The COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Solutions


Closing WU

  • Switch to distance-learning formats within 24 hours
  • Online exams
  • Workshops on online tools and digital teaching for teachers
  • Close communication with students
  • Giving students access to special software
  • Student Counselling support programs


Travel restrictions for first-year students from abroad

  • Conditional admissions
  • Starting a degree program from another country


Ensuring health and safety at face-to-face events

  • Developing prevention and hygiene plans
  • Rapid antigen testing for first-year students at introductory classes


In-person entrance test difficult to handle

  • Overhaul of selection and admission procedures


Making sure new students get off to a good start

  • Online welcome events
  • Introductory classes with a comprehensive hygiene and prevention plan


Providing information on WU’s programs to potential students

  • Online sessions with current students
  • Online Bachelor’s Day
  • Online Master’s Day
Studierende im Hörsaal (c) Raimo Rudi Rumpler

International Exchange

Travel restrictions for incoming exchange students

  • Students who are unable to travel to Vienna attended courses for their exchange semester or the International Summer University program online.
  • The Central Europe Connect program was held in a digital format.


Travel restrictions for outgoing exchange students

  • Internationalization at Home initiative: Selected partner schools gave WU students places in their online courses.
  • We opened the ISUWU program up to WU students.
  • The Central Europe Connect program was held in a digital format.


Travel restrictions for faculty members

  • WU faculty members had the opportunity to hold courses online for partner schools.
  • Teachers from international universities taught at WU in distance-learning formats.


International Summer University program had to be moved online

  • Program completely redesigned
  • Interactive elements encourage student activity, small-group projects, and networking activities
Studierender im Sprachlernzentrum (c) Raimo Rudi Rumpler


The effects of the pandemic on business, the economy, and society

  • “Life After Corona” initiative Experts answer the public’s questions
  • High level of research activity on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
Campus WU, Bibliothek D3 (c) BOAnet


Distancing regulations for on-campus events

  • Number of seats reduced to ensure compliance with distancing measures
  • Mandatory registration for events to enable contact tracing
  • Additional livestreams with chat option on YouTube


No events can be held on campus

  • Livestreams from speakers’ and panelists’ homes on YouTube
  • Chat function to allow audience members to ask the experts their questions
Veranstaltung an der WU (c) Lukas Pelz


Telework recommended

  • MS Teams introduced as communication tool
  • Instructions and personal support for IT problems


Distance learning implemented

  • Shift to distance learning via WU’s own LEARN platform and MS Teams completed within 24 hours


No on-campus exams

  • Infrastructure and conditions for online exams created
  • Large-scale exams held online
Campus WU, Audimax (c)
Partner Universities