Face-to-face teaching in Thuringia again as of the summer semester

Starting with the summer semester of 2022, the majority of courses at Thuringia's universities will once again be offered as face-to-face courses. The Thuringian State Presidents' Conference (TLPK) and the Thuringian Ministry of Science agreed on this during talks today.

Nicht nur auf dem Campus Ehrenberg, sondern auch am Stadtcampus sind die Hörsäle der TU Ilmenau für moderne Lehre, ob in Präsenz, hybrid oder online, hervorragend ausgestattet. Blick in der Faraday-Hörsaal.

Thuringia's State Secretary for Science Carsten Feller said:

We want to send the signal to students and teaching staff as early as possible that we will be returning to a largely normal situation at the universities from the summer semester onwards."

This is important, she said, so that students in particular can adjust to the new situation in good time - for example, with regard to finding suitable accommodation, any entry requirements for foreign students, etc. The summer semester starts on April 1, 2022, and the lecture period at TU Ilmenau begins on April 4.

With regard to the Corona restrictions that are currently still in place, the Thuringian Ministry of Economics, Science and Digital Society assumes that these can be reduced to a minimum - as in other areas. According to the state secretary, "For March, we will still maintain the 3G rule to universities on a transitional basis - after that, we will examine whether this rule can be dropped completely." This, he said, would of course depend on the federal government's requirements and further pandemic developments. However, it can currently be assumed that, parallel to the relaxation at federal and state level, strict access regulations can also be dispensed with in the university sector; only basic protective measures such as mandatory masks and distance requirements could then be maintained. It is also conceivable that large events such as lectures with several hundred listeners will continue to be held online.

Digital teaching formats to remain firmly in place

In principle, however, the new digital formats will retain a firm place in academic teaching in the future, the State Secretary continued. "Digital teaching formats, digital literature research and publishing, digital administration - all of these have received an enormous boost from Corona and will continue to shape universities in the future." Moreover, given the good state of digitization at universities and the experience gained in the last two years, he said it is always possible to quickly expand the proportion of digital teaching again at any time, should that become necessary again due to pandemic developments.

There is now much greater digital flexibility in teaching and research as well, which we can now also use for far-reaching relaxation.

To support Thuringia's universities on their way into the digital age, the Ministry of Science had already launched the "Thuringian Strategy for Digitization in Higher Education" in 2017. With the currently adopted update of the strategy, the Thuringian Ministry of Science is providing more than 32.5 million euros specifically for digitization at universities until 2025. The TU Ilmenau also benefited from the large-scale program and was able to use the funding to fully digitize its teaching offerings and to extensively supplement its modern equipment in lecture halls and seminar rooms with excellent infrastructure for conducting online and hybrid events in teaching and research.