Due to the lockdown restrictions put in place as a way to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, students have reported greater financial hardships. This largely comes due to many students relying on the money they make from part-time jobs they work while at university. When business operations became severely restricted, very few students were able to continue working, which in turn meant that they were no longer able to pay for their tuition. Thankfully, the German government has decided to provide financial support to help students who might find themselves facing financial challenges.
According to the Federal Government, both academics who are in the qualification phase that leads up to a doctoral degree, as well as the recipients of student loans will be eligible for financial support. The news has been met with a great deal of excitement and receptivity, with the government allowing students to work during the COVID-19 pandemic as an additional means to supplement their income.
As of right now, there are art and music universities, technical colleges, and other universities that have set up financial aid funds to help students who are struggling financially. These developments have become necessary investments in the future of Germany, so it comes as no surprise that such initiatives have received universal support.
According to a study conducted by Ernst & Young, many students in Germany have expressed concerns that they will be unable to work to pay for their university tuition. The financial aid that has been offered will be provided for as long as the lockdown restrictions are in effect, and students who do manage to get a job during the pandemic will still be eligible to claim financial support.
This can be helpful for students who are concerned about becoming too reliant on the government for an extended period of time. Additionally, it can also motivate students by enabling them to make extra income on top of what they will be receiving from the financial support scheme being offered by the German government.
Student services in North Rhine-Westphalia have already paid €17 million to help cover the costs of student university tuition between June and September. In total, approximately 70,000 applications were approved for receiving financial assistance by the federal treasury.
Back in June, the German government also approved a coronavirus emergency aid package of €100 million that would give financial support to students who were negatively affected by the lockdown restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the end of September, €60 million was paid, with 135,000 applications accepted.
“We are especially pleased to see that the Federal Government, and in particular Federal Minister Karliczek, has agreed to provide emergency aid for students. We will now work together with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to swiftly develop a process for the practical implementation of these aid measures by the student services associations. We are very confident that this aid will quickly reach the students affected,” comments Achim Meyer auf der Heyde, the Secretary-General of the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW).
The German government has taken decisive action to help its students in a distinctive way. There have been other actions taken, such as shifting to teaching online classes, an initiative proved to have transformed higher education, at least for the foreseeable future. For the time being, students are asked to practice social distancing as much as possible in order to avoid the further economic damage that new lockdowns might cause to not only Germany but also the world as a whole.
MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
Universities in Germany to Financially Support Students Amid Pandemic, 2 November 2020
Germany to Offer Assistance for Students and Academics Due to Coronavirus, accessed 15 November 2020
Karliczek: “We Support Students in Need,” 30 April 2020