New Semester Kicks Off with the 2021 JKU Welcome Week

At last, ample space for student and campus life! This week, after three semesters of online classes, the Johannes Kepler University Linz organized “Welcome Week” to kick off the 2021/2022 Winter Semester.

Students at the JKU Campus
Students at the JKU Campus

Welcome Week took place between October 4 - 8, giving students an opportunity to get to know their university, campus, and fellow classmates better. Welcome Week featured a mix of games, fun, and sports as well as cultural and culinary highlights. In addition to Welcome Week, 4-star chef Manuel Grabner (Restaurant Holzpoldl in Lichtenberg) opened a new café/eatery (dasKUYO) on campus.

Whether a campus tour, soccer game, or taking part in a scavenger hunt, the JKU’s "Welcome Week" offered something for everyone. The Raiffeisen-OÖ Freizeitarea (made possible through a cooperation with the Raiffeisen Bank of Upper Austria) was at the heart of the event. It was a very special start to the semester this year for both the students and for JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas. Meinhard Lukas remarked:  "A university is not just about education and studying all of the time. Our educational mission includes contact and communication between students and faculty members as well as in-person contact. After three semesters of online classes, “Welcome Week” is very important so that students have the opportunity to physically spend time on campus and enjoy a social atmosphere."

Cultural and Culinary Highlights

In addition to events at the Raiffeisen-OÖ Freizeitarea, last Tuesday evening the Circus of Knowledge also served as a “Welcome Week” venue, featuring ‘Science Busters’ Martin Puntigam and Martin Moder and their rendition of a special program titled "Corona Spezial".

Just in time for the start of the semester, Manuel Grabner's urban café and bar dasKUYO opened at the JKU and is located just below the JKU Learning Center. Known as one of Austria's best chefs, Manuel Grabner’s restaurant Holzpoldl in Lichtenberg has received numerous culinary awards (i.e. four stars in the Gault Millau restaurant guide). DasKUYO beckons patrons with its culinary delights à la Holzpoldl, also featuring a breakfast menu and great coffee. During “Welcome Week”, Manuel Grabner also gave university employees a chance to try out the new café by giving away free coffee vouchers. DasKUYO is open Monday to Friday between 7:30 AM and 10:00 PM. Click here, opens an external URL in a new window to view the menu.

Winter Semester 2021/2022 Mostly On-Site and In-Person

JKU Rector Lukas, however, is not taking it for granted that "Welcome Week" marked the start of an on-site and in-person semester. He added: "In order to facilitate on-site, in-person learning on campus during the 2021/2022 Winter Semester, the JKU has created comprehensive safety mandates in operational form to ensure the highest possible level of protection against infection."

In concrete terms, this means:

  • Compliance with Austria’s current “3G Rule” (tested - recovered - vaccinated) in order to attend class.
  • To facilitate the procedure, external personnel will be stationed at four central check-in stations around the JKU campus to check compliance with the “3G Rule”.
  • After checking compliance with the “3G Rule”, students will receive a wristband to be shown before the start of class or examinations. Each day of the week, the wristbands will be a different color but always one color per day, showing the wearer has been checked. The wristbands do not provide any information as to whether the wearer has been tested, is recovered or is vaccinated.
  • Wearing an FFP2 (KN-95) face mask is mandatory during class and during exams.
  • This will ensure full occupancy in lecture halls and classrooms.
  • During “Welcome Week”, the JKU also offered a comprehensive vaccination and testing program that included a pop-up vaccination clinic on campus as well as an on-campus screening station for free rapid antigen testing.