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Art School Alliance

The HFBK Hamburg’s international exchange programme

In 2010 started, on the initiative of the Hochschule für bildende Künste and the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S., the international exchange program Art School Alliance with the goal of intensifying links and exchange with famous art universities all over the world.

The Art School Alliance and the associated grants allow up to 22 international art students per year a semester to live and study in Hamburg without paying rent or study fees. Studio apartments have been provided on three floors of a factory building in the Karolinenstrasse – at the heart of the culture scene, between St. Pauli and the Schanzenviertel district.

In turn, as many HFBK students spend a semester at partner universities abroad without paying student fees, having acted as mentors for exchange students in Hamburg in a previous semester. The HFBK chooses students to take part in this exchange programme in an internal selection process.

Partners in the Art School Alliance network:

Academic achievements will be certified by the host university and recognised by all universities taking part in the programme. The combination of living and working in a new context should also promote an intensive exchange of ideas and experiences for both local and international students.

The Art School Alliance allows the HFBK to extend the international network for its students and graduates and to help them find a place in the global art scene.


The Art School Alliance is financed via third-party funds. The HFBK is able to deepen its cooperation with leading art universities worldwide and to give its students an international arena to operate in thanks to generous sponsorship from the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. and the Karl H. Ditze Stiftung. We would also like to thank the SAGA GWG for its kind support.


Public Information Day 2021

How do I become an art student? How does the application process work? Can I also study to become a teacher at the HFBK? These and other questions about studying art will be answered by professors, students and staff at the HFBK during the Public Information Day on February 13, 2021. Due to Corona, only online!

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

Art defies Corona: Graduate Show 2020

With a two-month delay, the Graduate Show took place this year on the 19 and 20 September. More than 140 students showed their artistic graduation projects, from painting to sound installation.

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?

Annual Exhibition 2020 at the HFBK

The HFBK’s traditional annual exhibition („Jahresausstellung“) opens in February every year. For three days the students – from first-years to post-graduates – present a broad spectrum of their current work and projects from all the different departments. All classrooms, studios and halls in the building are used. Interested visitors are cordially invited to gain an impression of the art currently being created at the HFBK.