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FAQ about Coronavirus for students and applicants

Opening concept of the HFBK Hamburg form 1 June 2020

A further relaxation of the contact ban and distance regulation is expected in June. For HFBK, it is planned to offer 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 starting in June. (Graduation candidates have priority due to the limitations.)

  • Building Lerchenfeld 2:
    Everyone entering the HFBK has to register at the front desk and have to sign out again when leaving.
  • 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. The lecture timetable was updated again on 18 May with regard to the digital course offerings and information on accessibility. The VVZ is provided with a version number/change date so that updates can be identified.
  • 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 26 participants
    • Aula – up to 30 participants
    • Seminar room Wartenau – up to 10 participants
  • Please contact Irene Sommer for room registration and any technical requirements (irene.sommer@hfbk.hamburg.de / Tel. 040-428989264)
  • There are no public events.
  • The administration continues to operate, partly in home office. Consultation hours can be found here on the website on the pages of each department.
  • Here you can download the Workplace Hygiene Policy of the HFBK Hamburg.

Important: From 19 May 2020, travel returnees and travelers from the European Union as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland are no longer obliged to undergo a two-week domestic quarantine. The quarantine obligation will only be revived if, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there is a significant increase in the incidence of infection in the respective country (50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 7 days). This corresponds to the threshold for the lifting of relaxation in Germany. The HFBK still imposes a general ban on entry for persons who have been in any other country than those listed above in the last 14 days (from 48h stay on, these persons must necessarily go into a 14-day quarantine) as well as 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

May I continue working in the studio?

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.
  • 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, if necessary, wearing a mouth and nose protector.
  • Tools or keyboards must be thoroughly cleaned/disinfected before and after use.

What are the opening times of the library?

  • 1 June-14 July: Open Monday to Friday for research and book lending during the regular opening hours, working on site is possible again for a limited number of students.

Can I borrow books from the library?

Students of the HFBK can borrow books from the borrowable stock of the library even though the library is closed. Please send your book request to: bibliotheksausleihe@hfbk-hamburg.de. The books are available for you to pick up the following day between 12 and 13 o'clock in the library. If you need information from books that cannot be borrowed, please contact Andrea Klier (andrea.klier@hfbk-hamburg.de) or Bülent Özdemir (buelent.oezdemir@hfbk-hamburg.de).

What about the loan periods of my borrowed media in the library?

  • There are currently no fees for unmet return deadlines.
  • Fees incurred before the closing time will continue to apply. Borrowed media can be renewed from 20 April at the earliest.

Is the Mensa open?

The HFBK mensa is open until further notice. The meals are offered Monday to Friday between 12 noon-3 pm.

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 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: www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de

Please note:
The bridging aid can be applied for online from June 16, 2020, 12:00 noon, but can only be processed by the local Studenten- und Studierendenwerke after approximately 10 days, since the necessary processing tool must first be developed centrally and then made available to the Studenten- und Studierendenwerke nationwide. Therefore, the applications will probably not be able to be processed until 25 June 2020.
We ask for your understanding and refrain from asking the Studierendenwerk Hamburg until then, thank you!

You can find the most important questions about the bridging aid here.

Can I still collect my application portfolio in person?

  • Important: For the collection there is a mask obligation. The masks are not provided by the HFBK Hamburg.
  • The last opportunity to pick up your portfolio either personally or to have it picked up by a third party is on:
    • Friday, August 21, 2020
    • Saturday, 22 August 2020
      in the time from 10 to 12 o'clock and 13 to 17 o'clock in the Wartenau 15 in 22089 Hamburg possible.
  • Due to the current situation, collection will take place under strict hygienic measures. Please pay attention to the information signs when picking up the masks and follow the instructions of the staff. Please plan for longer waiting times.
  • In order to make the collection situation as short as possible, please have the notification (or identity card/passport) and the completed and signed waiver of objection ready when collecting in person or the waiver of objection and power of attorney completed and signed by the applicant* and the identity card/passport when collecting by third parties. Please find the documents here:
    • here for the Bachelor Fine Arts
    • here for the Master Fine Arts
    • here for the Art Teacher Education B.A.
    • here for the Art Teacher Education M.Ed.
  • Collection is only possible during the above-mentioned period.

Will the examination dates be postponed in the summer semester 2020?

  • This year we offer two examination periods for the artistic examination.
  • Please let us know by April 6, 2020 whether you would like to take your practical examination in the period from June 29 to July 3, 2020 or alternatively from September 14 to 18, 2020.
  • For graduates who passed their artistic examination in the period 14-18 September 2020, the deadline for submission of the written thesis is extended until 30 June 2020.
  • Graduates who take the artistic examination between 29 June and 3 July 2020 will have sufficient time to allow the examiners to evaluate and grade the written final papers the deadline for submissions is 06 April 2020.
  • Please inform us accordingly: hfbk-pruefungsverw@hfbk.hamburg.de
  • Final examinations for the two examination periods 29.6.-3.7.2020 and 14.-18.9.2020 will take place on site (digital connection is not possible). The university public is excluded from examinations during the pandemic. However, students may admit up to two additional students to their exams.

The date for the 1st presentation in the summer semester 2020 is postponed and will take place on 08 and 09 September 2020.

By when must I hand in my written BA/MA thesis?

