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Welcome back!

In winter semester 2022/23, courses at HAW Hamburg will be starting up on campus again. In the coming weeks, the university campuses will be full of life: meals together in the cafeteria, orientation-week parties and get-togethers with fellow students – it’s all possible! But the coronavirus pandemic still isn’t over, and the ongoing war in Ukraine is creating uncertainty. We’ve summarised what you need to keep in mind here.

Faculty of Life Sciences

The summer holidays are over and the new semester will be starting soon.

Masks, vaccinations and physical distancing
Under the City of Hamburg’s current regulations, wearing a mask is mandatory only in a few cases – for example, to protect vulnerable individuals or when a large number of people are together in a small space. Accordingly, masks continue to be mandatory in the buses and trains of Hamburg’s public transport system. Similarly, masks are required in the lifts at HAW Hamburg when these are being used by more than one person as they are difficult to air out properly. Surgical or FFP2 masks are also mandatory in many of the university laboratories since it is difficult to avoid close contact during the practical training units.

In addition to the booster vaccination, Prof. Dr. Ralf Reintjes, an epidemiologist in the Faculty of Life Sciences, recommends continuing to wear FFP2 masks in all university rooms: ‘As a doctor and epidemiologist, I can only encourage everyone to reduce their individual risk of infection as much as possible. In addition to getting a booster, this also means regularly wearing a mask in public indoor spaces and anywhere that lots of people are close together.’ He also recommends physical distancing for everyone’s protection.

Please note: The coronavirus-related rules can change over the course of the semester depending on how the rate of infection develops. You can find information about the current regulations and detailed FAQs on the Coronavirus Update page of the HAW Hamburg website.

Notifying the university about coronavirus infections
If they become ill with the coronavirus, students and employees are still required to notify the ‘corona single point of contact’ in their faculty. You can find the contact information on the Coronavirus Update page. You are legally required to isolate at home for at least five days. It also recommended that you don’t come to the university until you have tested negative using a rapid antigen test. If you are unsure whether you need a sick note, it is best to contact your Faculty Service Office and clarify this with them. Quarantine following contact with someone who has the coronavirus is no longer mandatory; however, it is a good idea in some cases.

A coronavirus infection does not automatically entitle students to online instruction. It may be worthwhile to contact the instructors of your courses to discuss how you can make up for the material you have missed.

Opening hours at the Student Center, the Information Point, the Chip Card Services Office and the libraries

Since 1 September, the Student Center teams have been offering expanded in-person office hours. The Information Point is also open longer, and the Chip Card Services Office is back to its normal hours:

Information Point and Student Admissions and Registration Office 

Student Counselling Office 

International Office

Chip Card Services Office


Please note: As of 5 September 2022, the Business, Engineering and Computer Science Library 1 (Fachbibliothek TWI 1) located at Berliner Tor 5 is offering self-service borrowing and returns only. The library is open Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. You can work, read or do research in the library during these hours, and it is possible to return print items using the self-service scanner or the returns shelf. However, no in-person assistance is available.

If you would like service-desk assistance from the library staff, please contact the librarians in the Business, Engineering and Computer Science Library 2 (Fachbibliothek TWI 2), which is located on the second floor at Berliner Tor 7. You can contact them in person, by phone or by email:

+49 40 / 428 75 3667
fbtwi_info (at) haw-hamburg (dot) de

Financial support

There is some good news to start winter semester 2022/23: The maximum BAföG (student financial assistance) funding amount of €861 will be increased to €934. The income-related limits for parents will also be changed so that more students can receive BAföG. Additionally, the whole process will be increasingly digitalised. All of the new changes are summarised (in German) here: BAföG-Reform 2022: Die wichtigsten Änderungen

Anyone interested in getting more detailed information about obtaining scholarships and student loans can take part in the regular online information events held by the Studierendenwerk Counselling Centre for Study Financing. They are held every Tuesday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Upcoming dates:
6 September 2022, 11:00 am–12:00 pm
20 September 2022, 11:00 am–12:00 pm
27 September 2022, 11:00 am–12:00 pm
4 October 2022, 11:00 am–12:00 pm ​​​​​

The sessions are held via Zoom.
Join the Zoom meeting.
Password: 960775

One-time grant to cover energy costs
Students can also receive the one-time grant of €300 to cover energy costs. However, they must be registered as a resident in Germany and have earned income here. This also applies to those working so-called mini-jobs. In this case they will not receive the payment automatically with their salary but will need to apply in writing via their mini-job or through their tax return.
More detailed information is available (in German) from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Energy conservation on campus
The war in Ukraine and the accompanying gas and energy shortages are also an issue at HAW Hamburg. The City of Hamburg has released a 25-point plan for energy conservation in public spaces. For HAW Hamburg this means, for example, that the temperature in auditoriums, corridors and lecture halls may be kept lower this fall and winter.

Additionally, the potential for energy savings via the reduced use of lighting, of standby mode and of heating in unused rooms is also being reviewed. These measures are already in place in some corridors, stairwells and lift entryways in the Berliner Tor 5 building: the lighting has been changed from permanent day-time lighting controlled by a timer to a light switch, also on a shorter timer, which can be turned on as necessary. This means that although some areas are dark, the lighting is not defective – it can be turned on at any time using the switch. Whether or not further measures will be required, and what these might be, will be determined over the course of the semester.

The necessary energy savings cannot all be realised through technical or organisational steps. Individual energy use also plays an important role. There is no overarching technical solution when it comes to airing out rooms quickly and thoroughly instead of leaving windows partially open, turning off the lights when leaving a room, or turning down the heat when a room is unused. These steps require everyone to do their part.

We wish all our students, instructors and staff a great start to winter semester 2022/23!