Dear Students at TU Darmstadt
Dear First-semester Students
We look forward to the Winter Semester 2021/22 and most of all more presence and personal encounters while studying and teaching. Our concept in times of the coronavirus pandemic can be described with the following catchwords: “responsible reopening”, “best possible safety”, “reliable and stable course of study and teaching operations” during the next months.
Much of what we missed so dearly will now be possible again. All departments will be offering exercises, seminars and lectures the traditional way on site again. At the same time, we will keep the special needs of many students and university teachers alike in mind: All attendance courses offered on site will also be offered in digitally equivalent formats to make sure that students who may belong to specific groups at risk or are under quarantine order can complete their studies without additional burdens.
In other areas on campus, we will be returning gradually to a more “normal” university life: The University Library and several learning centres (study areas) are now open and additional rooms (such as PC pools) will open and be partially accessible shortly. Courses by the Language Resource Centre (SPZ) and the Academic Bridging Courses (Studienkolleg) will be offered in person on site; lab practicals will continue in the well-established presence formats, excursions can be scheduled and carried out again, written exams will continue in person on site, oral examinations can now also be taken in person on site.
We would also take this opportunity and welcome on Campus those of you in particular who are now starting your studies here at TU Darmstadt. The departmental student bodies and representative committees together with many divisions of the university have organised a Welcome programme that also contains some on-site attendance activities; thus, making immediate contact and networking possible.
All these measures of rule relaxation have been thoroughly considered and combined with well-functioning digital services, as the pandemic is not over yet. We are confident that our concept supporting physical attendance opportunities will make a safe and predictable course of the winter semester possible, even if politics and public authorities may have to tighten the regulations of their coronavirus protection ordinances again during the winter months. The Hygiene and infection control concept of TU Darmstadt has served us well in the past semesters and has also been praised outside of the university. This concept is being updated regularly to maintain flexibility when facing new challenges. Observing the requirements and the so-called AHA+L rules (“Keep your distance, observe hygiene rules, wear a mask, ventilate”) are carefully monitored and, based on our experience, have been “internalised” nicely by all members of TU Darmstadt.
As our safety concepts are very effective, we can do without the additional checks, rules and restrictions on Campus you need to follow in other areas of your life based on the “3G” rules (recovered, vaccinated, tested). As an “open” institution in every respect, we generally do not check on your health status “vaccinated, recovered or tested”. However, in some specific situations where the implementation of AHA+L rules is not fully possible, we will continue to request a negative coronavirus testing result independent of whether or not you have been vaccinated against or have recovered from the coronavirus. This applies in particular to some lab practicals and practical sport courses and/or events (such as team sports) that inevitably require the attending parties’ physical presence on site. In these cases, TU Darmstadt will provide coronavirus test kits free of charge.
Our “TU Darmstadt strategy” is aimed at combining maximum health protection, individual freedom of choice and best possible predictability and continuity. By doing so, we would like to boost your morale and encourage you during the winter semester, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic dynamics and the resulting unpredictable short-term consequences.
Tanja Brühl, President of TU Darmstadt, and Heribert Warzecha, Vicepresident, Academic Affairs and Diversity of TU Darmstadt