FAQs for Students

How will teaching at Goethe University be organised in the 2021/22 winter semester?
After teaching during the past three semesters largely had to take place in digital or hybrid form due to the pandemic, Goethe University will mostly return to in-person courses in the 2021/22 winter semester. It hence follows that in the first instance our teaching staff will hold their courses on-site on campus. However, some courses will take place in a virtual format in the winter semester too. Information on all courses can be found in the course catalogue (https://tinygu.de/vorlesungsverzeichnis).

How can I recognise whether a course is digital, hybrid or face-to-face?
Information about the teaching mode for courses can be found in the course catalogue (https://tinygu.de/vorlesungsverzeichnis). If you have any questions or if something is unclear, please contact the person in charge of the course.

Under what conditions can I take participate in face-to-face courses?
At Goethe University, the 3G rule applies. This means that students must produce corresponding proof in the shape of one of the following in order to attend in-person courses:

  • Proof that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 (with one or more of the vaccines approved by the Paul Ehrlich Institute, see https://tinyurl.com/cn565rn6)
  • Proof that you have recovered from a COVID-19 infection (laboratory result by means of a PCR or a PoC test) or
  • A negative rapid antigen test no older than 24 hours (self-tests are not permitted) or a test result from a PCR or PoC test no older than 48 hours.

Can I also document my 2G status on my Goethe-Card?
At the moment, the HRZ is establishing a technical procedure that will enable the 2G proof (vaccinated/healed) to be printed on the Goethe-Card in the form of a simple symbol. After a successful test phase, it will probably be possible to upload the certificate and print the symbol on the Goethe-Card from 13 October. This symbol on the Goethe-Card will then serve as negative proof and facilitate access to Goethe University buildings and events. Important: Printing the symbol on the Goethe Card is voluntary, you can of course also identify yourself with the usual documents at the checkpoint! Detailed information on the date of activation and on the procedure for uploading the certificate will be posted on the website.

By when – prior to attending a course – must I have done a coronavirus test?
The rapid antigen test must be no older than 24 hours. The PCR or PoC test must be no older than 48 hours.

Are there opportunities to get tested for free?
All individuals without Covid 19 symptoms (asymptomatic) can have free PoC antigen testing again since November 13, 2021.

Am I obliged to get vaccinated in order to participate in face-to-face courses?
You are not obliged to get vaccinated, but we strongly recommend it. The 3G rule is a basic prerequisite for the protection of all Goethe University students and staff and indispensable for enabling a return to in-person teaching. To participate in face-to-face courses, you must present proof that you have been vaccinated or have recovered or a negative test result (an official negative rapid antigen test result that is no older than 24 hours; alternatively, an official PCR test no older than 48 hours).
In accordance with the decision of the Conference of Minister Presidents dated 10 August 2021, there will continue to be the option of a free rapid antigen test for persons who cannot be vaccinated and/or for whom there is no general vaccination recommendation. The Federal State of Hessen will publish a corresponding regulation when chargeable tests are introduced.

Do I have to do a chargeable new test every day if I was vaccinated abroad with a vaccine not approved in Germany?

In accordance with Section 4a of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Test Regulations of 21.09.2021, international students who have been vaccinated with a vaccine not approved in the EU can continue to be tested free of charge up until 31.12.2021.

Do I have to do a new test every day?
If you are not vaccinated or have not recovered from a COVID-19 infection, you require a negative rapid antigen test no older than 24 hours for each day that you attend in-person courses (self-tests are not permitted) or a negative result from a PCR or PoC test no older than 48 hours.

What do I do if I was vaccinated abroad but my vaccine is not recognised in Germany?
Only the four vaccines approved in the EU by the EMA (https://tinyurl.com/cn565rn6) and other vaccines produced under licence in third countries (as of 29.07.2021, https://tinyurl.com/4a9ec66k) are recognised (according to the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance, the COVID-19 Protective Measures Exemption Ordinance and the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations). SARS-CoV-2 vaccines other than those listed are not currently recognised in Germany.

Why is Goethe University returning to in-person courses at all?
After three semesters of virtual teaching, enabling you to continue your studies at the university again in person is very important to us. Students who commenced their studies in the last semesters have not yet experienced campus life, not met their fellow students and lecturers in person, and are thus unfamiliar with the normal way of studying. Many students have found it extremely difficult to get started with their studies, others find sticking with digital studies problematic. Goethe University is a brick-and-mortar university, and we would therefore like to offer our students in-person studies again as soon as possible.

How will Goethe University check adherence to the 3G rule?
Random checks on proof of vaccination, recovery and negative tests no older than 24 hours will be conducted at the main entrances to our buildings. Your Goethe University membership will also be checked there (through presentation of your GoetheCard). We ask for your understanding that there might be waiting times during peak periods. Please plan a little extra time, especially in the first weeks of the semester, so that you can nonetheless be punctual for your courses.

