DSW: 150,000 times bridging assistance for students paid

  • Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW) for the bridging assistance of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for students in pandemic emergency

  • A total of around 244,000 applications from around 120,000 students from June to September 2020 at the Studentenwerke and Studierendenwerk

  • Approximately 150,000 applications approved so far = 65 million euros paid as non-repayable grant

  • Proportion of foreign students among the payees about 30%

  • 63% of the applications approved, 36% rejected, one percent of the applications are still pending

Berlin, 7 October 2020: The Studentenwerke and Studierendenwerke have so far paid around 150,000 times bridging assistance from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to students in financial need caused by the pandemic. This figure is now being presented by Deutsches Studentenwerk, following the temporary suspension of the bridging assistance as of 30 September 2020.

According to the DSW, the Studentenwerke and Studierendenwerke received around 244,000 applications for bridging assistance; around 150,000 of these were approved, and around 9,000 are currently still being processed. About 120,000 students, 30% of whom are foreign students, have received bridging assistance nationwide, many of them several times. A total of around 65 million euros have been paid as non-repayable grants. The BMBF provided a total of 100 million euros for the project.

The number of applications is distributed differently over the four months of the project: in June 2020, there were more than 82,000 applications, but by September the number had dropped to around 36,000. The Studentenwerke and Studierendenwerke were able to approve 63% of the applications for bridging assistance, but had to reject 36%. One percent of the applications are still being processed. In more than 40% of all applications, the Studentenwerke and Studierendenwerke have requested information or documents.

In more than half of the rejected applications, the students were in  financial need, but this was already present before the pandemic and was not a caused by it. In this respect, the bridging assistance provided by the German Government to help students in the event of a pandemic was not effective.

DSW General Secretary Achim Meyer auf der Heyde concludes: "We urgently need a structural reform of student financing for these students.‘‘

He paid tribute to the great commitment of the Studentenwerke and Studierendenwerke to the bridging aid: "The Studentenwerke and Studierendenwerke have achieved great things. They have acted with unity and commitment under the highest pressure of time and political expectations - for the benefit of the students, as it is their mission.

A total of 1,300 employees were entrusted with the bridging assistance. These teams - some had up to 80 members of staff - had to get used to the content, learn to use a new online system, and process several thousand applications over a period of months. This was an immense act of strength, and an enormous stress test that the Studentenwerke and Studierendenwerke passed successfully.‘‘

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