Rector Adresses Alumnae About Summer Semester 2020

Dienstag, 9. Juni 2020 | 

Schlagwörter »  |  Thema: 2020-2, englisch, Newsletter

Dear Alumnae and Alumni,


The lecture period for summer semester 2020 began on May 11, and I have to admit that in my 45 years of academic life I have never experienced a start of semester like this. The campus is empty; all is quiet in the lecture halls and in the corridors of the Kollegiengebäude. This summer semester will be a new and unexpected experience for all of us – because all classes which are possible online will be offered as distance education, that is, they will be online in some format.

Foto: Silvia Gehrke.


Yet summer semester 2020, this unprecedented phenomenon, is bringing something positive to light – because I have never experienced so much creativity, solidarity, and can-do attitude in the preparation for the launch of studies. Teaching staff, researchers and employees in the administration, services and technical services have worked uncounted extra hours to ensure that seminars, lectures, examinations, practical work and field trips can still take place – even if they can’t go ahead in their usual form. Many things will be different: We will have to say a temporary goodbye to many tried and trusted teaching formats; we have to get used to new forms of teaching, studying, and of campus life – at least for a while. That last one will be particularly difficult.

What will these new formats look like? The special edition of our alumni newsletter highlights some aspects of this new semester. Teaching staff are using the potential of, and the opportunities provided by, online formats; students are helping – whether in the city’s crisis unit or at the Medical Center – to prevent the spread of Covid-19; the University Library has switched to skeleton services only, and the University and Studierendenwerk are jointly launching emergency assistance for students. This is a new funding program which lends a helping hand to students in financial difficulties. As Rector of the University, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who is supporting our plans and projects – the Förderverein Alumni Freiburg e.V.; the Maria Ladenburger Foundation under the umbrella of the association of friends of the University, Freunde der Universität Freiburg e.V.; the Neue Universitätsstiftung; the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Freiburg, and all the alumnae and alumni whose donations have helped make emergency funding available to students.

These are just some of the spotlights on the university cosmos in the era of the Coronavirus, and in the coming weeks and months we will all gain more experience with this extraordinary semester. Despite all our careful planning and preparation it remains a work in progress. But I remain optimistic and I am pleased that we are tackling this great university experiment together.

I hope you enjoy reading this. Keep your spirits up, and above all: Stay healthy!


With best wishes,


Hans-Jochen Schiewer


This article was originally published on the website of the press department of the University of Freiburg.

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