The Studierendenwerk (Student Services), the Students’ Registration Office, the Central Examination Office, the Students' Union (AStA) and other organisations provide various kinds of advice and support.
Pregnant students may be entitled to financial support during pregnancy. In addition to the special provisions of BAföG for pregnant women, the following things are available:
- Additional requirements of pregnant women from the 12th week of pregnancy pursuant to SGB II
- Special medical services for pregnant women
- The Mutterschutzgesetz (hereinafter Maternity Protection Act) and maternity pay
- One-off benefits – initial maternity packages etc.
- Loan from Studierendenwerk Greifswald
Student Services’ Social Counselling Service is happy to help out with any queries regarding financial support for students during pregnancy.
The Maternity Protection Act (MuSchG) has also applied to students since 01/01/2018, if the time, location and course of an educational class have been defined as compulsory or they are obliged to complete an internship as part of a tertiary education course (§ 1(2) no. 8. MuSchG).
Further information can be found in German here [de].
The BMFSFJ brochure also provides important information. The Leitfaden zum Mutterschutz provides information about important aspects related to maternity protection. Important regulations regarding your rights and duties, health protection at work during your pregnancy and breastfeeding periods (especially with regard to working hours and health and safety regulations), protection against unlawful dismissal and possible maternity benefits are explained in the brochure.
You can obtain the German brochure at the Family Service’s office or online here:https://www.bmfsfj.de/bmfsfj/service/publikationen/leitfaden-zum-mutterschutz/73756 [de].
The Family Service functions as an in-between by answering questions related to studying with children at the University of Greifswald or passing on contact details to relevant institutions.
Academic Counselling and Course Enquiries can provide extensive advice for all questions related to planning your studies during pregnancy and whilst studying with children.
Student Services’ Social Counselling Service provides advice for all questions related to financial support during pregnancy and after the birth of your child. Find out more here [de]
It is hard enough to complete a challenging degree course such as dentistry or human medicine successfully. However, if students are forced to arrange their studies around family life, the double burden can sometimes be immense.
The teams of Medicine’s Dean of Studies and Studying with Children at University Medicine provide advice and support for students with children to help them find the right balance during their time at University Medicine.
In addition to information about the planning of studies, finances and supervision, they also provide certain benefits such as the Welcome Pack for newborns and the parent ID cards with free children’s portion card.
The Greifswald branch of the Ausbildungsgemeinschaft Industrie, Handel und Handwerk Neubrandenburg e.V. (ABG e.V.) provides special support for young mothers and fathers, from childcare and advice to support for coping with day-to-day family life.
The Federal Ministry’s Familienportal provides information about state family benefits. Family benefits are financial aids for families, such as child benefit or parental allowance. They also include regulations and laws for supporting families in other ways, for example, laws on maternity protection or parental leave. In the section ‘calculator and applications’, you will find help for calculating family benefits, as well as application forms that are available for download.
On 18/05/2016, the Academic Senate unanimously recommended that compulsory university courses that do not provide various family-friendly class times to choose from should not take place at times that are unsuitable for families, i.e. after 4.00 p.m. The University shall also make sure that such times do not occur frequently for the same year group.
Due to the limited capacity of available rooms and the aim to avoid timetable clashes, some compulsory university courses might have to take place after 4.00 p.m.
However, if this recommendation is not being respected in certain subject combinations or degree courses, please contact the university’s Family Service in order to make further improvements when it comes to the provision of family-friendly class times.
If there are several possible class times, students with children or relatives in need of care can register in advance for the times that best suit their daily routines.
Prioritised registration is currently only available for the degree courses Human Medicine and Law. However, this option is currently being developed for all of the other subject areas.
Prioritised registration can be made at the Dean’s Offices of the Faculty of Law and Economics, and the Faculty of Medicine.
Students can request a semester on leave of absence due to important reasons, by submitting a written request to the Students' Registration Office. Important reasons include:
- Maternity protection
- Childcare at times in which students would be entitled to parental leave if they were in employment
Leaves of absence are generally only granted for the current or subsequent semesters, not for past semesters. They must be requested by submitting the corresponding forms and required proof within the re-registration period, at the latest by the beginning of lectures. If the reason for the leave of absence arises at a later date, the request must be submitted immediately after the student has learned of the reason. Coursework and examinations can only be completed during the leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and after approval from the university’s governance.
In accordance with § 16 RPO, students can request permission to study part-time with an individual study plan. Students can do this by writing to the examination board up to four weeks prior to the start of a semester to declare that in the following four semesters they will only be able to work for approximately half of the amount of time foreseen for the degree course due to family obligations, for raising children or supervision or care of relatives. The request must provide details of the required courses that are not going to be attended or of assessments that are not going to be taken and which later semesters are to be used to make up the lectures or examinations that will be missed.
