Information on the coronavirus (Covid-19)
From December 16, 2020 to February 14, 2021, TH Köln will return to the protected university operations. Student workspaces in the library and computer labs will be closed.
+++ This page will be updated regularly. +++
+++ Update January 25, 2020 +++
+++ Medical face masks or FFP-2 masks required in certain situations (see "Stays inside the university buildings' for details). +++
+++ From December 16, 2020 to February 14, 2021, TH Köln will return to the protected university operations. +++ On-site courses may only take place if conducting them as remote courses or postponing them to a time after February 14, 2021 would cause major disadvantages to the affected students.+++ Student work spaces in the library and Computer labs will be closed.+++
Access to and stays in TH Köln’s buildings
The university buildings are open from Monday to Friday from 6.30 am to 8.00 pm on all campuses. All buildings remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays. The following regulations apply for accessing and staying in TH Köln’s buildings:
Stays inside the university buildings: Physical distancing and hygiene measures
Inside TH Köln’s buildings face masks (covering mouth and nose) are to be worn in classes, hallways, elevators, common areas, kitchens and restrooms. Make sure to always keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters between you and others while in TH Köln’s buildings and outdoor areas. Face masks are also required in offices, laboratories, workshops and outdoor areas whenever it is not possible to keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters to another person.
In addition, face masks are mandatory in the following situations, regardless of whether physical distancing recommendations are observed or a seating plan exists: Library, computer labs, academic advising, service and information desks or offices.
In the library and during on-site courses or examinations as well as inside all rooms where the minimum required distance to the next person cannot be kept, medical face masks or FFP-2 masks are to be worn until further notice. If you have a valid ILIAS reservation or if you need to visit the library, TH Köln will provide appropriate masks during the on-site course or exam.
- Individuals who cannot wear face masks for medical reasons. A medical certificate is required. If this is the case, other solutions are to be considered, e.g. assigning a separate seat to protect those people present who wear a face mask.
It is not allowed to linger in the entrance hall or the circulation areas of a building. Students may not spend breaks inside the buildings.
In addition, TH Köln recommends using the official German Corona alert app (“Corona-Warn-App”).
Measures to prevent infections
Work or Classes Only if You Feel Healthy
Please only come to TH Köln for work or classes, examinations, library visits etc. if you haven’t had any symptoms of a cold or flu-like infection for at least two days.
Keep Your Distance
Always keep a distance of at least 2 meters between you and others. Where possible and where it doesn’t interfere with your work flow, avoid direct contact with others (use phone or email instead). If certain activities require a smaller distance between two colleagues, contact your supervisor. Wearing a face mask (covering mouth and nose) may be required for everyone involved.
Wash Your Hands
Make regular and thorough hand washing part of your daily routine at work. Apply soap and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, then rinse your hands well. Keep your hands away from your face and avoid touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette
Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Keep as much distance as possible to other people and turn the other way when coughing or sneezing.
Keep Rooms Well Ventilated
Rooms which are not equipped with air conditioning are to be ventilated regularly for at least 10 minutes at a time.
The regulations on physical distancing and hygiene are also to be observed during breaks as well as before and after work. Make sure to take your breaks at different times than your colleagues or with sufficient physical distance.
Individuals with an active Covid-19 infection are not allowed to enter TH Köln’s buildings.
Employees who belong to risk groups (as defined by the Robert Koch Institute) may seek advice on how to create a safe working environment at TH Köln. Please get in touch with your supervisor or the university physician.
Access to the university buildings: Time slot bookings and access authorizations
Access authorization requests have been replaced by time slot bookings through ILIAS. This means: Previously issued authorizations can no longer be used to access TH Köln's buildings, even if they have a future validity date. Since November 1, 2020 booking a time slot via ILIAS in advance is mandatory to access TH Köln's buildings. For certain groups of students additional regulations apply (see below for details).
