May 20, 2020
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are concerning to prospective students, students, parents, and universities worldwide. To provide clarity and planning security for its students and their parents, Jacobs University decided early to start the new academic year as planned on 1 September 2020, despite the corona pandemic. The President of the international campus university announced this in a video address released today.
In the video address, the President of the international university, Professor Antonio Loprieno, announced the scheduled start of the upcoming academic year on 1 September at Jacobs University in Bremen. The decision aims to provide clarity and planning security for students and their parents.
As an international campus university, Jacobs University has since January taken extensive measures to protect the health of its students and employees in times of the coronavirus. The university provided comprehensive information and hired medical personnel. Most of the staff work from home, and the student accommodation and catering services continue to operate under strict hygiene and safety measures. Furthermore, Jacobs University converted its entire teaching to online platforms in March over a very short time. "A herculean task," says Loprieno. The final exams are also currently being held online. The Graduation Ceremony, the highlight of the academic year at Jacobs University, will be a digital event in 2020.
The university has coped very well with the accelerated digitization process. At the same time, the extended hygiene and safety measures are having the desired effect: to date, there is no case of a corona infection at Jacobs University.
Germany's sensible approach to the corona crisis also gives the President of Jacobs University grounds for optimism. "Jacobs University is fortunate to be located in one of the safest countries and regions in the world: the northern German city of Bremen," said Loprieno in his address. Germany is getting through the pandemic better than almost any other country in the world. The President of the international university emphasized that especially the science-based measures contribute to the low infection rate in international comparison.
The students of the English-medium Jacobs University come from over 120 nations. Many of the international applicants and new students are facing the challenges of strict entry and exit requirements and often difficult visa procedures as a result of the corona-pandemic. "We are aware that due to the pandemic it will not be possible for everyone to come to our campus in time for the beginning of the semester," says Loprieno and adds: "In order to give all new students the same opportunities, all first-year courses will be held online in the first weeks of the new semester. Once the situation allows, we will resume in-person teaching". This way, Jacobs University will enable new students to arrive on campus later. However, new students are welcome to arrive during the online period too, and the university will be providing top class on-campus academic support and activities from faculty from 1 September onwards, as well as certain practical components of modules. Early arrival on campus in the new "Home away from Home" is also possible this year.
In the German university landscape, debates are currently underway about postponing the start of the semester to early or mid-November. "However, students and prospective students as well as their parents need planning security," emphasizes Bannour Hadroug, member of the Management Board of the international university. "We are in intensive contact with our students, applicants and their families, sound out their needs and take these into account in our internal consultations and decisions in order to find suitable solutions," says Hadroug. "We are very proud that during this global crisis we are in a position to offer our students not only an excellent education but also reliable guidance and a safe campus. We look forward to welcoming our students to Bremen in the coming semester as well".