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Current information concerning the coronavirus outbreak

Current information concerning
the coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus has spread further in Europe and the Hochschule für Künste Bremen (HfK) is adjusting its precautionary measures accordingly and in consultation with the responsible authorities.

If you have any inquiries or notifications regarding aforementioned issues, please reach out to the stated contact persons. If you have further questions, please contact: .

Members of the HfK will receive the latest information and current developments on this topic in their HfK email account as well as on the website and on the portal. Please ensure that you can be reached via your official HfK email address.

1. Courses

  • All courses requiring physical attendance are cancelled, including one-to-one classes, until and including until and including 17 April 2020.
  • Enrollment and registration for classes at both the Arts and Design Department and the Music Department will start on April 20 2020.

2. General operations of teaching faculty and administration will go into emergency mode until and including April 19, 2020.

  • All members of HfK are barred from both campuses.
  • The previous directive concerning mobile work remains unaffected, this means that you are obliged to fulfill all tasks which can be done remotely.
  • All work commitments and work duties in respect to teaching assignments (Lehrauftrag) have to be made up for after resumption of regular teaching. Contracts that have been already signed are valid as defined.
  • Flexible, experimental and digital formats of courses are supposed to take place, if possible. Advance payments on teaching assignments (Lehrauftrag) can be granted. Please contact the respective person in your department:
    Arts and Design Department (Fachbereich Kunst und Design):

    Music Department (Fachbereich Musik): fbv-musik@hfk-bremen.de
  • Students assistants who support general operations at HfK (e.g. Druckerpool) and have questions regarding their work tasks, please contact at Arts and Design Department Imke Bahr: imke.bahr@hfk-bremen, and at Music Department Elke Runkler: .

3. Report obligation und isolation

  • All members of the HfK and other visitors must adhere to an isolation period and are thus not allowed to be present at the HfK, if
  1. you have travelled for private reasons to risk areas as defined by the Robert Koch Institute, or to areas for which the Federal Foreign Office issued a travel warning,
  2. you have been in a country or area that shows an increased number of infections,
  3. you have a confirmed case of infection with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in your immediate, personal environment.

If those conditions apply to you, you are obliged to report to the HfK. Please contact d3corona@hfk-bremen.de

  • The salary of staff members who are unable to come to the HfK due to isolation measures, will remain unaffected, as I assume that tasks defined contractually, will still be carried out within the limits applied.
  • The period of isolation for students will be considered as sick leave. Please inform your examination office if necessary: .

4. Examinations

  • All examinations in the Department of Music are postponed until 30 April 2020.
  1. The university is working hard to reschedule your examinations. To this point, we cannot give you more details. Please contact the Campus Office Music if you have any questions: .
  • Currently, we are working hard to ensure a safe and reliable solution for procuring examinations in the Art and Design department. More information on this as soon as possible.
  1. Concerning questions regarding papers and written assignments, please contact the respective faculty member.
  • The Online portal to submit applications for Wintersemester 2020 will remain open. Students applying for one of the degree programs will hand in their application exclusively online at this point.
  1. The Integrated Design Program (both for BA and MA), the Digital Media Program, and the Diploma Fine Arts Program will conduct a digital admission process only.
    Further information will be forwarded in due time and will be published on our website.
  2. The deadline for applying to all degree programs in the Music Department has been extended until Monday, May 5, 2020.
    Entrance exams for any and all degree programs in the Music Department are postponed and will not take place in June 2020. The latest information on dates concerning entrance exams in the Music Department will be published on our website on April 30, 2020 as well.

5. Events

All form of events, i.e. concerts, workshops, exhibitions, presentations etc., are to be cancelled until and including April 30 2020.

6. Access restrictions

  • All members of HfK are barred from both campuses 
  • The library is closed until further notice. Lending and returning books is not possible. Fines for overdue items won’t accrue. No fines will be charged for circulating materials.
  • In spite of the closing of HfK, all administrative members can be contacted, albeit with some limitations. Due to restrictions, responses to inquiries may be delayed and administration as well as workshop directors cannot offer usual and all services. Please reach out to them by phone or email. Further information on how to contact administration members please read the chancellor’s letter from March, 19 2020.

