DAAD honors AStA of RWTH Aachen University

© Bild: RWTH/Andreas Schmitter

AStA of RWTH Aachen awarded prize by the Federal Foreign Office

The prize of the Federal Foreign Office for excellent support of international students in Germany goes this year to the General Students' Committee (AStA) of RWTH Aachen University. The AStA receives the €30,000 award for its initiative "#AStAhilft - student commitment to unbureaucratic emergency aid."

"In the first waves of the Corona pandemic, many international students were hit particularly hard by contact restrictions and the switch to digital teaching. Often, they also lost part-time jobs and thus necessary income. The members of the AStA of RWTH Aachen University then rolled up their sleeves and helped quickly and unbureaucratically," DAAD President Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee congratulated the award winner. And added: "As a graduate of RWTH Aachen University, I am of course particularly pleased about such commitment at my Alma Mater."

"Student initiatives are essential for a diverse social and academic life at German universities. The initiative from Aachen exemplifies what solidarity and a sense of responsibility can achieve. The commitment to international students is a sign with charisma far beyond Germany," said Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office.

By students, for students

The prize, which is being awarded for the 42nd time, honors the Aachen AStA for its achievements during the Corona pandemic and its many services to international students. Particular recognition was given to the initiative's speed of response to emergencies faced by international students at RWTH during the height of the Corona pandemic. The "RWTHhilft-Stipendium", for example, helped international students in financial emergencies. To this end, the AStA solicited the necessary private donations to finance the scholarships and took care of processing the applications. The initiative also had a quick and easy answer to the switch to digital distance learning by lending students laptops free of charge.

Recognizing services to the integration of international students

As part of its cultural relations and education policy, the Federal Foreign Office is committed to internationalizing Germany as a location for science and research. The prize for excellent support for international students awarded by the Federal Foreign Office honors effective and innovative models of support for international students. In this way, the award is intended to contribute to an improvement in the welcoming culture at German universities. The award, which is paid with €30,000, is also intended to create an incentive to become more involved in the interests and issues of international students and PhD students at their own university location.

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