  • The submission deadline for the written Bachelor and Master thesis is generally extended by two weeks.
  • The new submission deadline is Monday, April 6, 2020. A separate application for an extension of the submission deadline is not necessary. A further extension cannot be requested.
  • For graduates who passed their artistic examination in the period 14-18 September 2020, the deadline for submission of the written thesis is extended until 30 June 2020.
  • Graduates who take the artistic examination between 29 June and 3 July 2020 will have sufficient time to allow the examiners to evaluate and grade the written final papers the deadline for submissions is 06 April 2020.
  • The written thesis has to be handed in either at the Pforte Lerchenfeld, by post (postal address: HFBK Hamburg, Examinations Department, Lerchenfeld 2, 22081 Hamburg) or via the upload
  • Attention: It is also possible to submit your written thesis only in digital form (preferably memory stick).
    • One copy for the first reviewer,
    • one copy for the second reviewer
    • one copy for the archive/library,
  • If you do not have the possibility to submit your written thesis in printed or digital form on three storage media, you have the possibility to upload the written thesis in our cloud https://studentservice.hfbk.net.
  • In order to make use of this possibility, please send an e-mail to hfbk-pruefungsverw@hfbk.hamburg.de by April 05, 2020.
  • The temporary access authorization will be sent to you immediately by e-mail. Please name your file as follows: "Last name, first name".
  • Please upload the required signed forms (affidavit, if applicable publication of the thesis in the library system to be found at www.hfbk-hamburg.de/en/studium/prüfungstermine/) together with your written thesis.

Will the date of the Graduate Show in July remain the same?

  • There will be no Graduate Show in July 2020.
  • The Graduate Show is scheduled for 19 + 20 September 2020, possibly with an opening evening on 18 September. The opening hours are on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-8pm. Please note that the visit may require registration.

When does the re-registration period for the summer semester 2020 end?

  • The re-registration deadline for the summer semester 2020 has been extended to May 15, 2020.
  • Students, which have not been able to pay the semester fee so far, have time until 15 July 2020 to do so. You should nevertheless receive your semester documents immediately. To do so, please send an e-mail with the following content to hfbk-studverw@hfbk.hamburg.de. The semester documents for the summer semester 2020 will then be sent to you (approx. 8-10 days after receipt of the e-mail) will be sent to the address you specified.:
    • Name, First Name
      Registration number
      present address

      I take advantage of the postponement of the obligation to pay the semester fee for the summer semester 2020. I undertake to pay the semester fee of €328.80 by 15 July 2020 to the account at

      Deutsche Bundesbank
      Beneficiary: HFBK Hamburg
      IBAN: EN51 2000 0000 0020 1015 46
      BIC: MARKDEF1200
      Amount: 328,80
      Reason for payment: Semester fee SoSe 2020, matriculation number
  • Students studying to become a teacher please send a semester certificate of the University of Hamburg for the summer semester 2020 to hfbk-studverw@hfbk.hamburg.de. Within 10-14 days you will receive your semester documents by post.
  • If - despite the extended re-registration deadline - you are unable to pay the semester fee on time due to the circumstances caused by the corona virus, please contact your colleagues in the Department for Student and Examination Affairs: hfbk-studverw@hfbk.hamburg.de
  • The semester fee is still due in full.

Does the postponement of the start of the semester result in a disadvantage for BAföG?

  • Students in Hamburg who receive BAföG support will continue to receive their training support - regardless of the postponement of lectures at Hamburg universities due to the spread of the corona virus.
  • According to a decree of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), students and pupils receiving BAföG will continue to receive their training support even if the start of the semester is delayed, universities and schools are closed or entry to other countries is blocked.
  • Further information about BAföG can also be found on the website of the Studierendenwerk www.studierendenwerk-hamburg.de/studierendenwerk/de/finanzen/aktuelle_infos/ or at www.bafög.de.
  • For all questions in regards to your financial situation or social & international affairs you can also get in touch with the Studierendenwerk: www.studierendenwerk-hamburg.de/studierendenwerk/en/studieren_in_hamburg/aktuelles/

Will the end of the lecture period also be postponed?

At the moment we assume that all required credits can be provided during the regular lecture period.

Is the Winter Semester 2020/21 being postponed?

  • The start of the lecture period of the Winter Semester 2020/21 is postponed to Monday, 2 November 2020.
  • The semester opening is postponed to Wednesday, 4 November 2020, 6 pm.
  • The end of the lecture period is postponed to Friday, 19 February 2021.
  • The opening of the Annual Exhibition is still on as originally planned: 11 February 2021.

What will the University Committee Work in the Summer Semester look like?

  • The next regular meeting of the University Senate is scheduled for 25 June 2020, 2-4 pm in the auditorium.

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: asta@hfbk.de

As an international HFBK student I am currently "stranded" abroad, i.e. I cannot return to Hamburg due to the current entry regulations. Where can I find support and do I have to fear disadvantages if I cannot be back in time for the start of the summer semester?

  • Students who are affected by this, please contact both their foreign representative office in Germany (embassies, consulates) and the German Embassy in the country where they are currently staying.
  • Please also contact the International Office.
  • If your residence permit for Germany is about to expire, please contact the Foreigners' Office in Hamburg immediately.
  • The HFBK will do everything possible to ensure that your situation does not have a negative impact on your studies. Please inform your professor as soon as possible. Should you fear difficulties with regard to an upcoming examination, please also contact hfbk-pruefungsverw@hfbk.hamburg.de as soon as possible.

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

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

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.

Annual Exhibition 2020 at the HFBK

The HFBK’s traditional annual exhibition („Jahresausstellung“) opens in February every year. For three days the students – from first-years to post-graduates – present a broad spectrum of their current work and projects from all the different departments. All classrooms, studios and halls in the building are used. Interested visitors are cordially invited to gain an impression of the art currently being created at the HFBK.

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?