Information on the coronavirus

Last Update: 7 April 2020, 10:00 a.m.

New: FAQ: employees and staff (general: proceed with recruitments)

Update: Regulations: all members and guests (cases of infection); regulations: students (advice and assistance)

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Important regulations and information
Frequently Asked Questions

Dear Members and Guests of TU Darmstadt

This coronavirus pandemic makes it necessary for all of us to act responsibly. Yet the challenges of these trying times raise concerns and make us feel insecure. This webpage offers important answers and links to additional information based on the latest news status available. Please understand that any recommendations, advice and decisions in these rather turbulent times need to be checked and adapted constantly, which is why this webpage is updated continuously.

Our university coordination team is in continuous and close contact with university physicians and ministries of the state of Hesse.

I am confident, we will meet the challenges we face successfully working together.

Tanja Brühl, President of the TU Darmstadt, and all members of the Executive Board

Do you have any questions? We have a competent team that can help you promptly. You can reach them by e-mail at .

Important regulations and information

Advice for our international researchers and guests: If you have any questions regarding applications for or extensions of residence permits, please contact the TU Darmstadt Welcome Centre . The local Foreigners Offices are closed to the public until further notice.

For general information about your stay at TU Darmstadt, please also visit the website of the Welcome Centre.

We are currently aware of nine reported cases where TU members have been tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, four of which have recovered by now. Those persons who had been in direct contact with them are in quarantine at home. We wish the infected TU members a speedy recovery.

Here you will find a compact summary of how to respond responsibly and efficiently.

For regulations and decisions of the state government of Hesse, please go to the website of the Hessian State Chancellery and www.wissenschaft.hessen.de/corona (both in German).

Dear Members and Guests of TU Darmstadt

We are currently experiencing stormy Corona-times, which will continue for quite a while; however, we are confident of jointly weathering them well. As a university, we will do whatever it takes to work out the best possible ways of handling these challenges safely.

Unfortunately, there have been additional turbulences to deal with. Some of these apparently include discrimination against members of the university based on their suspicious looks or unusual behaviour. At the cafeteria, for instance, they notice people moving to another table when they sit down to eat or notice people changing course or direction sharply when meeting them in the hallway or on the street. Having to experience verbal and/or physical attacks, however, is worst of all. As university, we are deeply shocked by this behaviour and would like to apologise to those having experienced such despicable treatment. We strongly disapprove of this behaviour and will not tolerate it. Please let us know immediately should you have suffered such discriminating action in word or deed. We would also like to invite everyone at the university to be attentive when walking through the university or town, to be mindful of others and to assist anyone in need of help. Should you be unable to assist, please reach out to others and ask for their help and support. In addition, please inform us about any such incidents to allow us to take the necessary steps. You are not alone, we are right at your side.

 

Best wishes and kind regards

Tanja Brühl, President of TU Darmstadt, and all members of the Executive Board of TU Darmstadt

All events planned and scheduled at TU Darmstadt, such as meetings and conferences, have been cancelled until the end of the summer semester. Similarly, all exhibitions, such as the Kunstforum of TU Darmstadt, and all events of the ULB, such as workshops, guided tours, coffee lectures etc., have been cancelled.

With immediate effect, access to any building of TU Darmstadt is now restricted to employees and staff of TU Darmstadt and external contractors. University buildings are closed to the public.


The following facilities are affected: University Library, all dining halls and cafeterias of Student Affairs Darmstadt, all learning centres and PC pools of the HRZ, all service points of the HRZ with direct customer contact, University Sports Centre.


Employees and staff can access their offices and laboratories at TU Darmstadt using their personal locking devices. The Alte Hauptgebäude (S1|03) can be accessed using the main entry (control centre). Generally, employees and staff may stay in the buildings until 8 pm at the latest. In exceptional cases, e.g. for certain research projects, ongoing experiments or essential operations, staying after hours is possible. The respective facility management takes care of necessary building services.

Final theses no longer need to be submitted in printed form. Submitting the text documents in time by uploading them electronically to the TUbama platform will be sufficient. The respective Office of Student Affairs will be informed about submissions automatically.

At the same time, kindly email a signed and scanned copy of your declaration of originality for your final thesis (for more information: Declaration about the thesis). You will receive a confirmation of receipt by email also.

Please do not upload to TUbama any files linked to your final thesis (such as programming codes or databases) that in the past were submitted on USB flash drives or CDs. The first assessor (reviewer) will tell you where to upload these files as necessary.

