• 4/28/2020

"The best way is to talk openly with each other"

Student representative Philipp Koch on the start of summer semester

"Dear fellow students, Who'd have thought it? This summer semester will probably differ significantly from every semester before. Instead of lectures in the lecture halls, there'll be lectures from home.

 Studierendenvertreter Philipp Koch
"Overall, this situation calls for great flexibility." TUM student representative Philipp Koch is optimistic regarding the 2020 summer semester (Photo: Uli Benz)

Instead of meeting up with your friends at the university again, you'll have to be content with chat messages and the odd video meeting.

I guess this will be quite a challenge for all of us: for the lecturers, who had to prepare digital versions of their teaching content over the last few weeks, but also for us students. A completely digital course of studies, as we are now experiencing, presents us with a number of challenges.

My first digital lecture took place on Monday: Technical Mechanics II, at 8 am. I admit that it is now more difficult for me to get up early than it was while there were face-to-face lectures; after all, nobody can see whether I am there or not. What is certain, however, is that a structured daily routine is helping me to keep a cool head and to maintain as much of my daily tasks as possible.

Anyway, it is important to use the learning materials provided and to memorize the material from week to week, because – although the university might not appear to be very present – the courses of study, and life itself, will go on. And so, after the first of the eight ten-minute screencasts, I started to summarize the essential aspects and to post the first questions in the forum.

In comparison to the usual 90-minute events, I find that the short video sequences are really pleasant – and the desk chair at home is more comfortable than many of the lecture hall benches. And who know what we might be able to learn from this crisis, with regard to making teaching even more flexible, interactive, and modern in the future.

All in all, the current situation calls for a great deal of flexibility in order to adapt to the dynamically changing conditions time and again. The corona pandemic brings a lot of uncertainty. When will there be exams – and how? When can I go back to university to finish my term paper or to complete my internship? When can I return to a normal university life in which I can meet up with my fellow students?

All these questions are still open, and they cannot be answered at the moment, because nobody can foresee how this pandemic will develop. And while some questions will be answered, new questions will arise again. The only way we can react to this is to talk to each other.

The university management, the lecturers, the student councils, and also we students all have to cope somehow – and the best way to do this is to talk openly with each other. Many of the courses are being offered in this form for the first time. This makes it all the more important to give the lecturers direct feedback.
What goes down well with you, and what do you think could have been done better? What are the technical difficulties? Don't be afraid to pass on your suggestions directly to the lecturers, they will be grateful if they can further improve the formats!

Of course, the student councils and the student representatives are always open to suggestions, even if they cannot be on site. Contact us via our social media channels or by e-mail, and we will do our best to help you as much as possible.

Although we all have to make the best out of the current situation, I'm looking forward to meeting up with my friends on a busy campus in the near future to discuss things and to see you all again. After all, even the best meeting tools cannot replace the much needed personal interaction.

With this in mind: stay home, stay safe – and all the best for your start to the semester!
Yours, Philipp“

Philipp Koch studies Mechanical Engineering at TUM in his sixth semester. He has now been involved in higher education policy for over two years, most recently in the department of Mechanical Engineering and as a representative for the StudiTUM houses. Since October 2019 he is the student representative in the TUM Senate and TUM Board of Trustees. Contact: philipp.kochspam prevention@fs.tum.de



Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

Back to list