations and oral tests up to 19 April 2020 will be cancelled and postponed to a later date. Hardship regulations for oral examinations can be found on the university's website.
  • Whether practical work within the framework of a bachelor's or master's thesis can continue to be carried out while maintaining compliance with the currently applicable hygiene regulations has to be coordinated in each individual domain.
  • Students can still submit examination papers such as term papers, final theses, and so forth. This should be done by email or via the submission folder in the learning room. Should examination regulations require the submission of a printed version, this regulation is being waived. In the case of final papers, an email with the final paper corresponding to the printed version must be sent to the responsible examination office as well as to the examiners. Students are requested to meet deadlines for the submission of study and examination papers (especially final theses) as far as possible at least via electronic submission. Teachers are asked to set generous deadlines.
  • To the greatest extent possible, teachers at Bielefeld University are requested to offer digital courses for the summer semester.
  • All service units are closed until further notice. They can only be contacted by telephone or email.
Research

Research

  • In principle, all academics should work from home.
  • For those domains in which this is not fully possible (laboratories), the following regulations apply to those persons working in them who need to come to the university for their research work:
    • Attendance at the university must be kept to a minimum.
    • The rooms used must be ventilated regularly.
    • A sufficient distance of two metres must be kept from colleagues.
    • Offices and social lounges with an area of approximately 20 square metres should be used only by one single person (the space corresponds to the size of a typical office room).
    • For laboratory work (laboratory workstations with technical ventilation, fume hoods, weighing chambers, large equipment, etc.), the general and customary laboratory hygiene rules must be observed. A distance of two metres from colleagues must also be maintained here. Laboratory workstations must be set up accordingly (e.g. no shared use of laboratory benches).
Library

Library

The library has switched to a reduced basic service for employees and students of Bielefeld University. The reduced opening hours are: Monday to Friday: 10.00 to 16.00; Saturdays and Sundays: closed. It is possible to borrow media that are absolutely essential for individual research activities or for theses; but only if these are not available electronically. Only the main library entrances D1 and U1 in the main university building and the departmental libraries in building X are open. Visitors must register (decree of the state of NRW dated 22 March 2020) by presenting their library card or UniCard. The central lending department is closed. The self-service terminals are to be used for borrowing or returning media. Personal consultations will only take place electronically (by email, chat, or telephone). All loan periods are generously extended. Interlibrary loan requests cannot be made at present. The University Library provides information about the details on its website: www.ub.uni-bielefeld.de/coronavirus/

Support and service areas

Support and service areas

For the time being, technical and administrative staff will work in their home offices as far as possible. In agreement with the staff councils, working hours are now trust-based. There are domains in which home office is not possible for various reasons and staff have to be physically present in the university buildings. These domains and activities are listed in a contingency plan that defines a minimum standard. The responsible superiors organize the necessary attendance in such a way that longer personal contacts between staff members are avoided as far as possible. One possible measure to ensure this is to use alternating teams. Offices and social lounges with an area of approximately 20 square metres are to be used by one single person only. A distance of two metres should be maintained even for shorter personal contacts. Staff are requested not to assemble in groups.

Persons whose activities are not covered by the contingency plan, but who are unable to perform their tasks in the home office, are not exempted from work but are on "stand-by" at home. All staff are requested to reduce their flexi-time credits and/or take their remaining leave from 2019 if possible as their workload decreases.

Building access

Building access

The university buildings are closed to the public. However, they are open for persons covered by the regulations for reduced basic operation mode and to students and researchers who are collecting or returning books from the library. The main entrance to the main building and the entrance to building X at the security control centre are open.