Informationen für:

HAW Hamburg

FAQs regarding current operational measures at HAW Hamburg in response to the coronavirus

Last updated: 31 March 2020 
Given current developments regarding the coronavirus, all on-site teaching activities at HAW Hamburg have been suspended until 20 April 2020. This decision has been taken in consultation with the Ministry of Science, Research and Equality (BWFG). The instructors of numerous degree courses have implemented digital teaching formats, which students are using to achieve the necessary learning outcomes for the 2020 summer semester.

No other events are taking place at the university, and all publicly accessible university buildings are closed to students until 20 April. We ask for your understanding regarding this measure, which is intended to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible. 

Because the situation is a dynamic one, further decisions and measures can be expected in the coming days. Please be sure to check the information on this website and your emails regularly. We ask for your understanding and patience. Given the current crisis situation, it may take a while to answer all of the more detailed questions.

In the meantime, please direct your questions specifically to the individual areas or contact people:

Media enquiries:

Questions about occupational and health safety:

Questions about building-related and technical issues: fm-leitung(@)

Employee questions (e.g., about home-office regulations): HAW-Personalservice(@)

Legal questions: Justitiariat(@)

Studies, teaching and research

fold faq How is the current situation affecting teaching activities?

In principle, the following statement applies: on-site teaching and lecture activities are suspended until 20 April 2020 and no on-site events are taking place.

All publicly accessible university buildings are closed to students until 20 April. We ask for your understanding regarding this measure, which is intended to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible.

All face-to-face interactions, such as office hours, are not permitted until at least 20 April. This also applies to the in-person advising services offered by the Student Center, the Faculty Service Offices and other service departments. These departments can still be contacted by telephone and email.

fold faq How can I access student advising services? (Updated: 6 April 2020)

The Student Counselling Office has extended its telephone office hours: Mon and Tues, 10:00 am–1:00 pm; Thurs, 1:00–5:00 pm; psychological counselling, Tues, 2:00–3:00 pm Tel.: +49 1522 4744063

If you would like an individual advising session via telephone or video, please send a mail with your phone number to The advisers will contact you as quickly as possible to make an appointment. 

Outside our office hours, you can call the student services line at +49.40.42875-9898 (Mon–Fri, 8:00 am–5:00 pm) or send us a mail at the above address.

You can find further information on sources of support that are available outside our consultation hours and useful links with advice on coping with this extraordinary situation on our website: Counselling and Mental Health and Student Counselling and Coaching.

The staff at Studierendenwerk Hamburg’s Advising Centre for Student Financing (BeSt) can also answer your questions about finances and the possibility of receiving financial support.

You can contact the Student Admissions and Registration Office by phone: Mon and Tues, 9:00–10:00 am and 11:00 am–1:00 pm; Thurs, 9:00–11:00 am and 2:00–5:00 pm. You can find the numbers of the individual staff members on the Infodesk website. You can also send a mail to

Outside our office hours, you can call the student services line at +49.40.42875-9898 (Mon–Fri, 8:00 am–5:00 pm).

The International Office has produced a brochure for international students:  "We’re here for you!"

fold faq Are digital teaching formats planned as a replacement for on-site teaching? (Updated: 19 March 2020)

Yes, we plan to replace on-site teaching with digital teaching formats.

Students must be able to achieve learning outcomes and successfully complete modules and exams in summer semester 2020. It is therefore necessary and obligatory (not just in the cooperative degree programmes) to quickly adapt teaching to the current situation and switch to digital formats (both synchronous and asynchronous). Because this involves numerous practical issues, we ask that you give us a bit of time to provide more Information.

In the Public Management and Nursing cooperative degree programmes, as well as the cooperative degree programmes in the Engineering and Computer Science Faculty and the Life Sciences Faculty, agreements are in place with the cooperation partners and state and federal regulations apply. For this reason, online teaching should be used to replace on-site teaching in these cases.

We would like to note that copyright laws also apply to online teaching and learning materials. This means that the materials can only be used in accordance with the licensing agreement: a document or a video, or any other item, can only be shared or copied outside the teaching and learning room when it is covered by a CC licence. This is intended to protect the individual rights of students and instructors and is an important basis for mutual trust between them.

We are committed to providing flexible solutions to meet the current challenges. Instructors can visit the EMIL room Digitales Lehren und Lernen (Digital teaching and learning), which the Office for Degree Courses and Teaching (Arbeitsstelle Studium und Didaktik, ASD) has created to facilitate joint discussion. There they can chat with colleagues and the experts from the ASD about their experiences with online teaching, ask questions (including those about copyright) and share good practices.

fold faq How can I get my HVV semester ticket or my chip card in the current situation? (Updated: 26 March 2020)

1. The validation station in the foyer of Berliner Tor 5 is the only station still accessible to students. We ask that you only use this station as an absolute exception and that you follow the rules regarding physical distance if you do use it. The following points describe how you can manage without using the station.

2. Chip cards printed with a HVV semester ticket that is valid until 29 February 2020 and can no longer be validated will be recognized by HVV until 30 April 2020 upon presentation of a certificate of enrolment.

