2020 Summer Semester in Berlin: Universities to Start "Digital Semester" on April 20

Joint Press Release issued by the Berlin Senate Chancellery - Higher Education and Research and the Landeskonferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Berliner Hochschulen (LKRP)

No 063/2020 from Apr 03, 2020

On April 20 the colleges and universities in Berlin will be starting the "digital semester." Some of them have already started offering online courses. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Berlin Senate Chancellery - Higher Education and Research and the state, denominational, and private universities have all agreed that the 2020 summer semester in Berlin needs to be characterized by flexibility, consideration, and reliability. Since no face-to-face events can take place until further notice, the Berlin universities are all working toward providing their students with the broadest possible range of digital teaching, learning, and exam offers. We would like to thank all the students, teaching staff, other employees, and all those involved who are helping to make this extraordinary 2020 summer semester in Berlin as effective as possible under the circumstances.

The Berlin Senate Chancellery - Higher Education and Research is supporting the efforts of the state universities with a VirtualCampusBerlin instant assistance program amounting to 10 million euros and is making other funds available for more than 1,000 university teachers to get training in digital teaching at the Berlin Center for Higher Education. The Berlin Senate Chancellery - Higher Education and Research and the state universities have agreed on framework conditions for the summer semester. These conditions are also recommended for private and denominational universities. It is important for students, faculty, and other staff to have the greatest possible degree of reliability and planning security and as few disadvantages as possible that might arise through the difficult conditions during this summer semester. For example, students can take exams and courses and earn credits as far as possible in their individual situation. This summer semester will not be counted negatively as a subject-specific semester. For students who are unable to attend all scheduled courses and take exams in the summer semester, this will not have a negative impact on compliance with the standard period of study. The universities are taking precautions to ensure that regularly occurring dates and deadlines will be automatically postponed for upcoming semesters. Work contracts with student assistants that were planned for the 2020 summer semester will be concluded, and teaching assignments planned for the summer semester will also be granted. The Berlin Senate Chancellery - Higher Education and Research and the universities will decide at a later date whether the lecture period for the 2020 summer semester, which is now scheduled to end on July 20, 2020, will need to be extended.

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, all public events at Freie Universität Berlin have been canceled through July 20, 2020.


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