On April 30, Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek announced that all students could benefit from interest-free loans of up to € 650 per month through the public development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau.
“These measures are essential to avoid dropping out of international students”
In addition, the ministry would offer non-refundable scholarships to students in “particularly acute emergencies”. The 100 million euros would be distributed to the students by the Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW).
“It is very good and fair that students in emergency situations now receive financial support,” said Joybrato Mukherjee, president of DAAD.
“These measures are essential to avoid dropping out of international students in particular and to maintain Germany’s excellent reputation as a destination for foreign talent.
“We are particularly pleased that the subsidy solution we proposed in mid-March is also part of the emergency relief measures.”
A survey carried out by the online information portal Study-en-Allemagne.org found that around nine in ten international students in Germany have been financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
President of the HRK Peter-André Alt added that the federal government “is tackling a problem that is burning for many students”.
“We are grateful that those affected can now overcome the current crisis,” he said. “Even though we had hoped for such a solution for everyone, the emergency aid fund, from which direct grants without loans can be made, is a very laudable measure.
Deutsches Studentenwerk chairman Rolf-Dieter Postlep added that the organization will “very quickly clarify” the specific procedure with the ministry as to how student assistance in acute emergencies should be structured.
“It is now important that students who are having financial problems because of the corona pandemic through no fault of their own get this help,” he said.
According to the Studying-in-Germany.org platform, a large number of international students depend on part-time jobs for their living expenses. In addition to affordable tuition fees, visiting students are also drawn to the country for work opportunities.
Students are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year, which reduces the cost of living, depending on the platform.
“Two-thirds of international students choose to work part-time to cover their living expenses,” noted Njomza Zeqiri of Study-in-Germany.org.
Another survey conducted by Studying-in-Germany.org found that 85% of international students admitted that Covid-19 affected their plans to study in Germany.
Summer semester 2020 Scholarships have been postponed due to the pandemic, which means prospective students will have to wait to reapply the following year, the platform stressed.
“The doors to the university are closed and the classes are moved online,” Zeqiri added.
“As with the winter semester, a national decision will be made later depending on what happens with the Abitur exams this year.”