Information on the coronavirus (Covid-19)
TH Köln will remain in protected university operations until August 31, 2020. Teaching operations will continue remotely for the duration of the entire summer semester. For most fields of activity, as well as almost all courses and examinations, the current regulations will stay in force until the end of the summer semester.
- Protected university operations
- Winter semester 2020/21
- Access to TH Köln’s buildings
- Measures to prevent infections
- Suspected cases/quarantine
- Teaching operations
- Exams and papers
- Applications for admission in the winter semester 2020/21
- Stays abroad in the 2020/21 winter semester
- Information for employees
- Information for teaching staff
- Further information and contact points
- Crisis Management Board
+++ This page will be updated regularly. +++
+++ Update July 17, 2020 +++
Information concerning the winter semester 2020/21
+++ Update July 13, 2020 +++
Applications for admission in the winter semester 2020/21: In the current applications process, applicants with a “Fachhochschulreife” have until October 31, 2020 (instead of September 30) to complete the practical component.
Protected university operations
TH Köln will remain in protected university operations until August 31, 2020. Teaching operations will continue remotely for the duration of the entire summer semester. For most fields of activity, as well as almost all courses and examinations, the current regulations will stay in force until the end of the summer semester. Based on the provisions and regulations TH Köln will now take the first step towards offering on-site services again.
Winter semester 2020/21
- The Executive Board is convinced that it is right to plan the winter semester in a way that regulations on physical distancing and hygiene can be maintained or reintroduced at any time. In this context, TH Köln must continue to ensure that not too many people are gathered in the buildings at once. It will not be possible to have usual on-site operations in the winter semester.
- We have therefore decided to organize the winter semester 2020/2021 as a hybrid semester: Major parts of teaching will be offered remotely, but in addition, mixed forms of remote teaching and on-site teaching as well as short attendance periods are planned for all study programs. These will be organized in a way that there is sufficient space to maintain a protective distance from each other in order to prevent infections, that adequate ventilation of the rooms is ensured etc. Please be aware that TH Köln’s buildings will not be fully accessible, even in the winter semester 2020/2021, and that you will have to wear a face mask (covering mouth and nose).
- Your respective faculty will communicate details of the planning of the semester. All faculties are working on a solution of the upcoming organizational task together with the Department of Facility Management. Please understand that the plans are at different stages of development and that therefore the information might not be published at the same time throughout the university.
- 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
- Re-registrations for the winter semester 2020/21: The late fee is waived for all payments received by TH Köln by August 14, 2020. Re-registration
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.
Access to TH Köln’s buildings
Access to TH Köln’s buildings is currently limited.
Opening hours at Deutz Campus, Südstadt Campus (incl. Gustav-Heinemann-Ufer) and Gummersbach Campus: Mon - Fri 6.30 am to 8.00 pm. All buildings remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
The following entrances to TH Köln’s buildings can still be used:
Claudiusstraße - Main entrance
Uberring 40 - Copper door
Ubierring 48 - Main entrance towards Ubierring
Access to the university library at Südstadt campus is only possible via Mainzer Straße.
Main Building (‘Hochhaus’): Main entrance
Northern hall (‘Halle Nord’): ‘Kern’ 2 - level 2
Western hall (‘Halle West’): ‘Kern’ 1 - level 2
Eastern hall ('Halle Ost'): ‘Kern’ 1 - level 2
‘Altbau’: Main entrance
Both main entrances
Please understand that it will not be possible to keep all entrances to the buildings open and that you may have to take a detour.
Registration at the doorman’s desk
If you want to access one of TH Köln’s buildings, you need to report to the doorman’s desk. Please present your MultiCa or a government issued photo ID as well as (if applicable) your access permit. Your name and contact information will be recorded to ensure traceability in case of an infection. Those records will be destroyed after one month. Please also give notice to the doorman when leaving the building. Support our staff of the Department of Facility Management, which is charged with the maintaining TH Köln’s ability to operate, by following their instructions. These regulations apply for all employees, adjunct lecturers, students, interns, student and research assistants as well as external service providers and visitors.
Employees may access the university buildings at any time during the current opening hours.
Adjunct lecturers may access the buildings if it is necessary for their teaching assignment.
Students may only access TH Köln’s buildings if they have been issued an access permit after submitting the respective application form (“Zugangserlaubnis Studierende”) or to use certain services (library, Central Academic Advising Office). Students may visit TH Köln’s libraries during the current opening hours. Access to the university library at Südstadt campus is only possible via Mainzer Straße. The Leverkusen branch of TH Köln’s library is closed.
Students may be issued an access permit if their on-site presence is crucial to completing a paper or important coursework. This includes, for example, work in laboratories for final theses, final oral examinations and practical work relevant for examinations.
Due to the protected university operations, certain information and preliminary considerations are necessary for a smooth process. Thus, supervisors are to request an access permit for their students. The request form is to be submitted to Team 10.3 Occupational Safety, Environmental Protection and Health Promotion. Please note that it takes at least 2 weeks for the request to be processed.
In case of a positive response, an authorization will be issued and the respective student(s) will be allowed to access TH Köln’s buildings. While on TH Köln’s premises, students are to carry their MultiCa as well as the access permit. Employees working at the doorman’s desk are authorized to carry out random checks of the access permit in comparison with the MultiCa and the list of persons authorized to access the buildings. Access to the buildings also depends on their current use and temporary limitations are possible.
