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Compulsory attendance during studies

When do you really have to be at university

As a student, you have a lot to do with studying, part-time jobs, etc. Before choosing a course, the question often arises: "Is there a compulsory attendance?" Many factors play a role in the rules on compulsory attendance: the state, the type of university and the event. Here you can find out everything about the obligation to participate!

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Boring lecture - what's the point of compulsory attendance?



1. Briefly + briefly


2. What does compulsory attendance actually mean? ⏱

If you are generally well informed about the compulsory attendance and just want to know how to do it now Online study during Corona looks like, then jump straight to Chapter 9.

The compulsory attendance during the course usually corresponds to a prerequisite for an examination. It states that students must have a minimum attendance at a certain course in order to be able to successfully complete it.

Unfortunately, there is no general answer to whether and in which courses it exists. The requirements for compulsory attendance can differ from one university to another and even from subject to subject.

In principle, the compulsory attendance at public universities in Germany is not uniformly regulated. First of all, it is up to the respective federal state to decide whether such an obligation exists at all or whether it may be imposed by the university.

If necessary, the university then determines for which departments and events and to what extent participation is mandatory.


3. Latest example: NRW

The latest example: the reintroduction of compulsory attendance in North Rhine-Westphalia. Since the beginning of the 2019/2020 winter semester, it has been said again at universities: queue for the signature on the attendance list! ✍️

It was not until 2014 that the obligation to be present was largely abolished under the then red-green state government. Up to the summer semester 2019 the following regulation was in the law (§ 64, paragraph 2a): "A mandatory participation of students in courses may not be regulated as a requirement for participation in examinations, unless the course is an excursion, a language course , an internship, a practical exercise or a comparable course. "

So that was a clear prohibition, whereby “comparable course” naturally left room for interpretation. As a result of the change of power to the CDU and FDP, the obligation to attend came back. Many students took to the streets because of this.

However, despite the amendment to the law, it was not automatically decided that all universities in North Rhine-Westphalia would be required to attend. The law leaves the decision to the universities. In the new version of the law, Section 64 mentions the possibility of “arranging mandatory participation of students in courses as a prerequisite for participation” in examinations - this is not a mandatory rule.

At the University of Münster, for example, university spokesman Norbert Robers told the "Westfälische Nachrichten" that there is still only an obligation to attend if it is essential for the success of the course.