7. Bleiben Sie Zuhause, Wenn / Stay at Home, If /
请您呆在家里,如果 / 집에 있으세요,만약

8. Business and field trips

  • The rectorate has instructed with immediate effect and until further notice that no business trips and no excursions will be approved for staff members, professors and students. Business trips and excursions that have already been approved must be canceled. The rector (regarding the academic sector) and the chancellor (regarding the administration) will decide on exceptions if neccessary. If you return from a business trip or a private trip, please note the information below.
  • All members of the HfK and other visitors must adhere to an isolation period and are thus not allowed to be present at the HfK, if
  1. you have travelled for private reasons to risk areas as defined by the Robert Koch Institute, or to areas for which the Federal Foreign Office issued a travel warning,
  2. you have been in a country or area that shows an increased number of infections,
  3. you have a confirmed case of infection with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in your immediate, personal environment.

If those conditions apply to you, you are obliged to report to the HfK. Please contact

9. Special Leave of Absence Due to Closed Schools/Daycares

If you have to request special leave of absence due to the officially mandated closing of schools and daycares during the period of March 16 until March 27 2020, please contact HR/Dezernat 3 by sending an email to and add a brief explanation (see attachment DEZ3).

10. Sick Notes and HfK Members with Chronic Medical Conditions

  • All members of HfK with chronic medical conditions are kindly asked to contact HR/Dezernat 3 by sending an email to , including a brief outline of your medical condition. To ensure your safety, we will jointly assess whether or not you can still assume your work duties given the specific circumstances. The same applies if you share a common household with a person with chronic medical condition whose health might be otherwise compromised.
  • Please send your sick notes to and state whether or not you are suffering from flu-like symptoms (see attachment DEZ3).
  • You are obliged to report to the HfK, if
  1. you have travelled for private reasons to risk areas as defined by the Robert Koch Institute, or to areas for which the Federal Foreign Office issued a travel warning,
  2. you have been in a country or area that shows an increased number of infections,
  3. you have a confirmed case of infection with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in your immediate, personal environment.

If those conditions apply to you, please contact

  • The salary of staff members who are unable to come to the HfK due to isolation measures, will remain unaffected, as I assume that tasks defined contractually, will still be carried out within the limits applied.
  • The period of isolation for students will be considered as sick leave. Please inform your examination office if necessary:
    .

11. Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is an effective way to protect yourself and others from infectious diseases. Our hands constantly get into contact with surfaces on which germs can be found. If we touch our mouth, nose or eyes, the pathogens can easily enter the body through the mucous membranes and trigger infectious diseases. Regular and thorough hand washing offers simple and effective protection.

12. Assistance Services and further Information

Help offers, support and further information

HfK Mail (German, English, Spanish) E-Mail
If you have any questions regarding the coronavirus, please send us an e-mail to . If you seek medical care or advice, please contact your doctor or the medical after-hours service initially only via telephone.

HfK-Corona-Info Website
You will find the latest information, e.g., official letters and further information on our HfK-Corona-Info website: https://www.hfk-bremen.de/en/corona-info

HfK Social Fund
Students in financial need and under financial duress due to the pandemic can contact the International Office (for international students // ) and Dezernat 1 (for German students // ) for assistance.

International Office
The International Office is active in a number of areas: it provides support for international students at the University regarding, e.g., funding, accommodation and visa and advises German students and teaching staff during the planning of residencies and projects abroad
Contact:
Website: https://www.hfk-bremen.de/t/auslandsstudium-der-hfk-bremen
funding: https://www.hfk-bremen.de/t/auslandsstudium-der-hfk-bremen/n/finanzierungstipps

The Department of Research Development and Research Funding now offers help and advice in two key areas online from now on:

  • Stipa: Counselling on scholarships and residencies for and by fellow students
    Contact:
    stipa@hfk-bremen.de
  1. Students provide advice to fellow students in German and English via Skype on issues concerning fellowships and residencies. Questions such as these might arise:
    – The range of support provided by different foundations. What are their criteria?
    – How and when do I apply?
    – How do I draft a strong application and what needs to be listed on a résumé?
    – What kind of residencies are available and how do I apply for these?
  • Language Assistance: Helping with matters regarding language problems and language barriers German – English;
    Contact:
    language_assistance@hfk-bremen.de
  1. Fellow students provide language assistance. If you need assistance in another language than English/German, do reach out and Language Assistance will try put you in touch with someone who can help with your specific language needs (i.e. Chinese, Korean, Arabic etc.) Services:
    – Support with translating assignments in course work
    – Submissions and submissions written in German
    – Drafting short texts or filling forms in German
    – Accompany students to important meetings and help with translating

Rent
Students struggling to pay the monthly rent should reach out to their rental company (e.g., professional rental company, landlord/landlady, Studierendenwerk) and explain the current circumstances.

