UniversityNews & EventsInformation on the Coronavirus
Nachricht der Hochschulleitung an Beschäftigte und Studierende der LUH

Message from University Management to LUH employees and students

Information on the current situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic

Dear colleagues and students,

Today, just before Easter, I would like to provide you with the latest Information on the current situation. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude: for your excellent work during the winter semester, which still required considerable flexibility and agility from all of us, for the unbroken and outstanding commitment of all those involved, for many suggestions and constructive input to university management, as well as for your incredible patience in light of the pandemic. Moreover, I would like to thank our students, who continue to master changing situations and conditions with such determination and drive.

In spite of all challenges, this makes me feel very optimistic about the future of our university.

Before your Easter holidays, I would like to provide the following information:

Extension of the standard period of study

The state parliament has passed a resolution to extend the standard period of study by one semester ("individual standard period of study"). This applies to students who have been enrolled for one semester between summer semester 2020 and summer semester 2021. For students who have been enrolled for at least two semesters within the same period, the standard period of study has been extended by two semesters (see section 7.5 of our FAQ on the coronavirus pandemic).

Summer semester 2021

Teaching activities in the summer semester will take place online. Face-to-face sessions for new students can only be resumed if the incidence rate for the Hannover region drops below 50 over a period of seven days. If this is the case, the Presidential Board and the emergency committee will make a decision and provide further details. At the moment, laboratory work, project studies, as well as preparing for bachelor's or master's examinations in student groups is possible. Provided that the incidence rate drops below 50 over an extended period, we will evaluate if these activities may take place in larger groups.

The examination period for larger, centrally planned written examinations in the summer semester starts on 25 July. Once again, the Presidential Board would like to point out that examinations in the summer semester should be held online, where possible. On-campus examinations in the summer semester will be conducted under strict compliance with hygiene requirements.

Self-testing at Leibniz University Hannover

In agreement with the emergency committee, university management takes the view that conducting tests may be beneficial for maintaining day-to-day business at the university. However, this must not lead to a false sense of security or to neglecting hygiene measures.

Wherever possible, members of LUH staff are asked to work from home. This rule still applies. According to requirements issued by the state of Lower Saxony, LUH cannot provide self-test kits for students or members of staff working from home. We have been asked to refer them to pharmacies, doctor's practices and test centres, where free weekly tests for citizens ("Bürgertest") are available.

Self-test kits for conducting tests on a voluntary basis and once per week will be provided for members of staff required to work on campus. These kits will be issued via their faculty, department or facility (hereafter referred to as "facility"), as soon as they have been delivered to the university by the state of Lower Saxony. At the moment, delivery times cannot be specified. As previously handled in the context of face mask orders, the Buildings Management Department ("Dezernat 3") will send an email to all facilities in order to determine requirements. The enclosed spreadsheet can be used to register requirements. Please also state reasons for these requirements and return the spreadsheet to the Buildings Management Department. Guidelines on the process of testing (when, how and where to report positive test results etc.) have been prepared by the Occupational Safety Department, see section 2.4.

Some examples for necessary tasks at LUH include the following: Members of staff in secretarial positions required to keep up administrative procedures, members of staff (including student and academic assistants) required to maintain research infrastructures or oversee experimental set-ups, as well as members of staff in charge of holding or invigilating examinations. The facilities will inform the previously mentioned group of people when, how and where tests can be collected.

In addition to weekly tests provided by the university as promised by the state of Lower Saxony, I would like to point out the possibility to conduct voluntary tests in the test centres in order to achieve at least two tests per week.

Moreover, the facilities are asked to conduct tests in situations where face-to-face contact is strictly necessary, such as practical work in laboratories or practical sports sessions. In these contexts, the facilities are asked to implement and finance their own testing concepts.

The testing regime does not apply to on-campus examinations, where strict hygiene measures and the mandatory use of face masks still apply. Compulsory and timely tests for all examinees, especially before written examinations, cannot be realised, particularly due to legal reasons.

All of this information can also be found in our FAQ at www.uni-hannover.de/corona

Please take care, remain confident and continue to demonstrate solitary!

In spite of all challenges and especially in these difficult times, I wish all of you happy Easter holidays!

Yours sincerely,
Prof. Dr. Volker Epping
President