Teaching in the Winter Semester 2021/2022
Unfortunately, the upcoming winter semester still cannot take place without restrictions.
Based on the framework the university has now published (10/1/2021) we will follow the framework that we announced back in the summer as we designed our teaching program.
We will be following these principles:
- In-person instruction is an important cornerstone of our teaching philosophy. That is why we want to return to the lecture halls, within the bounds of what is acceptable and permissible.
- For a variety of reasons – health issues, travel restrictions, etc. – not all students will be able to attend in-person courses. Therefore, at least for the winter, our programs will have to allow off-site students to access necessary materials online. This requirement also extends to the format of the exam.
- From the point of view of the teaching staff, it is also true that in-person teaching is not always possible for a number of reasons. Nobody can or should be forced to provide in-person teaching.
In more concrete terms, this means:
- Small courses (up to 20-30 students, depending on the availability of the lecture hall) can, and should, be held in person if feasible and possible. Students must be given the opportunity to digitally acquire the content necessary to pass the exam. The exact format for this depends on the particular course. The range of possible formats can extend from fully hybrid formats in seminars, to a combination of uploaded lecture videos and live Q&A sessions, to slides via screencast, etc.
- We will have to continue to conduct larger courses in digital format only.
- Exceptions, for which we will make special efforts to provide in-person teaching, are the following courses:
- Microeconomics 1 in the 1st year of the Bachelor's degree (first semester)
- Empirical Economics 2 in the 2nd year of the Bachelor's degree (third semester, those who have previously only experienced online teaching)
- Macroeconomics in the 1st year of the Master's program (MEC) (first semester in the Master's degree)
- In any case, digital access to these courses will be ensured as well. This means that students in all stages of their studies can now complete important elements of their studies in person while at the same time enabling us to avoid undue hardship for students who should not be burdened with the ongoing problems created by the pandemic.
- We assume that specialized seminars (Schwerpunktseminare) in the Bachelor's degree, elective courses (lectures as well as seminars) in the Master's degree, and the MQE courses can take place in person. At the same time, digital access to these courses must be ensured as well.
As part of the orientation weeks (O-phase) for the first semester (Bachelor) starting on October 14, in-person events will be offered, which will also make it easier for you to get to know your fellow students and thus to forge a network. However, large events within the O-phase will also be offered digitally. In any case, no one will be excluded because he or she cannot be on site, and digital options will be available for all formats. In any case, no one will be excluded because he or she cannot be on site, and digital options will also be available for all formats.
We look forward to taking the first steps toward "normality."
I am very confident that significant further steps will then be possible in the summer semester. However, given the global nature of the pandemic, I would like to warn you that it is quite possible that ensuring digital access to the courses remains advisable, which will then have an impact on the format of exams in particular.
In preparation for the upcoming winter semester running as smoothly as possible, I have two requests:
- Get vaccinated. Vaccination has been scientifically proven to be safe and provides very effective protection against serious effects of the disease, and it makes an important contribution to ending the pandemic for society as a whole.
- Document your vaccination status with an app (CovPass or similar). This will simplify and speed up checks that will certainly be necessary under the access rules in force at the time.
Thanks in advance for that. And thank you also for your patience and constructive cooperation over the past few semesters. Without input and understanding from your side, it would not have been possible to manage this difficult time so successfully.
I wish both you and us an enjoyable and successful winter semester!
Stay safe and all the best,
Dean of the Department of Economics