Employees may access the university buildings at any time during the current opening hours. Prior to entering a building, all employees are required to register through the teaching and learning platform ILIAS and give notice of their stay on the respective campus. Further information: TH Köln intern
For the time being, students may only access the buildings if they want to attend an on-site course or if they have another valid reason for being on-site. Unfortunately, student work spaces in the library or computer lab can currently not be used. Reasons for accessing the buildings are:
- On-site classes if so decided by the responsible faculty
- On-site examinations if so announced by the responsible faculty
- Working on a term paper or thesis which cannot be completed without having access to laboratories, devices or workshops (access authorization issued by a professor, download)
- Student assistants who need to be on-site to complete their tasks (access authorization issued by a professor, download)
- Members of the General Students’ Committee (AStA)
- Members of a Faculty Student Association (‘Fachschaft’, access authorization issued by the faculty, download)
- Borrowing media from the library
It is not allowed to access the buildings for any other than the above mentioned reasons. To ensure that contract tracing is possible, prior registration in ILIAS is imperative.
To ensure that contract tracing is possible, prior registration in ILIAS is imperative.
Before entering one of TH Köln’s buildings all students need to register online through ILIAS. This is to be done in addition to a possible registration for a class. This also includes students on TH Köln’s Leverkusen Campus.
How to register via ILIAS:
- Log in to ILIAS and go to the tab ‘Magazin’, then select ‘Magazin-Einstiegsseite’. Under the header ‘Services’ you will find the section ‘Zugangsbuchungen Gebäude’. Find your campus, then select the building for which you want to register. Click on ‘Aktionen’, then select ‘Buchen’. You can then select as many 60-minute time slots as you need to cover the time you are planning to spend in the respective building. Click on “Buchung vornehmen” to confirm your selection.
- It is not allowed to enter a building without a booked time slot.
Visitors (delivery personnel, craftsmen, cooperation partners, academics from other institutions etc.) are to register with the doorman upon entering a building to ensure that contact tracing is possible. This data will be deleted after four weeks.
Prior to the visit, the host is to inform the visitor(s) of the hygiene measures currently in place at TH Köln. An employee of TH Köln is to meet them at the doorman’s desk and is to ensure that they are observed during the visit. If laboratories are entered, occupational safety aspects also need to be considered.
Regulations on accompanying external companies (“Fremdfirmenbegleitschein”) remain unaffected. The “Fremdfirmenbegleitschein” (intern), completed and signed, are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Repairs can only be carried out if hygiene requirements are observed. Work can only be carried out if eight people or less are involved who keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from each other. It must be possible to properly ventilate the room(s).
- Service providers and delivery personnel are to register with the doorman; any persons who have been banned from the premises due to the current infection prevention measures, are not allowed to enter at any time.
- On-site courses may only take place if conducting them as remote courses or postponing them to a time after February 14, 2021 would cause major disadvantages to the affected students.
- Major parts of teaching in the winter semester 2020/2021 will be offered remotely.
- Students will be provided details on semester schedules and on-site classes by their faculty.
- MultiCa validation for the winter semester 2020/21 is currently not necessary: Due to the protected university operations, you currently cannot validate your MultiCa as usual. What does that mean for the use of the MultiCa from September 1, i.e. when it is no longer validated? MultiCa - Your Student ID Card
The lecture period of the winter semester 2020/2021 for all programs offered at TH Köln will start on November 2, 2020 and end on February 12, 2021.
- Courses or parts of courses (e.g. practical lab courses) which cannot take place (entirely or in part) during the lecture period of the summer semester 2020 may be completed until August 15, 2020 or between September 15, 2020 and October 31, 2020. This requires the approval of the Dean’s office.
- Courses or parts of courses, except courses of the first program semester, which cannot entirely take place during the lecture period of the winter semester 2020/2021 may already start in the period between September 15, 2020 and October 31, 2020. This requires the approval of the Dean’s office.
Please note that official start of the lecture period for all programs offered by universities of applied sciences in North Rhine-Westphalia for students in their second or higher semester is September 28, 2020. With regard to social insurance, it is to be expected that this date will be relevant for student employments. Please contact your social insurance company for reliable information on this matter.
Are students who carry out study-related activities at home covered by statutory accident insurance?
No. Students who carry out study-related activities at home are generally not covered by statutory accident insurance. This includes any practical experiments, which can, for example, be carried out with household supplies and are organized or instructed by teaching staff.
