COVID-19 and Webster Vienna

Dear Webster Community,

We have all experienced a challenging spring season and have persevered together. During the last few months, we ensured that all students have access to their classes and professors by way of quickly adapting and locally pioneering distance learning measures. 

Now that we are approaching the summer months, Austrian borders have opened up to most European countries. In the coming weeks, we anticipate borders opening to non-EU countries across the globe, in gradual phases throughout July and August. 

Given the positive news, we are delighted to announce the opening of our campus doors starting July 1, 2020, and anticipate normal university operations to begin in the Fall semester.

For those students who still have concerns or cannot join us in person, we will continue to offer hybrid teaching services, online and in person.

We are planning to be back on campus as scheduled in Fall 2020 for all term and semester courses. All courses will be taught in hybrid mode, i.e. in class, face-to-face instruction with synchronous audio/video (live-streamed) and recordings then posted to WorldClassroom for asynchronous retrieval to accommodate students who still face visa issues, travel restrictions, or other limitations that prevent them from being present to continue their studies without interruption. All classes will be equipped with cameras and audio equipment to accommodate these needs.

Of course, we will continue to be available online as any questions or sources of information to help students in unprecedented times. As we approach the next academic year, we have ensured hygienic practices are set in motion with daily cleaning services to our historic building, newly placed disinfectant stations in all bathrooms and public spaces, allowing for small classroom sizes to continue to be the norm, and masks, gloves, and other resources to be complimentary to all members of our community. 

As we welcome summer, we wish everyone a happy and healthy season. We look forward to seeing everyone in person in the coming months.

***

 

Webster University classes at almost all locations have moved to an online environment for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester in response to global COVID-19 public health efforts, in accordance with local conditions and public directives. This means, that also all Vienna classes will only be taught online for the remainder of Spring II.

Campus closure will continue until we receive further notice from the Austrian ministry and authorities.

This page will be updated regularly.

 

Important communications

  • Message about campus opening, course evaluation for the summer term, hybrid teaching and books for fall, student survey and virtual town hall, student's FAQ - As of June 22nd, 2020
  • Student update about summer classes, registration, and student services - As of April 3rd, 2020
  • Student update about campus closure, Spring II classes, and online student services - As of March 20th, 2020
  • Message about COVID-19, Spring II classes, student services, and university operations - As of March 10th, 2020

Important links

  • Webster’s Worldwide Update on Covid-19 
  • For all official information in English please visit this link

For faculty and staff

For all information and instructions, please click here, and use your webster.ac.at username and password to access the information.

  • WVPU policy on remote teaching and physical presence of faculty in fall 2020

 

COVID-19 Disruption related FAQ for Student 

 

 

 

Can I access the campus, particularly the library and labs?

No. The university campus or any of its labs is closed to students until Monday, April 6. 

Update: Webster Vienna Private University will remain closed throughout the Spring semester. All courses will continue online. There will be no classes on campus.

 

Will my class continue to run even though I cannot access the campus?

Yes, all courses will continue via Canvas/World Classroom, our university’s online learning platform.

 

Do classes continue according to the same schedule?

Yes and No. Classes continue according to the scheduled meeting times when professors provide direct video feeds for their lectures. In some cases, however, professors may choose to upload video or instruction online allowing students to watch or listen according to their own schedule. Please check with your professor for details.

 

What is the World Classroom (Canvas)?

All classes that meet face-to-face have a course home page in World Classroom (aka Canvas). WVPU uses World Classroom as online platform to enhance learning in traditional classes.  Some of the features your instructor may choose to include are email messaging, discussion boards, grades, uploaded reference materials and slides, quizzes, and online syllabi, etc.

You can log in directly at https://worldclassroom.webster.edu/login/ or You can access your courses via the student tab in connections at http://connections.webster.edu.

For additional information on how to use World Classroom please visit the following useful links:

  • World Classroom: Online Course Tour (Note: Not all features may be used for your classes)
  • World Classroom FAQS:  Find the answers to your specific World Classroom questions through the FAQ site. The site is searchable by keyword, and contains step-by-step instructions on how to perform many common functions in World Classroom.

How do I access my class online?

Login to http://worldclassroom.webster.edu using your webster.edu / Connections user ID (first part of your webster.edu email address) and password. For example, user id: ‘bobsmith45’ and password: ‘password’.

