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Information for students on examinations in the current winter semester 2020/21 and on extending the standard period of study

2021-01-27

Dear students,

You are currently contributing with extraordinary commitment to your courses and also to all university activities outside of your courses, even under the current conditions. This commitment and your associated confidence, as well as your understanding that the university's operations currently have to be carried out largely online, is an essential part of the university during the current situation, and for this we thank you sincerely. We would like to inform you in the following – in a situation with sometimes difficult trade-offs – about the conduct of examinations and further arrangements for the conclusion of the 2020/21 winter semester.

A) CONDUCT OF THE EXAMINATIONS

As you know, despite the current slight decline in the number of cases and relatively low incidence in Lüneburg County, the concern and uncertainty about increasing Corona infections remains high, especially due to more contagious mutant variants of the virus. This uncertainty and concern was raised with us by all status groups in view of the upcoming audit phase, also against the background of recent decisions by the federal and state governments to further tighten Corona measures.

After extensive consultations with the deans, deans of studies, heads of institutions and departments, representatives of the staff council and students, as well as in the central study commissions, the Presidential Board last week urged all professors and lecturers to switch the examinations currently scheduled for the winter semester to an online format. It is important for us to emphasize that the decision on the specific implementation of an examination within the framework of the legal and university regulations ultimately lies – in exercise of the fundamental right of freedom of research and teaching – individually with the responsible professors and lecturers. Your professors and lecturers will contact you with information about the planned examination formats or have already done so.

Against this background, the Presidential Board will also bring a corresponding resolution to the Senate, which will meet on January 27, 2021. In the coming days and weeks, please check myStudy regularly for possible changes to the information about your courses and exams.

All professors and lecturers at the university are expressly requested to give you, as a student, the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the online conduct of examinations before the start of the examination period, e.g. by taking a mock examination. If your internet connection or your spatial situation at home does NOT allow you to take an exam from home under any circumstances, the university will make every effort to provide workstations at the university IN PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL CASES. In this case, please contact your exam administrator in Student Services no later than three working days before the scheduled exam date.

We are all aware that the changeover from face-to-face to online examinations may require a high degree of flexibility from you as a student. Above all, this changeover requires particular fairness and correctness on the part of all students in the conduct of the examinations – alone and without unauthorized aids, without this being directly controllable. All fellow students must be able to rely on this. On the other hand, the changeover also means a sometimes considerable additional workload for the examiners, since certain competencies have to be tested digitally in a different way than in the classroom. A digital examination culture must first be established at Leuphana. This will depend on the fair behavior of students and teachers in examination formats and situations in order to ensure the immediate as well as long-term quality and integrity of the study programs. In this context, please be sure to read the recommendations for an open and fair digital teaching and learning culture.

If you do not agree with the changed examination formats or were unable to prepare adequately due to the special situation, you can cancel your registration in accordance with the applicable regulations up to three working days before the start of the examination. You will then be deemed not to have taken the exam, and you will be able to take the exam at the next possible date.

The situation is not satisfactory for everyone. However, after extensive consideration, we have come to the conclusion that due to the pandemic situation, the infection figures that are still significantly too high throughout Europe, the current decision-making situation of the federal and state governments, and the general personal efforts of everyone, it would not be justifiable at this time to allow larger numbers of people to arrive and congregate on campus. Against this background, we continue to rely on the cohesion of all members of the University during this long extraordinary period.

B) EXTENSION OF THE STANDARD PERIOD OF STUDY

At the end of last year, the state of Lower Saxony decided, by amending the Lower Saxony Higher Education Law, to individually extend the standard period of study by one semester for students enrolled in the summer semester 2020, winter semester 2020/21, or summer semester 2021 who are not on leave of absence, in order to compensate for disadvantages caused by the pandemic. The extension of the individual standard period of study also affects in particular the assessment of the study credit according to §12 NHG and thus the period in which no long-term tuition fees are charged by the state.

As a rule, Leuphana's Student Services will automatically implement the extension of the individual standard period of study for students enrolled at Leuphana without further inquiries. Since the extension of the standard period of study only applies to students for whom a comparable extension has not already been applied at a university or for a course of study in another federal state, the Student Services will contact you with queries in individual cases, if necessary. If you have any questions or uncertainties in individual cases, please contact the staff member responsible for you in the Student Administration in the Student Services.

C) REFUND OR WAIVER OF LONG-TERM TUITION FEES

If you were or will be obliged to pay long-term tuition fees for the first time according to the previous regulations within the period from the summer semester 2020 up to and including the summer semester 2021, the extension of the individual standard period of study usually leads to the waiver of the obligation to pay long-term tuition fees for one semester. In this case, please submit an application to Student Services for a refund of any excess long-term tuition fees paid.

For students who were already obligated to pay long-term tuition fees prior to summer semester 2020, the possibility of fee waiver remains for reasons of hardship. If you have any questions or uncertainties in individual cases, please contact the staff member responsible for you in the Student Administration in Student Services.

D) OPENING OF FACILITIES ON CAMPUS

The reading room of the library will remain closed until further notice; however, borrowing of media is still possible. Please check the MIZ website for detailed information, if necessary. We would like to point out once again that by far the majority of journals and also the majority of books are now available digitally.
The Mensa is currently still open from Monday to Thursday under the conditions of greatly reduced attendance and offers take-away meals.
University sports will remain closed. Please use the online services of the Hochschulsport if you are interested.
Consultation hours for faculty and service facilities are currently by phone or online.
In particularly difficult personal situations, the psychological counseling service of the Studentenwerk Nordostniedersachsen is available for students (https://www.stw-on.de/lueneburg/beratung/pbs).

Finally, we can once again promise you that the university will always make every effort to accommodate you during this special time for all of us, to the extent permitted by the legal requirements of the state of Lower Saxony and academic framework regulations. Please contact your deans of studies or the professors responsible for your study program if you have any problems. The colleagues responsible for your study program in the Student Services are also happy to assist you with any questions you may have in connection with examinations or with your studies.

With best regards

Sascha Spoun
President

Christian Brei
Executive Vice President

Erich Hörl
Vice President College

Simone Abels
Vice President Graduate School

Jörg Terhechte
Vice President Professional School

Susanne Leeb
Vice President Research