Contact and advice

The Family Office for Students, a unit of the Central Student Advisory Service, offers information and counselling services for students with children and expectant mothers and fathers, as well as on other issues surrounding family care. 

We advise you on the following topics, among others: 

  • Maternity Protection Act and obligation to register 
  • Examinations within maternity leave period 
  • Special support offers on the part of the HSB 
  • Childcare on campus 
  • Care of relatives 
  • Financial support options 
  • External help and support services 

Our consulting hours 

Counselling appointments are possible by telephone, email or in person at the university (in compliance with hygiene regulations) by individual arrangement. Please contact us by phone (0176 15140137) or by email at familieundstudium(at)hs-bremen.de

Offers for students with children

The Hochschule Bremen strives to provide practical and meaningful support to student parents or those who want to become parents in organising their studies while caring for a child. 

Here we would like to give you some initial information on the topic of studying with a child. Nevertheless, you should definitely take advantage of the counselling services offered both inside and outside the university. 

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Pregnancy and maternity protection

Pregnant? – congratulations! 

Pregnancy is an exciting and expectant time, as you are on the threshold of a new phase in your life. At the same time, pregnancy brings with it one or two challenges in your studies and here we, the Family Office, would like to offer you confidential advice, comprehensively and competently. Ask any questions you like and don't be afraid – especially during your first pregnancy – to talk to us about restrictions or problems you might be facing as a student parent. We are happy to offer you our advice and support. 

Every pregnancy is different, the ‘right’ counselling for you depends on your needs. We would like to help you shape your individual path during this special period and find the right measure for you to enable your studies to proceed as smoothly as possible. So please be sure to notify Christiane Krebs, Enrolment and Examinations Office, of your pregnancy and take up the offer of individual risk assessment with Christina Rehm, Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Protection. 

The Family Office would be pleased to welcome you as an expectant mother. 

Maternity leave during studies

The new Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz, MuSchG) came into force nationwide on 1 January 2018. For the first time, maternity protection now also applies to students. 

Students who are expecting a child are encouraged to report their pregnancy. 

For pregnant or breastfeeding students, the following applies: 

  1. According to § 15 of the Maternity Protection Act, you should inform the university of your pregnancy and the expected date of delivery as soon as you know that you are pregnant. If you are breastfeeding, you should also inform the university as early as possible. 
  2. Female students are not allowed to take part in courses or examinations during the period of statutory maternity leave (6 weeks before the expected date of birth and 8 weeks – in special cases 12 weeks – after the birth). And they must not suffer any disadvantage as a result. At the same time, however, female students retain the right to continue their studies during this period if they so wish.  
  3. If you wish to attend courses or take examinations during the protection period, you must expressly declare this in writing to the university by means of the corresponding waiver. The declaration can be revoked at any time – but not retroactively. 
  4. In accordance with § 10 of the Maternity Protection Act, the university must determine the hazards to which you and your child are or could be exposed to as a pregnant or breastfeeding student. Based on this risk assessment, the university must decide whether and to what extent protective measures must be taken. 

Notification of pregnancy 

Of course, the Hochschule Bremen can only fulfil its obligations according to 2 and 3 above if informed of the pregnancy – as provided for in the law. 

To report a pregnancy, please use the corresponding form, which you can hand in personally to the head of the Enrolment and Examination Office, Ms Christiane Krebs, or send her an e-mail (Christiane.Krebs@hs-bremen.de). 

In addition to the form, a copy of the maternity passport with the calculated date of birth must be submitted. 

Further steps: 

  • Ms Krebs confirms receipt of your report and asks you to arrange an appointment with Ms Christina Rehm (Occupational Safety Specialist at Hochschule Bremen) for an individual risk assessment. 
  • Together you discuss conceivable hazards at the place of study or work placement (e.g. heavy lifting, heat, cold, noise, hazardous substances) and possible protective measures based on your personal situation. 
  • In order for your programme director to be able to take any necessary protective measures, the programme director or laboratory director will be informed by the university administration about the result of the risk assessment. 
  • The result of the risk assessment and any necessary protective measures shall be documented and forwarded to the Labour Inspectorate (Gewerbeaufsichtsamt) in accordance with § 14 of the Maternity Protection Act. 
  • The Family Office of the Hochschule Bremen advises and supports you through individual and trustworthy counselling in questions concerning the compatibility of pregnancy and family while studying.