The request is to be addressed to the respective examination board and submitted to the Central Examination Office.
The possibility of part-time studies is only open to students whose relevant subject-specific examination regulations refer to the General Examination Regulations (RPO). This provision otherwise only applies to degree courses that are completed with a university examination.
Extensions to the standard length of study due to important reasons can be requested from the Central Examination Office.
Important reasons include:
- Maternity protection
- Pregnancy, maternity protection and childcare at times in which students would be entitled to parental leave if they were in employment.
Depending on the examination regulations, students who have registered for an examination can request permission to withdraw from the examination by writing to the Central Examination Office prior to the examination date. The withdrawal request must be declared immediately in writing and be substantiated by suitable proof, e.g.
- Submission of a simple doctor’s certificate if a child that is primarily in a student’s care is ill
- Doctor’s certificate or medical officer’s certificate (depending on the examination regulations) if students have symptoms caused by pregnancy that prevent them from sufficiently preparing for an examination
- Maternity records (Mutterpass) or similar if students withdraw during maternity protection periods.
Teaching at the University of Greifswald makes use of new media to make studying in Greifswald more flexible and to improve the compatibility of studying with children. Parents who are studying can access the possibilities provided by the Moodle platform and the GrypsCast portal.
Offers Provided by Student Services
Student Services’ own kindergarten, called “Campuskinder”, opened its doors on 16 October 2014. Student Services is delighted to look after lots of little ones who have found the kindergarten to be a place for new experiences and a safe haven. Prospective parents can indicate their desires for the supervision of their children on the registration form further information [de].
Studierendenwerk Greifswald provides the so-called Kinderteller (children’s portion card) to students with children for use in all of its cafeterias. This entitles students’ children up to the age of ten to free meals.
Children’s portion cards can be requested from Greifswald’s Social Counselling Service on presentation of the student ID card, national ID card, and the birth certificate. The card will only be issued to children of students studying at the University of Greifswald further information [de].
Student parents who receive state social security benefits for themselves or their children (Wohngeld, ALG II etc.) can request Mensa vouchers worth 50 euros per semester. The vouchers can be used in the Mensas and cafés run by Student Services. Requests can be submitted to the Social Counselling Service further information [de].
There is a play area in the Mensa on the Loefflerstraße Campus. Both the Mensa and the cafeteria on the Berthold-Beitz-Platz campus have play areas for their little guests.
Family apartments are reserved for students with children in the following halls of residence in Greifswald:
- Makarenkostraße 47 A to C (twelve family apartments),
- Max-Kade-Haus, Hans-Beimler-Straße 9 (two family apartments),
- Fleischerwiese (5 family apartments).
Students with children will be given precedence in these halls of residence, depending on availability. The staff of the Department for Student Housing at Student Services will be happy to help further information [de].
Students or members of staff at the university who give birth to a child or start to study or work in Greifswald with a small child, receive a Welcome Pack. In addition to information about the family-friendly measures at the university and other brochures, the pack contains further items for the child and its parents.
Parents can collect their free Welcome Pack from the Family Service after arranging an appointment at short notice.
The Students' Registration Office and Academic Counselling and Course Enquiries both have a large KidsBox in their waiting rooms that were sponsored by the DFG-funded RTG BiOx. Mobile toy boxes are also available at the International Office and in the Central Examination Office that help to entertain children whilst waiting with their student parents.
The mobile toy boxes have been put together from donations made by members of staff at the university.
The university’s Familienwohnung (Family Apartment) provides emergency childcare for children between the ages of three months and twelve years. In exceptional circumstances - e.g. during conferences, exams, excursions, at times when regular childcare has been cancelled, times outside of kindergarten’s opening hours or at weekends - members of staff, students and guests of the university can take advantage of flexible childcare that can be arranged at short notice - further information.
The Feeding and Baby Care Room at Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Straße 15 A is a haven for breastfeeding mothers. Food can be heated in the small kitchen area and the KisBox guarantees that there are plenty of toys. Students and members of staff can gain access to the room by activating their key cards.
There is a breastfeeding and family room in the top floor of the Institute of Evangelisation and Parish Development Research, Rudolf-Petershagen-Allee 1. The room has been specially furnished for children, having a breastfeeding chair, a changing table, a vanity unit and toys for children. There is also a kitchen next to the room that can be used, for example, for heating baby food.
The Laboratory Building of the Zoological Institute (Loitzer Straße) has a breastfeeding and first-aid room.
The door can be opened once the student or staff ID card has been activated. If you would like to use the room, please contact the Zoological Institute's secretary.
Infant’s nappies can be changed at various changing tables located in several of the university’s and University Medicine’s buildings. Signs next to the entrances to the buildings point you in the right direction. Student Services has equipped both Mensas with changing tables.