FAQ for Teaching Staff

Status: 14 January 2021


Will exams in the 2020 Fall Semester be held on site or digitally?

Exams in the 2020 Fall Semester can take place either online or on site. However, it must in principle be possible for students as well as instructors to take part in the official assessments regardless of their specific risk factors or place of residence. Assessments of practical skills are an exception and may be held on site in compliance with the relevant protective measures that were previously defined for the practical/clinical course.

Which examination software is recommended?

You can find a list of recommended software on the relevant Teaching Tools pages: Remote assessment of academic achievement
The recommended procedure for written examinations, especially with large numbers of participants, is to use an OLAT assessment tool. For more information on this, go to:
ZI – Lehre und Forschung: Elektronische Prüfungen (in German)

Do exams also have to be held digitally?

Yes, whenever possible, written or oral exams scheduled to take place by the end of June 2020 were held digitally at the scheduled date and time. Examinations that cannot be transferred to digital formats for compelling reasons were (or will be) held as on-site events in May, June, the first half of July, or between 9 August and 4 September 2020.

How are online exams supervised?

A legal basis is currently being developed so that very simple forms of verification via Zoom and MS Teams can be used for online exams that are comparable to the situation in the lecture hall. This includes, for example, the identification of students taking the exam. These light forms of supervision are expected to be used in the 2020 Fall Semester by faculties who wish to do so. Proctoring, i.e. the recording of students during exams, as used at US universities, is not used at UZH, also for data protection reasons.

Where can I get support with planning and holding digital exams?

You can find support materials for the switchover to digital examination formats at the Teaching Tools pages. Individual advice can be obtained on the teaching website "Lehre und Lehrentwicklung":
Lehre und Lehrentwicklung: Kurs- und Beratungsangebote (in German)


Which video call software can I use at UZH for my course?

The tools currently supported by UZH are: Online meetings via Microsoft Teams, SWITCHmeet, UZH Video Meeting and ZOOM. UZH provides a license for all these services. You can find further information at:
Overview of video call software providers
Microsoft Teams
UZH Video Meeting

How can courses be held digitally?

Go to Teaching Tools for information, tips and tricks on the subject of digital teaching. The platform is being expanded all the time.

Will non-matriculated students be able to attend my course in the Fall Semester?

Non-matriculated students may only attend courses for which the relevant field (“Auditor/in zugelassen”) has been ticked in the course catalogue, which is determined by the instructors themselves. If non-matriculated students are allowed to attend, it must be ensured that they can also participate online. Please note that non-matriculated students do not receive an account (ISIM) at UZH for licensing reasons. However, you can obtain a SWITCH Edu ID to enable OLAT access. It is also possible to attend online lectures with MS Teams or Zoom, provided that access has been granted.

My course cannot be transferred to digital formats, or can only be transferred partially (lab work, excursions, etc.). What should I do?

Clarify with the module and degree program coordinators of your course whether it is affected. If you need help with developing alternative teaching and assessment formats, please contact info@hochschuldidaktik.uzh.ch.

Obligation to Wear Masks:

Who has to wear a mask?

The obligation to wear a mask applies to anyone present at UZH (UZH members as well as visitors and external service providers) in indoor and outdoor spaces.

Do I have to wear a mask all the time?

Masks may be removed to eat or drink. But removal of masks should be kept as short as possible.

Where outdoors do I have to wear a mask?

Masks must be worn in outdoor areas at UZH wherever the required minimum distance of 1.5 meters can't be observed, in particular in busy pedestrian zones, in front of buildings, when going to/leaving campus, in waiting areas, in seating and standing areas (benches, tables, etc.).

Where can I buy masks at UZH?

You can buy masks at various ZFV cafeteria sites (as of October 2020)

  • Irchel Campus: Seerose, Café Complet
  • City Campus: Platte 14, Café Complet, UniTurm, Cafeteria Rämistrasse
  • Oerlikon Campus: Cafeteria Binzmühle, Cafeteria Cityport, Restaurant Forum
    Locations of UZH Cafeterias

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

On what grounds can someone be dispensed from the obligation to wear a mask?

Children under age 12 and people who can prove that they cannot wear a face mask on specific grounds (particularly medical grounds) are dispensed from the mask requirement.

Will UZH pay for masks?

Students and externals are responsible for supplying their own protective masks. The regulations for UZH staff can be found on the following page:
For Staff: Mask-Wearing and Provision/Reimbursement of Costs

What is the mask-wearing requirement based on?

The mask-wearing requirement is based on the social distancing and hygiene recommendations of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).


Which protective equipment is available in UZH buildings?

UZH has set up hand disinfectant stations at the main entrances of its properties/buildings. These stations will be managed by Facility Management. People may wash their hands in the public toilet facilities.


Will there be checks to make sure that safety measures are adhered to inside buildings? Who is responsible?

Following the measures described in the safety concept is the responsibility of management/leadership as well as of each employee (individual responsibility). The relevant managers/leaders can and should check that the measures are adhered to. In public areas (e.g. waiting areas in front of cafeterias) or at the designated study spaces, UZH reserves the right to carry out spot checks and dismiss people who don’t follow UZH’s rules of hygiene and conduct.

Will cleaning services come by more frequently as a precaution against coronavirus?

The frequency and scope of cleaning will be the same as before the pandemic in accordance with the relevant cleaning standards (“Leistungen Service Level BDI/BDZ”).

In addition, however, special attention will now be paid to objects and surfaces that are touched frequently in shared rooms. Users are responsible for any additional cleaning. Cleaning agents are available from UZH’s Procurement and Logistics office.

Will additional cleaning materials be made available for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces?

Using an all-purpose cleaning agent will generally suffice. Only where this is not possible, 70% alcohol or something similar can be used to clean small surfaces such as buttons on the copier, shared keyboards, etc. The relevant cleaning sets are available from UZH’s Procurement and Logistics office.

Do I need to clean the desks in lecture halls and seminar rooms myself after using them?

There are dispensers with disinfectant wipes at the entrance of lecture halls and seminar rooms used for general teaching which users can take to clean surfaces. Offices of the Deans, institutes, departments, etc. can obtain disinfectant and cleaning materials for use in their own lecture halls and seminar rooms from the UZH department Materials and Logistics (Material und Logistik). The Offices of the Deans, institutes and departments are responsible for procurement and management.
Material und Logistik (in German)