Additional information on accident insurance coverage for students is available on the website of the Unfallkasse-Nordrhein-Westfalen (UK NRW) [in German]:
In light of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, TH Köln’s Executive Board has established the following regulations for the university’s teaching operations and academic affairs:
Official Communication No. 28/2020: Regulations established by the Executive Board of Technische Hochschule Köln – University of Applied Sciences to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic for the university’s teaching operations and academic affairs in the winter semester 2020/21
(Regulations established by TH Köln’s Executive Board to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic for the university’s teaching operations and academic affairs of April 30, 2020, published on May 4, 2020
These regulations were updated on June 3, 2020 based on the decisions of TH Köln's Executive Board (Amtliche Mitteilung No. 15/2020)
Office of Student Services
- Any forms or requests can be submitted by email: Please complete and sign the respective forms at home. Then use your university email account (smail) to send a scan or picture of the form(s)/request(s).
Please note: It must be recognizable that the document carries a handwritten signature. It is not sufficent to electronically insert a scanned version of your signature into the document.
- Registrations for Bachelor’s or Master’s theses can also be sent by email to the responsible Office of Student Services. Please indicate if your registration request should be forwarded to your thesis advisor or be returned to you.
- Any certificates, confirmations or other documents issued by TH Köln can be sent to you by mail. Please provide your current mailing address and make sure your mailing address in PSSO is up to date.
Semester fees: Exceptions for students who graduate or transfer to another university
Students who are taking examinations until the beginning of the lecture period of the winter semester 2020/21 on November 1, 2020 but then graduate or transfer to another university, may request a partial refund of the semester fees.
Standard program duration (“Regelstudienzeit”)
For all students who are in the winter semester 2020/21 enrolled in a degree program or admitted as cross-registered students (“Zweithörer*in”) in accordance with section 52 (2) of the North Rhine-Westphalia Higher Education Act the individual standard program duration is increased by one semester. This does not apply to students who are on a leave of absence in this semester 2020. This will be adapted automatically by the university administration. Updated certificates will be available for download from PSSO in the second half of January.
Financing your studies: BAföG
The BaföG webpage of the Ministry of Education and Research provides relevant information on the special regulations for the summer semester 2020 and the winter semester 2020/21. Please note that this information is currently only available in German.
TH Köln has increased the individual standard program duration for all students and cross-registered students (‘Zweithörer’), who are enrolled in the summer semester 2020 and not on a leave of absence, by one semester. The same applies to the winter semester 2020/21. Please contact the BAföG office to find out how this affects the funding you receive.
Financing your studies: Study loans and grants
Students who are in financial distress due to the coronavirus pandemic have different options to apply for loans and grants: (in german)
Exceptional need for access to childcare in day care centers (“Confirmation of indispensability”/ ”Unabkömmlichkeitsbescheinigung”)
Students who are single parents and who are close to graduation may have access to emergency childcare if they meet certain conditions. This requires a confirmation issued by TH Köln which you can request if you meet the following conditions:
- You are enrolled in the current semester and
- you are currently in the second to last semester of the standard program duration (this includes regular program semesters as well as one semester you were on leave to care for your child(ren).
Team projects may still be completed if digital options are used. However, students are to meet the regulations of the current contact ban at all times. TH Köln asks all students only to meet in groups of no more than two people and only if ultimately necessary for the team project. Please stay informed of the current regulations announced by public authorities, which are subject to change depending on the development of the corona crisis. For the time being, presentations and other exam types used for team projects are also to take place without face-to-face contact. Teaching staff and students have the option to use ILIAS and moodle. Students may also use Microsoft Teams which is available as part of Office 365 Education and Zoom.
Audio and video conferencing tool Zoom
TH Köln has acquired a license for the audio and video conferencing tool Zoom. It is support teaching and university operations in the summer semester as a reliable and powerful alternative to DFN conf.
Despite the provision of the tool on short notice we were able to make a few data-protection friendly basic settings and will continue to improve them. The main points are:
- Tracking: The “attention tracking” feature was disabled.
- Encryption: Simple encryption is used for audio and video streams. End-to-end encryption is activated for chats, thus third parties do not have access to any contents of the chat. However, no personal details or sensitive data should be disclosed in chats.
- Zoom Bombing: If virtual conference rooms are created without password protection it is possible that unauthorized persons access the room with an automated meeting ID. To prevent this, the option to create conference rooms without a password was disabled.
