Information on Corona virus (SARS-CoV-2)
Information on teaching formats in times of Covid-19
Neuruppin, 30 April 2020
Dear MHB students and teachers,
this is an update on how teaching will continue during restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A priority is, once again, to thank all concerned for their excellent, flexible and innovative response to this exceptional situation. We are impressed by so much creative energy released by the challenges of the current crisis to conduct student training at our Faculty of Medicine and Psychology. A survey among teachers and students showed mainly positive feedback
to the changed conditions, as a result of your tremendous commitment and open attitude for what is new.
Basically, the current situation requires that we stick to the strategy of ensuring reliable and at the same time flexible formats of teaching and studies at the MHB. You have already been informed that the university management, in consultation with our Covid-19 task force and representatives of the examination committee, decided to continue instruction in medicine and psychology in the present form until at least 31 May 2020. Exceptions apply exclusively to 7th-semester students, for whom we plan to arrange practical periods on the ward in the context of elective subjects.
By 18 May we (the above-mentioned university representatives) shall decide on teaching formats applicable from 1 June to the end of the summer term. If the decision is to (partly) resume classes with obligatory attendance, we shall provide the required conditions in terms of safety and hygiene at the respective locations. Preparations to that end are under way.
By 18 May we shall further inform you about modalities for end of term exams. This applies to students of medicine and psychology alike. We intend to organise all medical exams in accordance with requirements of the state exam authorities (LPA) so that results will be accepted as equivalent to the preliminary medical examination and as application for admission to the state examination. All exams for psychology students will be organised in such a way that they correspond to requirements of registration for the newly introduced state examination. We are in contact with the pertinent authority to resolve the last remaining legal uncertainties.
We are looking forward to your feedback and hope that our university will continue to stand the test of these difficult times.
Best wishes from
Prof. Markus Deckert
Prof. Thomas Stamm
Vice Dean, Curricular and Student Affairs
Prof. Stefanie Oess
Chair, Academic Committee Medicine
Office Manager, Curricular and Student Affairs
Neuruppin, 27. April 2020
Compulsory face masks in Germany
Starting today, face masks have become compulsory almost everywhere in Germany. This is why the MHB plans to make face protection available to students, staff and guests. For a first impression of what we have in mind, see www.facebook.com/mhb.fontane.
We are looking forward to your vote on the favourite model. Feel free to send us your own suggestions and creative feedback.
Best wishes from MHB
Updated information for students and teachers at the start of the new semester and the introduction of virtual classes
Neuruppin, 17 April 2020
Dear students, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
many parts of the MHB are humming with activity, despite Corona and the resulting reduction of social contacts and general slowdown. The summer semester started as planned on 1 April, with the inevitable restrictions and reorganisation. While most other universities are still preparing for the new term and the digitisation of courses, we were the first in Germany to start fully digitised teaching on 6 April.
Thanks to intensive preparation and curricular organisation by Jacqueline May and her team over several weeks, digital classes have been running successfully right from the start. We have actually received a quality seal from the internet portal studycheck.de for our efforts. Some events that require physical attendance, such as activities in the traditional week for newcomers or Practice Days, had to be cancelled; but feedback is mainly positive.
In view of currently valid regulations based on government decisions, virtual classes will continue at the MHB until 3 May, and in all probability for some time to come. Parallel to this, we shall develop a possible scenario for a switch to instruction with attendance.
While 48 beginners are starting their medical studies in Neuruppin, students of the very first MHB class are taking the medical state examination (M2) in Potsdam, also under unfavourable conditions. We wish them all the best and are confident that they are up to the challenge.
There are nationwide discussions how to proceed with such examinations in times of Corona. The State of Brandenburg, in consultation with the MHB management and students, has decided to adhere to the original date. Our thanks go to our sponsoring hospitals for providing the protective materials that are required to conduct the exams in an effective and safe manner.
The Corona pandemic has changed life and daily activities for all of us. We at the MHB perceive the situation as an invitation to imagine alternative scenarios, a chance for development and improvement via innovative technologies in teaching, research and administration. So let us remain strong and courageous, and – most important these days – stay healthy!
Head of Administration
Up-to-date information for students and staff on the start of the new semester and switch from presence mode to virtual instruction.
