LAK demands immediate emergency funding for students!

The LAK (Alliance of General Students' Committees of Berlin) joined the alliance "Soforthilfe für Studierende" (emergency aid for students). They demand 3000€ in immediate aid for all students who are in financial distress due to the Corona pandemic. The LAK Berlin also joins the demand for an unconditional basic income for 6 months.

The LAK also mentions two additionals options

  • Hartz IV (unemployment benefits) for German and foreign students without an examination of their financial situation
  • BAföG extension in order to compensate for the delays in studies

More background and information on the LAK Homepage.

DeepL Translated Text (no guarantee for the correctness) :

The LandesAstenKonferenz Berlin (LAK Berlin) has joined the alliance "Soforthilfe für Studierende" (emergency aid for students) and demands 3000€ in immediate aid for all students who are in financial distress due to the Corona pandemic. The LAK Berlin also joins the demand for an unconditional basic income for 6 months.

Many students are currently losing their incomes and thus the material requirements for their studies, be it through job losses or financial benefits linked to study achievements, such as scholarships or loans. Students who were previously supported by relatives and can no longer be supported by their families due to job losses are also affected. Foreign students whose residence permit depends on proof of income or academic performance are left empty-handed.

The fact that BAföG recipients will continue to receive support in the 2020 summer semester will only help a few and only temporarily. It is a small consolation because of the as yet unforeseeable consequences in the aftermath of the crisis and the associated delays in studies. This makes it clear that for many more students, a summer semester is simply not financially affordable unless there are immediate solutions to these problems - digital teaching or not. In the worst-case scenario, we see an increasing number of female dropouts in the coming months, especially among financially disadvantaged and foreign students. This would result in social segregation of the student body.

Counteracting this must be a priority for students, universities, and politicians. The demand of the Alliance for Emergency Aid for Students to grant all needy students an initial loan of 3000€ to cover living costs for the next 3 months is a start. It would also be conceivable, however, to open up the HartzIV benefits for German and foreign students without an examination of their financial circumstances and to extend the BAföG entitlement to compensate for the delays in studies that have not been foreseeable so far.

The current crisis, however, also requires solutions for society as a whole. The introduction of an unconditional basic income (BGE) would considerably simplify the administrative burden of specific emergency aid and many other social benefits by making small-scale application and approval procedures unnecessary. This would have many positive effects: For example, students would finally no longer be able to fall through the BAföG grid, would no longer be bound to the standard period of study and would not have to finish their studies with a mountain of debt. But it would also secure their livelihoods beyond students - in times of crisis and in times of no crisis. For these reasons, the LandesAstenKoferenz Berlin advocates an unconditional basic income while retaining the statutory health insurance.

The Berlin student representatives are of course available for discussions to find solutions in the current situation.

Berlin, 30.03.2020

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