About Studierendenwerk Hamburg
The service partner at the university location in Hamburg

The Studierendenwerk Hamburg provides social and economic support to around 73,000 students at 8 Hamburg universities. The focus of our work lies in the areas of university catering, housing, BAföG and student financing as well as social & international affairs.

Students are direct participants through their student union fee and influence the development of the Studierendenwerk through their committee representation.

The Studierendenwerk Hamburg is a public institution and provides social and economic services for students. It is financed by income from food and beverages, rental income, parental contributions for childcare, semester contributions from students and subsidies from the Hanseatic City of Hamburg for cafeteria meals, educational grants, daycare fees, etc. The City of Hamburg supports the Studierendenwerk Hamburg in the areas of housing and university catering, among others.

You can find out more about us in our current annual report.
Here you can find out on which legal basis we work.


Company tasks
What the Studierendenwerk does

Studierendenwerk Hamburg is the inter-university service provider for Hamburg's students and universities. Its statutory mission (Studierendenwerk Hamburg Act, Studierendenwerksgesetz StWG of June 23, 2005) includes service and advisory services in the social and economic spheres and thus supplements research and teaching with a social dimension as a significant component of successful university policy.

With 565 employees, Studierendenwerk Hamburg supports around 73,000 students and the universities with its services in the economic and social fields. The focus of our work lies in the following areas:

  • University catering: 12 cafeterias, 22 cafés and 2 pizzerias
  • Housing: 26 housing complexes with around 4,400 places in rooms and apartments for German and international students and trainees, welcome tutor program
  • BAföG and student financing: We advise on questions of student financing (scholarships, student loans, etc.). In 2022, around 89 million euros in BAföG funding was disbursed. In addition, there are expenses for scholarships and student loans.
  • Social & International Affairs: We provide support in many areas: social counselling with an emergency fund, studying internationally, studying with chronic illness/disability/impairment, studying with children, 5 daycare centres, flexible childcare.

. . . so that studying succeeds!

Funded by the Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung, Gleichstellung und Bezirke


Corporate philosophy
Our quality policy

Our services promote equal opportunities for students.

  • We take their budget into account through social pricing.
  • We advise students on social, personal and economic issues.
  • We support students when their own financial means are not sufficient.

High customer satisfaction is important to us.

  • We align our actions with the expectations and needs of our customers.
  • We continuously increase customer satisfaction.

We improve the quality of our products, processes and services.

  • We stand for up-to-date products and services of reliable quality.
  • We respond flexibly to changing requirements, continue to develop proven products, services and processes, and act with foresight.



We work in an economically successful and responsible manner.

  • We apply business management tools and use them to optimize our work.
  • We take environmental protection and resource conservation into account when designing our processes and making investment decisions.

We use a quality management system which we continuously develop further.

  • We are guided by the process-oriented model of ISO 9001.
  • We ensure that process and quality targets are achieved and that internal and external standards are observed and complied with.

All employees have a decisive influence on the quality of our work.

  • We promote the competence, commitment and participation of all employees.
  • We make responsibilities and decisions transparent and ensure that all employees receive the necessary information.
  • All employees pursue a common goal: Quality is our most important product!


Awards and certificates

The work and commitment of Studierendenwerk Hamburg has been recognized by various institutions and bodies.

The Hamburg Office for Occupational Safety has honored Studierendenwerk Hamburg for its exemplary occupational safety regulations. This award is given to companies that have anchored a functioning, systematic occupational safety as an objective of their corporate policy and implement it sustainably with a broad package of measures. The Studierendenwerk is thus part of the Hamburg Occupational Safety Partnership, which has received several awards.

TransFair, the Association for the Promotion of Fair Trade in One World, has recognized our commitment to offering Fair Trade certified products in our cafeterias and cafés as exemplary. Our coffee and coffee specialties are produced exclusively from Fairtrade beans, and our bananas, drinking chocolate, a brand of tea and various types of cold drinks (e.g. LemonAid) also bear the Fairtrade seal.

