What should I do?
The rules today mean that you do not have to stop your studies or apply for leave from the university if you wish to take maternity leave. However you must make the university aware that you are either taking a break from studying or that you want to study part-time.
You do not need to quit your studies. By informing the university of your parental leave you will be made exempt from exams. You do this via www.sdu.dk/SPOC (note that students at the Faculty of Engineering must contact their Study Board). With the application you must submit medical record or the equivalent.
Adoption is equated to birth. The parental leave application automatically includes the following rules which therefore should not be applied for separately or through your Study Board:
- Study Sample
- First-year Test
- Derigestration from courses and/or eksaminations
- Student Activity
- Within implementation of the study (time limits)
How much parental leave can you get?
The mother can get an exemption for the above rules for two semesters. The mother have the choice of starting the period of exemption from the semester in which the birth takes place or the following semester.
The partner can be granted an exemption for the above rules in one semester starting from the semester in which the birth takes place or the following semester.
If there are exceptional circumstances beyond the above conditions, it will be your study board that will consider any applications for further dispensation. This could include for example, complications during childbirth etc, but also any trouble getting a customized curriculum.
If you wish to participate in the study activities in the given semester at a reduced study activity, you can register the desired activities, as you govern your study activity within the given waivers.
With parental leave dispensation from deadlines you will be free to unsubscribe to any exams within 2 weeks before the exam starts. Students at the Faculty of Engineering must apply to their Study Board for an exemption if they wish to unsubscribe from exams again.
It is recommended that you contact the Counselling Centre if you are in any doubt about which rules apply to your case.
If you fall behind
The university must offer a guidance interview for students who are missing ECTS credits. You are welcome to take the call, even if your delay is due to parental leave. You can of course also announce that your delay is due to parental leave, and if so, it may not be necessary to ask you for an interview.
Parental leave and your future as a student
When you (or your partner) have a documented date for when the baby is due, you can contact a student counsellor or an academic adviser who can tell you about how your course will proceed in the future. When do you expect to leave your studies? And when do you think you will return? How do your preferences match up with your studies and your course programme?
Often returning to your course in the middle of a semester will lead to difficulties.
Expect the plan to fail
Even if you have the perfect study plan up to and after your parental leave, you should be prepared for the plan to fail because pregnancy and parental leave rarely follow a plan. Perhaps the pregnancy was more demanding that you had expected. Perhaps your baby was born weeks earlier than had been forecast. Perhaps your baby is not ready to be looked after in a nursery at the point you had expected, or perhaps you are the one who is not ready to let your baby be cared for.
It is perfectly OK to have an optimistic study plan. Many students have sat their exams or handed in their thesis in the last weeks or days of their pregnancy. But if you make such a plan it is very important that you are mentally prepared for what happens if your plan falls apart. Both during the pregnancy and afterwards when you have become parents you will come to understand that something other than your own desires or will is now dictating your options.
First year examination and parental leave
If you become pregnant during your first year as a student or when you have not yet passed your first year examination, you must remember to apply to your Academic Study Board for an exemption(s) before you take your parental leave. If you are unsure about which rules and tests apply to the examination, then you should talk with a student counsellor who can help you.