Lecturing will start on 20 April 2020, digitally at first. Lectures, courses, seminars and tutorials will take place in e-learning formats. Starting 1 June 2020 (status 30 March 2020), face-to-face courses will be introduced again (particularly laboratory work, excursions etc.).

Social Counselling offers students support and advice by phone and email regarding issues such as job loss and financing, right of residence, housing or social security. You can also get in touch with the ComeTOgether student team by phone and email. Should more personal worries trouble you, please feel free to contact the Psychological Counselling by phone.

The Financing section of Students Affairs continues to process all BAföG applications and now accepts all required documentation electronically, preferably by email. You can contact the Accommodation Service by email and phone, too.

The Studierendenwerk has compiled this and other information on the page “Gut zu wissen in der Krise” (in German language).

Financial help in cases of emergency and special hardship is offered by the „Förderverein für in Not geratene Studierende“ (Association for Students in Need). All enrolled students of TU Darmstadt are entitled to apply for a one-time financial support which will be decided upon by the board of the association. Primarily, contributions to health insurance, rent and the semester fee are covered.

Should you (re)enter Germany from risk areas, please place yourself in self-quarantine in your German living quarters for 14 days in accordance with the recommendations of the Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration (in German only) and the Robert Koch Institute (in English in parts). Should you develop symptoms such as fever, coughing or breathing difficulties, please contact your general practitioner or the emergency room by phone. Please avoid any personal contact with others. Please prepare a brief itinerary of your travels with times and places.

2020 university elections are postponed until further notice. More information on the pages of the Directorate VII – Human Resources & Legal Affairs.

In the current situation you have many questions and would like to have a lot of information: International students will find answers and contact persons on the website of the Directorate of International Affairs.

The TU Darmstadt is lifting all remaining restrictions on Internet access in the dormitories connected via the university or the city network manda until further notice. This is intended to enable residents to access online learning opportunities and information for their studies without restriction.

Communication networks and the maintenance of critical and important communication channels are of utmost importance at the moment. Therefore, we urgently ask for a responsible use of these extended possibilities.

Please do not take your children along when visiting the university campus.

All written exams, face-to-face exams and all other face-to-face courses and events (such as group practicals and labs, colloquia and excursions) are cancelled or have been postponed until 20 April 2020.

In exceptional cases to be decided individually, oral exams and oral defences of theses can be conducted via video conferences using a free choice of system provider. The examiner decides whether oral exams cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic may be offered through this media channel. Both the examinee and the respective examiner must agree mutually on this digital format. The examinee has no claim to this exception.

For more information regarding the conditions of oral exams that may be video-conferenced in exceptional cases, please check the respective FAQ for students on this webpage.

 

For all students studying to be teachers in Hesse, the oral examinations in the First State Examination are discontinued until further notice. This has been announced by the Hessische Lehrkräfteakademie (Hessian Academy of Teachers).

Further information for students applying to be teachers can be found on the website of the Zentrum für Lehrerbildung (Centre for Teacher Education).

Dear students

We are currently experiencing stormy Corona-times, which will continue for quite a while; however, we are confident of jointly weathering them well. As a university, we will do whatever it takes to work out the best possible ways of handling these challenges safely.

Unfortunately, there have been additional turbulences to deal with. Some of these apparently include discrimination against members of the university based on their suspicious looks or unusual behaviour. At the cafeteria, for instance, they notice people moving to another table when they sit down to eat or notice people changing course or direction sharply when meeting them in the hallway or on the street. Having to experience verbal and/or physical attacks, however, is worst of all. As university, we are deeply shocked by this behaviour and would like to apologise to those having experienced such despicable treatment. We strongly disapprove of this behaviour and will not tolerate it. Please let us know immediately should you have suffered such discriminating action in word or deed. We would also like to invite everyone at the university to be attentive when walking through the university or town, to be mindful of others and to assist anyone in need of help. Should you be unable to assist, please reach out to others and ask for their help and support. In addition, please inform us about any such incidents to allow us to take the necessary steps. You are not alone, we are right at your side.

  

Best wishes and kind regards

Tanja Brühl, President of TU Darmstadt, and all members of the Executive Board of TU Darmstadt

TU Darmstadt urges employees and staff to observe the measures newly agreed by the German federal and state governments regarding social distancing and limiting contacts to an absolute minimum at home and at their workplaces. Please act responsibly and avoid unnecessary personal contacts. Keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres (4-5 steps) whenever meeting anyone face-to-face.

Meetings and conferences of TU employees and staff will be limited to essential needs only, with maximum group sizes of five people each (Resolution of the Hessian Government, dated 20 March 2020, in German only). Please make use of all available communication formats by inviting others to telephone or video conferences.

