Emergency aid provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for students in Germany who were struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic will end in September just as planned earlier.
The Ministry of Education and the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW) informed that the student labour market in Germany has seen improvement, recovering a lot, with the number of student applications for emergency aid steadily decreasing over the past months. Following this drop, the aid is expected to end on September 30, Erudera reports.
Since June 2020, Germany has been offering interim financial aid to students, including international students who demonstrated that they are experiencing financial distress due to the pandemic. Since then, many students have received €500 grants per month as part of the ministry’s assistance.
Nevertheless, the latter have been receiving support depending on their pandemic-related needs. For instance, those who had between €400 or around €500 in their bank accounts would receive only €100 as interim financial aid.
In order to be eligible for interim financial aid, all students in the country had to be enrolled at public-funded higher education institutions or at universities recognized by the government.
A few months earlier this year, student representatives from ten federal states in Germany stressed that the sum of €500 from the COVID-19 emergency package was not enough. They complained that only students with less than €100 in their bank account, those who apply for the assistance every month, students without a part-time job, and those who experienced financial hardships even before the pandemic hit, received the aid.
The Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek, along with the German Student Union (DSW), decided to extend the COVID-19 student emergency aid until the end of September, meaning students would receive the aid throughout the summer semester.
“It is therefore important that the bridging aid is now seamlessly offered as support for students throughout the entire summer semester of 2021,” Karliczek had said.
According to DSW and the Ministry of Education, over 100,000 students in Germany have received bridging assistance amid the pandemic. In total, the ministry paid €182 million to support students during the crisis, whereas a third of those receiving emergency aid were international students.
According to a DAAD’s press release, whilst the number of new students in Germany reached 78,000, there were some 330,000 international students in total enrolled at German higher education institutions during the 2020/21 winter semester.
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