Which infection prevention measures apply beyond the 3G rule?
Please adhere to the usual hygiene rules, such as keeping a distance, washing your hands, sneezing in the crook of your arm, etc. More information can be found here: https://www.infektionsschutz.de/coronavirus/alltag-in-zeiten-von-corona.html
Goethe University will install disinfectant dispensers throughout its premises. In addition, we will ensure that directions and signage are adapted to coronavirus conditions for teaching operations. Masks will generally be compulsory in Goethe University buildings and during courses. Exceptions are only possible where the distances according to the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute can be maintained.

Is it compulsory to wear a medical mask in the university’s buildings as well as once seated in the course room?
Yes, only in this way can we fully utilise room capacities for courses. Exceptions are only possible for courses with fewer people and a correspondingly large room, so that the distancing rules that then apply again can be safely observed.

Will personal data be collected/stored and if so, how will this be regulated?
For access to Goethe University, students must present proof that they are university members via their GoetheCard and of their 3G status. This means that documents are checked, but there is NO collection or storage of personal data.

Are the canteens open?
Yes, both the canteens and the cafeterias will open at the start of the lecture period. Capacities will depend on their safety concepts. Please consult the website of Frankfurt Student Services beforehand about access and hygiene rules:

How is access to the libraries organised, and is it possible to work there?
The Central Library on Bockenheimer Warte is open to all users. Access to the branch libraries is currently restricted to members of Goethe University (students, professors, staff) as well as external lecturers at the university. Workspaces are available in the libraries for students. Opening hours and access rules can be found on the following website: https://www.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/corona/

How long are Goethe University buildings generally open?
Access to university buildings is only possible until 8:00 pm. Anyone who has entered a university building by 8:00 pm can stay in those libraries that are open until 10:00 pm. The respective opening hours of the branch libraries can be found on the Central Library’s website.

Is it possible to take part in digital courses from campus?
So that students can follow virtual lectures, for example, from campus as well, rooms will be made available in the Seminar Pavilion (“Seminarpavillon”, Westend Campus), the Biocentre (“Biozentrum”, Riedberg Campus) and the New Canteen (“Neue Mensa”, Bockenheim Campus). Access to these rooms will also be restricted in line with the 3G rule. Please remember to bring a headset and a fully charged battery with you if you want to participate in a virtual course.

Do I have a right to courses as alternatives or equivalent to face-to-face courses if I belong to a high risk group?
Students who according to the criteria of the Robert Koch Institute belong to a high risk group (https://tinyurl.com/w3xjsv8) may be given the possibility to participate in courses and examinations from home. Accordingly, there is no right to equivalent options. Students do, however, have the right to a thorough assessment on the part of the university as to whether they can be offered alternative arrangements. In such cases, please contact the person in charge of the course or the chairperson of the examination board. You might be asked to present a medical certificate.

Is there a general obligation for me to attend courses in person?
Regular attendance as proof of participation will be suspended in the 2021/22 winter semester, unless deviating provisions are agreed for in-person courses. For virtual courses, the checking of regular attendance as proof of participation already suspended applies without restriction. Regular attendance can be replaced in the respective course by the requirement for “active participation”. Such decisions are the responsibility of the respective lecturer in consultation with the module coordinator. If students are unable for personal reasons (high risk group/high risk household, care responsibilities, technical equipment , etc.) to attend a course in person every time, teaching staff are asked to provide suitable self-study materials.

Can I choose whether I now study on site or digitally?
Since we are unable to organise all courses in parallel as face-to-face and virtual ones, this is not possible. Some courses will be held in a virtual format again. Students who cannot participate in face-to-face courses for health reasons should contact the person in charge of the course or the dean’s office of their faculty.

Do distancing rules apply in courses?
We want to enable as many students as possible to participate in face-to-face courses and to use the capacity of our course rooms up to 100 per cent. That is why the 3G access rule applies – without distancing rules, but all participants must wear a medical mouth-and-nose covering. Insofar as the size of the room and the number of participants allow, it is also possible to dispense with the wearing of the mouth-and-nose covering when seated, provided that the corresponding distance is maintained.

What must I do if I test positive?
If the result of a rapid antigen test is positive, you are obliged to have a nucleic acid- based test (molecular test) done without delay (e.g. a PCR test). It does not matter whether the first test is an official one or a self-test. For the second test then necessary, your self-isolation (which is otherwise compulsory) is temporarily suspended; you may thus go directly (i.e. without detours!) to the doctor’s surgery or to the test centre, without any further contacts and at a previously arranged time.
If a PCR test confirms that you have contracted COVID-19, the laboratory will notify the public health department of the positive test result. The public health department will then instruct you to self-isolate. However, you should already stay at home if you suspect that you are infected and while waiting for the test result and avoid contact with others. Depending on how the disease progresses and taking into account your domestic situation, you will either self-isolate at home or in hospital.
When self-isolating at home, please follow the public health department’s instructions. This includes not leaving your home and not receiving visitors. Please follow your doctor’s recommendations.

If I count as a contact person, when must I go into quarantine?
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has published new and stricter criteria regarding when you count as a contact person of an infected person and which rules then apply: https://tinyurl.com/harmytcx.

