Summer 2020 semester: current information for professors and instructors

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Colleagues,

The first weeks of the lecture period in this summer semester have shown that we have come to terms with the suspension of in-person courses in various ways – and the majority of courses are being offered in virtual form. This is a unique challenge and a unique achievement requiring substantial extra effort. The students appreciate this effort as we have learned in various conversations. I would like to thank all professors and instructors, and all involved in the organisation of study and teaching!

We are determined to use this unusual situation to learn how virtual teaching can be a useful addition to in-person teaching in the future. But at the same time, most of us would probably prefer to be able to have direct contact with students on campus as soon as possible. Due to the required hygiene and distancing regulations, and in keeping with the Corona Regulation from 7 May 2020 and the interpretation of the HMWK, this will only be possible for a small portion of courses with specific formats.  

In the following key points, we would like to inform you about current changes in teaching and examinations – and what has not changed as well:

  • Teaching must continue to take place mostly in virtual form; there are no indications that this will change in the near future. We meanwhile assume this will continue into the winter semester.
  • Practical laboratory courses with a benchmark number of up to 15 participants per room may take place beginning immediately. The same applies to other courses with practical aspects that require in-person presence, such as sports. The prerequisite for carrying out these courses is the development of a distancing and hygiene concept for each individual case which must be reviewed by Occupational Safety (
  • Starting in June, examinations, tests and e-tests with more than 12 participants will again be carried out in person under observance of the RKI standards. This applies first to the exams that need to be made up from the Winter 2019/20 semester. Exams with more than 12 participants will be centrally coordinated. Faculties and examination offices should please write to For questions on the organisation of e-tests with LPLUS, please write to Because of the shortage of space due to the observance of RKI standards, we request switching to equivalent forms of evaluation or on-line examinations wherever possible.
  • We are currently reviewing to what extent individual smaller courses that require in-person attendance can take place during the first three weeks of July, subject to room capacities in view of the examination schedule. We will provide separate information on this issue shortly.
  • Students who belong to a risk group according to RKI standards should be given opportunities to take part in teaching and examinations from home, for example through the generous use of equivalent forms of evaluation. Students may come to campus on a voluntary basis, for example to take part in exams. The same applies to students who live in the same household with individuals in a risk group.
  • Since loaning services are again being provided by the libraries, the completion deadlines for term papers, final papers and other written coursework which had been suspended on 17 March (start of the restrictions on teaching operations) will once again go into effect. The effective date for the transition is 15 May 2020. For term papers and final papers newly assigned between 15 May through 30 September 2020, the completion deadlines as stipulated in the regulations will start on the day the assignment is made, and will be generally extended by three weeks. Different rules may be made for state examinations.
  • Borrowed books will be automatically extended by the university library by 28 days in June for the last time. After this, the loan deadlines apply once more, and beginning on 1 July 2020, overdue penalties will also go into effect. The university library will provide further information.
  • There is currently no state-wide coordinated regulation for the lecture period in the winter semester. Like the current semester, its start may be delayed. If the winter semester has to take place under similar circumstances as the current semester, comparable regulations will probably apply.

More detailed information on this and other issues can be found on our website under (German).

We ask for your compliance, and also for your understanding with regard to the new regulations. They have been and will continue to be developed together with the student deans, and study and teaching staff – and will be adjusted according to the current situation if necessary. We have found the coordination, as well as the diverse and productive discussions with you to be very pragmatic and focussed. Thank you for this as well!

With best regards,

Birgitta Wolff, Goethe University President
Roger Erb, Vice President for Study and Teaching

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