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FAQ about Coronavirus for students

Opening concept of the HFBK Hamburg

Against the background of the current pandemic development, the courses offered in the winter semester should be determined by forms of digital teaching. Classroom teaching in small groups (up to 5 persons), personal individual tutorials on site and working with up to 5 persons in the workshops and studios for the remaining lecture period is possible. If necessary, a hybrid teaching format (with BBB) should be chosen in order to integrate further persons.

  • All buildings: Due to the lifting of the curfew in Hamburg, all HFBK buildings will once again be accessible to students and lecturers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from Wednesday 12 May 2021. However, the distance and hygiene guidelines still apply, according to the current hygiene concept.
  • Building Lerchenfeld 2:
    All students must sign in and out at the gate with the new chip cards when entering and leaving. Contact lists are currently still available for professors.
  • Building Wartenau 15 and Finkenau 42:
    Contact tracing is possible via lists in each studio (list in transparent cover, pen on string, etc.).
  • The HFBK's digital courses continue to run in summer semester 2021.
  • Larger seminar formats are possible in the public rooms with the following maximum number of participants:
    • Room 213a/b – up to 10 participants
    • Room 213 – up to 6 participants
    • Room 11 – up to 12 participants
    • Lecture hall – up to 12 participants
    • Aula – up to 30 participants
    • Seminar room Wartenau – up to 10 participants
  • Please contact Laura Kowalewski for room registration and any technical requirements (Tel. 040-428989264).
  • The buildings of the HFBK are closed for external visitors/public with immediate effect. If you require the assistance of external persons for your artistic work, you must register them in advance with Bärbel Hartje.
  • Here you can download the Workplace Hygiene Policy of the HFBK Hamburg.

Do I have to be tested?

  • Work in the HFBK workshops and participation in attendance events is only possible with a negative test result but also with a coronavirus vaccination certificate or proof of recovery. Those tested must show a negative rapid test result, not older than 24 hours. Vaccinated persons must show a vaccination card or similar document showing that the full vaccination was given at least 14 days ago. You can also show your digital vaccination certificate instead. Only a vaccine approved in the EU (BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals) is allowed as proof. Convalescents please present a positive PCR test result. The test must be at least 28 days old and no more than six months old. Vaccinated people who have recovered are considered fully vaccinated after the first vaccination. As proof, they need a positive PCR test result, which must be at least 28 days old, but may also be older than six months. In addition, they need a vaccination card or a similar document.
  • The Corona Test Centre in the courtyard of the HFBK will cease operations on Thursday, 17 June 2021. From Monday, 21 June 2021, the HFBK will offer free rapid antigen testing for SARS-CoV-2 via a nasopharyngeal swab exclusively for university staff at the Antares pharmacy in Hammoniabad, Lerchenfeld 14. The testing station is located in a separate area in the entrance of Hammoniabad on the left.
    When: Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    How: Please book an appointment via the following link:

Is it necessary to wear a medical mouth and nose cover in the HFBK buildings?

  • Yes, a medical mask must be worn in all rooms at the university (entrance area, auditorium, stairwells, corridors, studio and seminar rooms). (
  • Students who work in the workshops or take exams also receive FFP2 masks free of charge.
  • All other students can obtain surgical masks at the gate.

May I continue working in the workshops of the HFBK?

  • Working in the workshops is possible for a limited number of people after consultation with the respective workshop supervisor. Detailed information can be found here on the website on the subpages of the individual workshops.
  • For participation in workshop courses the test obligation applies (see above).
  • In the workshops, as in all other rooms of the HFBK, the currently valid hygiene measures must be strictly adhered to: At least 1.5 - 2 metres distance from each other, regular and thorough hand washing, coughing and sneezing labels and wearing a mouth and nose protector.
  • Tools or keyboards must be thoroughly cleaned/disinfected before and after use.

May I continue working in the studio?

  • Working in the studios is possible for a specific number of people (limited number of people depending on the size of the room). You can find a plan with the number of people for each studio here.
  • There is a mask requirement if more than one person is in the studio room.
  • Group corrections may be conducted with the maximum number of people allowed in the room; hybrid formats are to be offered preferentially.
  • It is the responsibility of instructors to organize occupancy schedules for their rooms.
  • Students in exam preparation will be given priority. Moreover Graduates can apply for special permission to work at night in the studios/workshops, stating the justified need, to Prof. Martin Köttering.

