2G rule in courses

President's circular to all employees and students

Dear colleagues,
Dear students,

Due to a large number of Covid 19 patients in the intensive care units of hospitals, the ‘alarm level II’ has been in effect throughout Baden-Württemberg since the end of November. As you know, this has entailed that since November 29, the ‘2G rule’ has applied in the majority of courses held at universities on campus. Accordingly, only students who have been vaccinated or have recovered have had access to the courses in question since then.

Last Friday, the administrative court of Baden-Württemberg suspended the 2G rule in courses. In response, the state government issued a new directive on study operations over the weekend. This directive reinstates the 2G rule in courses. As in previous weeks, examinations and practical courses such as laboratory practicals or dissection courses, which must take place on campus, are exempt from the 2G rule. For this kind of courses, 3G still applies. At the same time, the ministry is imposing additional requirements on universities to ensure that students who are unable to attend face-to-face classes still achieve their learning objectives.

To ensure successful participation, teachers may, for example:

  • offer courses in a hybrid format, 
  • make a digital recording of their course available immediately afterwards,
  • provide students with written materials containing the course material before or immediately after the course,
  • combine the offers mentioned above, 
  • make other offers that essentially ensure that our degree programs are feasible and can be studied in an equivalent manner.

It is the teachers' own responsibility to decide which offers are made.

I am aware that these new requirements make it even more difficult to hold courses face to face on campus. Nevertheless, we should try to stick to face-to-face teaching as far as possible. I had already pointed out in the circular email of December 3 that, due to the pandemic situation, we are not only facing the challenge that unvaccinated students are currently not allowed to participate in class on site. Due to pregnancy, serious previous illnesses, problems with childcare or quarantine, even vaccinated or recovered students are currently forced to avoid courses on campus in individual cases.

In all cases that make attendance difficult or impossible, I ask teachers and students to talk to each other and find a mutually satisfactory solution. In cases of conflict, I ask the Vice-Deans of Academic Affairs to mediate. As has so often been the case during the pandemic, the Tübingen "spirit of cooperation and commitment" is once again called for, i.e. an attitude of working together and for each other. We can only overcome this crisis together. In a few days, the university will be going into Christmas break. This gives us all the chance to relax for a few days and recharge our batteries.

With best wishes for the upcoming festive season and a good start to 2022.

Professor Dr. Bernd Engler