The spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in Germany is also causing uncertainty among Leipzig University’s students. Here we provide information about the most important current issues concerning the virus and its impact on University operations. Members of the crisis management team set up under the University’s pandemic plan are liaising on a daily basis.

Extended BAföG entitlement

Due to an amendment to the Saxon Freedom of Higher Education Act (SächsHSFG) which came into force in December 2020, the standard period of study for students will be extended by one or two semesters. This also extends their BAföG entitlement by a maximum of two semesters.

LEARN MORE

Blick in den leeren Vorlesungssaal Auditorium Maximum (Audimax) im Neuen Augusteum.
Photo: Leipzig University, Swen Reichhold

Current Information for Students

At the moment, new rules are constantly coming into force and older information is no longer valid. Below you will find the latest information for students divided by topic.
Last updated: 8 January 2021.

Please note that the German version of this page may be more up to date. Some information is not yet available in English.

  • Here on the University’s central website, you will find all general information as well as information that is of relevance to all Leipzig University students.
  • You can also find important information in our regular emails for students. We endeavour to offer English translations of these emails where possible, although this is not always feasible. We have also compiled an archive (in German) of these emails.
  • Please also check the website of your faculty and/or institute for details of any arrangements for your particular degree programme.
  • The Study Offices can provide you with further information on organisational matters as well as examinations.
  • Your institute and the relevant lecturers can tell you which courses are taking place and in what form. In many cases, information about this will be sent to you by email or via AlmaWeb and Moodle.
  • Our Facebook and Instagram accounts are an additional way to keep abreast of the latest news.
  • Additional information for international students is provided below

Resumption of teaching from 11 January 2021

Teaching will resume from 11 January 2021, but courses will generally be held online. In-person teaching is only permitted in the case of practical courses (Praktika) and practical classes, laboratory work, and practical and artistic training phases, subject to the protective measures laid down in the Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept.

Having the winter semester not count towards your standard period of study

Following the amendment to the Saxon Freedom of Higher Education Act (SächsHSFG), students may apply to have the winter semester 2020/21 not count towards their standard period of study. Please apply from 1 April 2021.

Apply

Winter semester dates

  • Semester dates: 1 October 2020–31 March 2021
  • Extended orientation period: 12 October–23 October 2020
  • Regular classes from: 26 October 2020

In consultation with the State Rectors’ Conference (LRK), there have been no changes to the basic semester dates (1 October 2020 until 31 March 2021). Taking into account the late arrival of first-semester students on central numerus clausus study programmes, the University plans to extend the opening and orientation phase at the beginning of the winter semester slightly (12 October until 23 October 2020), also to facilitate the induction of new students.  Regular teaching can then commence on 26 October 2020, just like at our neighbouring university in Dresden.

Even if infection rates remain stable and there is no second wave of infections, it must still be assumed that at least face coverings and social distancing will remain part of everyday life for many months.

Due to the limited space available on campus, it will still not be possible to hold face-to-face lectures with large numbers of participants in the winter semester. Despite the huge effort involved and the inevitable difficult discussions about priorities and individual challenges, the University will endeavour to offer periods of on-campus teaching where possible. Some classes, for example, will start online and include a block seminar on campus.

Lecture period at Leipzig University’s Faculty of Medicine

Since the dates of state examinations are set externally and not by the University, the lecture period at the Faculty of Medicine will differ slightly:

  • First semester of study: 26 October 2020–6 February 2021
  • Second semester of study and above: 19 October 2020–6 February 2021.

Lecture period at Leipzig University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

The lecture period at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine will differ slightly:

  • First semester of study: 2 November 2020–6 February 2021
  • Third semester of study and above: 12 October 2020–6 February 2021

Special arrangements at each faculty

Subject-specific arrangements apply to examinations and assessed work on your degree programme. All faculties will have introduced their own special pandemic-related arrangements by the end of January. You will receive more detailed information about this from your faculty, which conducts and is responsible for your examinations.

The special arrangements will allow students a certain organisational flexibility in the winter semester 2020/21, especially with regard to examinations. This includes the fact that most examinations will probably not take place in person. There will also be the possibility of extending submission deadlines and cancelling failed examinations.

For State Examinations, the regulations of the competent Landesprüfungsamt apply.

