To inaugurate the lecture period of the winter semester, Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Heidelberg University, extends his traditional welcome to students and particularly to those in their first semester at Ruperto Carola. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, his good wishes for those beginning their studies at Heidelberg University in 2020/21 are being transmitted this year by an email and a video in which the Rector speaks directly to the first-year and newly enrolled students. In addition, the Rector informs the students of the communication on Friday from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts announcing a general, coronavirus-related shift of degree-related operations in November to online teaching, initially for four weeks. There will be exceptions, he adds, particularly for examinations, laboratory practicals and practical course elements. Libraries and archives are to remain open.
"Despite the many restrictions, I hope that you can benefit from studying at one of the great European universities, and being very close to current research topics and projects. Just like the focus on research-oriented teaching, the special variety of subjects and disciplines at Heidelberg University leave their imprint on research and teaching. Delve into the treasures of the comprehensive university to enrich your personal course profile," Prof. Eitel emphasises in his words of welcome.
With respect to the current contact restrictions, he assures his hearers that the university is doing everything "to guarantee a successful start to their studies." In the field of teaching, the university aims to build on the positive experiences from the mainly digital summer semester, when the students gave their lecturers good grades for their teaching performance. In conclusion, the Rector states: "We had hoped to be able to organise something like a ’normal’ winter semester, but now our patience, our mutual consideration, our sense of responsibility and our commitment will be challenged afresh. I thank you for your cooperation and wish you an inspiring and successful time of study in Heidelberg - also and precisely in these extraordinary times."