Information on the coronavirus (Covid-19)
Protected university operations continue.
+++ This page will be updated regularly. +++
+++ Update July 27, 2021 +++
Please observe the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations (Coronavirus-Einreiseverordnung) and self-isolate if required. Go to the section „Vacation and quarantine“ for details.
Access to and stays in TH Köln’s buildings
TH Köln’s buildings and outdoor areas are generally open from Monday to Friday from 6.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. and, starting on June 19, additionally from 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on Saturdays. The following regulations apply for accessing and staying in TH Köln’s buildings:
Stays at TH Köln: distance regulations, masks and compulsory testing
Mandatory face masks
Inside TH Köln’s buildings, a face mask (covering mouth and nose) has to be worn in all areas. This must either be a medical surgical mask or a FFP2 / KN95 mask.
For (teaching) events, a documented seating plan will be created showing who sat in which position. The seating plan will be kept by the organizer in order to be able to provide information regarding the traceability of contacts to the responsible health authority, if necessary.
In addition, face masks are mandatory in the following situations, regardless of whether physical distancing recommendations are observed or a seating plan exists:
- Classes of any kind (except when speaking)
- Symposia or comparable events (except when speaking)
- University library
- Service desks, information desks, or offices that serve as points of contact for students or the public
- Sample lectures as part of appointment procedures (except when speaking)
- All other situations where other people, besides employees and guests who are present for work-related reasons, are in the room
- In TH Köln’s outdoor areas if it is not possible to keep a distance of 1.5 meters to another person
- Examinations inside closed rooms, if it is possible to keep a distance of 1.5 meters to the next person
- Individuals who are teaching or moderating or who are giving lectures or presentations if this involves talking for long periods of time
- 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.
The current legal regulations stipulate that participants in courses and examinations must undergo a mandatory rapid test. For this purpose, we kindly ask you to make use of the offers of free citizen tests (“kostenlose Bürgertests”) in the cities and municipalities. Tests must have been carried out within 48 hours prior to entering TH Köln's premises.
Students who fail to present a negative test will not be able to attend on-site classes. For exams, an alternate location can be provided for those unwilling to test. Details will be worked out in the faculties.
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.
What should I do if I have symptoms?
Unless an infection with SARS-CoV-2 has been ruled out by a physician or through testing, individuals experiencing symptoms of a coronavirus infection are generally not allowed to be present in TH Köln’s buildings and outdoor areas. Employees who experience symptoms are to contact their physician and to subsequently contact their supervisor.
Keep Your Distance
While in TH Köln’s buildings and outdoor areas, always keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters between you and others. Where possible and if it does not interfere with your workflow, avoid direct contact with others (use phone or email instead).
Wash Your Hands
Make regular and thorough hand washing part of your daily routine. 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. If this is not possible, please use the disinfectants provided in all buildings.
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
Closed rooms are to be thoroughly ventilated (with windows completely open) for 5 to 10 minutes after 60 minutes at the latest. If there is a lot of talking or if there are many people in the room, thorough ventilation is recommended every 20 minutes for 5 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.
Guides will be present in all of TH Köln’s locations. It is their responsibility to ensure that the regulations on face masks and physical distancing are observed. Guides are authorized to ask everyone present in TH Köln’s buildings for information on the purpose of their presence on campus. When you are approached, please present your MultiCa and your ILIAS booking upon request (you will also receive this as an email so that you can show it on your cell phone, for example).
With the support of the guides we aim to prevent that too many people are present in our buildings and regulations on physical distancing can no longer be observed. We also seek to ensure that only people who have a valid reason and have booked a matching time slot spend time inside the buildings.
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
Students are allowed access to the buildings provided they are in the buildings for classes, as well as access to the library, to academic advising or other counseling services, etc. For all other stays on site (e.g. urgent matters related to Bachelor's or Master's theses or projects), an access authorization issued by a lecturer is still required.
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 ‘Repository’, then select ‘Repository - Home’. Under the header ‘Services’ you will find the section ‘Time slot bookings’. Find your campus, then select the building for which you want to register. Click on ‘Actions’, then select ‘Book’. 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 “Confirm booking” 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 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 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.
- Major parts of teaching in the summer semester 2021 will be offered remotely.
- Students will be provided details on semester schedules and on-site classes by their faculty.
- MultiCa validation for the summer semester 2021 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 March 1, i.e. when it is no longer validated? MultiCa - Your Student ID Card
Outlook for the winter semester 2021/2022
TH Köln will use available options to offer on-site classes while keeping the uncertainty regarding the future development of the pandemic in mind.
It must be noted that at the time that this text is written (July 6, 2021), the developments around the Delta variant of the Coronavirus are not foreseeable. Additionally, it is not yet known if by the end of September a vaccination rate in the overall population will be achieved that will allow carefree indoor gatherings. Hence, we must remain diligent and continue to minimize risks, which means that measures such as physical distancing, mandatory surgical facemasks and systematic ventilation of rooms will play an important role for the planning of the winter semester 2021/22.
In light of this, the amount of on-site classes that can be planned is reduced to a level that will range from 30 percent to a maximum of 70 percent, depending on the program.
Classes, which require the use of on-site resources (e.g. laboratories, computer labs) or where on-site presence is required for didactic reasons, are given priority to take place face-to-face. In general, lectures or other classes with many participants will not take place on-site. This kind of classes has proven to be very suitable for digital teaching formats.