Leave of absence

As a rule, students at Hochschule Bremen can be granted leave of absence from their studies in accordance with the matriculation regulations – at the earliest after the end of the first semester of study. 

Applications for leave of absence are submitted to the Enrolment and Examinations Office in the course of re-registration. In an ongoing semester, leaves of absence are only approved in particularly justified exceptional cases and then apply retroactively for the entire semester. Pregnancy and birth as well as illness of a child can be such exceptional cases. Either the mother or the father can apply for a semester of leave to look after their own child; the parents can also take turns looking after their child each semester. 

The number of semesters of leave that can be taken in total due to pregnancy and caring for a child is based on the entitlement set out in the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act: a total of 6 semesters (including maternity leave) until the child reaches the age of three. 

Important: You still have the option to undertake coursework and examinations during parental leave (§ 12, AT BPO [General Part of the Bachelor’s Examination Regulations]). 

Before applying, bear in mind that many courses are only offered every two semesters or must be completed in a certain order. You need to plan particularly well if you are enrolled in a programme that is being phased out, as the range of courses offered there will be successively reduced. 

Discuss your planned course of studies with the Registrar's and Examinations Office

Exemption from the student union fee 

Students on parental leave can be exempted from the Studierendenwerk fee if they are on leave of absence in the semester applied for. 

Exams

The illness of one's own child is a justified reason for applying for an extension of the deadline to complete the bachelor's thesis. In the event of such a case, you will need a certificate from the paediatrician and must confirm that no other person was available to look after the child. You then submit these documents to the staff at the Enrolment and Examinations Office. 

The maternity leave period is also a justified reason to withdraw from examinations or to extend the deadline for the Bachelor's thesis (§ 12, AT BPO [General Part of the Bachelor’s Examination Regulations]). To do this, you must contact the Enrolment and Examinations Office with suitable proof (e.g. your maternity care passport). 

If your child falls ill at the time you have to take an examination (does not apply to the examination form ‘written examination under supervision’), the procedure is analogous to that for an illness of the examinee himself/herself. You can withdraw from the examination if you submit a certificate from the paediatrician and the child is mainly cared for by you alone (§15 (3) AT BPO [General Part of the Bachelor’s Examination Regulations]). Withdrawal from the registered examination should be communicated in writing to the Enrolment and Examinations Office and the Examination Committee no later than the third working day before the examination. If this is not possible for a valid reason, you must notify them in writing within 5 days of the examination date. 

Important: Contact the Enrolment and Examinations Office and the examination committee in good time, ask for advice there and find out when you can take a resit.

  • Examination Regulations

Stays abroad

Looking for a work placement? We would like to support you in your search for a suitable placement. Our website now provides an overview of the companies and organisations where HSB students have recently completed their placement. In order to find a suitable placement provider, you can specify in advance in which faculty you are studying and, if applicable, which country you are interested in. 

We also recommend using Career Gate, the HSB's job portal, where you can find vacant placement positions that are specifically aimed at HSB students. 

Erasmus programme 

Students with children who go abroad through the Erasmus programme are paid a monthly allowance. In addition, there is the possibility for these students to apply for special funds to cover the additional costs incurred abroad. Please contact the International Office as early as possible. 

Studying abroad with a child 

For students with children, the Wismar Family-Friendly University Coordination Office has set up a platform on the topic of studying abroad with children, where you can find tips, a discussion forum and reports on the experiences of other students.

Foundations and scholarships

Occasionally, foundations offer financial support in the form of a scholarship, specifically for students with children. 

Financial support

Note for international students: Not all financial support options are available to non-German students with children. The granting of benefits depends, for example, on the residence status. We therefore recommend that foreign nationals inform themselves well in advance and seek advice. Please do not hesitate to contact us. 

The AISA of the University of Bremen is also an important contact point.

Further links

Frequently asked questions

Pregnancy and raising children during your studies often lead to extraordinary burdens, as you have to combine your studies, housekeeping, raising children and possibly gainful employment. This gives rise to a wide range of questions, which we will be happy to answer for you personally, or you may already find your answer in the following questions.