Information for students at the start of the 2020 summer semester

Dear Students,

A warm welcome to the 2020 summer semester – an exceptional semester!

The Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing it has brought with it also mean that the 2020 summer semester will take a different course at Goethe University than any of us thought. We will begin with courses on 20 April 2020, but they will all be carried out remotely until the end of May at least. Classroom teaching, even in small groups, is not possible yet. Professors and instructors are expressly permitted to offer teaching in virtual form for the entire semester

Our goal is to make it possible for you to study in as broad a scope as possible in the 2020 summer semester. Professors, instructors, and employees are working toward this goal with great commitment and creativity. Nonetheless, teaching will not be able to be offered in all degree programmes in the customary rhythm or even to the customary extent. Courses that can only take place in-person have to be postponed for now. The same applies to the dates for making up in-person tests from the 2019/20 winter semester.

Your individual opportunities to follow remote courses will vary greatly depending on personal circumstances. The bottom line is that you can and are encouraged to take advantage of the courses as extensively as possible, but you are not required to do so. We are advocating at the state and federal levels so that you will suffer no disadvantages from this with regard to semester count and your right to receive BAföG benefits. At the same time we are also working within the university to find regulations that are as accommodating as possible. In particular, the framework conditions for deadlines in examination matters will be published over the course of this week on a website that will be continually updated: We ask for your understanding that a number of issues still require clarification – partly of a political nature – and ask you to please check there regularly for the latest information. Please send your questions to the familiar e-mail address:

If due to a changed assessment on social contacts in-person courses are again possible, we will also make use of this option at Goethe University – with at least four weeks’ notice to ensure a smooth transition. Examination periods will be communicated as early as possible, but with at least four weeks’ notice.

We know that this unusual semester means additional effort and work for you and for everyone involved in teaching operations at our university. We ask you to be considerate of each other and with us, but please do not hold back your questions. The feedback from professors and instructors so far signal a great willingness to take on this joint task. We ask you for your willingness as well!

With best regards, 

Birgitta Wolff
Goethe University President

Roger Erb
Vice President for Study and Teaching

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