StW Annual Report 2020 published
Studierendenwerk has published its annual report for 2020. It includes reports from the service areas of dining, student housing, student finances and childcare, as well as the most important economic figures. In particular, the annual report provides information on the impact of Corona on the process results of the individual areas. The losses in the dining area were particularly noticeable. The management report prepared together with the economy auditor confirms that the financial situation of Studierendenwerk Aachen is stable.
In 2020, Studierendenwerk ran 5,111 accommodations in 24 dormitories. With approximately 64,000 students, the housing supply rate decreased slightly to 8.0 percent (8.1 percent in 2019).
Rental revenue decreased by approximately five percent from the previous year. Although all residence halls were in operation during the reporting period, some vacancies could not be avoided last year. These were due on the one hand to the Corona pandemic and on the other to intensive redevelopment projects. Both factors resulted in rent losses of around two percent. However, the losses in rental income were rather minor, especially in view of the fact that the digital semester did not require a presence at the university location and students could have studied digitally at home. Even when room cancellations occurred, a surprising number of students remained in their residence halls.
Massive drop in sales
At the beginning of the year 2020, Studierendenwerk's nine dining halls recorded their usual high volume of business. However, with the first lockdown and facility closures, meal numbers dropped. The number of meals sold totaled just 916,117 (2.75 million in 2019), down nearly 67 percent from the previous year.
Predominantly take away offer
As of March 2020, all of the smaller dining halls closed, with a few of them returning to service in late summer with take away offer. However, due to the discontinuation of face-to-face events, the dining halls located in the university buildings in particular were hardly frequented. Students mainly used the two largest facilities, Mensa Academica in the city and Mensa Vita at Melaten Campus. Although the "Mensa to stay" seating concept was well received, it accounted for only 25 percent of daily business, a comparatively low proportion. Guests thus preferred to use the parallel take away offer.
BAföG: Significant increase in applications
The BAföG Office looks after students at RWTH Aachen University, Aachen University of Applied Sciences in Aachen and Jülich, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne, Aachen Department, and Katholische Hochschule NRW, Aachen Department.
In 2020, 2,859 initial applications were approved; in the previous year, the number was slightly higher at around 2,900. The number of approved repeat applications, on the other hand, increased significantly to 4,922 applications compared to 2019 (3,667 applications). Overall, an increase in applications of around 7.5 percent compared with the previous year can be assumed.
Support proportion in Aachen and Jülich again at almost eleven percent
7,003 of the 64,127 students enrolled in Aachen received BAföG in 2020, resulting in a support proportion of 10.92 percent. In 2019, this amounted to 10.43 percent. A total of 7,781 BAföG applications were submitted (2019: 7,224 applications). This means that 12.13 percent of enrolled students applied for financial support in the reporting year. Expenditures for BAföG totaled 41.2 million euros in 2020. In the previous year, the figure was 35.1 million euros.
Educating under Corona conditions
As for all childcare facilities nationwide, the Corona year also developed into a major challenge for the Studierendenwerk's childcare facilities. The task of providing children with halfway familiar structures during these changeable times could only be accomplished with great effort and many compromises. Over the year, Studierendenwerk's childcare process went through different opening phases, which were subject to high hygiene and protection measures against Corona. Due to the legally regulated emergency care, which was very popular, there were no closing times for the childcare facilities.
In total, Studierendenwerk facilities offered 60 places for children older than 3 years and 96 for children younger than 3 years. There is still a high demand for childcare places among Aachen students. The number of registrations, although again slightly lower, remains at a high level. In addition, there are applications via the city's daycare portal. However, it is not possible to make a comparison with the previous year, as the data listed there is not always up to date.
Stable financial situation in Aachen
The management report prepared together with the economy auditor confirms that the financial situation of Studierendenwerk Aachen is organized and secure in the short and medium term. According to current estimates, despite the prevailing Corona pandemic, there are no risks that could jeopardize the continued existence of the Studierendenwerk as a public law institution and have a significant negative impact on its future development in the long term.
Online version Annual Report (in German)