Plausibility Check Procedure for Refugees Applying without Proof of Higher Education Entrance Eligibility (HZB)
Refugees applying to Universität Hamburg without proof of higher education entrance eligibility (HZB) must go through a procedure verifying the plausibility of their educational background. The procedure takes place in several steps.
1. uni-assist replacement certificate
For prospective students who had to flee their home country and cannot provide proof of HZB, uni-assist e. V. (University Application Service for International Students) issues a so-called “replacement certificate” (Ersatzbescheinigung). You must submit a replacement certificate to take part in the Plausibility Check. To apply for a replacement certificate:
- Complete the PDF Self-Disclosure Form or Self-Disclosure Form (Iran).
- Complete the PDF Application for preliminary examination documentation from the University Application Service for International Students for applicants with foreign proof of education.
- Send uni-assist the completed forms together with all available academic transcripts/records. If you have no transcripts or records, send only the completed forms. The address is: uni-assist e.V., 11507 Berlin.
You can apply for a free review of your documents by uni-assist via the online portal at https://pgm.uni-assist.de/?language=en. If you need a confirmation of advising for the fee exemption, please contact Academic Advising for Refugees.
After reviewing your documents, uni-assist issues a replacement certificate. You can then complete the Registration Form and upload your replacement certificate as well as proof of German skills to Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
2. Plausibility review of educational background
After submitting their replacement certificate and proof of German skills to Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, prospective students are invited to an interview with the Academic Advising for Refugees at the Center for Academic Advising and Psychological Counseling (ZSPB) of Universität Hamburg to establish the plausibility of their foreign educational background.
Following this interview, the Center’s advisors review the plausibility of the information about educational background in accordance with anabin (data bank for recognition and acceptance of foreign educational certificates) or in consultation with the Central Office for Foreign Education (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen, ZAB). If the information is plausible, you may take part in an assessment examination.
3. Assessment examination: TestAS
The academic aptitude test TestAS verifies the plausibility of the information about educational background. You must take TestAS in German. You may repeat TestAS once upon request. TestAS results can earn you bonus points in later applications at Universität Hamburg. You must submit your TestAS results to Universität Hamburg by 1 June at the latest. TestAS results determine subsequent procedures:
TestAS results > 99
Candidates with results above 99 in both the core test and the subject-specific module are admitted to trial studies in a degree program in the same field as the module. Trial studies do not lead to a university degree. A German language certificate is required for admission.
The trial studies run over two semesters during which you attend introductory modules of a degree program. After successfully completing two trial semesters, you obtain a subject-related HZB. The grade stated on the subject-related HZB is the grade point average of all taken examinations, as documented in the Transcript of Records.
To successfully complete the trial studies, you need to obtain at least 30 credits points. If, for reasons beyond your control, you have not successfully completed the trial studies within two semesters, you might be granted a third trial semester. If you successfully complete trial studies you can continue as an enrolled trial student for another 1 or 2 semesters (up to total of 4). If you do not successfully complete the trial semesters, you cannot continue to study.
Candidates with results between 80 and 99 may attend the Studienkolleg for one year and then take the assessment exam. The grade obtained in the assessment exam is used for admission at university.
TestAS < 80
Candidates with results below 80 have not confirmed the plausibility of their educational background and cannot apply for admission at Universität Hamburg.
Overall procedure timeline
Information and advising on the Plausibility Check Procedure is available all year round. Please take note of the following dates and deadlines:
- Until 28 February: Registration to Plausibility Check Procedure with uni-assist replacement certificate
- Until 31 March: Plausibility review
- April: TestAS
- May: Communication of TestAS results
- According to TestAS results:
- Admission and enrollment in trial studies, commencement of studies in October
- 1 August–30 September Application to the Studienkolleg
You register for the Plausibility Check via the Registration Form. To register, you must provide a uni-assist replacement certificate and a German language certificate. Once we have received your registration, we review whether you can apply directly to Universität Hamburg or Studienkolleg Hamburg with your replacement certificate, or if you have to go through the Plausibility Check. To admit you to the Plausibility Check, we must receive your replacement certificate by 28 February at the latest.