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Flood disaster: information for students, faculty, and staff

other things in the immediate vicinity of Cologne. Many people have lost their homes, their belongings, or even their loved ones. Many members of the University – students, faculty, and staff – are also affected.  In some cases, the power, water supply, and/or internet connection is down. In others, family members are directly affected. Also, quite a few students are involved in the fire brigade, the THW or other aid units whose tireless work is indispensable these days.

Search/Offer - bulletin board for offers of help and requests for help from and for members of the university

The effects of the flood disaster should not have a negative effect on the working circumstances of faculty and staff or on the study conditions of students – especially during the exam phase, which starts this week.

That is why the university headship and the Faculties jointly decided on the following regulations:

Information for students

  • Please take the upcoming exams if it is possible for you.
  • For all exams, the regulation that exams which are not passed are considered not to have been taken (free shot attempt) also applies in this situation and will be in force until 30 September 2021. This does not apply to final examinations, including focus seminars in the first examination in accordance with the Legal Training Act of North Rhine-Westphalia (DRiG/JAG NRW) and for the equivalence tests within the Model Degree Programme in Human Medicine (see Section 4(3) of the Rectorate’s resolution of 22 March 2021). If you are unable to take an exam, you can withdraw from it up to the start of the exam without giving reasons and without losing an attempt to take the exam.

  • If you are unable to attend an individual exam (such as oral exams and presentations), we kindly ask that – if possible – you contact your examiners as early as possible, and before the exam begins. If necessary, you can arrange a make-up date right away.

    If you are unable to take a written exam and want to catch up on this exam, please use one of the later, regular exam dates, which are usually offered this semester. If you have difficulties registering for the exam, please contact the responsible examination office.

  • In particularly justified individual cases, in which being unable to attend an examination leads to a delay in the course of studies, individual solutions will be found for the students concerned. In these cases of hardship, students can apply for an alternative examination date or format. This applies in particular to students in the final phase of their studies, during the transition between Bachelor and Master or in the event that statutory deadlines are missed in any other way. In these cases, please contact the responsible examination office as soon as possible and, if possible, before the start of the examination.

  • In the case of final theses, too, the respective examination committees can, upon request, grant students reasonable extensions or the possibility of withdrawing, so that you will not suffer any disadvantages here either. If you are unlikely to be able to submit your thesis in due time due to the flood disaster, please contact the responsible examination office as early as possible.

  • In the present situation, the University of Cologne waives the obligation for students to provide evidence that they were affected by the flood disaster in order to enable quick and unbureaucratic help. However, the special regulations listed here only apply to students affected by the disaster.

  • The University will try to ensure that these regulations do not lead to any delay in the completion of your degree. Nevertheless, please check whether you may need to enrol for another semester. If this is the case, please contact the International Office  by 18 August 2021. The staff there will enable you to re-register for the coming winter semester 2021/22.
    If you cannot currently foresee whether you will need to re-register for the winter semester 2021/22, you can first re-register as a precaution. You can then have the semester fee that you paid for re-registration reimbursed by 30 September 2021 if it becomes clear that you do not need to enrol for the winter semester 2021/22. A reimbursement is unfortunately not possible if you do not contact the International Office  until 30 September 2021. For this reason, please contact the International Office  in good time (and for reimbursement of the semester fee by 30 September 2021).

With these regulations we would like to support you as best as possible in your individual situation. We would like to give you the security you need to continue your studies in the best possible way despite the devastating catastrophe, and to enable you to provide the help that is currently urgently needed. Please note that lecturers are also affected by the disaster, which can lead to the postponement of examination dates or the extension of correction times.

For exam preparation or participation in an online exam, affected students who currently have no internet connection or power supply in their apartment can use the workstations in the University and City Library (USB). These can be booked online at
You can also inquire about additional USB workstations by calling 0221 470-3314.

We know that the very limited working spaces on campus due to the coronavirus regulations are very popular with all students. In this special situation, we would like to appeal to your solidarity and ask all students who are not affected by the flood disaster to give priority to fellow students who urgently need a place on campus because they cannot work from home. We are working on providing additional workplaces for the students affected by the disaster.

Please feel free to contact the responsible offices, your lecturers, examination offices, and student advisory services with individual concerns that arise from the current situation and that are not yet covered by this information so that we can help and support you as best we can.

Information for faculty and staff

  • For those who have completely lost their house or apartment, are subsequently without shelter, and also have no means of staying with family, friends, or acquaintances, the University will attempt to arrange for temporary housing. In order for hardship arrangements to be made in these particularly dire cases, please contact Mr Kunstein (, +49 221 470 1978) or Mr Höing (, +49 221 470 1799).

  • Employees who have been directly affected by the floods can be granted up to 5 days’ special leave from work with continued salary payment upon informal application to the Human Resources Management Department and with information to the manager or supervisor. If you are particularly affected, please contact your your HR department to identify individual support options

  • In addition, persons who have to assist members of their immediate family with evacuation and security work may be granted up to 5 days’ special leave from work. In this case, please also contact the Personnel Management Department with an informal request and inform your manager or supervisor.

  • An individual leave of absence from work with continued salary payment of up to 3 working days to volunteer in the flood relief, e.g. via organized voluntary services, is possible due to the particular severity of the disaster (see circular from 25 August 2021 [in German]). An informal application (including the voluntary service or organization, the period of time and the planned location) can be submitted to Human Resources Management after consultation with your manager or supervisor.

  • As a further aid measure, the Rectorate has decided to grant employees who suffered considerable damage as a result of the storm from 14 to 16 July 2021. Following an amendment to the Land's guidelines, an advance of up to six times (previously: three times) the monthly salary (or monthly emoluments), up to a maximum of € 10,000, can be granted.
    More information on how to apply and how to process the application is available on this website.

  • If the flood disaster has an impact on the examination period for you as a lecturer, for example because examination papers are no longer accessible or usable, an extension of correction times is necessary or individual examination dates have to be rescheduled, please contact the examination office responsible for your examination as soon as possible so that the affected students can be informed and the exam can be reorganized.
    If you have to postpone an online exam, please also inform the CCCE staff at digitale-pruefungen(at) . They will contact you as soon as possible to arrange a make-up date.

  • A communication platform (digital ‘bulletin board’) that collects offers of and requests for help has been made available shortly to facilitate direct exchange among students, faculty, and staff. More information will follow.

We would like to offer individual support to those students who have been affected by the flood disaster. We see it as our duty and responsibility as a university to respond in this way to the current plight of many students. Therefore, we ask that you, as faculty and/or staff, join us in this endeavour. The regulations also provide for flexibility in arranging any make-up exams in a way that requires little additional effort on your part.

In addition to the offers of the university, you can find information about "emergency aid" and a corresponding application form on the website of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia: