Current information on handling and effects of the corona pandemic Questions and answers for members of the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg

In dealing with the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2), the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg is guided by the general recommendations for action of the federal government, the state and the local health authorities, and makes appropriate decisions for the BTU, with the protection of BTU employees, students and guests being the main focus.
A crisis management team has been set up at the BTU to ensure a continuous assessment of the situation. The crisis management team keeps employees and students continuously informed about current developments and decisions.

Latest information

March, 26th: Attention!!! There are more and more phishing mails with harmful content on the way.

Please do not open any e-mails with the sender: "RZ-Benutzerberatung, BTU" and the subject: "[RZ] Universität Postfach-Quota Überschritten! These messages are obviously an attempt to obtain access data to BTU systems. The login page for the BTU account is very well imitated. Do not answer this mail under any circumstances and do not follow the link in the mail! If you have already done so, please change your password immediately.

March, 23th: BTU communication centre take answers to your questions about the current corona situation

A crisis communication centre (in the Senate Hall) has been set up to answer your questions arising from the current situation. Starting on Tuesday, 24 March 2020, your specific questions will be answered here. Communication hours are Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 15.00 hours. The following e-mail addresses and telephone numbers are available for the main topics:

All informations and FAQ

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March, 23th: New FAQs on the handling of theses, submission in electronic form, module registrations and examinations not yet taken

The deadline for the submission of theses (Bachelor and Master) has been extended by two months. Does this also apply to term papers and seminar papers?
The submission deadline for term papers and student research projects and other similarly extensive projects has also been extended by 2 months.
As long as the BTU is in online mode, papers will be submitted electronically to the department. Students should take care to limit the file volume or, if necessary, make the paper available via a cloud or dropbox. They should also coordinate the exact modalities with the lecturers in good time.
For smaller parts of the Continuous Assessment, the lecturers decide whether an extension of the submission deadline is granted.

Theses are normally submitted in printed form and in an electronic version. Does this also apply while the BTU is in online mode?
As long as the BTU is in online mode, students submit the electronic version by email to the examiner and at the same time to the student service. The electronic receipt is sufficient to meet the deadline if necessary. Printed copies will be sent by mail. This can also be done later if printing is not possible in the near future.
Students should take care to limit the file volume or, if necessary, make the work available via a cloud or dropbox. They should also agree on the exact modalities with the lecturers in good time.

The modules of the summer semester should initially be offered online. Where can I find out which modules they are and how they will run?
Lecturers are currently working on converting modules and courses to online formats. Information on the specific courses offered will be published by the departments on their homepages step by step. There it will also be made known how students can take these courses (e.g. registration in the Moodle course, email to the teacher with the wish to participate). As before, formal registration for the module in the online portal is still required.

As exams did not take place or I was not able to participate, have I not yet fulfilled a mandatory requirement? Can I register for a module of the summer semester if I have not yet completed the required examination?
If, due to the special examination circumstances in March, you were not able to fulfil a compulsory prerequisite for participation in a module in the summer semester, please contact the Student Services. The registration for the module will then be done by the course administrator.

March 21st: New information on the activities of the DFG during the corona pandemic

Since Wednesday, 18 March, the vast majority of employees at the DFG Head Office have been working in the Home Office. The DFG's funding activities are to be continued with as few restrictions as possible.

In a letter to the funding recipients, the DFG has provided initial information on the progress of project work and funding in light of the coronavirus pandemic. You can find the letter here.

Researchers involved in DFG-funded projects, as well as persons involved in reviews and other funding processes, are requested to contact their respective supervisors at the DFG Head Office directly if they have any questions:
https://www.dfg.de/en/dfg_profile/head_office/index.jsp

Otherwise, the project manager of the Department of External Funding Management, Ms. Tina Bandow, will be happy to answer questions about your current DFG project (please send inquiries preferably by e-mail to tina.bandow(at)b-tu.de.

Continuously updated information is now available at DFG Website. (only available in german)

Updated on March 21st, 2020

March 19th: Update of the FAQ on special working time arrangements (child benefit, teleworking, etc.)

Last change: 19.03.2020

For all employees (in particular parents with children in need of care, members of risk groups, etc.) the working time regulations listed below apply until further notice.

The BTU appreciates the current dynamic situation regarding the handling of the coronavirus and endeavours to implement the existing recommendations of the state government in the best possible way for the employees of the BTU within the framework of the legal and collective bargaining possibilities and requirements.

BTU offers the following alternative solutions for dealing with the current situation:

1. flexibilisation of working hours

Together with the NPR, it was decided to extend the existing flexitime framework during the current situation. This will enable you to perform your working hours in the following period:

Monday - Friday: 6:00 am - 22:00 pm

Discuss with your superiors the way in which this framework is used and flexible working hours. For example, it is also possible to start work in the afternoon and thus to perform the official duties. Supervisors are urged to allow for the greatest possible flexibility in this regard and thus to maintain service operations.