Neuruppin, 7 April 2020
Dear students, dear instructors,
although life at the MHB is affected by radical changes due to the Corona pandemic, the summer semester started as scheduled on 1 April 2020. All instruction with class attendance has been suspended up to and including 19 April 2020; we have switched over to virtual instruction. Students are requested to stay at home until further notice and thus help to slow down the outbreak and protect themselves and others. Depending on risk assessment, it will be possible to continue instruction exclusively via electronic platforms and video conferences after 19 April. Our current understanding is that virtual instruction will go on until end of April or longer.
Our concept of teaching developed over the past weeks corresponds to decisions, requirements and regulations of MWFK, LPA, RKI, MFT etc. and permits instructors as well as students to work from home, from the clinic or campus facilities in a flexible but structured manner. We keep in mind that numerous students, also MHB students, are volunteering in hospitals and surgeries, and we try to reconcile this valuable commitment with their obligations as student and to find uncomplicated solutions and possibilities of acknowledgement in collaboration with examination committees. Students can choose between life attendance and later retrieval of materials and recordings via Moodle.
Teaching events are organised in the form of web seminars. In collaboration with the platform Webex, we have created virtual settings for lectures, seminars, exercises etc. for the respective programmes and semesters.
For each semester respectively, students will receive plans of these virtual settings with links for attendance and codes for dial-up access. They will not require personal accounts and only need to enter name, surname and MHB email address.
For instructors we have prepared short instructions explaining how and where they can attend meetings. These instructions are available on Moodle under “Virtuelle Lehre 2020“.
We hope that these measures have served to create an appropriate learning and teaching environment for our students and instructors, and we kindly ask for your understanding and patience in case of unexpected problems. As an institution we are not only teaching but also learning, and in the current situation which is unprecedented for everybody we would ask you for your feedback in case of difficulties.
We are at your service and send virtual but nevertheless warmest greetings!
Your team from the office for curricular and student affairs
MHB takes steps to slow down progress of CoVID-19 pandemic.
Neuruppin, 13 March 2020
MHB president Prof. Edmund Neugebauer: “The illness will probably be harmless for most of us. However, as the virus multiplies in the upper respiratory tract – unlike SARS – it is highly infectious before symptoms occur. Even under favourable assumptions, an uncontrolled spread will result in cases of severe illness and avoidable death, and extreme strain on the health system. The MHB is aware of its particular responsibilities in health care and society.”
The MHB task force SARS-CoV-2 set up by Prof. Frank Hufert (virology) last week has taken the following preventive steps to protect students and staff, in addition to general recommendations:
- The semester will start on 1 April 2020 as planned. However, on-site instruction will be suspended up to and including 19 April 2020. For this period, instruction will be organized via electronic platforms and video conferences. Students are requested to stay at home and thus help to slow down the spread of the pandemic and protect themselves and others.
- Practical-year students are requested to adhere to regulations passed by the respective clinics.
Dates and alternative dates for repeat exams, registration, events for first-semester students etc. are currently under revision.
- Other scheduled events are suspended for the time being, including the matriculation ceremony scheduled for 3 April 2020.
- Activities in administration and research will continue where possible. For MHB staff this means that they should work from home whenever possible, subject to consultation with their superiors (‘home office’). Work from home is obligatory for all MHB staff who may have been in contact with infected persons. All MHB employees showing influenza symptoms are recommended to have themselves tested without delay. Positive test results are to be reported at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that there is a chance to control infection routes within the MHB.
- A ban has been declared on all business trips outside the MHB locations. Public traffic in MHB buildings is to be reduced to a minimum.
Neugebauer hopes that these steps will contribute to infection prophylaxis at the MHB and to the protection of students, staff and the general public: “We are convinced this is the best way to ensure ongoing instruction and minimize adverse effects.”
General rules of conduct
Please note that information on CoVID-19 will be updated continuously, and please consult responsible sources, such as the website of the Robert Koch Institute.
Here is a summary of the most important rules:
Observe general hygiene rules:
- recommended sneezing behaviour
- no handshakes
- wash hands frequently and thoroughly (min. 30 seconds according to instructions*)
- keep your hands away from your face
- keep distance of at least 1.5 m from others in conversation and in public
- ventilate closed rooms at regular intervals
- use the disinfectant dispensers in MHB buildings
In case of respiratory symptoms during your time at home, inform a doctor without delay who will assess the risk involved and test you for SARS-CoV-2 if indicated and will inform the health authorities of a positive test result.