Corona virus
Situation at the Hochschule Niederrhein

Hochschule Niederrhein. Your way.

Updated October 1, 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 - regulations for persons entering Germany

Information on the currently applicable regulations is given below. Please be aware that the regulations may change if the coronavirus spreads further.

Who needs to do a Covid-19 test?
People from high-risk areas are obliged to take the test when they enter Germany.

The most important questions and answers are available here: 
https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus-infos-reisende/faq-tests-entering-germany.html 
Testing is available at many German airports such as Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Frankfurt….
It is currently not clearly defined if the test is free of charge for all travellers.

Who is required to enter home quarantine when travelling to the Federal Republic of Germany?
Anyone who enters the Federal Republic of Germany having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their arrival is obliged to proceed directly to their own home or another suitable accommodation and self-isolate there for 14 days. This does not apply if the person only travelled through a risk area without spending time there. The competent public health office monitors the quarantine obligation. Further information on this please find below at the point “Inform the local health office”.

Must I wait at the port/airport for my test result? Until when do I have to stay in quarantine?
This depends on how the tests are handled on-site. As long as no negative test result is available, you must in any case enter home quarantine. Which means you need to go directly to your accommodation in Germany until you will be officially released from it by your local health office where you send the negative result to. In case you need to stay in quarantine, please contact your contact person in the International Office at the Hochschule Niederrhein and inform them about duration and address where you stay in quarantine. Anyone on their homeward journey from the port/airport should avoid close contact with third parties, the general DHM measures still apply: Distance, Hygiene, Community Mask.

Exemptions from quarantine with coronavirus testing 
Persons who can prove by means of a medical certificate that they have been tested negatively for an infection with the coronavirus COVID-19 within 48 hours (date of confirmation) before entering the country or who can provide evidence of a negative test result after their arrival in Germany are exempt from the quarantine regulation. The medical certificate must be based on a test conducted in a Member State of the European Union or another country listed by the Robert Koch Institute at: https://www.rki.de/covid-19-tests 
Information on approved tests is given here: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Tests.html
Confirmation of the test result must be in English or German.
If you cannot provide proof of a negative test from your country, you must be tested directly at the airport. Results should be available as soon as possible. Without a negative test result you must stay in quarantine.

Student Halls
You will also need proof of a negative coronavirus test result if you are going to live in the student halls which are managed by the Studierendenwerk Düsseldorf.

Inform the local health office – only for people from risk areas (not travelling through)
After entering Germany you must contact the competent authority at your place of residence in Germany (usually the local health office – Gesundheitsamt) without delay and inform them that you have entered the country. The local public health authority responsible will supervise compliance with quarantine regulations. Information about your Gesundheitsamt is available online at: https://tools.rki.de/plztool/ Students with accommodation in Krefeld or Mönchengladbach must send an email to gesundheitsamt(at)moenchengladbach.de or gesundheitsamt(at)krefeld.de with the following information: 

Name and surname
Date of birth
Phone number
Date of arrival in Germany
Your address in Germany
Country where you have spent the last 2 weeks 

You must attach the confirmation of a negative coronavirus test (not older than the last 48 hours) in order to be exempted from quarantine.
The local Gesundheitsamt (health office) will contact you and provide further information.

We wish you a pleasant journey to Germany. 

Your International Office

May 20, 2020

New regulations have been introduced to overcome the challenges posed by the coronavirus-related closure of the University. These include an extension of the free attempt regulation. The free attempt regulation now applies to all examinations taken in the summer semester 2020. The only exceptions are the colloquia related to the Bachelor’s and Master’s theses.

May 5, 2020

Dear Students,

New regulations for life at the university will apply until 31 May. I would like to inform you of these personally:

Firstly,  the buildings of the Hochschule Niederrhein will remain closed. Unfortunately, we will still not be able to meet in person. For a university that defines itself by the fact that it is a centre for many different people to come together, this is a great loss. However, I am very pleased about what we have achieved in managing to keep the university running on digital platforms. If there are any problems in this respect, I hope that you will be patient with us. We are doing our best! 

So what’s the latest news?

Examinations
In general, examinations will take place in digital form. In individual cases this may mean, for example, that students have to complete an assignment instead of taking an examination. Examinations requiring personal attendance are only permitted if it is ensured that people do not gather in groups. Staggered examination and admission times could be a contributing factor to achieve this aim. In addition, a safety distance of 1.5 metres between the examinees must be ensured by allocating places accordingly. 