Examinations and not having this semester count: Senate resolution of 10 November 2020

  • The Senate aims to ensure that the special circumstances in the winter semester 2020/21 will not result in any situation for students in which they feel compelled to exmatriculate or abandon their studies.
  • The Senate therefore recommends that the faculties:
    • cancel examinations failed during the crisis (exception: cheating).
    • suspend the deadlines for resitting examinations.
  • If requested by students, the Senate will seek to ensure that the winter semester 2020/21 will not count towards the standard period of study. Applications to that effect may be submitted from 1 April 2021.

FURTHER INFORMATION

University buildings

All University buildings will remain closed to the public until further notice.

Libraries

  • From 11 January 2021, the University Library will open its branches for borrowing and returning items (exception: Deutsches Literaturinstitut).
  • They will all be open from Monday to Friday, from 10am until 4pm.
  • The automatic renewal of borrowed items (except for recalls) will initially continue until the end of January.
  • Please note the separate rules on loans at the Law Library.

It will not be possible to book workstations or spend longer periods in the libraries until further notice. If the incidence rate drops below 50, Leipzig University’s crisis management team will consider reopening the libraries for studying. Please refer to the University Library website for more information.

Personal office hours at the UniCard service point

  • Please book an appointment in advance by sending an email to unicard(at)uni-leipzig.de  
  • Appointments are possible on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am until 2pm.

When attending a consultation in person, it is imperative that you wear a face covering and observe the usual contact and hygiene rules.

Office hours of the Central Examination Office for the Humanities and Lehramt programmes

The Central Examination Office for the Humanities and Lehramt programmes will offer appointments again from 26 October. Further information is provided on the Central Examination Office website.
Learn more

Student Service Centre (SSZ)

The Student Service Centre is closed. It is not offering face-to-face consultations. You can still get in touch by email and phone.
Student Service Centre

International Centre

The office hours of the International Centre have been suspended. Please check the website for information about extended telephone consultation hours.
Contact and Advice

According to the current SächsCoronaSchVO, the University has to record your visits to seminar rooms and lecture theatres. Contact details will be recorded exclusively for the purpose of tracing chains of infection. Details about how this works, and data protection information, can be found on the posters (like this one) which you will find outside the relevant seminar room and lecture theatre. 

  • Please scan the QR code on the poster when entering.
  • If you are unable to scan QR codes, please register online by following the instructions on the poster.
  • Alternatively, you can provide your contact details using the registration forms provided by your lecturers.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that the information you provide is correct.
  • The City of Leipzig will conduct regular spot checks.

Interim Financial Aid

In the winter semester, students who find themselves in an emergency situation due to the pandemic can once again receive financial support. Applications for interim financial aid from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research open on 20 November 2020.

Under the guidelines published on the conditions for this support, the interim financial aid is intended to help those students who can prove that they are facing an emergency as a result of the pandemic, who are in immediate need of financial assistance and who are unable to obtain any other support.

Students can apply for support from 20 November 2020 for the period November 2020 until March 2021. Applications must be submitted online at www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de. The funds will be allocated by the country’s Studentenwerke, meaning the Studentenwerk Leipzig is responsible for students in Leipzig.

Student Advisory Service

Our Student Advisory Service offers guidance on study orientation, how degree programmes are structured, and changing degree programmes or universities. This is also where you can find support if you are having doubts or considering dropping out, especially now as a result of the pandemic. Contact us by email or arrange to speak to a member of staff over the phone.
STUDENT ADVISORY SERVICE
DOUBTS AND SECOND THOUGHTS

Social counselling from the Studentenwerk Leipzig

The Studentenwerk Leipzig’s social counselling service advises students on everything from university to financial and personal problems. The Studentenwerk Leipzig website also has answers to frequently asked questions on topics such as BAföG, losing your job, and living expenses. There are also online workshops to help you successfully study from home, guides for everyday life during the pandemic, and explainer videos on psychosocial topics. Please visit the Studentenwerk Leipzig website for more information: 
Learn more

Leipzig University Student Council (StuRa)

Our university’s Student Council provides support in various matters, such as legal problems, financing your studies, and employment. It also offers social and psychosocial counselling.
Learn more

Initial psychological consultations for students

In cooperation with the Centre for Teacher Training and School Research (ZLS), our Student Advisory Service offers initial psychological consultations for students enrolled on all degree programmes at Leipzig University. 
LEARN MORE