However, TH Köln will offer a relevant number of classes on-site because debates between students and teaching staff, working in small groups, projects and discussions among students are an important part of the didactic process and should, if possible, no longer be neglected.
Thus, TH Köln suggests that students should make plans in such a way that they can participate in on-site classes.
For the upcoming winter semester, TH Köln is planning to increase the number of courses that are offered on-site. It goes without saying that regulations on hygiene and social distancing will remain in place to insure the safety of our students and teaching staff. However, a key factor for safe on-site courses is also a high rate of fully vaccinated participants.
In North Rhine-Westphalia the vaccination prioritization has been lifted as of June 26, making it possible to schedule a vaccination appointment irrespective of age or pre-existing illnesses. While it was difficult to make an appointment at first, this is now less problematic. In many cities and districts it is now possible again to book appointments in vaccination centers (www.116117.de - Click on “Infos zur Impfung und Terminbuchung“, then scroll down to select the Bundesland where you reside). Please note that this website is only available in German. It is also possible to make an appointment by phone by calling the toll-free number 0800 116 117 01.
General physicians are also increasingly offering vaccination appointments. For more information check the websites or facebook pages of doctor’s practices in your neighborhood or give them a call.
We would like to draw your attention to these options and ask you to take advantage of them if you have not already done so. After all, the more members of TH Köln are vaccinated, the better we will be able to transition back to teaching operations that mainly take place on-site.
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. 34/2021: 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 summer semester 2021
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.
Lecture start for first semester students
The Executive Board of TH Köln has decided that the start of lectures for the 1st semester in Bachelor's and Master's programs will be postponed by two weeks to October 4, 2021. The reason for this is the postponement of the application deadline for admission-restricted degree programs by two weeks and the consequential later enrollment.
Standard program duration (“Regelstudienzeit”)
For all students who are, in the summer semester 2021, 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. This will be adapted automatically by the university administration. Updated certificates will be available for download from PSSO in late May.
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)
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.
Studying as a parent during the Covid pandemic
TH Köln offers various counseling services for student parents:
Exams and papers
Examinations on-campus may only take place if hygiene measures and infection protection regulations are observed.
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 September 30, 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 concerning the submission of Bachelor's and Master's thesis is still in place until August 31, 2021. For most programs, the procedure described below applies.
Different regulations apply for
- the Institute of Information Science
- at the Faculty of Applied Natural Sciences and
- at the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT)
the Master's program Taxation
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.
Do I need to submit paper copies after I have submitted my work electronically because of the special regulation?
For most degree programs, it is still possible to submit theses electronically until August 31, 2021. In general, it is not necessary to submit paper copies at a later date. In case your faculty needs paper copies, they will get in touch with you.
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.
Starting Monday, May 31, 2021 self-service in TH Köln's libraries is possible again. Additionally, the libraries continue to offer contactless pick-up and drop-off of media.
The individual workstations will be available from Monday, June 21, 2021. Therefore a separate Ilias booking is required. This will be possible from Wednesday, 16.6.2021.
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 winter semester 2021/22
In the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Board of TH Köln has made a decision on international mobility (outgoing/incoming) of students and staff for the winter semester 2021/22.
Long-term mobility (more than four weeks)
The differentiation between European and non-European countries as decision criteria is no longer used, since such a definition does not make sense due to the regionally different and dynamic situation of infections. Instead, the current visa and entry regulations as well as any restrictions imposed by partner universities are set as feasibility criteria.
- Outgoings: Physical long-term mobility of students and staff can be carried out as planned, provided that visa/entry regulations and the individual provisions made by partner universities allow this.
- Incomings: The admission of exchange students or visiting scholars and researchers from European and non-European countries is explicitly possible in the winter semester 2021/22. However, TH Köln explicitly points out potential restrictions.
Short-term mobility (up to four weeks)
- For short-term mobility of up to two employees, the regulations on international business trips (as a specific form of business trip) apply, which are regularly reviewed by TH Köln’s Crisis Management Board and adjusted, if necessary.
- Short-term mobility of up to two students together 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.
- Students and/or staff taking part in a short-term group mobility must additionally provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, recovery, or a negative PCR test result.
Stays abroad in the 2021 summer semester
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.
Vacation and quarantine
Information for university members returning from vacation
TH Köln asks all employees and students to observe the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations and to self-isolate if so required. Employees who need to self-isolate due to entering Germany from abroad are asked to contact their supervisor without delay. Professors are asked to inform their Dean.
Regulations and the steps you need to take are explained in detail on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health: Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations (Coronavirus-Einreiseverordung)
The obligation to self-isolate will initially be in force until September 10, 2021.
A list of regions currently classified as risk areas is available on the website of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI): RKI - Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 - Informationen zur Ausweisung internationaler Risikogebiete durch das Auswärtige Amt, BMG und BMI (an English version is available for download as a pdf file)
Frequently asked questions on the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations are answered on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health: Frequently asked questions on entering Germany
Information for individuals who are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid: Proof of vaccination or recovery may replace a negative rest result, i.e. quarantine on entry is not required. At this time, this does not apply to individuals who are returning from an area of variants of concern.
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: 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, 2020. 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.