3. Students in their first semester who have not yet received their chip card can use their preliminary HVV semester ticket in zones A to E until 30 April 2020. You are required to carry your personal ID with you.

4. For students whose chip card has recently been lost or stolen, the process listed under Point 1 applies: current certificate of enrolment and personal ID, as well as report of theft where applicable. You do not need to appear in person at the Chip Card Services Office.

5. Students who did not require a ticket in the previous semester and have not yet managed to print the current ticket on their chip card can send their card to the Stiftstraße Chip Card Services Office or drop it into the Student Center mailbox in front of the building, with a note requesting validation and providing the return address.

6. Deletions of tickets due to exemptions from Studierendenwerk Hamburg are also being processed normally. The chip card and the notice of exemption must be sent to HAW Hamburg before the deadline given. The chip card will then be sent by mail to the return address provided.

7. Chip Card Services Office staff are continuing to work on-site and will continue to complete all tasks that don’t require students to appear in person. Chip card validation, ticket deletion or reinstatement, the returning of found cards, etc. can all be completed by mail. The generation of TAN lists for exam registration on myHAW will be done by sending two emergency TANs which can be used to generate a new list using myHAW.

8. Passwords will be reset upon submission of a clearly recognisable photo of your student card (or the paper copy of your semester ticket, where applicable) and of your personal ID – to enable comparison. Resets usually involve entering a mobile phone number for the mobile TAN procedure or resetting the password to the original initial password.

fold faq Which regulations apply to tutors? (Updated: 26 March 2020)

Where possible, tutoring contracts should be continued via home office. Tutors and student assistants should clarify the details of these arrangements – for example, how to prove hours worked – directly with the contracting individual or supervisor.

fold faq Can examinations be held at this time?

As a rule, no exams are currently being held.

This does not apply in the case of final and repeat examinations (from the previous semester), which generally take place as individual exams. It must be ensured that the number of participants is very small and that the regulations regarding hygiene and distance can be adhered to.

The instructors are requested to assess the situation appropriately and conservatively, with a view to the need to restrict transmission. Consultations between instructors and students are permitted only by telephone or online.

fold faq Will the deadlines for final essays and examinations be extended? (Updated: 26 March 2020)

Because the closure of the libraries from 14 March to 20 April 2020 will make it difficult for students to complete term papers, Bachelor’s theses and Master’s theses, the HAW Hamburg Executive Board, in consultation with the faculty deans, decided on the following measures on 26 March 2020:

1. Deadlines that fall between 14 March and 20 April will automatically be extended by the number of days between 14 March and the original deadline. This extension will be calculated from the date on which the university and the libraries reopen (currently planned for 20 April 2020). As an example, an essay was originally supposed to be submitted on 18 March. The deadline is thus extended for four days (the difference between 14 March and 18 March) and the essay must be handed in on 24 April (20 April plus four days). This procedure applies to both term papers and final theses.

2. Deadlines that fall after 20 April will automatically be extended by the number of days the libraries were closed (currently 14 March–20 April 2020 = 38 days).

The cooperative degree programmes are excluded from these beneficial regulations because the cooperation agreements with the partners, as well as state and national regulations, must be observed. The Executive Board recommends that faculties and departments review the possibility of differentiated decisions for the cooperative degree programmes and to adopt these in accordance with the legal framework and the cooperation partners’ regulations where necessary.

fold faq Can I still use the HAW Hamburg libraries?

The HAW Hamburg libraries are closed until 20 April 2020. The online services can still be used. Expired library cards and book return dates will be automatically extended.

fold faq Are the cafeterias still open?

All of the Studierendenwerk cafeterias are closed.

fold faq What impact will the suspension of teaching activities have on the practical phases of the cooperative degree programmes and on internships in external companies and organisations?

The organisation and implementation of the practical phases that are part of the cooperative degree programmes is the responsibility of the partner companies and organisations, which also have to adhere to the decisions made by the City of Hamburg.

Internships are also the responsibility of the partner companies and organisations, which also have to follow the decisions made by the City of Hamburg. Internships should only be continued when it is clear the regulations regarding hygiene and distance can be upheld.

fold faq How do these measures impact research activities at the university? (Updated: 26 March 2020)

The university’s research activities can be continued, provided that the regulations regarding hygiene and distance can be upheld.

Experiments and tests undertaken as part of research projects should be prepared in such a way that they can be quickly suspended or phased out. If this is not possible – for example, because work is being carried out with microorganisms that need to be tended or equipment that must be kept operational – agreements regarding emergency operations must be made with the faculty management (in consultation with the department management). Attention must be given to individual security and regular monitoring in order to minimize risks.

In the event that the university is closed, the ordering of hazardous materials and cell cultures is prohibited. Other orders should also be avoided. The faculties must ensure that items that have already been ordered are properly received and stored. In addition, they must ensure that laboratories’ service operations are put on hold for the duration of the closure – if this has not already occurred. New contracts can only be processed following the reopening of the laboratories.

Regulations for HAW Hamburg employees

fold faq What impact does the current situation have on my position at HAW Hamburg (i.e. can I work from home)?

