Under what circumstances is the 50 percent study eligible?

Study the Master part-time – a necessity for some, a welcome alternative for others. UNICUM explains what to look for.

Part-time study – not uncommon

In the winter semester 2013/2014 there were officially 170,000 students in Europe who did not complete their studies full-time. Unofficially, however, many more aspiring academics at the university take time to brake. According to the 20th Social Survey of the English Student Union (2012), more than one in five full-time students is de facto studying part-time. For example, there are financial, family or health reasons.

“Anyone who studied earlier was nothing more than a student – all in full time – today, for many, studying is no longer the only focus of life,” explains Frank Ziegele, Managing Director of the Center for Higher Education Development (CHE).

“Not just half the power or twice the time”

Dorothee Fricke from the nexus project of the English Rectors’ Conference (HRK) also confirms that more and more young people are unable or unwilling to study full-time. “There is a great demand for individualisation and flexibility of study.” According to Fricke, universities are increasingly recognizing this need but are still not always creative in designing part-time work. “A part-time study does not just mean half performance or twice the time,” says the expert. It encourages students to find individual solutions with their universities, many of them are quite willing to do so.

More master’s than bachelor’s offers

According to CHE, the proportion of part-time courses offered by Master’s programs is 13 percent higher overall than that of Bachelor’s programs, at 9 percent. “Particularly in the field of extra-occupational Master’s courses, the offers are more varied and the models sometimes highly flexible,” says Frank Ziegele.

In 2015, there were 687 part-time jobs in the HRK Higher Education Compass of 8,217 Masters Degree Programs. Ascending trend. “With courses in the evenings and at weekends or online lectures, many degree courses are clearly adapted to their target group, and further education masters even explicitly require work experience,” says Dorothee Fricke.

Do not unlearn learning

Especially for graduates who want to gain work experience and earn money after completing their Bachelor’s degree, an extra-occupational master’s program is suitable, either directly afterwards or after a few years at work. However, as with the Bachelor, dual study programs and distance learning are also possible.

However, studying next to a job or other duties because of the double burden is not an easy thing. “You have to have your head free if you want to combine work and study,” says Thomas Klose, student advisor at the University of Jena and member of GIBeT, the umbrella organization for student advisors. Good time management is just as important as the ability to motivate for a long time.

“Returnees” also need to re-learn university learning: “I often find that students who return for their masters after years of learning have difficulty having to memorize exams,” says Klose.

BAföG does not exist

When it comes to study funding, part-time studies can be different. Those who do not earn the big money next to their studies need to remember that, for example, there is no BAföG. “This will only finance a degree course that is officially completed full-time,” explains Nicolai Preuße, Head of the Student Finance Department at Deutsches Studentenwerk. A part-time study is generally not eligible. “This ultimately forces you into unofficial part-time studies, which may then look bad in the resume,” says Frank Ziegele.

With the child allowance however there is no difference. “Important for the claim is basically the student status, the age and that you do not work more than 20 hours per week,” said Preuße. He points out, however, that one must generally check whether one is still entitled to child benefit in the master.