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Back to college with in-person teaching
A hybrid welcome for new students – on campus and livestream

On 11 October, university life resumed for the almost 33,000 students in total, including 3,600 new students. There was palpable relief among students and lecturers at the decision by Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) to prepare for a winter semester with mostly in-person teaching. The welcome address for new students took place live once again in Lecture Hall 3A. The pandemic meant that students had to preregister, wear a mask and provide proof either of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative coronavirus test. Around 600 new students attended the event in person, with a livestream also going out in real time. “Happy to have you back! Let’s be mindful in our response to our regained freedom.” This was the message HHU President Anja Steinbeck gave in her welcome speech.


During her welcome speech for new students, President Anja Steinbeck told students how happy she was to see life returning to the campus. HHU is using a system whereby students must be vaccinated, have recovered from coronavirus or provide a negative test result in order to attend in-person events.

The entry checks ran smoothly and in a relaxed manner. University radio presenter Judith Deußen created a laid-back mood for the event, which lasted for almost an hour. Before joining Vice President Christoph J. Börner (Quality in Studies and Teaching) and Student Union President Lukas Moll on a panel to respond to general questions from the new students in attendance and from e-mails in relation to starting college, HHU President Prof. Dr. Anja Steinbeck welcomed the new students. She wished them well for their start to college life and for success in their studies: “We are delighted that the campus is coming back to life after three semesters of mostly online learning. There are always three parts to studying. The first part is acquiring specialist knowledge, the second is engaging in critical discussion and questioning what you have learned, and the third is forming your personalities, maybe through volunteering for the Student Union or the Student Associations. Make sure that you achieve a balance of all of these three parts.”

Vice President Prof. Börner was likewise visibly pleased to finally be back in a busy lecture hall: “Our safety and access concept allows for a semester with a lot of in-person teaching. Our lecturers will also provide students with additional online offerings where possible. HHU is ready to hit the ground running with its hybrid teaching concept. Rest assured that we will make adjustments as necessary throughout the semester to ensure that you have a good and a safe start to your studies.”

In order to make in-person tuition as safe as possible, only those who have been vaccinated, have recovered from or tested negative for coronavirus can attend. The status of students who have recovered from or tested negative for coronavirus must be checked individually using the relevant documents each time they wish to enter the lecture halls. Students with proof of vaccination can fast track entry checks by using a forgery-proof sticker on their student ID card. Masks must be worn indoors.

HHU will offer its new students a comprehensive range of (online) advice services to help them adjust to studying and college life. Up until mid-October, students can use the virtual information event to live chat with the main institutions, get responses to unanswered questions and find out lots of useful information for studying and for their life on campus. Page view numbers show that students use this tool often and in a targeted way to get the information they need.

Trend barometer:  preliminary dates, facts and figures for the winter semester 2021/2022
As of: 7 October 2021

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has a total of 32,683 students as of the cut-off date, down roughly 9% on the prior year. The percentage of international students has remained unchanged at approximately 11%.

A total of 3,644 new students (students in their first semester at university) had registered as of 7 October. This is around 14% fewer than in the last winter semester. The percentage of new students has dropped slightly from 12% to 11% year on year. The percentage of international students accepting a place at HHU has remained stable at 12%.

As of the cut-off date, the five most popular programmes for students in the first university semester are as follows (in absolute figures): Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (359 new students), followed by State Examination in Medicine (334), Bachelor of Science in Biology (314), State Examination in Law (311) and Bachelor of Computer Science (281). In the prior year, the ranking for the top 5 programmes was: Biology, Business Administration, Medicine, Computer Science and Law.

Financial and Actuarial Mathematics, Linguistics and Business Administration are the top 3 growth subjects percentage-wise over the last five-year period. It is only in the past four years (since WS 2018/2019) that HHU has offered Transcultural Humanities as a subject. In absolute figures, however, it is already second place in the list of fastest-growing subjects, with 455 students enrolled at present.

With 14,749 students (including 1,345 new students), the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is the largest faculty at HHU, accounting for almost half (45%) of all full-time students currently registered. Next up is the Faculty of Arts and Humanities with 27% (8,830 students, including 1,004 new students), the Faculty of Medicine with 13% (4,164 students, including 396 new students), the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics with 9% (2,783 students, including 576 new students) and the smallest of all faculties, the Faculty of Law, with 7% of all students (2,156 students, including 323 new students). The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities have gotten somewhat smaller compared to prior years on the whole, while the other three faculties have increased marginally in size.

Currently, students can still use the random selection procedure to apply for places on the Bachelor programmes in Natural Sciences, Quantitative Biology, Transcultural Humanities and Business Chemistry as well as for the Bachelor supplementary subjects Art History and Philosophy.

Please note: The following figures all relate to full-time registered students including students also enrolled at another university (number of students, i.e. EXCLUDING minor subjects, including provisionally enrolled students). The numbers of new students and their distribution by faculty and subject provide preliminary statistics (a trend) as of the cut-off date of 7 October 2021. These change daily, as waiting lists are still being processed. Final statistics are expected in December 2021.

Kategorie/n: Pressemeldungen, Auch in Englisch

Students with proof of vaccination can fast track entry checks by using the vaccination sticker on their HHU Card. 26% of all HHU students already had the sticker by the time lectures commenced on 11 October.

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