 

What is my Connections ID?

It is an ID that is assigned to every Webster student, staff, or faculty. It provides access to most of our electronic systems, including e-mail, Office 365, Adobe Cloud and the Connections web portal. Example: If your Webster email address is johndoe123@webster.edu, your Connections ID would be johndoe123.

For more information, please see: Connections FAQs
To access connections: connections.webster.edu 

 

How do I reset my Connections password?

Connections passwords are managed by Office 365. Your Connections password will always be the same as your Office 365 password. To reset your Connections password, go to the Office 365 password reset page here.

 

What do I do if the online access doesn’t work/ if my courses don’t appear in the World Classroom (Canvas)?

Communicate with your instructor and department coordinator by email.

Is there an App I can use on my mobile device?

Yes. Apps are available for iOS and Android at their respective stores, called Canvas Student. User Guides are available at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-4048. There is also an App for WebEx if you feel you need it also available at the respective stores.

 

Can I initiate WebEx meetings?

No. One requires a special user id and password to creates WebEx sessions and invite others.

 

 

How do I join a WebEx meeting / How do I participate in a live lecture via the online platform?

When instructors decide to offer live lectures online, you will receive invitations by email and see links inside your course’s World Classroom page. The email will contain a link to the video stream / conference.

 

What I do if I have no wifi or audio/video technology on my computer?

You have two options. You can dial-in directly via a toll-free number in your country or you can join through the WebEx app on your phone. For dial-in in Austria, the toll-free number is 0800-29-7266. You will need the Access Code for the meeting, which will be included in the meeting invitation.

What is a WebEx Access Code?

It is a code that enables access to a specific meeting / lecture.

 

What are the access telephone numbers for joining WebEx meetings/lectures by phone?

In Austria, the toll-free number is 0800-29-7266. For help finding the other toll-free numbers, please see: https://help.webex.com/en-us/WBX25713/How-Do-I-Find-the-Global-Dial-In-Number-for-My-Meeting

 

How do I register for courses in Spring II?

Send a list of the courses for which you wish to register to your advisor. Once your advisor agrees, he/she will forward it for processing. You will need to be registered in order to access the Canvas/World Classroom for the class.

 

How do I drop a course in the first week of Spring 2?

Send a list of the courses you wish to drop to your departmental coordinator who will forward it for processing.

 

How do I get reading materials for my class?

Your instructor will post all reading materials in World Class Room or provide you links to download them. Physical copies of textbooks will not be available until at least Monday, April 6.

 

How can I get my textbook for my class?

Textbooks and other printed materials required for Webster Vienna coursework are complementary with tuition. To collect these materials, you have to come to the Textbook Service located on the 4th floor. Opening hours will be posted on the textbook service and on the textbook service website. Please bring your student card, the course name, and number as well as the name of the course instructor to help us make sure you get the right books.

If you are not able to attend classes on campus due to visa issues, travel restrictions, or other limitations but will join remotely, we ask you to plan to order your books from your preferred suppliers. The university will reimburse you for all approved book purchases. To find out which book(s) you need to order, check the syllabi for your classes here.  

Our librarian Benjamin Fasching-Gray recommends that students in Vienna order from Facultas (www.facultas.at), but if you are in your home country you may order from any vendor you prefer. Booksellers that serve local universities may have your books in stock. The university will reimburse you for all approved book purchases.

To request reimbursement for your textbooks, please :

  1. Fill out the reimbursement form;
  2. Send the form to your advisor for approval; and
  3. Send the approval email from your advisor, the form, and the invoice/proof of payment for the book to finance.students@webster.ac.at after the end of the first week of the term (after add/drop period is over). You will be refunded in full via bank transfer within seven working days upon submission of your request for reimbursement.

 

How can I get my books for my Webster summer classes?

You should plan to order your books from your preferred suppliers.

To find out which book(s) you need to order, check the syllabi for your classes here.

Ben from the library recommends that students in Vienna order from Facultas (www.facultas.at), but if you are in your home country you may order from any vendor you prefer including Amazon. The university will reimburse you for all approved book purchases.