Residence permits
Students can turn to the „bremen_service universität” located at the Universiyt of Bremen for issues relating to residence permits. Further information and forms are available on the website: https://www.uni-bremen.de/bsu/auslaenderangelegenheiten/

Psychological and social counseling
In this challenging situation the Studierendenwerk Bremen continues to offer psychological counseling by phone. Please find schedules and contact information on their website: https://www.stw-bremen.de/de/beratung-soziales/psychologische-beratung
The center for social counseling can be reached on a reduced schedule by phone. Please find schedules and contact information on their website: https://www.stw-bremen.de/de/beratung-soziales/sozialberatung

Emergency funds for students by the Studierendenwerk Bremen
The guidelines for the financial support of students in non-indebted emergencies are currently (April 3, 2020) adapted to the current situation. Further information will follow on their website: https://www.stw-bremen.de/de/news/notfallfonds

Help in cases of domestic violence
The AStA of the University of Bremen has compiled a list with phone numbers to call for help if you experience a case of domestic violence: https://www.asta.uni-bremen.de/nicht-sicher-in-den-eigenen-vier-waenden/Hilfe

Grants and support received under the federal law concerning the promotion of education and training (BaföG)
The government support for students (BAföG) is being paid out on the regular schedule despite the postponement of the start of the semester.
Students can also submit applications for a raise in their support or for advanced payments. If the support from the parental home is discontinued due to short-time work, the Studierendenwerk also recommends submitting a BAföG application (update application).
The Studierendenwerk Bremen is responsible for funding students at all the institutions of higher education in Bremen and Bremerhaven under the Federal Education Support Act (BAföG). BAföG is based on a very extensive and complicated piece of benefits legislation. In particular for international students an application is not always possible. Please note that Studierendenwerk can only advise about BAföG in German.
Please visit https://bafoeg.bremen.de/ and https://www.stw-bremen.de/de/news/coronavirus for contact information and service schedules.

Catholic University Parish
The Catholic University Parish provides help for international students in crisis. Please contact for further counselling and application forms:

Help for freelancers and Start Ups
Emergency aid programs have been put in place for freelancers, start-ups and freelance artists/musicians on state and federal level. Please find further information on the Websites of „Bremer Aufbaubank“ (processing applications for Bremen) and „Nbank“ (processing applications for Lower Sachsony).
https://www.bab-bremen.de/stabilisieren/beratung/task-force.html
https://www.nbank.de/Blickpunkt/Uebersicht-der-Hilfsprogramme/index.jsp
The Senator for Culture provides general information for those working in the area of art and culture. Please find further information, e.g., about the promotion program, on his website: https://www.kultur.bremen.de/startseite/corona__hinweise_fuer_kulturakteure-17312

Basic income support from the Federal Employment Agency
The application procedure for the basic income support will be simplified for a limited period of six months. The new rules are expected to come into force within the next few weeks. According to the preliminary status, among other things, the existing assets and whether the rent is appropriate will be waived. Customers will enjoy the protection of their previous home for this period.
Please find current information on the website http://www.arbeitsagentur.de/corona-grundsicherung or call the hotline (0800 4 5555 23) for self-employed persons, freelancers and other affected persons.

FAQ by the World Health Organization (English)
The WHO provides information and guidance regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

Risk areas and further information
The Robert Koch Institute informs about international risk areas and particularly affected areas in Germany and provides further information regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus (partially only in German):
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete.html?nn=13490888

Travel and safety information, travel warnings
The Federal Foreign Office provides travel and safety information and publishes current travel warnings (German only):
https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit

Family Doctor (Hausarzt, Allgemeinmediziner)
In Germany, you are free to choose any family doctor of your choice. If you display symptoms or need medical advice contact your doctor initially only via telephone, in order to clarify the further steps. In acute medical emergency, you should immediately dial 112, the emergency telephone number.

Medical after-hours service
Outside of your doctor’s office hours, you can contact the after-hours service of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of the City of Bremen:
Phone 116 117
https://www.kvhb.de/bereitschaftsdienst (German only)

13. How to support our Students

Some of our students endure financial duress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as they lose their sources of income (cancellations of concerts or the loss of second jobs etc.). In order to support them, the HfK has extended the guidelines for awarding financial support from the HfK’s social fund.

We are thankful for any attribution to our fund:

Hochschule für Künste Bremen
Reference: IA 83212018 / Sozialfonds für Studierende
Account: DE68 2905 0000 1070 5300 04
Bank: Nord/LB (BRLADE22XXX)