Psychiatric outpatient clinic at the University Hospital

Telephone consultations and current information about the pandemic

LEARN MORe

Leipzig University Equal Opportunity Office

Our Equal Opportunity Office offers advisory services on all matters involving gender equality as well as topics such as juggling family life and university.
LEARN MORE

Seven tips for studying at home

Studying alone at home – no lecturers, no fellow students and no fixed timetable – can be quite a challenge. A psychologist from our university has put together seven tips for making the most of this time.
LEARN MORE

Refectories and Cafés

TThe refectories and cafés will remain closed until at least 31 January 2021. However, the refectory on Liebigstraße will offer food and drinks to take away from 11 January 2021.

Services From the Studentenwerk Leipzig

The Studentenwerk Leipzig website has the latest information about its services (student clubs, childcare, Kinderladen, etc.).
Learn more

Interim financial aid for students facing difficulties due to the pandemic

In recent weeks the BMBF has already announced its intention to provide 100 million euros to Germany’s Studentenwerk organisations, so that they can offer interim financial aid to students who are facing difficulties due to the pandemic.

Under the guidelines published on the conditions for this support, the interim financial aid is intended to help those students who can prove that they are facing an emergency as a result of the pandemic, who are in immediate need of financial assistance and who are unable to obtain any other support.

Students can apply for support from midday on 16 June. Applications must be submitted online at www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de. The funds will be allocated by the country’s Studentenwerke, meaning the Studentenwerk Leipzig is responsible for students in Leipzig.

You can find further information on this topic on the Studentenwerk Leipzig website.
LEARN MORE

People returning from risk areas

What is a risk area?
The RKI website has an overview of the areas which it currently classifies as COVID-19 risk areas.

Overview

What are the rules on entering Saxony from a designated risk area?
Please check the website of the Saxon State Government for information on entering Saxony from risk areas, compulsory testing, and quarantine.

Learn more

Information From the International Centre

Applying via uni-assist and AlmaWeb

Are you interested in applying via uni-assist or AlmaWeb to study at our university in the upcoming summer semester 2021? Please note that the application periods have been adjusted. Due to the current situation, you can upload your application documents using uni-assist’s “My assist” portal. Please observe the relevant application deadline. Please do not send certified documents or originals by post to uni-assist. If you are applying via AlmaWeb, you will be required to send a single copy of your application documents to the International Centre. If you are offered a place, you have until enrolment to submit certified copies of the required documents to the International Centre.

Application periods and deadlines

  • Studienkolleg Sachsen and DSH course 
    uni-assist: 2 November until 15 December 2020
  • Bachelor’s / State Examination / Diplom (1st and higher semester of study with admission restrictions)
    uni-assist: 2 November until 15 January 2021
    AlmaWeb: The beginning of December until 15 January 2021
  • Bachelor’s / State Examination / Diplom (unrestricted admissions)
    uni-assist: 2 November until 1 March 2021
    AlmaWeb: The beginning of December until 1 March 2021
  • Master’s (1st or higher semester of study with admissions restrictions and unrestricted admissions)
    uni-assist: 5 November until 31 December 2020
    AlmaWeb: The beginning of December until 31 December 2020
  • Doctorates:
    AlmaWeb: from December 2020

Enrolment and Start of Studies in the Winter Semester 2020/21

Although students have been asked to come to Leipzig for the winter semester, the current rules on social distancing mean that we will be unable to meet and welcome each and every student.

Your enrolment will be carried out online. If you wish to enrol, please follow the instructions on your confirmation of receipt and upload the following documents to our “Speicherwolke” file hosting service:

  • Identity card (EU nationals)
  • Passport (non-EU nationals: with a valid student visa)
  • Proof of health insurance valid for your stay in Germany.

You will find an overview of key information on getting started at Leipzig University on our website.

We have also prepared a digital Welcome Week for you, with: information, online events, videos, games and much more. Information about the Welcome Week, about studying at our university and about life in Leipzig can be found in our booklet for new students.

Admission Procedure for the Winter Semester 2020/21 (information from 13 August 2020)

Due to the extended application deadlines, the admission procedure for undergraduate programmes (i.e. bachelor’s and State Examination) with restrictions on admission is currently expected to take place in early September. The letters of admission and rejection will be uploaded digitally to AlmaWeb. Applicants will be informed of this by email.

