Contact and advice

Counselling Centre ‘Inclusive Studying”

The counselling centre ‘Inclusive Studying’ of the Central Student Counselling Office supports and advises you on questions about studying with a health impairment. Starting with the application for a place at university, through the course of studies up to graduation. 

We advise you on the following topics, among others: 

  • Hardship regulation and compensation for disadvantages when applying for a place at university 
  • Support services (inclusion aids; group services) 
  • Organisation of your studies 
  • Financing your studies 
  • Compensation for disadvantages during examinations 
  • Support programmes 
  • External support 

Studying with a disability or a chronic illness

Frequently asked questions

Hardship clause in the application

In order to increase the chance of a place at university, disabled and chronically ill applicants who find themselves faced with an exceptional health issue can submit a hardship application. Proof and/or recognition of the illness by the welfare services (Versorgungsamt) or by a doctor is not sufficient for the recognition of the hardship application. A specialist medical opinion is required that contains proof that a waiting period is neither reasonable nor appropriate. 

What requirements must be met for the hardship application? 

  • Tendency of the illness or disability to worsen 
  • Successful professional (re-)integration through the proposed degree programme 
  • Restricted occupational field due to illness or disability 
  • Abandoning the previous profession/studies for health reasons 
  • Unreasonable disadvantage compared to healthy persons because restrictions due to illness or disability make it impossible to bridge the waiting period.

Support during studies

Compensation for disadvantages

Compensation for disadvantages in examinations is an instrument to make up for individual disadvantages and to achieve equality of opportunity. Such compensation is regulated in § 31 of the Bremen Higher Education Act and in § 11 of the General Parts of the Bachelor's and Master's Examination Regulations. 

You must submit an informal application for disadvantage compensation to your responsible examination committee. 

Forms of disadvantage compensation include: 

  • Extension of processing time for coursework 
  • Writing time extension for exams 
  • Rest periods between exams 
  • Use of technical aids 
  • Writing assistance for the exam 
  • Different form of the examination: for example, oral instead of written 

Tips on application procedures and evidence (only available in German)

If you are considering applying for disadvantage compensation, please note the following: 

Semester of leave

If you are temporarily unable to study due to your illness or disability, it would make sense to take leave of absence for one or more semesters. 

You can take leave of absence for two semesters during your studies without giving reasons. If you need further semesters of leave, these can be granted in exceptional cases provided you have sufficient grounds. 

An important reason exists in particular if you are unable to attend courses due to your illness and/or are unable to complete the required course and examination work. 

You can submit your application for a leave of absence to the responsible unit in the Enrolment and Examinations Office, together with suitable supporting evidence. This includes, for example, a medical certificate from a specialist stating that you are not fully able to study due to your illness. Information about the expected duration of the impairment is also necessary. 

Further information on leave of absence

 

Part-time studies

If you are permanently limited in your ability to study, you have the option of enrolling for part-time studies. 

  • Two part-time semesters are counted as one semester. 
  • In part-time studies, you may take a maximum of three modules. 
  • Please note that you will not receive BAföG for part-time studies. 

You should take advantage of a study counselling service beforehand. 

Further information on part-time studies

 

Inclusion aids

The following information does not claim to be complete and is provided without guarantee. 

Students with disabilities are entitled to ‘educational assistance at a university’ in accordance with § 39 of the Federal Social Assistance Act (BSHG) and § 54 of Social Code XII (SGB XII) as well as § 33 of the Social Code V (SGB V) and § 27 of the Social Code II (SGB II). This is specified in the Integration Assistance Ordinance

If BAföG or your own funds are not sufficient to secure your livelihood and to finance the necessary aids, students with disabilities or chronic illnesses can claim additional expenses under certain conditions.

Stays abroad

Internships and semesters abroad should always be an integral part of higher education studies for students with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. Two years of preparation and planning are necessary in order to meet the deadlines for applying for BAföG abroad, funding for additional disability-related needs or various scholarships. 

General information about the study conditions for barrier-free study abroad is often already available on the respective university website. However, the individual local conditions for the student should be enquired about and clarified with the responsible contact person by e-mail or telephone. 

Within the university, the International Office is the place to go to prepare and plan your placement or study semester abroad. Here you will receive information about existing contacts at the university, about special funding programmes and initial advice on organisational matters. 

Organisation of the daily study routine

For students with disabilities or chronic illnesses, it is particularly important to organise their daily study routine as early as possible and to find out about the infrastructure and the accessibility and usability of facilities at the university. 

Further Information

Finances

Money plays a major role, especially for students with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. In addition to the financing requirements, which vary depending on the degree programme, the additional financial costs for living expenses, health care and assistance for participation in studies must also be taken into account.  

If you inform yourself well and put together a good financing strategy, you can put your studies on a solid financial footing. 

Disability or chronic illness and BAföG

For students with disabilities or chronic illnesses, studying involves more time – and often greater financial difficulties. This special study situation is taken into account when financing studies with BAföG (special regulation). 

The Studierendenwerk is responsible for student financing, also taking into account the special situation of students with disabilities. The prerequisite for recognition is proof of the disability by means of a medical certificate. 

Important: This information on BAföG does not claim to be complete and is provided without guarantee! An early consultation with the Studierendenwerk is therefore essential. 

Further counselling services

Psychological counselling of the General Student Services (Studierendenwerk Bremen) 

The Psychological Counselling Service of the Studierendenwerk is available to all students in Bremen and provides support in case of personal and study-related problems. 

Social counselling of the Studierendenwerk Bremen 

The Social Counselling Office supports all HSB students seeking advice, as well as prospective students and graduates who need support and information in personal, social and financial matters closely related to student status and student life. 

Social Counselling of the AStA 

The AStA offers you free, neutral and independent social counselling (website only available in German).