As of 16 March 2020, the use of home office as an exceptional measure is recommended. This applies especially to employees from high-risk groups (e.g. those with pre-existing health issues) or those experiencing difficulties with childcare due to the closing of schools and daycares.

Supervisors will prioritise the tasks to be completed and make agreements for their employees to work from home in those cases where the appropriate technical infrastructure is in place. Where the technical infrastructure is not in place, employees should discuss with their supervisors whether this can be arranged or if alternative tasks can be completed from home. Please also consider whether it is possible to use your own equipment at home.

The arrangements for working from home as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus must be agreed directly between the employee and his or her supervisor (in writing – via email). Any questions that arise must also be clarified between these parties. If it is not possible for supervisors and employees to reach an agreement, they can request that the Personnel Department (at HAW-Personalservice(@) review the case.

Employees working from home must be available at least during the times agreed upon by the supervisor and the employee. Employees who exhibit clear symptoms of a flu-like illness will be instructed to remain at home. Supervisors are called upon to meticulously uphold their duty of care to their employees.

Effective immediately, the core working hours are suspended. This is intended to provide employees with greater flexibility – for example, to more easily address childcare difficulties.

Professors are requested to agree upon appropriate measures with their department head.

Where possible, tutoring contracts should be continued via home office.

fold faq How should I apply for sick leave if I have only mild upper respiratory symptoms?

Effective immediately, patients with mild upper respiratory complaints can call their doctor to get a doctor’s note for a maximum of seven days of sick leave. You do not need to physically appear at the doctor’s office! The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung, KBV) and the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband, GKV-SV) have agreed to these conditions.

This regulation applies to patients who have mild upper respiratory complaints but who do not have serious symptoms or meet the criteria set forth by the Robert Koch Institute for a possible COVID-19 infection. This agreement is effective immediately and will be in place for the next four weeks. (Source: National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians)

fold faq What are the current HAW Hamburg rules regarding business travel?

All business travel outside Hamburg is prohibited.

fold faq What should I do if I am returning from a high-risk area or particularly affected area within Germany?

The general decree from the Hamburg Ministry of Health and Consumer Protection of 16 March 2020 states the following:

 ‘All individuals who have spent time in a high-risk area or a particularly affected area within Germany based on the current assessment of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) are not permitted to enter any university, school, daycare centre, or therapeutic daycare centre for 14 days after leaving the high-risk or particularly affected area. It is sufficient for the area to be designated a high-risk area or a particularly affected area within Germany by the RKI within this 14-day period.’

The decree also states: ‘In addition, the restrictions on entry which previously applied only to school children and children under schooling age are now extended to all individuals who have spent time in a high-risk area or a particularly affected area in Germany. This means that these entry restrictions also apply to parents/guardians and the staff of these facilities, as well as all other individuals. The same applies in the case of universities. While teaching activities have been suspended, administrative and research activities are still taking place in accordance with the general decrees issued by the Senate.’ 

Employees should contact their supervisor and agree in writing (e.g. via email) that they will work from home. In those cases where the position cannot be completed from home and no alternative tasks can be assigned to the employee, the supervisor will grant the employee paid leave. The Personnel Department does not need to be involved in this process.

Professors and instructors should contact their department head.



fold faq Which rules apply to foreign guests and delegations?

Visits from international guests and delegations from high-risk areas must be cancelled. The necessity of visits from international guests and delegations from non-risk areas should be evaluated carefully. Wherever possible, these visits should be cancelled.

fold faq What should I do if I am a supervisor or instructor and I notice that someone is exhibiting symptoms of a flu-like illness?

You should instruct the person to leave the university and contact their general physician or the emergency medical service (phone number: 116117) to determine whether there are grounds to suspect a coronavirus infection.

General information

fold faq Which hygiene-related measures help protect against infection and which measures are being implemented by HAW Hamburg?

To protect effectively against illness, the university’s occupational medical service and the website of the federal agency for health education recommend that individuals follow the same hygienic measures that are recommended for protecting against the flu. This means regular and through handwashing, following the general etiquette for sneezing and coughing, and maintaining sufficient distance from people who are ill. 

HAW Hamburg has increased the frequency of cleaning in its bathrooms, which are now being cleaned twice a day. The use of facemasks and hand disinfectant at HAW Hamburg is not planned at this time. This decision is based on the current risk assessment from the Robert Koch Institute, which views these measures as necessary only in hospitals and in interactions with medical patients.

fold faq What should I do if I have been exposed to someone infected with the coronavirus?

If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed coronavirus infection, you must contact the responsible ministry of health (Gesundheitsamt) immediately. Employees must also contact their supervisor or department head. Students must contact their instructor and their Faculty Service Office. Please inform the university about the instructions you have received from the ministry of health.

Remain at home and follow the instructions of the ministry of health staff. Do not go to a doctor’s office without calling in advance.

fold faq What will happen next at HAW Hamburg?

The university has implemented a coordination team made up of the university management, the faculty management and expert staff. This team is assessing the situation on a daily basis in cooperation with the relevant state ministries. The team also coordinates the communication with university staff and the ongoing updates to the FAQs.

Letzte Änderung: 01.04.20

An die Redaktion