Detailed instructions and guidelines relating to working from home, caring for family members, attendance meetings and sick leave have been published by the Directorate VII Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Business trips to risk areas as specified by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) cannot be approved, any approvals already granted for upcoming trips are now invalid.

We strongly recommend not travelling within Germany or abroad.

Should you have been staying in a risk area as specified by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in the last 14 days and are now returning to Germany, please notify your HR administration office immediately by phone of your return. Duty of presence does not apply to you; instead, you will have to work from home for at least 14 days. This regulation applies to any employee or staff member who has been in immediate contact with a coronavirus infected person.

2020 elections of the university staff association, representatives of youth and trainees (JAV) and representatives of scientific employees, administrative and technical staff of the institutes’ directorates are postponed until further notice. More information on the pages of the Directorate VII – Human Resources & Legal Affairs (in German).

In case of sickness, please notify your supervisor/manager as usual on the first day of sickness. You will have to present a certificate of incapacity for work from calendar day 8 of your sickness.

Supervisors/managers, employees and staff now have the opportunity to work from home in more cases than before. Your requests to reconcile this with your private situation, particularly when having to take care of your children or other relatives, will be considered.

 

Please do not take your children along to work.

 

To facilitate working from home, the University IT-Service and Computing Centre (HRZ) has opened all office phone lines of TU Darmstadt for call forwarding to an external connection. Hence, it is possible to forward your office phone to your mobile phone or private phone number.

Please observe the measures newly agreed by the German federal and state governments regarding social distancing and limiting contacts to an absolute minimum at home and at your workplace (restriction on social contacts regulation, dated 22 March 2020, in German only).

Act responsibly and avoid unnecessary personal contacts. Keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres (4-5 steps) whenever meeting anyone face-to-face.

Please limit your face-to-face meetings and conferences to essential needs, with maximum group sizes of five people each (Resolution of the Hessian Government, dated 20 March 2020, in German only).

Please make use of video and telephone conferences as an alternative form of communication more often.

Our working life has changed profoundly due to the corona crisis: Moving towards mobile work, while in parts having to take care of children at home as well, reducing face-to-face contacts to a minimum and so forth. All of this, no doubt, contributes to feeling overwhelmed and in urgent need of practical advice and assistance.

The TU’s Executive Board would like to explicitly point all employees and staff towards our proven support services provided by the Social Counselling & Conflict Management team. The team members will assist you competently by phone and, on request, by video conference as well.

Contact addresses of the Social Counselling & Conflict Management

Information about privacy policy and IT security of the web conferencing tool Zoom:

Configurations to increase security

There is no need for an employer statement to legitimise your status as employee or staff member of TU Darmstadt for commuting to and from work based on current decisions by the Hessian government and the new agreement by the German federal and state governments, dated 22 March 2020. Should this become necessary, though, the TU administration will make a standardised form available to all concerned.

Should you prefer to use your private vehicle instead of public transport to get to work, you may apply for a parking permit for the Ruthstraße or Lichtwiese car park respectively limited to three months.

Application parking permit

Frequently Asked Questions

Semester on leave

For the current winter semester, it is possible to apply for a semester on leave until the end of this month. A late starting summer semester is not an acceptable reason. As it stands at present, courses and exams will be held in the summer semester 2020 (online, etc.). Should no courses and exams take place in the summer semester 2020, this semester can be declared a semester on leave with examination permission for all students. However, this has not been decided yet and it can only be decided for the state of Hesse as a whole. A case-by-case application for a semester on leave is possible independent of a more general solution.

Yes. Applications for a semester on leave can be send by email to . Any necessary proofs can be attached to this email as scanned copies.

Semester fee and registration renewal

Renewal of registration is possible until 3 April 2020.

As the postponed exams are considered to be exams of the winter semester, a renewal of your registration for the summer semester is not mandatory. However, we strongly recommend that you do. This way, your status as a student and the benefits derived from this stay active and you will still be able to access university systems such as TUCaN and Moodle. Unfortunately, the semester fee cannot be reimbursed. TU Darmstadt acts in large parts on behalf of the RMV. It may be possible that you can apply for reimbursement of the RMV contribution for the summer semester 2020 through AstA.

Hardship provisions by the student union regarding reimbursement of the RMV-AStA-Semesterticket contribution portion (in German)

Exams

All exam registrations remain valid. Those who have deregistered already may re-register once the new exam schedules are out. TU Darmstadt keeps you posted via the TU webpages as soon as new exam dates are available.

This cannot be answered in general because “hardship” in this context always involves case-by-case decisions. The respective applications or requests need to be addressed to the examiners or the examination board.