Dates of the semester 2021:

  • Summer semester: 1 April - 14 July 2021.
  • The Graduate Show will be held Sept. 24-26, 2021, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (awards ceremony: Sept. 24, 7 p.m.).
  • Due to the difficult working conditions, we offer two examination periods in this semester: First examination period: 28-30 June 2021 (BA and MA degree), Second examination period: 17 September 2021 ( Art Teaching Programme B.Ed./M.Ed.), 20-23 September 2021 (Artistic examination BA/MA). The date for the First Presentation of the Basic Year will be submitted later.
  • Holiday: 2.4.21 Good Friday, 5.4.21 Easter Monday, 1.5.21 Labour day, 13.5.21 Ascension day, 24.5.21 Whit Monday.

What are the opening times of the library?

The HFBK library will be accessible to a limited number of HFBK members during opening hours from 17 May 2021. The distance rule and the wearing of a medical mouth mask must still be observed.

Is the Mensa open?

The mensa reopens on 24 June from 10 am- 3 pm. Hot food will be available in the dining hall and on the terrace, subject to spacing rules and limited seating. There will also be sandwiches etc. as take away.

How can the AStA help me?

The AStA of the HFBK can still be contacted by e-mail for individual and general matters for students of all study departments. In addition, assistance may be requested in a financial emergency:

How is the committee work structured?

During the summer semester, University Senate meetings are scheduled as follows:

22. April; 20. Mai; 24. Juni

How can I contact the student administration and the International Office?

You can reach the Student Administration Office and the International Office by email and telephone. All administrative procedures, as well as counseling and support for your concerns, can now be handled electronically. Should it still be necessary or desired, both departments will be happy to arrange an appointment with you.

Due to the corona pandemic I got into a financial emergency. I have heard of a Bridging Aid for Students in Financial Emergency Situations – how can I apply?

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is helping students who are demonstrably in a financial or economic emergency situation owing to the corona pandemic with allowances totalling 100 million euros. They are paid out in accordance with the guidelines issued by BMBF via the student service organisations – the Studierenden- or Studentenwerk (STW). The grants were most recently extended for the 2021 summer semester as well.

The Studierendenwerk Hamburg is the contact for students who are enrolled at state and state-recognised universities in Hamburg. Both german and international students who are enrolled at state and state-recognized universities in Germany can apply for the bridging allowance. Students who are already receiving a loan, scholarship or similar in the reference month can still receive a bridging allowance in case of financial hardship in accordance with the funding guidelines. Depending on proven need, between 100 euros and 500 euros can be paid as a non-repayable allowances.
Online application here:
You can find the most important questions and answers about the bridging aid here.

The standard period of study is also extended for the current winter semester due to Corona. What does this mean for my BAföG funding?

For all students enrolled in the summer semester 2020 winter semester 2020/2021 and summer semester 2021 who are not on leave of absence, the individual standard period of study will be extended by two semesters. This is particularly important for students who receive benefits under BAföG, but also for all others who want to keep to their standard period of study.

The semester is counted as a semester of the standard period of study, but at the same time it is counted as a zero semester for certain regulations, such as exceeding the maximum funding period.

Since the federal government had rejected the nationwide blanket recognition of a pandemic-related delay in BAföG, Hamburg's "Law for Coping with the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Higher Education" was continued accordingly in the winter semester 2020/21 and will now be extended to include the current summer semester. The authority to issue the ordinance lies with the Authority for Science, Research, Equality and Districts (BWFGB).

Students who need confirmation of this, e.g. for the BAföG office or for other purposes, please contact the Department for Student and Examination Affairs, preferably by


BAföG application via app: "BAföGdirekt" enables mobile application submission

The app "BAföGdirekt" now makes the previous features of the online application for BAföG available on a mobile basis as well. A central new function is the direct transmission of documents: Documents such as bank statements or tax assessment notices can be photographed via smartphone or tablet and sent directly to the relevant office. The app also provides information about the current status of the application processing and changes in the application status thanks to push notifications. In addition, "BAföGdirekt" can determine the office responsible for the application, including its location, which can also be contacted directly by phone or email. "BAföGdirekt" is available for the iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) operating systems and can be downloaded free of charge from the App and PlayStore.