Start of Studies in the Winter Semester 2020/21: Face-to-Face Teaching (information from 16 July 2020)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the start of studies in the winter semester 2020/21 at Leipzig University will be postponed. Lectures begin on 26 October 2020. International students can enrol online between 5 October and 9 October 2020. As things stand, students in their first semester of study are expected to attend classes in person. We kindly ask you to check the Leipzig University website regularly before the start of the semester, in case there are any last-minute changes to this requirement.

People arriving from designated risk areas according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) (information from 30 September 2020)

Generally speaking, you are required to undergo a test and to provide certain information, as well as to contact the local public health department (Gesundheitsamt). Regardless of the test result, you must send an email to einreisemeldung(at)leipzig.de or call the local public health department on +493411230. This rule applies after flights, journeys by car, bus, train or any other means of transport.

Anyone who enters Germany from a risk area must self-isolate and inform the local public health department. Since 8 August, all persons entering from a designated COVID-19 risk area have also been required to present a negative coronavirus test which is no more than 48 hours old, or to take a coronavirus test within 72 hours. If the test result is negative, the local public health department can lift the quarantine requirement. Quarantine can be lifted at the earliest after five days if a person tests negative for coronavirus. You must present a negative COVID-19 test at the latest when requested by the health authorities.

Only persons entering from a risk area are entitled to a free test. When entering Germany, they must have spent time in the last 14 days in an area currently classified as a risk area by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). They are entitled to a free test within 10 days of entering the country. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the person entering the country must demonstrate that they really have spent time in the risk area. This can be done by means of a boarding pass, a ticket, a hotel invoice or other proof.

Entering Germany from all “third countries”

Subject to the relevant documents, entry into Germany from so-called third countries is permitted for the following groups of persons and travel purposes:

  • Researchers: employment contract or hosting agreement between the researcher and the university or research organisation
  • International students: higher education admission.

Impact on the Standard Period of Study

On 5 May 2020, the University Senate issued a declaration on a variety of issues, including that of the standard period of study. If you would like to apply for the summer semester 2020 not to count towards your standard period of study, you can do so directly via the AlmaWeb portal from 15 May.
Learn more

SIS: Fundraising Campaign for International Students in Need

Together with other Leipzig higher education institutions and the association “HILFE FÜR AUSLÄNDISCHE STUDIERENDE IN LEIPZIG E. V.”, Leipzig University is participating in the SIS fundraising campaign for international students in need. If you have got into financial difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis and are no longer able to cover your costs unaided, you have the opportunity to apply for one-off financial support. Please submit the application form together with the listed documents as a PDF file to the institution responsible for you.

TestAS: Standardised Aptitude Test for Foreign Students (information from 20 April 2020)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is no guarantee that the TestAS will be offered in all countries this year. For this reason, Leipzig University will not use the TestAS as a criterion when evaluating applications for admission to undergraduate degree programmes (bachelor’s, Diplom, State Examination) in the winter semester 2020/21. Your application for an undergraduate course will be considered based on the grade of your higher education entrance qualification, your nationality, and by drawing lots if we receive more applications than there are places for a particular course.​

Suspension of Face-to-Face Consultations at the International Centre (information from 19 March 2020)

No personal consultations will be offered until further notice. We will do our best to deal with all your questions and concerns by email.

Please refer to the International Centre pages for more information.

Student mobility with Erasmus+ can start virtually
Since the “force majeure” rule still applies on the Erasmus+ programme, stays abroad can now start virtually. A so-called “blended mobility” approach is desirable: one that combines physical and virtual mobility. This applies to Erasmus+ mobility in the winter semester 2020/21 during the funding period from 16 June 2020 until 30 September 2021. Further information can be found on the International Centre and DAAD websites.

Planning a stay abroad?

Before starting your stay abroad, you should consider the travel advice and warnings issued by the German Federal Foreign Office. We also recommend registering in its electronic list of Germans abroad (“Elefand” list). The Federal Foreign Office website provides information about the German missions abroad, which can provide local assistance in an emergency. Please also follow the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute.

