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Office of Student Services
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Leave of Absence

Studentin verlässt das Gebäude an der Claudiusstraße (Image: Thilo Schmülgen/TH Köln)

In compliance with TH Köln's enrollment regulations, students may be granted a leave of absence if they are able to present a valid reason.




Reasons for requesting a leave of absence

  • German volunteer service (Bundesfreiwilligendienst) or a Voluntary Social/Ecological Year ("Freiwilliges Soziales/Ökologisches Jahr)
  • illness
  • nursing and care of minors in compliance with section 25 (5) of the German Federal Training Assistance Act (biological children, adopted and foster children, children of one's spouse or partner who live in the same household, grandchildren living in the same household)
  • absence from Cologne for reasons which are in the university’s interest or are due to participation in a research project (please submit a confirmation from your faculty)
  • studies abroad, unless your program includes a mandatory semester abroad (please submit a confirmation from your faculty)
  • program-related internship (please submit a confirmation from your faculty)

Requesting a leave of absence

Applications for a leave of absence are to be submitted during the re-registration period (deadline January 10/July 10). After November 10 (winter semester)/May 10 (summer semester) only applications for a leave of absence due to illness will be accepted. Students need to re-apply reach semester.

Payment of fees and public transport pass during leave of absence

In accordance with section 2 (2) of TH Köln's fees system of November 14, 2016, all students on leave are to pay the fee for the General Students’ Committee (AStA) of €13.10 (as of winter semester 2017/2018).

You will only be exempt from the mandatory payment of the administrative fee for the Kölner Studierendenwerk if you take a leave of absence to study abroad or due to illness. Please note that applications must be submitted prior to the start of the lecture period.

In general, students on leave are not entitled to receive a student public transport pass ("Semester Ticket"). Exceptions are only possible if a leave of absence was requested for one of the following reasons: care of minor children or relatives in need of care, semester abroad, internship outside of North Rhine-Westphalia (see application form).

Taking exams while on leave

Students on leave are not entitled to participate in any form of assessment, obtain credits nor take examinations unless:

  • they have to retake a failed examination or have to obtain credits / meet participation requirements that are a result of the semester abroad or internship semester for which they have been granted leave of absence.
  • they have been granted leave of absence on the grounds of having to care for and rear a child in compliance with section 25 (5) of the German Federal Training Assistance Act as well as for reasons of having to care for a spouse, a registered partner, a relative in direct line of descent or a brothers or sister in-law.
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