Students with children

HTW Berlin supports students with children with organising their studies and is committed to improving the way its study programmes accommodate the daily needs of students with family responsibilities.

Table of contents

Where can I get advice?

Expectant parents and students with children can obtain guidance and support at HTW Berlin

Studierendenwerk Berlin can advise you 

What should I know about maternity protection?

The Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz) also applies for students. Pregnant women and nursing mothers and their children are protected by law against risks, excessive workloads and detriment to health caused by studying. They are also protected against financial losses and the loss of their study place.

Please register your pregnancy as soon as possible

You are not obliged to take examinations during the period of maternity leave both prior to and after the birth. Maternity leave is usually 14 weeks, starting six weeks before the calculated date of birth and ending eight weeks after the birth. If you feel unable to take any examinations which you are registered for during your pregnancy or the maternity leave period, please inform the examiners and de-register from the examination in the LSF by the applicable deadline and then in the Examinations Office by presenting a medical certificate or a copy of your maternity record (Mutterpass).

Due to your state of health during pregnancy, you can submit an application for disadvantage compensation for examinations to the examination board of your degree program.

If there are health problems due to pregnancy that occur during the exam, the exam may be interrupted. An application to cancel the examination must be submitted immediately, i.e. without undue delay, in writing with proof to the Student Management. The decision about the cancellation of an abandoned examination is made by the responsible examination board.

Detailed information can be found in the Leitfaden für Mutterschutz (Maternity protection guidelines).

Can I take a break from my studies?

External leave
Students can apply for an external leave semester on the grounds of pregnancy, maternity leave or parental leave. It is also possible to take external leave in the first subject semester upon presentation of appropriate proof (medical certificate or copy of maternity record). As a rule, two external leave semesters are granted during a study programme. In justified exceptional cases, e.g. during parental leave or due to lack of care options, up to six semesters of external leave can be granted.

Part-time study
During pregnancy and when caring for or raising a child under the age of 10, you can apply for
part-time study. Part-time study will continue until you cancel it, e.g. when the grounds no longer apply or when you start your final semester. You can only write your final thesis during full-time studies.

What special rules apply during my studies?

Preferential module registration
HTW Berlin students with children can take advantage of preferential module registration. To apply, contact the faculty administration by e-mail and provide your child’s birth certificate. Students in Faculty 3 need a current residency certificate of the child but no birth certificate for the preferential module registration.

Alternative assessment
The required form of examination is specified in the
module descriptions of the study programmes. Up to six weeks after the beginning of the semester, you can apply to the examination board to request a different form of assessment or an alternative examination date. In your application, please explain that you are unable to take the examination in the stipulated form or within the prescribed time period and attach suitable proof. Further information can be found in § 13 Absatz 9 of the Framework Study and Examination Regulations for Bachelor’s and Master’s study programmes and in your Study Regulations (available on the web page of your study programme).

The application must be submitted by mid-May / November. An example of such an application can be found here.

Extension for writing your final thesis
Students with children that require care can apply for an
extension for writing their final thesis. Reasons can be:

  • Illness of your child.
  • Maternity protection.
  • Foreseeable or unforeseeable closure periods of your childcare facility. If the closure period of your childcare facility
    • is foreseeable (e.g. Christmas or summer holidays), the time for writing your thesis can be extended by the period of closure or you can agree to start writing your thesis earlier. When you apply to write your thesis, submit an application request (no template required) to the faculty administration and provide relevant proof from the childcare facility.
    • is unforeseen (e.g. flu epidemic), the application must be submitted to the faculty administration as soon as the disruption occurs.

What reductions am I entitled to?

Semester ticket subsidy
The study body of HTW Berlin grants students with children a
semester ticket subsidy. The subsidy can be granted from the twelfth week of pregnancy and when students are caring for children. Please find more information here.

Canteen meals for children
A free children’s meal will be provided if the child eats together with one studying parent in the canteens of Studierendenwerk Berlin. The free meal is paid for with a special kid’s mensa card, which is available from the canteen payment point upon production of a valid student card and payment of a deposit of 1.55 EUR.