Containing COVID-19: Freie Universität Berlin is transitioning to minimal on-site operations

No in-person exams starting Thursday (March 19) and until further notice / University President Professor Günter M. Ziegler: Plans to have university operations ready for summer semester with digital support and little physical contact

No 056/2020 from Mar 18, 2020

In order to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Freie Universität Berlin is reducing university operations to a minimum starting Friday, March 20, 2020. The goal is for as many employees as possible to work from home, the university said on Wednesday evening as part of its reaction to decisions made by the Senate Chancellery Higher Education and Research together with Berlin’s universities and non-university research institutions. During this phase, departments, central institutes, administrative divisions, and other units at Freie Universität will be making necessary arrangements. Only a few people will continue to work on campus. Starting Thursday, March 19, 2020, in-person assessments will no longer take place until further notice. Exams will need to be taken in a different format or at a later point in time, the university reported. Regulations on taking state exams will be established and communicated by the state-level examinations offices. Freie Universität Berlin’s president, Professor Günter M. Ziegler emphasized that the university is doing all it can to make sure that the summer semester can take place albeit with the help of digital technology and with little physical contact.

He added that the university will need to concentrate all of its efforts in order to ensure that its members will be able to study, teach, work, and conduct research during summer semester 2020. "Other international universities serve as both proof and inspiration that it is possible to achieve this transformation in the face of such an enormous challenge. Freie Universität is well-equipped for this task. Many people at the university are already working under great pressure, but also with great motivation to expand the opportunities already available." Ziegler thanked all university members again for their extraordinary commitment, dedication, flexibility, and thoughtfulness during this huge effort to contain the coronavirus. Ziegler also noted, "In the weeks to come, the same still holds true here at Freie Universität: Our only chance of beating this virus is if we all respond responsibly together!"

Details on New Regulations

1. Examinations and deadlines:

Starting Thursday, March 19, 2020, in-person assessments will no longer take place. Assessments will need to be done in a different format or at a later point in time. Regulations on taking state exams (Staatsexamina) will be established and communicated by the state-level examinations offices.

Deadlines set for final theses required to complete bachelor’s or master’s degree programs have been disrupted between March 12, 2020, and whenever normal coursework resumes (at the earliest May 11, 2020). That means that deadlines that fall within this period cannot apply as they would under normal circumstances. As soon as normal coursework resumes - with library access restored and use of university computers - students will be given a new deadline that allows them the full time to complete the original assessment, so that they do not face any negative consequences due to these disruptions.

2. Transitioning to minimal on-site operations

After Friday of this week (March 20, 2020), work at Freie Universität will be reduced to minimal on-site operations. During this phase, departments, central institutes, administrative divisions, and other units will need to make appropriate arrangements.

Coranavirus: Impact on Research, Teaching, and Administration at Freie Universität

www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/coronavirus


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