Student and research assistants also need to present their access permit (intern) upon request, as must interns.
Visitors (guests, delivery personnel etc.) who visit TH Köln for no more than one day must always be accompanied by a TH Köln employee. The employee who has organized the visit (host) is to pick up the visitor(s) at the entrance and visitors are to register with the doorman. Prior to the visit, the host is to inform the visitor of the hygiene measures currently in place at TH Köln and is to ensure that they are observed during the visit. If laboratories are entered, occupational safety aspects also need to be considered. Visitors do not need to request an access permit (“Zugangserlaubnis”). Regulations on accompanying external companies (“Fremdfirmenbegleitschein”) remain unaffected. Requests for a “Fremdfirmenbegleitschein” (intern), completed and signed, are to be sent to email@example.com.
- Repairs can only be carried out if hygiene requirements are observed. Work can only be carried out if eight people or less are involved and keep a distance of at least two meters from each other. It must be possible to properly ventilate the room(s).
- Any persons who have been banned from the premises due to the current infection prevention measures are not allowed to enter at any time.
A face mask is to be worn in all of TH Köln’s circulation areas, elevators and rest rooms. Please avoid queues and gatherings of any size. They are also required in offices, laboratories and workshops whenever it is not possible to keep a physical distance of at least two meters. Additionally, rooms are to be ventilated regularly. Please also continue to observe the hygiene recommendations to prevent the spread of infections.
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.
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.
All services are available. Information and advice will be provided by phone and email.
The Central Academic Advising Office (Zentrale Studienberatung) is personally available at Südstadt Campus. Further information [in German]
Since May 25, 2020 TH Köln’s libraries in Deutz and Südstadt are again open to the public with limited service. The library on our Gummersbach Campus will be closed from July 30 to late August/early September due to its move to the new building. Please note that the Südstadt branch can only be accessed from Mainzer Straße. Unfortunately, the Leverkusen branch is closed again for administrative reasons. Literature is supplied by the campus library in Deutz. Here you’ll find further information to plan your visit.
From June 3, TH Köln's Campus IT will offer online support for students via Zoom in addition to its support by email and phone. Campus IT Support [in German]
ZBIW – Center for Advanced Training in Library and Information Science
Until June 30, all on-site courses offered by the Center for Advanced Training in Library and Information Science (ZBIW) are canceled. ZBIW staff can be reached as usual.
Teaching operations will continue remotely for the duration of the entire summer semester 2020.
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:
(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”)
The individual standard program duration is increased by one semester for all students who, in the summer semester 2020, are 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. This does not apply to students who are on a leave of absence in the summer semester 2020.
Financing your studies: BAföG
On March 25, 2020, Germany’s Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek, announced the regulations for BAföG payments with regard to the current restrictions due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The regulations aim at reducing students’ worries about their financial situation. Regulations for first-year students and students currently studying abroad as well as information on the obligation to produce supporting documents on examinations and other relevant information is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
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. 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 October 31, 2020 is available on our info page “Examinations in the summer semester 2020”
Submission of Bachelor’s and Master's theses
The regulation allowing for a submission of theses in electronic form only has expired on May 25, 2020. For most programs the regulations described in the respective examination regulations, which always require the submission of paper copies, are back in force. Theses can be submitted by mail or dropped off at the doorman’s desk at Claudiusstraße, in the “Hochaus” in Deutz or at our Gummersbach Campus. All these locations also have an overnight mailbox (“fristwahrender Briefkasten”) but their capacity is limited. Alternative regulations are in place
- for the Master’s program in Media Informatics
- 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.
Will my final oral examination ("Kolloqium") take place?
Final oral examinations for Bachelor's or Master's thesis may take place in a small circle and on a voluntary basis. A distance of at least 2 meters between all participants is to be kept at all times. If possible, video conferences are to be used for these examinations.
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.
Do I still need to submit paper copies of my thesis if I submitted my thesis by email while the exceptional regulation was in force?
The regulation that theses can be submitted by email (without paper copies) is still in force until May 25, 2020 for most programs. Most examination boards have decided that no paper copies need to be submitted at all. In most cases, your Office of Student services will know which regulations apply for your program. In case of uncertainties, please contact the Examination Board responsible for your program.
Applications for admission in the winter semester 2020/21
Prospective first-year students can also apply for admission to Bachelor’s programs with restricted admission offered in the winter semester 2020/21. The application deadline is August 20, 2020. For several other programs, the application deadlines were extended. Go to our Program overview and select the programs you are interested in for more detailed information.
General information on the applications process and the difference between programs with restricted or unrestricted admission is available in the admissions section of our website.
At TH Köln, the lecture period of the winter semester 2020/21 for new first-year students of all programs will start on November 2, 2020 and end on February 12, 2021.
In the current applications process, applicants with a “Fachhochschulreife” have until October 31, 2020 (instead of September 30) to complete the practical component.
Stays abroad in the 2020/21 winter 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 2020/21 winter 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.
- Long-term mobility (longer than four weeks) of students and staff outside of the European Union and with non-Erasmus program countries should not take place due to more complex political, logistical and organizational circumstances.
- 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.
All mobility that cannot take place due to above stipulations should be deferred to the 2021 spring semester or later semesters. Should this not be feasible in justifiable individual cases, the faculty in question may submit a request for exemption (German, English version upon request). This request is to be filled out, signed and submitted by the faculty’s international coordinator or professor responsible for the mobility in question.
Information for employees
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.