Further information on the Studierendenwerk Hamburg:




Can I study at the HFBK currently and in the upcoming semesters
as an international student (regularly enrolled or via an exchange program, such as Erasmus+ or ASA)?

If your home country is not subject to travel restrictions by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, you can study at the HFBK Hamburg. In any case, please note the current designation of international risk areas by the RKI and the resulting quarantine or testing obligations. The rules for dealing with Covid-19 in the federal state of Hamburg can be found here. If you have any questions or uncertainties, please contact the International Office.

As a student of the HFBK Hamburg currently and in the upcoming semesters, can I take advantage of international mobility, e.g. within the Erasmus+ or ASA program, as planned?

Your planned stay abroad is possible in principle, but depends on the travel advice of the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany and the regulations of the host country. Try to contact your host university early on and plan your stay with special care. Please note any changes in lecture times and/or digital offers. If you have any questions or uncertainties, please also contact the International Office.

The HFBK still imposes a general ban on entry for persons with symptoms of the Corona virus. Please do not go to a doctor's surgery yourself, so that you do not infect other people in an emergency, but call: Hotline for Hamburg: Tel. 428 284 000, Medical emergency service: Tel. 116 117

Corona-positive tested students
have to contact the chancellor Anna Neubauer (with Ute Reiter in CC) immediately, stating all "relevant" contacts from the university environment.

ASA Open Studio 2019, Karolinenstraße 2a, Haus 5; photo: Matthew Muir

Live und in Farbe: die ASA Open Studios im Juni 2021

Since 2010, the HFBK has organised the international exchange programme Art School Alliance. It enables HFBK students to spend a semester abroad at renowned partner universities and, vice versa, invites international art students to the HFBK. At the end of their stay in Hamburg, the students exhibit their work in the Open Studios in Karolinenstraße, which are now open again to the art-interested public.

Studiengruppe Prof. Dr. Anja Steidinger, Was animiert uns?, 2021, Mediathek der HFBK Hamburg, Filmstill

Unlearning: Wartenau Assemblies

The art education professors Nora Sternfeld and Anja Steidinger initiated the format "Wartenau Assemblies". It oscillates between art, education, research and activism. Complementing this open space for action, there is now a dedicated website that accompanies the discourses, conversations and events.

Ausstellungsansicht "Schule der Folgenlosigkeit. Übungen für ein anderes Leben" im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; photo: Maximilian Schwarzmann

School of No Consequences

Everyone is talking about consequences: The consequences of climate change, the Corona pandemic or digitalization. Friedrich von Borries (professor of design theory), on the other hand, is dedicated to consequence-free design. In “School of No Consequences. Exercises for a New Life” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, he links collection objects with a "self-learning room" set up especially for the exhibition in such a way that a new perspective on "sustainability" emerges and supposedly universally valid ideas of a "proper life" are questioned.

Annual Exhibition 2021 at the HFBK

Annual exhibition a bit different: From February 12- 14, 2021 students at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, together with their professors, had developed a variety of presentations on different communication channels. The formats ranged from streamed live performances to video programs, radio broadcasts, a telephone hotline, online conferences, and a web store for editions. In addition, isolated interventions could be discovered in the outdoor space of the HFBK and in the city.

Public Information Day 2021

How do I become an art student? How does the application process work? Can I also study to become a teacher at the HFBK? These and other questions about studying art were answered by professors, students and staff at the HFBK during the Public Information Day on February 13, 2021. In addition, there will be an appointment specifically for English-speaking prospective students on February 23 at 2 pm.

Katja Pilipenko

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

photo: Tim Albrecht

Art defies Corona: Graduate Show 2020

With a two-month delay, the Graduate Show took place this year on the 19 and 20 September. More than 140 students showed their artistic graduation projects, from painting to sound installation.

Exhibition Transparencies with works by Elena Crijnen, Annika Faescke, Svenja Frank, Francis Kussatz, Anne Meerpohl, Elisa Nessler, Julia Nordholz, Florentine Pahl, Cristina Rüesch, Janka Schubert, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Rosa Thiemer, Lea van Hall. Organized by Prof. Verena Issel and Fabian Hesse; photo: Screenshot

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

Alltagsrealität oder Klischee?; photo: Tim Albrecht

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

Ausstellung Social Design, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Teilansicht; photo: MKG Hamburg

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?