Mature and guest students
Everything you need to know as a guest or mature student at FAU
The term mature student includes all educational programmes that take the varying and special interests of older prospective students into consideration. At FAU, senior citizens can attend lectures and seminars. If you would like to do so, the Bavarian Higher Education Act (Bayerisches Hochschulgesetz, BayHSchG) offers two alternative options for enrolment:
- If you wish to complete a degree, please enrol as a student.
- If you would like to attend seminars and lectures purely out of interest, please enrol as a ‘guest student’.
The following overview sets out what is required of you and what you have to bear in mind when choosing the courses you would like to attend:
If you are interested in studying as a mature student, you can choose to enrol either as a degree student or as a guest student as described above.
- Students study with the intention of gaining a degree. As such, these students must attend lectures and seminars which are set out in the degree programme and examination regulations as well as complete examinations or assessments within a given period to achieve a Bachelor’s, Master’s or State Examination degree. In addition, there is an age limit for degree programmes with admission restrictions (numerus clausus subjects). The Bavarian Higher Education Admissions Law (Bayerische Hochschulzulassungsgesetz, BayHZG) states that applicants who are older than 55 can only take part in the selection process for a degree with admission restrictions on ‘serious academic or professional grounds’ If you decide to enrol for a full-time degree programme you have to complete certain formalities and fulfil several conditions, including the university entrance qualification required for the chosen degree programme. For more details please see Entry requirements and Application and enrolment.
- This means if you are older than 55 and do not have serious academic or professional grounds for making an application or if you do not wish to complete a degree and would like to attend various seminars or lectures purely out of interest, please apply as a guest student. Guest students do not obtain a degree. Guest students are therefore free to choose lectures and seminars that are suited to their interests from the wide range on offer. They can either start out by just attending a lecture or can participate in a seminar straight away – or both, depending on their interests and skills. Therefore, the status of guest student is perfect for senior citizens who want to take a peek at what is going on at the University either for the first time or after a longer period of time outside of education.
Under the Bavarian Higher Education Act it is generally not permissible to be enrolled as a student and a guest student at the same university at the same time.
However, the Bavarian Higher Education Act does allow students of one university to enrol at a second university as a guest student at the same time. Usually, this is done if individual courses important for the degree programme are not offered at the primary university.
While guest students acquire numerous rights through enrolment they are not
- members of the university and
- are not eligible for student health insurance
- and the usual student social benefits.
The qualifications required for enrolment are the same for both guest students and students.
The University can grant exemptions from the qualifications required if applicants can provide proof they have obtained at least the intermediate secondary education qualification (mittlerer Schulabschluss) and the University concludes that applicants can follow specific lectures and seminars based on their educational background, professional experience and other personal circumstances. This exception does not apply for enrolment as a student.
The fee for guest students enrolling for up to 4 semester hours (SWS) is 100 euros, for five to eight semester hours 200 euros and for more than eight semester hours 300 euros. Fees must be paid prior to enrolment. They can be paid in two ways:
- at the University’s Payment Office (Zahlstelle) at Turnstraße 5 in Erlangen (opening times: Mon-Thur 9am – 12pm, Fri 9am – 11 am, and Tues 2pm – 3pm, please provide proof of payment when enrolling)
- or by bank transfer at least 10 days prior to enrolment.
Bank transfer details:
Recipient: STAATSOBERKASSE LANDSHUT
Reference (exactly in this order): 000201552444 GASTHÖRER SURNAME, FIRST NAME
Guest students hand in their enrolment application in person within the general enrolment periods at the Student Records Office in Erlangen, Halbmondstr. 6, room 0.034. The enrolment deadline for guest students is always at the start of the lecture period.
In addition to the enrolment application for guest students the following documents (two copies each) must be submitted:
- proof of university entrance qualification (see section ‘Proof of university entrance qualification’),
- German students: German national identity card, alternatively passport; international students: passport and residence permit valid at least for the entire lecture period of the semester
- academic record from another university if applicable
- Prospective international students and other applicants whose first language is not German must provide proof of sufficient proficiency in German (examination certificate of German language proficiency – DSH or equivalent). Those wishing to attend lectures or seminars held only in English can be made exempt from this rule. Please contact the Student Records Office if you are unsure what applies to you.
- Proof of payment of tuition fees to be paid by guest students (see section ‘Study costs’)
Guest students must give details of the lectures and seminars they wish to attend on enrolment. Lectures and seminars are listed in the current course catalogue (Vorlesungsverzeichnis). The University has prepared a list of lectures and seminars recommended for mature students under the heading ‘Seniorenstudium’ in the course catalogue.
You can display all lectures and seminars that are recommended for guest students (irrespective of their age) by performing a search under ‘Lehrveranstaltungssuche’. To do so, in the ‘Suche’ (search) field select the term ‘Lehrveranstaltungen’ (lectures and seminars) in the course catalogue. In the left hand navigation bar, click ‘Extras’ and then ‘Expertensuche’. Under the heading ‘Teilnehmerkreis’, click ‘Erweitete Suchmöglichkeiten einblenden’ and then tick the box labelled ‘Für Gasthörer zugelassen’. You can also limit the search area at the top of the page if necessary. You can start the search on the bottom left of the page. You can ‘save’ individual lectures and seminars from the list of results by clicking the button directly to the left of the lecture or seminar title.
Some lectures and seminars are subject to restrictions for guest students:
- As a rule, guest students can only choose lectures and seminars belonging to degree programmes with admission restrictions if no lab workspaces (e.g. in sciences or engineering) or permanent workplaces (e.g. computing modules) are required.
- Guest students may also register for language courses where places are available. You must enrol as a guest student with the Student Records Office before registering for a language course. Guest students must pay an additional fee based on the semester hours (SWS) for language courses at the Language Centre. Details of fees and more information are available on the Language Centre website.
- You cannot attend lectures and seminars in medicine and dentistry unless they are expressly available for the Studium Generale or for mature students.
- As a rule, guest students can attend lectures and seminars stated in the enrolment application and confirmed by the University, to the extent that these lectures and seminars are actually held. Guest students are not entitled to attend lectures and seminars for which the number of participants is limited where the places available are taken up by students of the University. This does not apply if a guest student is enrolled as a student at another university, the lectures and seminars are not offered at the other university and attending the lectures and seminars at FAU is required for completion of the degree programme at the home university (see ‘Enrolment status of guest students’).
- It is not possible to sit examinations as a guest student.
Registration is required for many lectures and seminars and to access study materials online. The ‘StudOn’ portal is particularly relevant to guest students. You must register for StudOn first before you can access individual courses. More information is available on the StudOn website.
Guest students can register for language courses through the ‘oktis’ portal provided by the Language Centre.
A guest student is enrolled for the semester in which their course is held. Their enrolment ends at the end of this semester. For the summer semester, this is 30 September, for the winter semester this is 31 March. If a guest student wishes to continue studying or attend another course after the end of the semester, they need to enrol again.
The dates for enrolment are available on the website listing the enrolment deadlines.