Dealing with COVID-19 Symptoms

Last amended: 16 October 2020

1. With Which Symptoms Are Students Allowed to Come to Leipzig University?

In line with the general decree of the Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion and the Saxon State Ministry of Culture of 16 September 2020, the following rules have been put in place for students at Leipzig University:

Students with clear symptoms of an infectious illness, especially a cold, must stay at home and consult their doctor if necessary.

  • Students with a mild head cold can visit Leipzig University while observing all hygiene-based safety measures. If the head cold worsens or if further symptoms appear (see point 3), the student will no longer be permitted to visit the University. 
  • Students who have a history of symptoms such as coughing and who have a non-infectious underlying disease such as asthma can also continue to visit the University premises.
  • Students with symptoms that indicate COVID-19 are not permitted to come to Leipzig University. One of the following symptoms is sufficient for this:
    • Fever of 38 degrees Celsius of higher
    • Cough
    • Diarrhoea
    • Vomiting
    • General feeling of illness (fatigue, headache)
    • Changes in sense of smell or taste.
  • Students suffering from any of the above symptoms (especially if they are worsening) are asked to consult their GP or contact the 24-hour medical service on 116117.
  • Students who exhibit general cold symptoms without any obvious suspicion of COVID-19, should stay at home for at least two days. They should have been fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to Leipzig University.
  • We ask all students to deal with this situation responsibly.

Further information is available at www.coronavirus.sachsen.de.

2. What Happens if a Student Is Infected or Told to Quarantine?

  • If a student is infected, or if the authorities order them to quarantine or similar, please notify the University by emailing coronastud(at)uni-leipzig.de. This email address is managed by the Central Study Office in the Department of Academic Administration.
    • Please only use your student email address
    • Please indicate whether your receive a positive test result (voluntary)
    • Please indicate attendance/contacts in the last 14: modules (only in modular study programmes), classes and lectures (including room and time) and lecturers.
  • You must comply with the instructions of the Health Office.
  • Official orders (observation, quarantine, minimising contact with others, etc.) are issued exclusively by the Health Office.
  • Students who work for the University as student assistants should report their infection to their immediate superior (applies to all members of staff).

3. Quarantine if Your Child Is Ill

The Health Office is responsible for determining which contact persons have to go into quarantine.

4. Direct or Indirect Contact With People Who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

Direct Contact With an Elevated Risk of Infection

Direct contact with a person who has tested positive, and involving an elevated risk of infection (suspected case), is deemed to apply if within the last 14 days before the onset of the disease

If the student has not yet been contacted by the City of Leipzig Health Office, then they must report the suspected case to it. The Health Office will decide whether to visit Leipzig University..

Direct Contact With a Low Risk of Infection

Direct contact with a person who has tested positive, but involving a low risk of infection, is deemed to apply:

  • In the case of persons who have been in the same room as a person who has tested positive, but the minimum distance of 1.5 metres was observed and face-to-face contact lasted less than 15 minutes. In addition, the person must not have been coughed or sneezed on by the person who tested positive.
  • In further cases according to the Robert Koch Institute.

People with no symptoms may continue to visit Leipzig University. Exception: the Health Office has already ordered measures. These must then be observed.

If any symptoms of illness occur, proceed as described under point 1 and inform the Health Office immediately.

Indirect Contact

Indirect contact (for example, contact with a person who has been in contact with a person who has tested positive) is not considered contact. No action is required.

5. Returning travellers, commuters

According to the Saxon Coronavirus Quarantine Regulation (SächsCoronaQuarVO) of 25 June 2020, returning travellers from international risk areas must take a test on entry. However, the Health Office recommends that you refrain from visiting the University until you have tested negative for coronavirus for a second time. The second test should be performed between the fifth and seventh days. For this period of time, the Health Office will place you under observation (similar to quarantine).

There are currently no rules in Saxony for travellers returning from domestic risk areas, and no restrictions. All students are expected to deal with the situation responsibly.

For commuters from risk areas within Germany, Saxony’s rules for Czech border commuters apply accordingly. This means that there are no restrictions. All students are expected to deal with the situation responsibly.

All Coronavirus News

Learn more

Information for Teaching Staff

Learn more

Information for Staff

Learn more

You may also like

Situation in the Free State of Saxony (DE)

Read more

Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) (DE)

Read more

Federal Foreign Office (DE)

Read more

Info: International Students in Germany

Read more