University operation under pandemic conditions in the winter semester 2022/2023


Dear University Members,
Dear colleagues, dear professors and lecturers, dear students,

We hope that you have all had a wonderful summer and are pleased that we have experienced a largely normalization of university operations in the past summer semester. As you are no doubt aware, the Bundestag and Bundesrat recently passed a new Infection Protection Act on the occasion of the Corona pandemic, which continues to persist in principle; building on this, the state government has announced a three-stage "Corona Roadmap" for the fall and winter with corresponding adjustments to the Corona Protection Ordinance.

Against this background, the Presidential Board, after extensive consultation with the deans and deans of studies, the heads of our institutions and departments, and the representatives of students and the Staff Council, has decided on a likewise three-stage plan for the implementation of university operations in the winter semester 2022/2023, which is based on the stages announced by the state of Lower Saxony (basic protection, protection level 1 and protection level 2). In detail, the following applies to university operations in the winter semester 2022/23:

1) WINTER SEMESTER IN FULL PRESENCE: University operations in the winter semester 2022/2023 will basically be conducted completely in presence, as in the previous summer semester. All courses will basically be offered in on-site presence. All Leuphana facilities will be open on a regular basis, and all research projects can be carried out on a regular basis. In the third year of the pandemic, we want to send a clear signal that Leuphana focuses on personal encounters and direct discourse on content in research, teaching, studies and administration, and cultivates the culture of presence on campus for the benefit of science and education. In addition, our efforts to conduct university operations entirely in presence are an expression of the deans' and academic deans' ever-increasing concern about the quality of studies and the assessment that the quality of studies has suffered significantly under the conditions of extensive digital or hybrid teaching in recent semesters. We see it as our responsibility to reverse this development and therefore clearly focus on personal exchange in presence.

2) PROTECTIVE MEASURES REMAIN: Basic measures for basic protection (basic protection level: "all-weather scenario") currently apply at Leuphana for the winter semester 2022/23. According to this, as in previous semesters, all university members are still required to ventilate rooms regularly (please be sure to use shock ventilation, not continuous ventilation!) and to maintain distances whenever possible. In addition, we continue to recommend that a medical or FFP2 respirator mask be worn in all University rooms, especially during classes. However, wearing a mask is not mandatory until further notice, even in teaching sessions. However, please be sure to continue to be considerate of the needs of individuals for whom corona infection may pose a particular health risk and take appropriate and suitable protective measures at the request of these individuals.

Should the pandemic worsen significantly again and the state of Lower Saxony issue appropriate regulations due to a "higher burden on the health care system", a general obligation to wear medical respirators would again have to apply at Leuphana in courses and all indoor spaces (protection level 1: "winter tire scenario").

Should the state of Lower Saxony determine a "concrete danger" in the further course of the winter semester due to an "extreme burden on the health system", a general obligation to wear an FFP2 respiratory protection mask would again apply at Leuphana (protection level 2: "snow chain scenario"). In this scenario, too, we would basically try to continue to conduct university operations in presence; however, depending on the severity of the situation, we would also reserve the right to organize university operations largely in digital formats again. The state of Lower Saxony points out that this is "by far the least likely scenario."

3) TEACHING IN PRESENCE: All teachers are required to teach their courses in presence on site. Exceptions due to documented health conditions that do not permit teaching in presence are possible, as in previous semesters; in this case, please obtain the approval of the Dean of Students responsible for your course upon presentation of an appropriate medical certificate.

4) STUDYING IN PRESENCE: All students also generally take their courses in presence on site. Instructors have the option, if it does not interfere with teaching, to offer students passive participation in individual courses via video stream due to specific health conditions that do not permit face-to-face teaching, but are not required to do so.

5) EMPLOYEES MAY USE EXISTING HOME OFFICE RULES: All employees may continue to use the home office rules that have been agreed upon in the interim based on the new service agreement on mobile work or telecommuting, provided that appropriate approval has been obtained from Human Resources. In addition, with a view to strengthening the culture of presence on campus, there are currently no plans to extend the existing regulations again.

6) VACCINATION PROTECTION REMAINS CRUCIAL: We are all interested in being able to reliably conduct and experience university operations in the coming winter semester. We would therefore like to remind you once again today that, according to the health authorities, the central element for overcoming the pandemic remains vaccination protection and that updated booster vaccinations have recently become available, which provide much better protection against the currently prevalent omicron variants of the virus - especially against severe courses of the disease. Vaccinations are offered by the district of Lüneburg on our campus every Tuesday in the former storefront (room C25.021) until further notice. We invite those who do not yet have a refreshed vaccination protection to be vaccinated (if necessary again) or, if further information is needed, to be advised accordingly by doctors you trust. Vaccinations are still possible during working hours.

7) TESTING OFFERS REMAIN: The testing center on campus will continue to exist until further notice and will be offered in the rooms of the former storefront (rooms C25.008 and C25.009, access via the back). The same is currently true for testing offered to university employees. Please continue to test yourself regularly to prevent passing on infections.

It is very important to us as the Presidential Board to maintain and strengthen the culture of presence at Leuphana in the interest of a good general university culture, a content- and experience-rich operation in research, teaching and study, and good cooperation, even under the conditions that continue to be difficult. In the last two and a half years, we have gained extensive experience with the health protection of university members under the conditions of the pandemic and are convinced that we will be able to ensure both the health protection of university members and a good culture of presence in research, teaching, studies and administration also in the coming winter semester under the conditions mentioned above. As in previous years, we ask for your attentive and understanding assistance and support in the coming winter semester.

A particular challenge for all of us in the coming winter semester will be to deal with both the ongoing pandemic and the acute energy crisis. Against this background, we would like to ask you to deal with a fundamental dilemma when it comes to the necessary regular ventilation of our rooms, because we are all required to ventilate regularly while saving energy as much as possible. Therefore, please keep windows and doors closed as a matter of principle, but ventilate very regularly by means of shock ventilation. Please refrain from continuous ventilation with open windows and doors. For this, too, our sincere thanks. For more information on dealing with the energy crisis, please visit

You can still find all the latest information on the University's handling of the coronavirus at In addition, please continue to contact with any questions, comments or suggestions you may have.

For the completion of your preparations for the winter semester 2022/23, we sincerely wish you all the best and already today a good course of the now upcoming semester.

With many thanks and best regards

Sascha Spoun

Christian Brei
Executive Vice President

Jelena Bäumler
Vice President College

Simone Abels
Vice President Graduate School

Jörg Philipp Terhechte
Vice President Professional School

Erich Hörl
Vice President Research