No, it is not possible to do that for reasons of equality. Furthermore, all oral exams have been postponed as well. In addition, we do not have the capacity to orally examine all students individually.

The “Anmeldung zur mündlichen Ergänzungsprüfung” form to apply for an additional oral exam can be emailed as a scanned copy to the Office for Student Affairs.

There will be no additional oral exams before 20 April 2020. This is past the current deadline. The deadlines will be extended by the chairperson of the examination board, as the expiration is not caused by the examinee.

Postponed exams will take place during the summer semester.

There is no general rule regarding extension of deadlines. If necessary and in justifiable cases only, you need to apply for an extension as usual with the examination board. The examination board will check and decide about the applications. Reasons for extension may be health issues or other issues such as impeded access to technical literature (§ 23 (5) APB (Allgemeine Prüfungsbestimmungen [general examination terms]) of TU Darmstadt).

Should the current situation jeopardise the completion of your thesis, please send an application in accordance with § 23 (6) APB to the Office for Student Affairs. In this form, you may apply for returning the thesis even if half of the completion time has passed already.

In accordance with § 23 (5) APB (Allgemeine Prüfungsbestimmungen [general examination terms]) of TU Darmstadt, an extension by half of the regular completion time and no more than 13 weeks will be possible. Should the current situation jeopardise the completion of your thesis, please send an application in accordance with § 23 (6) APB to the Office for Student Affairs. Applying for the exceptional return of the thesis even though half of the completion time has passed already will be possible.

This will be possible in exceptional cases only and will be decided by the examiner or the examination board.

This is currently possible as an exception. The examinee has no claim to this exception. These cases must meet a number of conditions: Upon your request, the examiner decides whether an oral exam cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic may be taken via video conference. Both you and the respective examiner must agree mutually on the chosen digital format. In case of a video-conferenced exam, you must be visible in the real-time live image and you must present your ID and your student card. All examiners, including as necessary co-examiners and/or observers and the person writing the examiners report will be present at this video-conferenced oral exam. At the start of the exam, you must confirm that you are the only person in the room and that no auxiliary aids are present. At the end of the examination date, you will be informed orally of the result and grade during the video conference. Should the connection break down for technical reasons, the exam gets the status “cancelled”.

Already registered and ongoing experimental Bachelor’s or Master’s theses can be finished in agreement with their respective supervisor.

Changing degree programme/application

The application deadline is set to 15 July 2020 in all of Germany. University administration is hard at work to prepare for the application phase (starting on 1 June 2020).

Yes. University administration is hard at work to prepare for the application phase (starting on 1 June 2020).

In the current situation, originals do not need to be submitted. Scanned copies will be accepted.

Those who are already enrolled in a Bachelor degree programme at TU Darmstadt need to present proof of having passed their Bachelor degree programme by 30 April 2020 to have their Master degree programme registered in time for the summer semester 2020. How this will be done exactly still needs clarification. It is very likely, though, that admission to the Master degree programme will be granted subject to change. In this case, any missing achievements will have to be submitted later.

Health Prevention

Here you will find a compact summary of how to respond responsibly and efficiently.

General

Follow this link (in German, page in English coming soon) to learn how you can handle recruitments currently under way and/or in planning, including job interviews, as things stand now.

Authorised employees and staff may stay in university buildings between 6 am and 8 pm. Exceptions are possible to continue research projects and experiments and to secure essential operations.

Any incoming post addressed to Stadtmitte is no longer distributed by the respective facility management. Please pick up post addressed to your department or administration unit regularly at the central karo 5 post office. The karo 5 entrance for delivery services on the ground floor is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 1.30 pm to ensure access to the post office boxes.

Post and parcels addressed to Lichtwiese continue to be delivered by the regular postal distribution stations. Please pick up these deliveries regularly to ensure sufficient storage capacities at the parcel rooms and the central Lichtwiese post office. Should these storage facilities run out of room, no additional incoming parcels will be accepted. This applies to incoming chemicals as well.

Parcels addressed to Stadtmitte will be accepted by the respective facility management, if possible. Post and parcels addressed to Botanischer Garten continue to be accepted by the respective facility management.

Please note: Unfortunately, several parcel delivery services no longer seem to service the two post offices at Stadtmitte (karo5 and Altes Hauptgebäude) on a daily and reliable basis. Deliveries by UPS still work well, though.

Cleaning will be as thorough and regular as before. In the current situation, however, additional cleaning intervals have been introduced: During the day, the toilets will be cleaned twice as often as before. As many employees and staff work from home, offices still in use are cleaned as necessary. Please put up a sign at your office door advising our cleaning personnel to clean your room.

