First of all, I would like to thank you all very much for your considerable efforts during this semester to ensure once again that teaching, learning and the organization of teaching were all successfully carried out amidst the third wave of COVID-19 in Germany. The third wave is currently waning and the latest legal updates have now given us the long-awaited opportunity to further open up on-site (hybrid) teaching. However, the ongoing pandemic and the emergence of the delta variant in Dresden behoove us to proceed with caution.
Teaching in the 2021 summer semester as of June 21, 2021
Teaching in the remaining five weeks of the summer semester
will continue to primarily take place online. In order to give students and lecturers the opportunity to interact in person, exceptions for teaching and learning events can also be permitted in addition to those that are already being conducted on site (internships, lab experiments, etc.), if on-site attendance greatly boosts the acquisition of expertise. The Deans (or Heads of the Central Academic Units) or Deans of Studies will make individual decisions based on the justification and the hygiene concept proposed by the lecturers. However, teaching must take place in facilities or rooms already allocated to the faculties and Central Academic Units for teaching in the summer semester while observing the permitted room occupancy (the so-called COVID capacity). We kindly ask you not to submit new requests for
larger rooms. This is because a suitable prioritization and organizational implementation is not possible in terms of time and personnel so close to the exam period. In the interest of the academic success of all students, please note that a digital mapping of all on-site courses is necessary in the case that not all students are able to attend the course due to limited room capacity or due the absence of students (e.g. those without accommodation in Dresden, in quarantine, and individuals who are particularly at risk).
Examinations in the summer semester
The limitations for on-site examinations, which are currently in force for the 2021 summer semester, will remain in place in order to ensure reliable long-term planning for both lecturers and students, as well as the allocation of rooms. Therefore, the regulations stipulated in the circular letter on May 5, 2021
and the Decision of the Vice-Rector Academic Affairs for examinations in the 2021 summer semester
will continue to apply for all examinations.
Until May 14, applications for exceptions, i.e. on-site examinations with more than 100 participants could be submitted to the Vice-Rectorate Academic Affairs. Since we only received 15 applications, it appears that the possibilities for online examinations with the support of the ZiLL and the staff for digital teaching have been well received. A big thank you to all involved! For examinations with fewer than 100 participants, it is at the discretion of the Dean’s Offices as to whether or not to hold on-site exams. The Study Program Coordinators are to be involved in this process.
In particular, the University Executive Board would like to once again point out that cancellations of examinations in the summer semester remain prohibited in accordance with the above stipulations and furthermore cannot be justified due to the wide range of possibilities for organizing examinations. Applications for a timely postponement, e.g. in order to improve the digitalization of the examination, were possible up until May 31, but none have been submitted to the Vice-Rectorate Academic Affairs. Any postponements that have not yet been requested must be discussed with the Vice-Rectorate Academic Affairs by June 23, 2021.
General information regarding on-site teaching
The current hygiene regulations continue to apply (e.g. Keeping a distance from each other, ventilation, wearing a medical mask), which are in line with the guidelines stipulated in the federal and state regulations. These are continually updated on the TUD Health Management website
. For on-site teaching and exams, the university also provides self-tests for lecturers, examiners and students, which are delivered to the faculties and Central Academic Units via Safety at Work (firstname.lastname@example.org
) and distributed by the lecturers. In accordance with the decision of the University Executive Board of June 15, 2021, you are still required to record your attendance of on-site courses in accordance with the Corona Protection Ordinance § 6 para. 7 and 8
Outlook for the winter semester 2021/2022
The Extended University Executive Board shares the hope of all members of the university that the winter semester will commence in October 2021 with normal, on-site attendance. The Central Room and Schedule Planning Department has allocated rooms accordingly. If the pandemic situation continues to wane, nothing stands in the way of a semester with sufficient opportunity for face-to-face meetings. However, the effects of the delta variant and future viral mutations as well as travel during the summer cannot be predicted.
Therefore, we would like to point out several essential points:
- In preparation for first-year students’ orientation and introductory courses prior to the start of the winter semester, we are still planning with the current limited room occupancy for the 2021 summer semester. The restrictions are necessary to ensure that the events can be planned reliably for the first-year students.
- There is a high probability that not all lecture halls and seminar rooms can be fully occupied due to the distancing rules that apply at the beginning of the lecture period and are still unpredictable today. For teaching in the winter semester, we therefore urge all lecturers to consider digital or hybrid teaching methods from the outset, which would also allow e.g. students from abroad to acquire expertise even if they are not yet able to travel at the beginning of the semester.
- We will inform you accordingly about the corresponding hygiene regulations, which we are not yet able to assess today; in addition, you can always keep up to date by visiting the TUD websites on COVID-19.
In any case, the experiences of the last COVID-semester can and should be used to increase flexibility, further development and professionalization in teaching
. Digital and hybrid teaching, “blended learning” or “flipped classroom” methods should continue to be used, even when classes are back to full attendance, where learners and teachers experience that this improves teaching and facilitates the acquisition of skills. For this purpose, sufficient long-term staff from the Future Contract [Zukunftsvertrag] is now available in the service teams for support of virtual teaching in the Schools and in ZiLL
. These positions will utilize their expertise to foster your developments in digital teaching.
On behalf of the Extended University Executive Board, I would like to thank you for your continued support, which has greatly contributed to successfully navigate through the two “COVID-semesters”. We will continue on this track and jointly master also the third and hopefully last corona semester united as teachers, learners and supporters.