For this reason, lecturers will also be thinking about different examination methods. This can mean, for example, that instead of an examination, an assignment will be required. Examinations requiring personal attendance are only permitted if it is ensured that people do not gather in groups. Staggered examination and admission times have been suggested. In addition, a safety distance of 1.5 metres between the examinees must be ensured by allocating places accordingly. 

Lectures and practical courses
Mandatory courses in laboratories, work rooms, recording studios or workshops may be held if there are no more than 20 attendees and a safety distance of 1.5 metres between them can be ensured. If this is not possible in individual cases, all attendees must wear textile mouth-nose protection (for example, a standard mask or scarf).

Libraries
The libraries at the Krefeld Süd and Mönchengladbach campuses are open, but will be restricting access to their services subject to strict protection regulations.

Committee meetings and conventions  
Board and committee meetings are now allowed. All other events and meetings remain prohibited until further notice. This also includes events organised by the student bodies. These, as well as all university sports, are currently not permitted. The cafeterias also remain closed.

Best regards

Thomas Grünewald (President)

April 30, 2020

The buildings of the Hochschule Niederrhein will remain closed until further notice. An exception has been made for the libraries which now have restricted opening hours and allow students to collect and return books. We are currently working on an operational scheme to cautiously and gradually open the Hochschule again over the next few weeks. Any further measures are currently restricted by the political decisions made on a federal and state level. We will inform you as soon as any new information becomes available

April 28, 2020

Dear Students,

I would like to inform you about two changes which will affect your degree programmes in the summer semester 2020:

1. Extension of the standard time to degree: If you are enrolled in a degree programme in the summer semester 2020, the standard time to degree for this degree programme will be extended by one semester.
2. Free attempt for initial examinations: If you take an examination for a course of the summer semester 2020 for the first time and fail, this will be disregarded and you can continue as if you had not taken this examination, i.e. your attempt will not be classed as a failed attempt. This regulation does not apply to a Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis or any related colloquium. It also does not apply to any outstanding examinations from the winter semester 19/20 which were originally scheduled for March or April and which will now be held during the summer semester

I would like to briefly explain the background to the free attempt regulation to you:

  • Students attempting to pass examinations for the second or third time have usually been able to attend the courses of a module under normal conditions in a previous semester. Students who will take an examination for the first time at the end of this semester will generally also have attended the related course for the first time in the summer semester 2020, and only in a shorter form and/or mainly as part of an online programme. In comparison to previous semesters, these are more difficult conditions for preparing for an examination. With this regulation we want to minimise the disadvantages for these students as far as possible.
  • Why is there no general free attempt regulation for all examination attempts? A general free attempt regulation for all students and all examinations would lead to a very high number of examinees. In addition, these figures would be difficult to predict. This means that reliable examination planning would hardly be possible. Your feedback shows that it is very important for many of you to be able to complete your studies in your individually planned time frame. For this reason we want to do our utmost to be able to offer an appropriate examination schedule for each specialisation semester. With our free attempt regulation we want to ensure that the number of examinees remains predictable. As soon as the examination framework conditions have been specified by the authorities, concrete examination planning can begin. (In the next few days we expect the state government to issue guidelines, for example regarding the maximum number of examinees or minimum distances between students in examination rooms.)

If you have any further questions, please contact us at the mail address VP-I(at)hs-niederrhein.de

Best regards
Berthold Stegemerten (Vice-President, Studies and Teaching)

April 20, 2020 | Welcome to the summer semester

Dear Students, dear First Semester Students,

Due to its postponement, today is the official start of the Summer Semester 2020 which will be organised under our banner HSNR digital and HSNR at home. A warm welcome to you all! Despite all the restrictions, I wish new students in particular a good start at the Hochschule Niederrhein.

At the same time, I assume that most of you have already started the semester. Many are already on Moodle rooms, attending online seminars and are in touch with their professors via video conference tools. If this is not yet the case for you, everything will be available to you at the latest this week. Across all faculties, three quarters of all face-to-face attendance hours for courses at the university have already been replaced by digital courses.

With the measures announced by the Minister Presidents last week, nothing will currently change regarding the situation at our university. Until May 3rd we must therefore ask you to continue to stay away from the university. We are currently working on preparing the university for gradual opening from May 4th.