You will receive your Hesse-wide public transport Landesticket in due time by post. They are currently sent out twice a week.

The Directorate VII Human Resources and Legal Affairs recommends using electronic communication methods more frequently. This way, applications for continued employment can be submitted by using and scanning in the regular forms necessary for observing official channels in electronic form. Job applications still need to be submitted by post using the regular forms and all required documentation; however, it is possible to send in electronic copies in advance. Please hand in applications to increase or reduce working hours, for parental leave, notifications of pregnancy and other matters (such as submitting birth certificates, marriage certificates, change of name, bank details and/or postal address) that are not linked to forms, as necessary, by email. There is no need for any specific form; however, to observe the official channels, please direct your email to the respective officer in charge at the Directorate VII,

Mobile work

Supervisors/managers, employees and staff need to think about the kind of tasks that can be assigned temporarily when working from home. These do not necessarily have to be tasks to keep up university operations.

In most cases, mobile work is possible with a university-provided mobile device. We are currently hard at work to provide safe and secure remote access to private mobile devices in case there are no university-provided mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets or laptops available. Until then, a private mobile phone can be used as an exception, though for reasons of IT security, in a very limited way only. Please take all necessary precautions and use your private devices responsibly to ensure that the IT systems of TU Darmstadt are not exposed to additional risks. Make sure to have the latest anti-virus software installed and updated regularly on your private devices. Be aware of the risks to TU Darmstadt when working with private devices. The HRZ has compiled the requirements to be met for using private devices on a webpage.

Please note as a TU member with staff management responsibilities, that your employees and staff members must indicate their consent to using their private devices for university work. Please inform them about the importance of data protection. Hence, data may only be stored and saved on Hessenbox and/or TU drives, but not on private devices of any kind. For staff in central administration, access to the central administration drives and to various databases (such as SAP ERP and HCM) is currently only permitted by using university-provided devices. Please contact the respective system administrators to clarify authorisations.

Employees and staff on mobile work are covered by the statutory accident insurance when working from home. There is no fully equipped home office with PC and telephone connection necessary. However, the tasks and work performed from home must be directly related to the insured job at the university. Hence, the accident insurance covers the full scope of activities directly linked to the job as if performed at the university. The insurance coverage does not include any activities away from your mobile work area or outside your home office and it does not include any activities relating to your personal, private life (such as interruptions to go shopping, sport activities, etc.). For additional information (in German only), please go to Unfallkasse Hessen (Hessian accident insurance company under public law).

Sick leave

In case of sickness, employees and staff need to notify their supervisor/manager as usual on the first day of sickness. Please send in the required form „Krankmeldung“ (sick leave) electronically via email to the respective officer in charge at the Directorate VII. Please send in the form Gesundmeldung (recovered) via email as well. It is not necessary to sign these forms.

In the current situation, you need to hand in a certificate of incapacity to work on day 8 of your sick leave. Please send it by email to your supervisor/manager who will forward it to to the respective officer in charge at the Directorate VII.

Until further notice, presenting the original certificate of incapacity to work will not be necessary. We ask all employees and staff to file these original certificates at home. You will be informed in time if and when the originals need to be submitted.

Days of sickness during annual leave will not be counted as holidays provided sick employees and staff submit a medical certificate of incapacity to work for these days. Without such a medical certificate, days of sickness cannot be deducted from annual leave already taken.

Management responsibilities

There will be no “compulsory redundancies”, i.e. these contracts will not be terminated due to operational reasons. The same conditions as for employees and staff also apply to student assistants. The focus is primarily on mobile work, possibly using private devices (as long as data protection can be ensured), and assigning tasks that do not require being at the university. Supervisors/managers, employees and staff need to think about the kind of tasks that can be assigned even temporarily when working from home. These do not necessarily have to be tasks to keep up university operations. Please discuss this and share your ideas, be creative.

Mobile work is a possibility, including modified tasks that can be done at home. It is also possible to modify employment contracts (such as reducing working hours, moving starting period or terminating the contract at the student assistant’s request). These options are only possible by mutual agreement, provided the contract has been signed by both parties already. Please remember: Student assistants are an integral and highly supportive part of this university, particularly in teaching, which unfortunately cannot take place at the moment. It is the responsibility of the respective departments to ensure continuity as far as possible.

Vacation

Any leave already approved has to be taken.

Details here

Latest information about COVID-19

can be found on the websites of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration (HMSI).

An information brochure on the coronavirus in several languages can be downloaded from the HMSI website.