Amid the ongoing Coronavirus economical crisis and the second wave of infections that is currently hitting Europe, universities across Germany, including those in North Rhine-Westphalia, have established funds through which they are offering financial support to students affected by COVID-19.
According to the Düsseldorf Ministry of Science, seven art and music universities along with most of the technical colleges and other universities have already established aid funds, Erudera College News reports.
In addition, Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (BAföG), which is Germany’s Federal Training Assistance Act for students at universities and secondary schools in Germany, is also supporting students financially.
Aachen University of Applied Sciences (FH) has backed the social fund through a COVID-19 campaign which is still going.
Following the support by all these universities and bodies, the Head of Fundraising at the FH, Carolina Getto applauded the moves claiming that at the moment it is more important than ever to keep going forward.
First-year students at universities in North Rhine-Westphalia will begin the winter semester on November 2. However, according to experts, the partial lockdown also applying from this date could cause stress to students due to job losses in restaurants and other industries.
A recent study conducted by the consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) for the German Press Agency, has revealed that a large number of students in Germany fear they could face unemployment. More than 40 per cent of students claimed that job opportunities have worsened amid pandemic.
In May and June, nearly 250 students were assisted by the Cologne University Foundation, receiving each 800€. The demand increased to more than 800 applications; therefore, a second round of allocating aids took place.
Afterwards, the university asked alumni and friends for donations in order to fund more than 100 students.
NRW Student Services Paid Nearly €17 Million for Students Amid Pandemic
As a consequence of COVID-19 developments, the student services in North Rhine-Westphalia had to pay nearly €17 million in an effort to support students from June to September.
Whereas, a total of 70,000 applications have been approved to receive money from the federal treasury which was dedicated only for proven cases of emergency due to COVID-19. The percentage of students from each university that received the funds ranged from one to four per cent of the total.
“It may be that bridging funds will be necessary again,” Detlef Rujanski from the NRW Student Union said.
In addition to universities, in June, the Federal Government of Germany also adopted the Coronavirus emergency aid of €100 million to provide financial support to students who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.