Frequently Asked Questions

Mask-Wearing:

Do I have to wear a mask at UZH?

No, the previous mask mandate has been lifted on 15 April. However, the Executive Board of the University recommends that attendees continue to wear masks in courses and examinations until the end of the semester, even after they are no longer obligatory.

How do I choose the right mask?

Hygiene masks are medical products and must meet the requirements of the EN 14683 standard and be marked with a CE mark. There are three types of these masks (type I, type II and type IIR). Healthcare professionals must wear type II and type IIR. Type I can be worn by patients and by the general population during a pandemic. For commercially produced textile masks (community masks), the recommendations of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force apply. Home-made masks are not recommended by the FOPH. Scarves and shawls are not a valid replacement for masks.

Respirator masks (e.g. FFP2 or KN95 masks) are considered to be personal protective equipment. Even in the current situation with the spread of the new virus variants, the FOPH does not recommend respirator masks for general use (status on 27.1.2021). FFP2 masks are worn by healthcare professionals when they are treating COVID-19 patients and there is the possibility of aerosols being produced. Respirator masks are also worn, if necessary, by persons at increased risk after consultation with their doctor. However it should be noted that due to the greater restrictions on breathing that such respirator masks cause, the FOPH and the manufacturers of such masks advise against their use for people with certain pre-existing conditions. The higher benefit of this mask depends on the mask being worn correctly, i.e. it must fit snugly on the face. Please refer to the instructions for use. Respirator masks with exhalation valves should not be used to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Where can I buy masks at UZH?

You can buy masks at various ZFV cafeteria sites (as of January 2021)

At Irchel Campus there is also a vending machine with masks (in front of building Y23 / Facility Management Irchel Campus info counter).

Will UZH pay for masks?

In general, students and external persons are responsible for their own personal supply of protective masks.

Students who are particularly at risk are exempt from this. They will receive 70 FFP2 masks per semester free of charge for participation in on-site events. To do so, they are required to send the following documents and their mailing address by e-mail to arbeitsmedizin@su.uzh.ch:

  • Doctor's certificate confirming that they belong to a particularly vulnerable group in accordance with Annex 7 of the Covid19 regulation
  • Copy/scan of the valid student identification card

After validation, 70 FFP2 masks will be delivered by mail.

I am student and particularly at risk. Will I be provided with masks?

Yes. Students at particular risk will receive 70 FFP2 masks per semester free of charge for participation in on-site events. To do so, they are required to send the following documents and their mailing address by e-mail to arbeitsmedizin@su.uzh.ch:

  • Doctor's certificate confirming that they belong to a particularly vulnerable group in accordance with Annex 7 of the Covid19 regulation
  • Copy/scan of the valid student identification card

After validation, 70 FFP2 masks will be delivered by mail.

Studies and Exams:

Is there an obligation for on-site courses to also be made available as livestreams or podcasts, or is it possible that certain lectures and seminars will be held exclusively in-person?

No, in general there is no requirement for the university as a whole to provide livestreams or podcasts. Therefore, some events will take place exclusively on-site and in-person. However, certain faculties have made it mandatory for their teaching staff to offer livestreams and podcasts; please check the website of the respective faculty.

When will it be decided if the exams will be online or on site?

As a rule, the dates and formats for the courses have already been determined and published in the course catalogue or communicated via other communication channels of the faculties. All faculties have been asked to advise their teaching staff to enter these details accurately in the course catalogue so that all students know what to expect at the time of booking. However, this is all subject to certain regulatory requirements. If the situation does not change, the implementation modalities will not change in principle.

Why is the decision about holding exams being left to the individual faculties? Wouldn’t a university-wide ruling be fairer and simpler?

The types of examinations held at the University of Zurich vary as much as the courses the faculties offer. The requirements for medicine degrees differ from those for German studies, for example. Just as varied as the requirements are the teaching and examination formats and the times of the exams. Many departments review learning progress by means of written exams at the end of the semester that are sat by a large number of students. Other departments primarily assess their learning objectives alongside the courses or by means of papers. For that reason, there are no general solutions that would be both fair and appropriate for such a diverse higher education institution. That is why the decision as to how to appropriately implement the jointly resolved principles has been left to the faculties. The Executive Board of the University has complete confidence in the faculties’ ability to develop solutions that take into account the students’ situation while simultaneously ensuring the education objectives in their respective subject areas.