Disability and illness

During their application to study at Furtwangen University or while studying, those with a disability and/or chronic illness can apply for special assistance (as a hardship case or for compensation for disadvantage) .

We recommend making an appointment with the university's General Academic Counselling office to work out individual solutions.

Application as a hardship case during admission

Five percent of study places available at Furtwangen University are offered prior to beginning the allocation process as part of a so-called advanced allocation quota to applicants who are considered cases of extreme hardship. Through this quota, the recognition of a hardship case leads to immediate admission before all other applicants regardless of selection criteria, the selection process or waiting period. An officially recognized disability alone is not sufficient for the approval of a hardship case.

A hardship case must be explained in detail. Relevant documents, (e.g. a specialist doctor's report, and additional documents such as disabled person's ID, official assessment from the Pension Office) must also be submitted. It must be proved that the health, social or family situation of the person filing the application is so serious, that to wait even one semester for admittance is untenable. In other words it must be an exceptional case. The basis for a hardship case is § 12 of the Baden-Württemberg Regulations for University Place Allocation (Hochschulvergabeverordnung - HVVO).

The following are examples for hardship cases based on serious health issues, which would require immediate admission:

  • continuously worsening illness which would result in that person very likely not being able to deal with the pressure of the requirements of the study programme in the future
  • disability through illness; professional rehabilitation can only be ensured through immediate admission to the study programme because as a result of the disability no other meaningful use of the waiting period is possible
  • limitation to a narrow career choice as a result of physical disability; successful rehabilitation is expected as a result of the targeted study programme

Application for special assistance during admission

At Furtwangen University, after deduction of the advance allocation quota, 10% of the study places are allocated over the waiting list. In the waiting list quota the allocation of the study places is carried out purely according to the number of semesters the applicant has been waiting. Waiting semesters are the number of 6-month periods, which have passed since the applicant achieved the university entrance qualification without the applicant being matriculated at a university.

The achievement of the university entrance qualification may be delayed as a result of a disability and/or a chronic illness. In this case the waiting time is "adjusted" during the selection process and an earlier point in time is given for the achievement of the university entrance qualification. By this means, the applicant is placed on the waiting list at the point which would have been expected, had they not been delayed through illness.

The following documents must be submitted in addition to the admissions application:

  • proof of reason for application (e.g. specialist doctor's report, official assessment from the Pension Office)
  • proof of how the reason for application influenced the point in time of the achievement of the university entrance qualification (copies of school certificates)
  • notification from school stating the reasons for and duration of the delay in achieving the university entrance qualification
  • any further documentation as required

Special assistance during studies

Students with a disability and/or a chronic illness have the right to special assistance during their studies and exams. This special support should be customized to the individual situation to compensate for the impediments to study caused by their impairments. At Furtwangen University this support is anchored in §7 (2) of the Study and Examinations Regulations (SPO) for Bachelor's programmes and in § 6 (2) of the SPO for Master's programmes.

Applications should be made in writing to the relevant Faculty Examinations Board and should include the following:

  • details on modifications requested in order to take part in studies and exams, giving reasons
  • proof of impairment and its effect on exams and/or studies

Special assistance can be provided for the organization and execution of studies as well as for exams and assessments. For example:

  • a customized study plan
  • extension of the exam time in exams
  • change of the type of exam, e.g. an oral exam instead of a written exam
  • the use of technical aids
  • postponement of written exams

We recommend you speak to the dean of studies involved and/or Internal link opens in the same window:General Academic Counselling to find an individual solution. In addition any possible effects on benefits such as BAföG funding should be clarified with Student Services in Freiburg.

Financing of Studies

Students with a disability and/or a chronic illness are entitled to various means of extra support through BAföG, e.g. right to begin study after the maximum age limit, possible additional hardship allowances upon assessment of income, or extension of funding beyond the maximum funding period.

We recommend that you take advantage of the External link opens in a new window:BAföG counselling service of Student Services Freiburg.

Under certain conditions, it may be possible to claim housing benefits or social benefits such as unemployment payments (Arbeitslosengeld II) or social welfare. In addition, exceptions to the children's allowance benefit may apply (e.g. benefits above the age of 25) for students with a disability and/or chronic illness. They are also eligible for benefits for additional needs (e.g. for hygiene, household help, food) and for so-called integration support (technical aids, communication and study assistance and mobility aids), as well as additional non-cash and support benefits.

Further information and advice can be obtained from External link opens in a new window:Social Services at Student Services Freiburg on all HFU campuses.


Access to HFU Buildings

Rooms at Furtwangen University are nearly all wheelchair accessible. Disabled parking places are also usually available. If you would like to visit our buildings, especially for the first time, we will be happy to inform you about access.

If necessary the university will help students to find individual solutions for access to buildings and will assist in the organization of technical aids necessary for studying.

A student project group has tested the buildings of the Furtwangen Campus for accessibility as a barrier-free environment for disabled people, particularly the blind and wheelchair users. A list of lecture rooms, toilets and lifts is available which shows, for example, where a special key is required for a lift, that is available from the Disability Officer at the university.

Furtwangen Campus: Information for the Disabled

Visiting HFU as a wheelchair user

If you are a wheelchair user and would like to visit the Furtwangen Campus of Furtwangen University, for example before deciding whether to apply, you can use the wheelchair parking spaces in front of the Clock Museum. These give direct access to the main building, the A building. On the information board there you can see that the building can be accessed through the cafeteria to the left of the main entrance.

If you contact the Disability Officer of the HFU in advance, he will wait in front of the A building and to give you a tour of the most important facilities, such as the Examinations Office. He will also be the contact person for the future.