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Student Assistants, Academic Assistants ("Hiwi"): Questions and Answers

What is a "Hiwi" (aid)? And what is the pay like? academics answers FAQs about academic assistance.

Studentische Hilfskraft, Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft, Hiwi: Fragen und Antworten© DDRockstar - Fotolia.comAnswers to common questions on academic assistance ("Hiwi")

What is a "Hiwi" (aid)?

"Hiwi" is the somewhat ambiguous abbreviation used to refer to two different types of employees:

Academic assistants:
In the university regulations of most federal states, this term is used to describe students with a first degree, e.g. a Bachelor's degree.

Student assistants:
The term is also used to describe students, who have not completed their degree but are enrolled on a degree programme.

Who decides on the allocation of aid positions?

The president or rector of the respective university must first approve aid positions. The institute itself ultimately decides on the type and allocation of aid positions. However, aid positions are also often created within research projects and projects funded by third parties. This is the case at both universities and research institutions.

How many hours per week is an aid to entitled work?

No more than half the regular working hours of the normal academic staff, this means around 20 hours per week. Aids are naturally also able to hold other student jobs.

How long does an aid contract run?

As a rule, contracts are agreed on a semester-by-semester basis, whereby employment is limited to a total of six years. Aid contracts also end in the event of exmatriculation.

How much does an aid earn?

The pay is set by the federal states and, in part by the individual universities. The difference in pay is accordingly large: it may be between 6 and 13 Euros per hour. An additional supplement of up to 35 per cent of the regular pay may be granted for work on Sundays and public holidays.

Is there a collective agreement for aids?

No, there is not a common collective agreement. The main reasons for this are the lack of a central body representing aids' interests and the decentralised structure of education and academia. Therefore, a standard pay basis for student assistants only exists in Berlin (TV Stud II).

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academics :: Juli 2013