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Starting the new academic year under special conditions

Safety first: special circumstances as 1,300 IMC Krems students kick off the new academic year

It’s a special situation in every sense: 1,300 students from 46 countries are starting out on their first year at IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems – under particularly challenging conditions. For the first time in its history, teaching at the university will take the form of a hybrid semester – a mix of distance and face-to-face learning, although there will be a strong emphasis on virtual formats.

(vlnr) Dr. Uwe Rinner, Studiengangsleiter „Applied Chemistry“, Prof. (FH) Dr. Dominik Schild, Dozent im Studiengang und DI Dr. Harald Leiter, Technopolmanager Krems bei ecoplus mit den neuen Studierenden des technischen englischsprachigen Studiengangs „Applied Chemistry“.

A high degree of practical relevance and close cooperation with business and industry are an integral part of the training in all of our degree programmes. The new students of the English-language bachelor degree programme "Applied Chemisty" experienced this on the very first day. They are among the 1,300 young first-year students from 46 nations who have been studying at IMC Krems since 21 September.

Studying under Covid-19 restrictions

IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems is committed to getting the new academic year off to a safe start. And that goes for students as well as lecturers and other university staff. With this in mind, specific on-site hygiene and conduct rules have been drawn up. A particularly important aspect is keeping a precise record of student attendance in contact sessions.

Face-to-face sessions in Krems, distance learning and virtual teaching

Contact hours will be condensed and held in the form of block weeks. Practical sessions are being spread across the semester according to room availability, in order to comply with the required hygiene standards in the laboratories and during practical exercises. The university is reducing group sizes for these sessions, and making arrangements for holding practical courses in larger spaces. Please see the timetable for further information. 

Distance learning or virtual teaching

Where feasible and appropriate, courses will be taught online in virtual classrooms or using asynchronous learning. Attendance at courses taught in virtual classrooms is compulsory, and the set timetable defined in the respective curriculum applies. These courses will be taught within core times which correspond to the degree programme format (i.e. full-time or part-time). Asynchronous learning – also termed e-learning – refers to self-directed learning or a package of defined learning tasks which students work on when they wish and must complete by a given deadline.

“We worked very hard on our preparations during the summer, but it has been worth it. We made the best of the situation and decided on a hybrid winter semester. We want to give all students the opportunity to sample campus life and be physically present on campus for at least a week. I would like to wish everyone a successful academic year and an enjoyable time in our beautiful town of Krems,” said CEO Ulrike Prommer.

“Of course, our primary goal for the 2020/21 winter semester is to be able to offer our students high-quality education, while at the same time ensuring the safety of everyone involved,” Martin Waiguny emphasised.

Introductory events for new students

IMC Krems kicks off the new academic year with Induction Week, when the university welcomes its new students and holds introductory courses intended to clarify all administrative and study-related questions.

Proportion of international students still high

The Covid-19 pandemic has also had an impact on the travel plans of international students, who have played a significant part in shaping life in the town in recent years. Only a small number of the international students will be able to travel to Krems; the rest will complete the semester by taking online courses. Nevertheless, interest in studying at IMC Krems remains strong among students from both EU and non-EU countries.

Diverse backgrounds

In total, around 3,200 students are enrolled in the university’s 27 bachelor and master degree programmes. Of the new intake of 1,300 students, almost 50% come from Lower Austria, 37% from other provinces in Austria, and 13% from abroad. This is an extension of the trend seen over the past few years. IMC Krems is widely regarded as one of Austria’s most international universities.

More popular than ever

Another indicator of the university’s success is the number of applicants. This year, the number of applications reached a peak, with 2,807 people applying for a place at IMC Krems – a record high. This is equivalent to an average of 2.2 applications per study place.

COVID-19 measures