There are no fees for studying at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle. This applies for a course of study up to the ﬁrst professional qualiﬁcation and for an advanced course of study that leads to a further professional qualiﬁcation.
As a result of a change in the Higher Education Act in May 2004, universities in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt are obliged to charge fees when the standard duration of courses is exceeded. The following sections provide information on the new legal conditions applicable in Saxony-Anhalt and on the relevant procedures at the university.
The fee is €500 for each semester. If a student is enrolled in two or more courses at the same time, the fee only has to be paid for one course.
What are the fees used for?
The fee income is available to the university to carry out its functions; in other words, no fee money is transferred to other bodies outside of the university.
Who is obliged to pay these fees?
Students who exceed the standard duration of a course that leads to a ﬁrst professional qualiﬁcation (so-called ‘ﬁrst-cycle’ course of study) or of a subsequent course by more than four semesters.
When is the fee due and what happens if it is not paid?
The fee falls due when the student receives notice of the fee. Failure to pay the fee will lead to removal of the student from the university register as per § 30 Paragraph 1 Item 3 of the Higher Education Act of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.
Which standard course duration is applicable?
The standard course duration for a ‘ﬁrst-cycle’ course is determined by the relevant examination regulations of the course currently selected. In the case of consecutive courses of study that lead to a master’s degree, the total standard course duration is applicable. In the case of simultaneous enrolment in two or more courses (so-called double or parallel study), the longer/longest of the individual standard course durations will be applicable.
What periods are included in the fee-free study period?
All periods of study at German third-level institutions subject to the German Higher Education Framework Act and the Higher Education Acts of the German federal states are included (equivalent semesters (‘Zählsemester’) or university semesters). A single change of course before completion of the second semester is not taken into account here. In addition, holiday semesters (‘Beurlaubungssemester’) are not counted.
Which third level-institutions are not subject to the German Higher Education Framework Act?
Third-level institutions are educational facilities that are granted this status by the German Higher Education Framework Act and the higher education legislation of the German federal states. This includes universities, pedagogy schools, art schools, scientiﬁc schools and Germany’s universities of applied sciences. Training academies, former GDR universities and private non-state schools generally do not count here.
Are periods of study abroad counted?
Periods of study abroad that took place before the start of studies in Germany are not counted. Students who complete one or more semesters at foreign universities during their studies at Burg Giebichenstein should change their status at Burg Giebichenstein to ‘holiday’ (note that if this is not done, these semesters will generally be fully included in calculating the fee-free study period).
Is the study period for the ﬁrst course of studies (‘Erststudium’) included in the case of a postgraduate course as per § 9 Paragraph 4 of the Higher Education Act of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt?
The additional period of four semesters is allowed regardless of the duration of the previous ‘ﬁrst-cycle’ course; in particular, any exceedance of the standard course duration for the ﬁrst course of studies is not subtracted from this.
What are postgraduate courses of studies as per § 9 Paragraph 4 of the Higher Education Act of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt?
Fee-free periods of study on postgraduate courses will only be recognised in accordance with the university and examination regulations. These periods should have a maximum duration of two years. An additional ‘ﬁrst-cycle’ course (so-called second course or ‘Zweitstudium’) does not count as a postgraduate course as per § 9 Paragraph 4 of the Higher Education Act of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.
In which cases is the fee waived?
Fees do not have to be paid for holiday periods or in cases where students are receiving support under the German Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (BAföG).
Are there other grounds that lead to fees being waived?
a) Caring for and raising children, up to a maximum of double the standard course duration.
Which children are taken into account here?The Higher Education Act uses the same principles as the German Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (BAföG) in this regard. Accordingly, parental leave periods can be taken into account for one’s own children, foster children, spouses’ children that come into the household (stepchildren) and grandchildren that come into the household.
Which parent is entitled to an extension of the fee-free period of study?Both parents are entitled to this extension. The prerequisite here is that they live with the child in the same household.
b) Active participation in university committees as long as these are not subtracted from the standard course duration as per the examination regulations.
Which university committees are taken into account, what is ‘active participation’ and what proof is required?
The university bodies named in the Higher Education Act (e.g. Senate, Faculty Council) and student self-administration committees (e.g. Student’s Council) are taken into account. A credit of one semester is allowed in the case of at least one year of membership in a committee; a credit of two semesters is allowed in the case of at least two years of membership. Suitable proof is to be provided, such as a letter of conﬁrmation by the head of the committee.
Are there grounds that lead to fees being waived or reduced?
The fee can be partially or wholly waived in cases of undue hardship. Payment in instalments may also be permitted in cases of undue hardship.
The following cases may be considered as undue hardship:
- Where the effects of disability or serious illness lead to an increase in the duration of study,
- – or – Where case-by-case consideration shows that the charging of fees would lead to unacceptable hardship.
How can it be proved that disability or serious illness have led to an ‘increase in the duration of study’?
The disability etc. must be the sole or major cause, i.e. other reasons (change of course, repeated examinations etc.) must not have led to the increase in the duration of study.
The time lost must therefore occur over a signiﬁcant period of time. Medical certiﬁcates must document the precise duration of the disability etc. and state in a transparent manner why and to what extent university study was not possible or was only possible to a limited extent.
It is important here that a doctor should specify in a concrete manner the degree to which the ability to pursue university studies was restricted. Generalised statements do not provide a basis for determining the extent of an increase in the duration of studies due to disability etc.
When can ﬁnancial distress be assumed?
The highest support rate according to BAföG, which is currently €585, can be regarded as a threshold value for non-dependent students who have their own household (independently of their parents) and are covered by compulsory health and nursing care insurance contributions. If the student’s available income does not exceed these values, ﬁnancial distress can be assumed if the student does not have other funds.
The relevant reduced rates according to BAföG currently apply for non-dependent students who still live with their parents and/or are not covered by compulsory health and nursing care insurance contributions.
No income limits have been deﬁned so far for joint households of mutual dependents (students with children and/or spouse). The existence of ﬁnancial distress is to be decided upon here on a case-by-case basis depending on the speciﬁc circumstances.
New application form for deferral of university fees (PDF, available only in German)
Information on long-term fees
Regulations (PDF, available only in German)
Fee regulations at Burg Giebichenstein (PDF, available only in German)
Ofﬁce for Student and Academic Affairs
Design Campus, Neuwerk 7, ‘Kutscherhaus’ (Coach House), 06108 Halle
Recommended links on studying at university (available only in German)
Burg Giebichenstein on the SchülerVZ site
Information on state assistance for students (BAföG)