To request reimbursement for your textbooks, please :

  1. Fill out the form;
  2. Send the form to your advisor for approval;
  3. Send the approval email from your advisor, the form, and the invoice/proof of payment for the book to finance.students@webster.ac.at after the end of the first week of the summer term (after add/drop period is over). You will be refunded in full via bank transfer within seven working days upon submission of your request for reimbursement.

 

I am a study abroad student. Who do I contact for information related to study abroad activities?

Related questions can be addressed to our Student Resource Center by email at student.services@webster.ac.at.

 

What happens if I have a scheduled thesis defense during the closure period?

All thesis defenses will be conducted via video conference. Your departmental coordinators will arrange and communicate the necessary details.

What if the closure of the campus prevents me from completing lab work necessary for my thesis?

Theses delayed due to the building’s closure, e.g. no access to labs, canceled interviews or appointments, will receive incompletes for grades, and students will be given appropriate extensions.

 

Is the Commencement Ceremony canceled?

Given recent developments with regard to COVID-19 and the fluid, unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we have to cancel this year’s commencement ceremony on May 9 as well as the Alumni Cocktail Reception on May 7. Your health and well-being remain our highest priorities.

 

What if I have a training scholarship?

You will not lose your stipend and will not have to make up any lost hours due to this COVID-19 related disruption.

 

What do I do if my travel is disrupted or I am in quarantine and I am unable to join classes beginning the week of Monday, April 6? 

Please inform your instructor.  You can continue to participate in the class via the online components.

 

What if I cannot attend courses in person this Fall, due to restrictions by the local or national government in my country/or in Austria?

Newly-admitted students who are not able to travel to Austria due to government restrictions or delays with entry visas / student residence permits will still be able to start their programs on time through distance learning platforms and electronic communication with their professors.  If you have specific concerns or questions related to this subject, please email us at office.director@webster.ac.at.

 

How can I request my official documents (Certificate of Enrolment, “Studienblatt” & Proof of Performance)?

As long as Webster Vienna’s campus is closed, you can submit your request for official documents via email to the Registration Officer, Ms. Petra Bocus-Thurn (Petra.Bocus-Thurn@webster.ac.at) and she will send you an electronic copy. Please make sure to use your webster.edu email address and to include your student ID number.

Please note that WVPU does not issue official transcripts. To order your official transcript please go to http://www.webster.edu/academics/transcripts.html

 

 

 

Can I still submit my application for my student residence permit while the Austrian government restrictions are in place?

Yes. Residence permit applications must be submitted in writing before your current residence permit expires. You can submit your application and all documents you have available to 12-ref@ma35.wien.gv.at. Once the restrictions are lifted, you have to go to the municipal authority of MA35 office for the district in which you live (link here) and complete your application in person. 

First time applications for student residence permits should also be submitted in writing to 12-ref@ma35.wien.gv.at. Please review our website for further information on the documents required (link here).

 

 

 

 

I'm outside of Austria, and I applied for my residence permit in writing. Will I be allowed to enter Austria once the restrictions are lifted?

Yes. MA35 is maintaining a list of all student residence permit applications submitted in writing during this period and will forward this list to the Federal Ministry for Internal Affairs. Your name will appear on a list so that you can enter the country to complete your residence permit application.

 

I need a Certificate of Enrollment for my application to extend my student residence permit. What do I do?

As long as Webster Vienna’s campus is closed, you can submit your request for official documents via email to the Registration Officer, Ms. Petra Bocus-Thurn (Petra.Bocus-Thurn@webster.ac.at) and she will send you an electronic copy. Please make sure to use your webster.edu email address and to include your student ID number.

 

 

I think that I may have the COVID-19 Virus. What should I do?

The health hotline ("Gesundheitstelefon") is staffed around the clock, seven days a week. Call the health hotline 1450 (in German only) in the following cases:

  • You present symptoms of a cold or pneumonia, and
  • you have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus, or
  • you have visited a region where SARS-CoV-2 was and still is transmitted: China, Italy (regions: Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto), South Korea, Iran, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore (as of 26 February 2020), or
  • you have worked in a healthcare facility where patients with COVID-19 infection were or are treated, or you have visited such a healthcare facility.

If, following the call, you are suspected of having COVID-19, please inform university management at office.director@webster.ac.at.

 

If I have general questions in English about COVID-19, who should I ask?

The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) offers a hotline to provide information on the virus, which can be reached at 0800 555 621.