In January 2020, the animal rights organization PETA awarded the most vegan-friendly cafeterias in Germany, including the teams at Mensa HCU, Mensa Stellingen and Mensa Überseering. In August 2023, "Blattwerk - deine vegetarische Mensa" received 4 stars, the highest award for vegan-vegetarian cafeterias. This honours our commitment to vegan nutrition in university gastronomy.

Studierendenwerk Hamburg was honoured with the Hamburg Health Award 2024 by the Hamburgische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Gesundheitsförderung e.V. (HAG). In particular, the multidisciplinary approach to occupational health management, which includes tailored measures (e.g. social counselling, workshops and transparent communication) for all employees in the areas of university catering, student housing, student finance, counselling and childcare, was highlighted. 

In addition, the Studierendenwerk Hamburg is audited and recognized according to the EC Organic Regulation.

We are subject to the controls of the Prüfverein Verarbeitung ökologischer Landbauprodukte e.V. according to the EG-Öko Verordnung DE-ÖKO-007.

Nature and environmental protection
Our environmental protection measures

Efforts in the field of environmental protection have been made in the Studierendenwerk for over 20 years. Our goal is not only to meet the current demands of students, but also to drive innovations for the future.

As a cross-university service provider for Hamburg students and the universities, we want to help shape the social development of the university area. Careful use of resources and active environmental protection are part of this for us. The Studierendenwerk participates in the ÖKOPROFIT club and has been certified here several times. In addition, we have been accepted into the "UmweltPartnerschaft" Hamburg. In this partnership, the Hamburg Senate and the Hamburg business community have agreed to promote sustainable business practices.

Our other activities include

  • Waste avoidance through the introduction of reusable systems for tableware and packaging
  • Waste separation and recycling
  • Installation of water-saving faucets and energy-saving lights in residential complexes
  • Green electricity in all residential complexes
  • Use of recycled paper
  • Use of Transfair coffee

Association of Friends and Sponsors of the Studierendenwerk Hamburg
Funding for the student union

    The support association was founded by eleven committed founding members in 2009. It is a registered association and recognized as a non-profit organization. The members of the association work externally by striving to win over people and companies as donors and sponsors. And they work internally in order to identify and bring into support emergency situations of students and institutions for students. All members of the association are experts in the field of student aid and are very familiar with the worries and needs of students, in some cases for over 30 years, from their professional activities as professors, employees of the Studierendenwerk, university officials, etc.. They know where the shoe pinches!


    Why does the support association exist?

    Hamburg is a very interesting university location. However, as a cosmopolitan city with a highly attractive environment, it is also not a cheap pleasure. In order for talented young people from less well-off families to be able to afford to study here, they need support. This is exactly where the Förderverein comes in and tries to make an active contribution to the improvement of the study conditions with the donations made available to it and thus to sustainably improve the equality of opportunity in studying.


    Why do students need your donation?

    All donations directly benefit the students without any detours. In addition to emergency situations, it is often the special living situations of students that need to be supported. An affordable roof over one's head, an affordable accommodation for children close to the university for student parents are only exemplary concerns and needs. And students' parents are not always in a position to provide necessary support.


    How can you donate?

    Donations and assistance are possible in many ways:

    • Sponsoring membership in the sponsoring association
    • One-time donation
    • Earmarked donations
    • Donations in kind
    • Helping hand
    • Transfer of "know how
    • Time donations

    What are donations used for?

    Your donations will either be used directly for the purpose determined by you or for the following assistance, for example:

    • Designing student day care centers, e.g. creating gardens and building playground equipment, installing reading corners
    • Free tables (free lunch in the refectory for one month, value approx. 3.90 € per day)
    • Financial assistance for students caring for their parents in case of illness
    • Financial aid for students with chronic illnesses
    • Book allowance for the purchase of specialized literature
    • Cost absorption for excursions
    • Rent-free living in exchange for daily shopping, lawn mowing, child supervision, dog walking, etc.

    You would like to support the Förderverein and become a member?

    Or would you like more information about the Förderverein or help? Here you will find all the information you need:

    Your way to us

    Your way to us

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    Open map

    The exact locations of the counseling facilities, dining halls and administration of the Studierendenwerk Hamburg at the Von-Melle-Park campus and at Grindelallee can be found on our map.