In addition, in individual cases it can be agreed with your superior that work can also be started at other times. Make sure that you comply with the statutory provisions, in particular with regard to rest periods.

2. use of telework/residential work

In addition, the use of home office (telework/residential work) is made possible, taking into account the general conditions. Please consult with your superiors on this. The superiors approve the telework/living space work and inform the crisis management team (krisenstab+personal(at)b-tu.de) about the decision.

Note on the granting of telework/housing space: Granting is possible for two weeks at a time, as is repeated granting.

3. use of flexitime

A reduction of flexitime credits is also possible in agreement with the supervisor.

In agreement with the Staff Council, an extension of the flexitime framework is also possible. Therefore, a time deficit of up to 100 hours is possible with immediate effect.

4. Short-term work and service leave

If there are no alternative childcare facilities available, 10 days' leave of absence from work or service may be granted with continued payment of remuneration or salary, provided the following conditions are met:

  •     telework/housing not possible
  •     Flexible working hours not possible
  •     Use of compensation days or flexitime credits
  •     actual closure of a childcare centre or school
  •     the children affected by the closure are under 12 years old,
  •     an alternative care for the child(ren) cannot otherwise be guaranteed, and
  •     there are no official reasons for not granting it.

The respective superiors decide whether or not to grant a permit and inform the crisis management team (krisenstab+personal(at)b-tu.de) of their decision. If the weekly working time is spread over less than 5 working days, the proportion is reduced accordingly.

This regulation results directly from the specifications of the Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities (MIK).

Please understand that the current situation is developing very dynamically and that BTU will react to changes in the situation as quickly as possible.

March 19th:What happens in case I cannot arrive in time for the summer semester/cannot enrol for the summer semester?

If you are still interested in studying at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, you are welcome to apply again for the winter semester 2020/21 directly through our BTU application portal myBTU (application portal opens on Mai 1, 2020):

  • Create a new application for the current semester at myBTU
  • Upload your last admission letter to the question on “Master studies entrance qualification”
  • Your application documents are deposited with uni-assist (where you originally applied) for up to two years. If additional documents have to be submitted, we will notify you.

Questions: internationaladmission(at)b-tu.de

We look forward to your application in the upcoming semester!

March 19th: Information on how to use the semester ticket

The following procedure applies to students who cannot renew their semester tickets or update the imprint by April 1, 2020 due to closed universities:

If students can present a semester ticket valid until 31 March 2020, goodwill will be granted until 30 April 2020 in the event of any checks. If students have lost their ticket, they can identify themselves with a certificate of matriculation and their identity card. Alternatively, students can purchase a season ticket (e.g. monthly pass), which will be refunded if they can prove their student status at a later date.

March 19th: Is there information regarding COVID-19 available in English?

The city of Cottbus is currently setting up a hotline where potential coronavirus victims who cannot speak German can report. Arabic, Persian, Russian and English are available.
This service is available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The number for the hotline is 0355 / 612 4000.

Urgent advice for returnees from risk areas

The Cottbus health department has asked us to inform you about the following measures for dealing with the coronavirus: All students and employees of the BTU who return from risk areas are requested to contact the health department immediately by telephone. Please do not come to the BTU but remain in your home environment for the time being!

Phone numbers:

+49(0)355/612-3288, +49(0)355/612-3287, +49(0)355/612-3286, +49(0)355/612-3219,

+49 (0)355/612-3206

It is necessary to avoid possible contact with other people, as requested by the public health authorities. Further arrangements and orders shall be made in telephone consultation with the Cottbus health department. All supervisors are required to question employees returning to the BTU from vacation, business trips, etc. as to whether a stay in one of the risk areas has taken place.

Further Precautions

Until further notice, the BTU crisis unit has decided that business trips and excursions to risk areas will not be authorised. The ongoing examination period may proceed normally. The summer semester will formally begin on the date scheduled. Please be prepared to switch your teaching to online formats and individual study during the first week if possible. This will allow the BTU to continue its regular teaching, research, and examination activities.

Please send all your questions on the subject of handling the coronavirus at the BTU by email to:

krisenstab(at)b-tu.de

Reporting Mechanism in Quarantine Cases

In the event of a quarantine case, measures must be agreed between superiors and employees to check whether and which activities can be carried out from home. All superiors should report any quarantine cases to human resources:

krisenstab+personal(at)b-tu.de (T: 0355/69-2166)

The Robert Koch Institute continuously updates the international risk areas and recommendations for action. For the latest information, please also refer to the Robert Koch Institute's website at www.rki.de.

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