WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management is the first business school in the greater Koblenz area to restart its Bachelor and Master programs. This has been made possible by additional safety equipment of the lecture halls, digital upgrades, and detailed hygiene concepts as well as behavioral guidelines for students and staff. After months of online teaching, the business school reopens for students of the Master’s programs on August 26 and plans to reopen for its Bachelor programs on September 7.
WHU used the months of online teaching to prepare for the return of the students and to ensure safe teaching conditions in compliance with hygiene regulations and social distancing. "We are a relatively small business school. It is certainly easier for us than for larger universities to implement official regulations in order to minimize the risk of infection," says Dean Markus Rudolf. "However, we are very aware of our responsibility and have been working on detailed concepts for the return of the students over the past months.”
The core of these concepts is "hybrid teaching". Depending on the size of the room, some of the students can attend lectures in person while others participate online. This format offers students from other countries who are currently not able to travel due to corona restrictions and people with health concerns the opportunity to continue their studies from home. In compliance with the Corona specifications for teaching, the number of seats in the rooms has been reduced, path and distance signs and sometimes perspex walls have been applied. In addition, various lecture halls were technically upgraded with a variety of technological means. WHU has already gathered experience in hybrid teaching since the beginning of July when MBA and EMBA classes returned to the campuses in Düsseldorf and Vallendar.
"Of course, the learning experience at WHU will be different from the years before," admits Markus Rudolf. "There will be far fewer fellow students on campus than usual, and even the extracurricular activities will have to follow strict guidelines. I know that this is a great challenge for everyone. But our students would not be at WHU if they were not ready to meet this challenge. That's what we expect."
Should the number of Corona cases rise overall or should there actually be a case on campus, WHU is well prepared. It is no problem to switch to online teaching immediately, the Dean assures.
Students are satisfied to finally meet again with their fellow students and professors. “I am glad that we were able to simply carry on and that my studies were not prolonged by Corona as it is the case with some of my friends from other universities. But I'm also very happy that we are getting back to a more regular student life on campus again," says master's student Charlotte Pretz. "I missed the WHU spirit, the motivation to learn in groups with other students, and the feeling of having achieved something together.“
Find out more about WHU's campus re-opening strategy