At the same time, there are further questions that we would like to answer. On the one hand this concerns the Zoom web conferencing tool. Detailed information is provided in the attached letter from the Vice President for Studies and Teaching, Prof. Dr. Berthold Stegemerten.

The university library plans to reopen gradually from April 23rd. From Thursday onwards, the libraries in Krefeld Süd and Mönchengladbach will open from 10:30 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. for students to collect reserved books. Other services such as the use of reading spaces, copiers, etc. are not yet available. Interlibrary loan (Fernleihe) of books is still not possible. Digital services will still be accessible without any restrictions. Detailed information can be found on the website: https://www.hs-niederrhein.de/bibliothek

The Ministry of Science has issued a degree which during the corona crisis allows our university to legally use other forms of examination than those specified in the examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung). From this week onwards we will be discussing this topic together with the faculties. Regulations on examinations will vary from faculty to faculty. The faculties will inform you about the decisions as soon as possible.

Further information is available on the following websites (in German):

All advisory services and faculties are available: https://www.hs-niederrhein.de/corona/beratende-institutionen/
(Learning) tips for home: https://www.hs-niederrhein.de/coronavirus/hsnrathome
AStA fundraising campaign: https://www.facebook.com/groups/helfenHSNR/
Information on BAfög: https://www.bafög.de/keine-nachteile-beim-bafoeg-wegen-corona-756.php

Keep in touch:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hochschuleniederrhein/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HochschuleNiederrhein
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HSNiederrhein

I wish you all the best for the summer semester and, of course, that you all stay healthy and safe. I hope that you continue to master the challenges of this unusual time!

Yours,

Thomas Grünewald

President of the Hochschule Niederrhein

April 7, 2020

The summer semester starts exclusively in digital form, and courses that require face-to-face contact have been postponed until the end of the semester. Across all faculties, around three-quarters of the courses will start on April 20 or have already started.

April 2, 2020

Dear Students,  

I hope that you are all coping well under the circumstances and that you have come to terms with the current situation, however difficult it may be in individual cases.

All the members of the University Executive are following the impact of the containment strategy on our university life with concern. At the same time we are trying to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. To this end, the crisis unit meets twice a week to discuss the situation using a video conference tool. The Executive meetings continue to take place in a large room which allows us to maintain the necessary distance between the members. We are also in regular contact with the General Students' Committee AStA with video conferences.

We are currently receiving many of your questions, which we always try to answer carefully. However, I hope that you understand that we are not able to give you any clear answers at the moment. At the same time I would like thank you for your patience and being so understanding!

We are aware that the current situation is particularly difficult for you as students. You are sure to be feeling insecure and afraid of losing time. We are working on limiting this lost time for you as far as possible.

I am very proud of the fact that numerous professors have set up digital teaching options in a very short time and in this way are able to offer courses to their students. Take advantage of these options and get involved with these new methods. In this way we can also see the crisis as an opportunity for us to increasingly digitalise our teaching and work processes. On the other hand, as a practice-oriented and application-oriented university that focuses on practical exercises and communication with partners from business and society, we will not be able to achieve this in all areas.

At the same time we are currently experiencing a new sense of community, and an increasing number of initiatives are emerging because many of you want to help. I would also like to express my thanks to you in this respect!

I would like to finish on a personal note - I certainly imagined that the start of my term of office at the Hochschule Niederrhein would be different. However, I am deeply impressed by the degree of flexibility, helpfulness and improvisational skills that I am currently experiencing. Seeing that the university is currently functioning as a digital community even without any face-to-face contact is truly inspiring.

I hope that you all stay virus-free in the future. Stay safe!

Yours,

Thomas Grünewald

April 2, 2020

Arrangements for extending the deadline for providing proof of previous work placements

Due to the fact that in view of the effects of the corona pandemic it is more than uncertain whether there will be sufficient opportunities to complete a pre-study internship in the near future, the following exemption ruling has been made. It applies to

1. Applicants for the winter semester 2020/21 who, according to the examination regulations, must provide proof of all or part of their pre-study internship at the time of enrolment

2. Enrolled students who, according to the examination regulations, have to provide proof of their pre-study internship at the latest when re-registering for the winter semester 2020/21, and

3. Enrolled students who, according to the examination regulations, have to provide proof their pre-study internship at the latest when re-registering for the summer semester 2021.

