Notification by the Rectorate on COVID-19

Letter from the Rectorate to students, lecturers and employees of the SFU

Dear students, dear lecturers, dear employees,

Before the end of the summer semester, I would like to provide you with a short update on the current situation at the SFU and take a look ahead to the winter semester.

Situation COVID-19
Recently, we all have faced times that we have never experienced before. We have been and we are being threatened by a virus which not only causes disease but also claims life. Fortunately, no one died from the SFU because of the virus, and the few who have been infected have mostly recovered. Worldwide, more than half of the infected people have recovered by now and the infections in Austria are at a very low level. However, this means that the virus has not disappeared and that the social distancing still makes sense. We know that this pandemic has raised fears in almost everyone. But we also realize that most have overcome these fears and have even developed new solutions and strategies for their lives.

Current status of the summer semester 2020
The number of new students is developing particularly well in 2020, so the admission interviews will take place throughout the summer. Postponed seminars will also take place throughout the summer. The detailed information gets provided by the respective faculties.

The upcoming winter semester 2020/21
With regard to the upcoming beginning of the winter semester, we are preparing for regular course of study, but we are considering an alternative plan in coordination with the Ministry of Science.

Words of thanks
I want to express special thanks to our scientific and administrative staff who have managed to convert teaching to digital teaching with admirable dedication. They all have performed their tasks in teaching as well as in the administrative areas in an exemplary manner.
I would also like to thank the students for their contribution to the digitization of teaching and for their often accurate critical feedback that helps us to optimize digital teaching.

On behalf of the Rectorate of the SFU, I wish you all a great summer!

Yours sincerely,
Univ. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Alfred Pritz for the Rectorate of the SFU
Vienna, 25.06.2020 

Download: Updated information from the Rectorate_25.6.2020 (pdf)

Information of the Rectorate on gradual reinstatement of regular university operations from May 2020 onwards

Dear Madams and Sirs,

We received a letter dated April 7th from the Federal Minister Dr. Faßmann addressed to  the rectors of the Austrian private universities. We are pleased with the content of that letter, as it specifies the step-by-step plan for gradual return to normality set by the federal government on April 6th and provides clear guidelines and suggestions for the gradual return of private universities to their normal operations.

SFU will implement the measures summarized in the following points for a gradual return to normal operation. The measures mentioned herebelow have been worked out taking into account the guidelines and suggestions provided in the letter of the Federal Minister:

  1. Teaching at the SFU will continue to take place digitally or through “home learning” until the end of June. The digital library is still in operation.
  2. Practical lessons that cannot be substituted (e.g. laboratory units, dissection courses, personal development, self-awareness) can be offered in the current summer semester and, if necessary, including the summer months.
  3. As far as possible, exams should continue to take place digitally (until the end of June). For final exams, students can be offered the option of choosing to hold exams digitally or in person, if desired, from May 4th When carrying out personally, the applicable hygiene requirements (distance, number of people, mouth and nose protection) must be observed. (Personal implementation will probably not be possible in all subjects. Details will be determined in the faculties).
  4. Also starting from May 4th, the SFU’s home office operations will be returned to normal operations.
  5. Research can also be started or continued in stages and in compliance with the safety and behavioral rules (hygiene requirements).
  6. The respective national / regional regulations apply to the branches of the SFU abroad. They will be informed separately by the rectorate.

The Federal Minister is sending a signal for a gradual restart, which will enable a return to familiar structures and processes, combined with the hope that we can take some of the positive findings and lessons learned from the crisis into our normal university operations.

We wish you and your families all the best!

Yours sincerely,
Univ. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Alfred Pritz
for the Rectorate of SFU

Download: Information Step-by-Step Plan SFU (pdf)

Updated 9th April, 2020

Updated information from the Rectorate_1.4.2020 (pdf)

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