More Online Teaching for More Students at UZH

In the upcoming Fall Semester around 28,100 students will be matriculated at the University of Zurich. The numbers have increased for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs. Courses will be delivered with a mix of online and on-site classes.

The 2020 Fall Semester at the University of Zurich is about to begin, under rather different circumstances than usual. Teaching will resume on 14 September, but due to the coronavirus pandemic only some classes will be held on-site, with others delivered remotely via digital means. Approximately 28,100 students (in 2019, 27,350 including MAS) will attend lectures, seminars, practical courses and classes either on-site and in-person, or via live streams, podcasts or video conferencing. “The protection of students and staff is our top priority. We have therefore deliberately chosen a mix of on-site and online teaching. Face-to-face contact between students and teachers is important. At the same time, however, we are ensuring that those whose health is at risk can also participate,’ says new UZH President Michael Schaepman, explaining the hybrid choice.

By the beginning of September, around 3,990 people had newly matriculated for a Bachelor’s degree at UZH - 475 more than last year. According to provisional figures (as of 7 September 2020), there are somewhat fewer new matriculations at Bachelor’s level than had been expected back in April. “In total, an increase in student numbers at all levels is to be expected,’ predicts Schaepman.

The 2020 Fall Semester at UZH

The use of classroom or online teaching will be determined by the faculties or the individual study programs according to their requirements and the available teaching rooms. The following general principles apply:

Teaching: On-site classes and lectures at UZH can also be completed remotely - the teaching materials will be accessible online. Certain courses, in particular those for students who are further ahead in their studies, will take place solely online. Practical skills training in laboratory or clinical courses will take place on-site. If it is not possible to maintain safe distances between participants, face masks must be worn.

Classrooms: In lecture halls and classrooms the 1.5-meter distance rule applies. Depending on the room, desks are placed further apart or the number of seats per row is reduced. The seats which may be occupied will be clearly marked. Disinfectant dispensers and wipes will be provided at the entrance of each room so that students can clean their desks/seats according to their individual requirements.

Masks obligatory: In addition to the distancing and hygiene measures, face masks must be worn in public indoor areas at the University of Zurich. This applies for example in corridors, atriums, restrooms and when moving from A to B. In classrooms, people must wear masks when they make their way to their seats and as they make their way out of the room. They can remove their masks when they reach their desk or laboratory workstation, when they take their seat in a lecture hall or classroom, or when they sit down in the Lichthof or cafeteria. Of course, they may always keep the mask on if preferred. In outdoor areas around UZH, masks are not obligatory provided safe distances can be maintained.