Who counts as a close contact person?
It generally applies that you are a contact person if you have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive (= case) while they were infectious:

  • Close contact (< 1.5 m, close range) for longer than 10 minutes without adequate protection (definition of adequate protection: Case and contact person both wear a mouth-and-nose covering [MNC] or a FFP2 mask continuously and correctly).
  • Conversation with a person who has tested positive (face-to-face contact, < 1.5 m, irrespective of the duration of the conversation) without adequate protection (see above).
  • Simultaneous presence of the contact person and the person who has tested positive in the same room with a likely high concentration of infectious aerosols regardless of the distance for > 10 minutes, even if a MNC or a FFP2 mask was worn continuously and correctly.

This means that you are a close contact person if you have spent even just ten minutes in the same room with a person who has tested positive (with a likely high concentration of infectious droplets/aerosols). This applies regardless of the distance between you and even if you have worn a mouth-and-nose covering or a FFP2 mask continuously and correctly. This means that after close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 you must go into quarantine immediately (source: Robert Koch Institute).

I was abroad recently. Do I have to go into quarantine before I can take part in face-to-face courses?
At Goethe University, the rules in accordance with the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations apply for participation in courses and other events for persons coming from abroad (https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/service/gesetze-und-verordnungen/guv-19-lp/coronaeinreisev.html).

Are rooms disinfected before and between courses?
All course rooms are disinfected at regular intervals.

Is the ventilation in course rooms geared to coronavirus conditions?
In accordance with the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance of the Federal State of Hessen, a ventilation concept is in place for all courses and rooms in which courses are held.
Many course rooms have efficient ventilation and air-conditioning systems, which are equipped with air filters and exchange the room air several times per hour. Course rooms not fitted with a ventilation and air-conditioning system are ventilated manually at regular intervals according to the rules and additionally fitted with CO2 sensors. These sensors are used to check indoor air quality: If the threshold is exceeded, an alarm is triggered, making additional manual ventilation mandatory.
Rooms that can neither be ventilated nor have an adequate air filter system are not approved for teaching in the 2021/22 winter semester.

Does the 3G rule apply only for courses or in general for access to university buildings?
The 3G rule applies everywhere for students on the university’s premises in Riedberg, Westend and Bockenheim/Ginnheim. Exception: In the buildings of University Hospital Frankfurt on the medical campus in Niederrad, the 2G rule (vaccinated or recovered) will apply, also to protect the patients there. This rule is based on a decision by University Hospital Frankfurt and its house rules, not on a stricter rule on the part of Goethe University.

Can I use the services and advice centres for students (e.g. academic advice, student services, examination offices, International Office, psychological counselling) on site again on campus?
Services will in general be offered again on site from the beginning of the lecture period. However, digital services will also continue to be offered. If you are in any doubt, please consult the respective website in advance. You can find an overview of advisory and support services for students here: https://tinygu.de/beratung-unterstuetzung

Are there places on campus where students can stay?
Goethe University will make various rooms available on its campuses that students can use for studying or participating in virtual courses and where they can stay between courses.

Are the courses run by University Sports taking place?
Yes, the Centre for University Sports offers both in-person courses (in compliance with the 3G rule) and online courses. Further information: https://tinygu.de/coronaregeln-hochschulsport

Am I allowed to take my children onto campus with me?
Children and adolescents (insofar as these are not Goethe University students) are only granted access to university premises if it is absolutely necessary and under 2G conditions (i.e. vaccinated or recovered).

Can I go to the canteen together with friends who are not Goethe University students?
No, that is unfortunately not yet possible again.

How can student organisations / initiatives now hold their events again?
Whether student council, association or other group – many students join forces to campaign for specific issues and also like to invite people to their events for this purpose. Given the current situation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, these events are currently only possible with a corresponding hygiene concept and only if the application for the respective event has been checked and approved by Goethe University’s crisis team (krisenstab@uni-frankfurt.de). Please note that in view of Goethe University’s coronavirus regulations, it is currently only possible to invite external guests (e.g. students from other universities) to student events on campus if these events take place separately from curricular teaching activities in terms of venue and time schedule, i.e. in Goethe University buildings only from Monday to Friday after 8:00 pm or at the weekend. Further information and forms for compiling the respective hygiene concept can be found in the Coronavirus Toolbox.

Are parties, campus cinema and other events for students possible on campus with the 3G rule?
We are looking forward to lots of parties, film evenings and other leisure activities for students on campus as soon as the coronavirus protection measures cease to apply. Unfortunately, this is not yet possible at the present time. Please continue to be patient.

These new circumstances are causing me problems. Whom can I contact?
If you having trouble organising your studies, the academic advisors for your degree programme can help you. You can find the right person to contact under: https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/100534147

Please submit applications for the modification of course formats or their participation conditions to the examination board for your degree programme after consultation with the person in charge of the course.

Please address any basic or general feedback on the organisation of the in-person semester to the Feedback and Complaints Office of Goethe University. Email: febe@uni-frankfurt.de

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