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Students with children

Are you pregnant or thinking about having kids soon? Are you a father or a mother, and do you have to look after one or more kids? Are you struggling to reconcile the demands of family life and academic life? Do you feel that this challenge is more than you can handle on your own?

A good balance between family life and a degree program or work is essential for maintaining a high quality of life. As a university with over 22,000 students and an employer with a workforce of more than 2,000 people, WU is constantly working to develop and implement lasting measures for providing a family-friendly study and work environment. As a result, WU has been certified as a family-friendly university under the Austrian “hochschuleundfamilie” audit since 2013.

On this page, you can find key information and contacts for students with children.

Your first point of contact

The WU Student Counselling Program can help you master the challenges you’re facing. We offer confidential counselling sessions where we take the time to look at your personal situation in depth and develop appropriate solutions. We also offer moderated peer group sessions where students who have similar questions or are facing similar situations can network and exchange ideas. In addition we assist to put you in contact with other institutions that can help you with any further questions and issues you may have. Get in touch with us to arrange your first session!

Study-related matters

To study successfully as a parent, you do not only need efficient organization – you also need to have the appropriate information. Here is an overview of key administrative and financial support measures that you should know about as a student with a child:

  • Waiver of no-show rules (in LVP-type course exams) if your child falls ill: If you are unable to take an exam you signed up for on short notice due to your caretaking responsibilities (e.g. if your child falls ill), the no-show rules (in German) are waived for you. In such cases, please submit an appropriate confirmation (e.g. a medical certificate) via our online tool (in German).

  • Academic leaves of absence: You can apply for an academic leave of absence to pause your degree program for one or more semesters due to a pregnancy or caretaking responsibilities for children. During an academic leave of absence, you remain enrolled in your degree program but are not able to take any exams or courses. If you would like to take an academic leave of absence, you need to submit an application before the start of the respective semester. For details and contact information for further questions, please see our web page on academic leaves of absence.

  • Waiver of tuition fees: If you exceed the tuition-free period, you can apply for a waiver of tuition fees if you are pregnant or have to look after a child that lives in the same household, up until the child turns 7 years old. The application deadlines are October 31 (for the winter semester) and March 31 (for the summer semester). For details and contact information for further questions, please see our web page on  tuition fees.

  • Special support grant for studying abroad with a child: Special support grants are available for completing semesters abroad together with your child/your children. These grants are intended to help you cover the additional costs you incur in connection with your caretaking responsibilities abroad. If you’re planning to study abroad at a WU partner university outside Europe, special support grants are available to complement WU mobility grants. To study abroad at a WU partner university in Europe, you can apply for Erasmus+ special support grants (in German). Basic information is available on our web page on international student mobility. On this page, you can also find contact information for getting in touch with WU’s International Office, which is available to provide details and further advice.

On Campus WU

Further information and contacts

If you have any further questions about studying as a parent, don’t hesitate to reach out to the WU Student Support team or the WU childcare representatives.