- Recording: Meetings can be recorded using the Zoom app and can be saved to your computer or in the Zoom cloud. The automatic recording option was disabled, since all participants, dialogs and shared screens are recorded and all participants must explicitly agree to the recording.
Exams and papers
To a very limited degree, on-site examinations are allowed again in cases where it has been confirmed that it is not possible to use digital teaching or examination formats instead. If this affects any of your examinations, you will receive relevant information from your faculty. In light of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, TH Köln’s Executive Board has established regulations for the university’s teaching operations and academic affairs. Information on the special regulations on examinations in Bachelor’s and Master’s programs taking place until March 31, 2021 is available on our info page Examinations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Submission of Bachelor’s and Master's theses
For the time being, theses can (and should) generally be submitted in electronic form. This regulation is in place until February 14, 2021. For most programs, the procedure described below applies.
Different regulations apply for
- the Institute of Information Science
- the Master’s program in Automotive Engineering
- at the Faculty of Applied Natural Sciences and
- at the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT)
For more information on regulations for these programs, please get in touch with the Office of Student Services.
All other students are requested to send an email from their university email account (smail) to their examiners and the Office of Student Services (one email, not two separate ones, so that everyone has the same data) with two attachments:
1. Your thesis in pdf-format
2. Your confirmation that you wrote the thesis yourself and used only the sources detailed in the paper (declaration of authorship). Make sure to sign this document by hand on the paper itself, then scan it or take a photograph.
Thesis advisors/examiners send grade reports (Notenmeldung) or examination records (Gutachten) by email to the Office of Student and Examination Services. They keep the pdf-files which they used for grading the thesis on record until further notice.
The university administration will determine shortly, if and when bound copies need to be submitted at a later date. For the time being, we kindly ask not to submit any bound copies.
Will there be make up classes for those classes canceled?
You will receive additional information from your faculty shortly. Please make sure to check your university email account (smail) regularly and read the information provided on TH Köln’s and your program’s website.
All services are available. Information and advice will be provided by phone and email.
All campus libraries are closed to the public. However, previously reserved media is available for contactless pick-up. All other services are currently not available.
You also need to book a time slot through ILIAS for visits to the library (even if you are only picking up or returning books).
Unfortunately, the Leverkusen branch is closed for administrative reasons. Literature is supplied by the campus library in Deutz.
To get in touch with us, please use our contact form .
In addition to support by email and phone, TH Köln’s Campus IT also offers remote support for students via Zoom.
The computer lab at Deutz Campus is closed.
ZBIW – Center for Advanced Training in Library and Information Science
All courses offered by the Center for Advanced Training in Library and Information Science (ZBIW) take place online until further notice. ZBIW staff can be reached as usual.
Which cafeterias are open, which ones are closed? Which cafeterias offer take-out? For up to date information on cafeterias (“Mensa”) and coffee bars (opening hours and available services), please visit:
KStW: Mensen, Bistros und Kaffeebars
The RKI has issued a definition of a suspected coronavirus infection.
Who do I need to contact if I am infected or a person close to me is infected?
The Public Health Department (‘Gesundheitsamt’) will ask you with whom you have had contact during the time that you were most likely already contagious and will carry out appropriate measures. With regard to potential contacts at TH Köln, the Public Health department will contact the responsible person at TH Köln.
Not to visit TH Köln during this time is more than just a kind request: In the interest of all members of TH Köln, the university has issued a house ban for all individuals with a suspected or confirmed infection with coronavirus.
Should I contact TH Köln directly?
Irrespective of the legally prescribed reporting channels, please get in touch with TH Köln if
- your physician or the Public Health Department orders you to get tested for the coronavirus.
- you have already been tested but have not yet received the results.
- it has been confirmed that you are infected with coronavirus.
Please get in touch with the responsible colleague from the HR department as well as your supervisor. This allows us to take necessary measures, such as disinfecting any rooms you have recently used, without delay.
Even if you have not yet received the official order or if you have only received instructions on how to proceed from the public health authorities by phone: If reporting sick to your HR person and supervisor, please always mention if you are reporting sick due a (suspected) corona infection or not.
I am directly affected by quarantine. What does this mean for me?
The quarantine regulations of the responsible authorities must be followed in all cases. Please submit the relevant order of the health office to the human resources department or the Office of Student and Examination Services immediately. The duration of your quarantine is specified in the administrative order.