Students belonging to the groups specified in sections 1 and 2 are granted a postponement of two semesters, students specified in section 3 are granted a postponement of one semester. Accordingly, students of all groups will only have to provide proof of the pre-study internship when re-registering for the winter semester 2021/22.

Illness

The incubation period for infection with the coronavirus (COVID 19) is around ten days (one to 14 days). The following symptoms are regarded as typical; fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, body aches, general feeling of illness.

If you notice one or more of these symptoms within 14 days of leaving the high-risk areas, we urgently recommend contacting your family doctor by phone.

Funding & support for students in times of crisis

Has your source of income from your job disappeared due to the corona pandemic and you don't know how to carry on paying your regular bills?
Or would you like to provide support and assistance to others? Or both?

We have put together a few links with tips for you below:

Part-time jobs and the corona crisis
These sectors are currently looking for temporary help:

  • Supermarkets and drugstores (filling the shelves)
  • Logistics industry (due to the increase in online orders)
  • Harvest workers  (harvest workers from Eastern Europe are lacking!)
     

Call the supermarkets in your area or a company that offers mail order to ask if they need temporary help.

The asparagus and strawberry season is fast approaching and the harvest workers from Eastern Europe are not allowed to enter the country due to the freedom of movement restrictions across Europe. For this reason our farmers have up to 300,000 fewer workers than usual. People who are not afraid of physical work now have a good chance of making some money and also helping out the farmers.

Offer your assistance as a harvest worker:

  • Here is a website that was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture: https://www.daslandhilft.de/
  • This website includes a platform where you can register as a helper on the job portal: www.land-arbeit.com
  • You can place an ad yourself, e.g. on eBay Kleinanzeigen and offer your services as a harvest worker.
     

Or you look on job sites like   
https://de.indeed.com
https://www.agrarjobboerse.de/
https://www.nebenjobs.net/nebenjobs/erntehelfer.php

No disadvantages with BAföG because of Corona
In view of the current exceptional situation, Federal Minister Karliczek quickly and unbureaucratically made sure that students receiving BAföG have financial security and are able to plan for the future. Students who depend on benefits under the Federal Education Promotion Act (BAföG) should not suffer any financial disadvantages if their training facility is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic or if the start of the semester is postponed. For more information visit: https://www.bafög.de

Still apply for BAföG – even now?!
If you are studying and have not previously applied for BAföG because you thought that it was too complicated and hardly worthwhile for you, or that you would manage well with your job - then this would be a good time to rethink your situation. Even if you only start in the summer semester and think that there are no lectures for the time being - an application is still worthwhile, as BAföG will be paid regardless of when the semester actually starts. For more information visit: https://www.bafoeg-rechner.de/FAQ/bafoeg-und-corona.php

Motto: Together through the corona crisis.
Do you have time on your hands and want to help in the current situation? Students without any previous health conditions are generally not included in the novel coronavirus risk group, and support is required in many areas.

Here are a few ideas on how you can help

  • Voluntary shopping assistance for seniors or people with previous health conditions (for example in your neighbourhood).
  • Help with the “Tafel”/ food bank (many volunteers are older and therefore stay at home, students are needed to help out!)
  • The website and app Nebenan.de (Link: https://nebenan.de/) also provides a platform where you can conveniently check on your phone who needs help or where you can offer something.
  • Social media channels such as Facebook or Instagram already have groups and networks that have joined up and want to help. Have a look in your city and in the district where you live for what has already been organised!
  • Not on Facebook or Instagram? The “Nachbarschaftshilfe NRW”/ Neighbourhood Aid.NRW (Link: www.nachbarschaftshilfe.nrw) website is a nationwide citizens' platform which was set up for the corona crisis. Their stated goal is "Coping with COVID-19 together".
  • NRW / Germany: The “Gemeinschaft online”/ community.online online (Link: https://gemeinschaft.online/) platform also offers support in times of crisis. Shopping, taking the dog for a walk - anyone who is interested can enter their postcode and indicate which type of help they need.
     

When you are helping others, always remember that self-protection comes first. More information (Information in German). There is also a video in several languages available.

Click here for the English version of this video: At a distance but holding together

Take care and stay safe!