New corona university ordinance
Due to the pandemic development, universities in North Rhine-Westphalia again need to adjust to a digital teaching during the current winter semester. As in the summer semester 2020, the Ministry of Culture and Science released a special corona epidemic university ordinance to create legal framework for successful studies on corona conditions despite the burden of corona for universities and students. The new ordinance adapts the regulations for teaching and examinations at universities to the conditions of the now largely digital 2020/2021 winter semester. For example, the individualized standard period of study will again be extended by one semester, and, among other things, the free attempt rule will be reintroduced in the event of a failed examination. In order to provide students and universities with long-term planning security, the new corona epidemic university ordinance will apply not only to the current winter semester, but until 1 October 2021, also to the summer semester 2021.
"The corona pandemic challenges everyone; it demands a lot of flexibility and willingness to adapt from universities and students. The Government's goal is to ensure that students do not have disadvantage from Corona conditions. Due to the still dynamic infection situation, we have therefore already decided to extend the period of validity of the new corona epidemic university ordinance to the summer semester of 2021 in order to provide planning security," says Science Minister Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen.
With the new corona epidemic university ordinance, the Government continues to provide universities with the necessary and now updated regulations for teaching and examination operations: In particular, free attempts and withdrawals from examinations are again made possible, subject to other regulations by the respective rectorates. In addition, the Government has again increased the individualized standard period of study by one semester for the 2020/2021 winter semester. With this increase, the state in turn creates the condition for the BAföG maximum period of entitlement to be extended by one semester as well. In addition, the new ordinance makes it possible for elections to university management board and students in North Rhine-Westphalia to be held by using online procedures.