If you are an employee of TH Köln, you will continue to receive your remuneration (as in the case of illness, the continued payment applies for a maximum of six weeks) or your pay. In this case, please also inform your supervisor and the human resources department. The official order allows you to work from home. Please contact your supervisor to discuss which tasks you can and should carry out from home.
If students cannot take an exam due to an ordered quarantine, this absence is not considered their fault. In case you are quarantined, please inform the responsible Office of Examination Services immediately. To do so, please send an e-mail from your university email account (smail) and include scans or photos of your documents.
If the quarantine has other effects, e.g. on registration times, submission of papers, etc., you are requested to contact your lecturers immediately to discuss possible solutions.
What and how does TH Köln communicate if a member of the university is tested positive for the coronavirus?
The procedure is established: In this case, all further actions are determined by the responsible health authorities which are informed of the confirmed infections, even before we are, via the legally prescribed reporting channels. The health authorities decide whether TH Köln is to contact other people or if buildings are to be closed, etc.
Stays abroad in the 2021 summer semester
As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to lead to restrictions for stays abroad of students and staff, the Executive Board of TH Köln has decided to implement the following provisions for international, physical mobility (incoming and outgoing) in the 2021 summer semester:
- Long-term mobility (longer than four weeks) of students and staff within the European Union and with Erasmus program countries (Key Action 103) may take place as planned provided that visa/entry regulations and the individual provisions made by partner universities so allow.
- TH Köln recommends that physical long-term mobility of students and staff outside of the European Union and with non-Erasmus program countries not take place due to more complex political, logistical and organizational circumstances.
- Should students of TH Köln decide to travel to non-European countries despite the university’s recommendation, they may do so on their own responsibility.
- Irrespective of the Executive Board’s recommendation, TH Köln’s faculties and institutes may decide whether they would nonetheless like to accept inbound students and scientist from non-EU countries. Please note that TH Köln will in such cases not be able to make any guarantees that a successful stay in Cologne will indeed be feasible as potential restrictions with respect to immigration, everyday life as well as study conditions may still be in place. TH Köln’s Department of International Affairs has moreover collected information on self-isolation for international students entering Germany on this website: After your arrival
- Short-term mobility of up to two individuals should only take place if there are no quarantine regulations in place upon entry to the country of destination or upon return to the home country.
- Irrespective of the country of destination, short-term mobility of groups made up of more than two individuals should not take place.
Information for employees and teaching staff
TH Köln intern
TH Köln’s business operations are continued and employees continue to be on duty. The regulations on telework, hygiene measures, distances between employees and access regulations, which have already been announced, are to be observed.
Information for teaching staff on digital teaching options and formats is available on TH Köln’s website, section ZLE - Digitale Lehre [in German]. On this page, TH Köln’s Zentrum für Lehrentwicklung (ZLE) and Campus IT provide information, advice and guidance as well as quick and straightforward training options. We also recommend to visit the ILIAS forum. The forum provides questions and answers on the topic of digial teaching options. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with the ZLE: email@example.com.
Further information for teaching staff and examiners
Information for professors and staff of TH Köln is also updated regularly.
Further information and contact points
You can find answers to frequently asked questions at several designated institutions.
Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
Federal Centre for Health Education
[Information in German]
State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)
The state of NRW is monitoring the situation and providing social information via the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs. In addition, the state has set up a service center on the subject of coronavirus, which can be reached at 0211 - 9119 1001. Please note that you will not receive any medical information or assessments here. These are reserved for physicians or the local health authorities.
City of Cologne
Many cities and districts have set up their own information pages, and some have also set up a citizens' hotline. You can reach the Citizens' Telephone of the City of Cologne at 0221 / 221-33500 (Mon-Fri, 8.00 am - 6.00 pm).
Crisis Management Board
TH Köln’s Executive Board asks you to handle the current situation with calm and prudence.
Under the direction of the Vice President for Financial Affairs and Human Resource, TH Köln has set up a Crisis Management Board which met for the first time on March 9. The Crisis Management Board is constantly monitoring and evaluating the situation in Cologne as well as in Leverkusen and Gummersbach. We are in close contact with the respective health authorities and agencies responsible for infection control. Any measures recommended by these authorities will be implemented at TH Köln.