Once is not enough!
Why don't you care about us?
Regarding the one-time energy price flat rate; university students, technical school and college students are united in questioning the federal and state governments: "Why don't you care about us?"
Chairwoman of the German Pirate Party
Repeatedly experiences many problems of the BAföG herself
Board member of the national union of students fzs
Receives no state support due to the broken BAföG system
What is it about?
In September, the federal German government proudly announced that all students from university and the technical schools and colleges shall be helped quickly and unbureaucratically going through the various crises. A one-time payment of 200 euros was supposed to cushion the increased cost of living, energy prices and additional costs.
However, a one-time payment of 200 euros no longer compensates for the increased costs and is simply not an adequate relief. The application procedure is not unbureaucratic either! We have been waiting since September last year and have to admit: It is not quick help either. This is now crystal clear to everyone.
Actually, we think that the whole campaign of the Ministry of Education makes itself look ridiculous. We've been tinkering with this page anyway, because we're really pissed off. So instead of finishing our exam papers at the moment, we've been collecting what we think of the supposed relief:
There are many things worth criticizing...
1. Too little
Semester fees alone are higher than this merely low 200 euros. For years now, many students are at risk of poverty and don't know how to finance their livelihood. No savings, no compensation for inflation. 200 euros and a few grossly underfunded hardship funds? That's not enough!
2. Too late
The Federal Government's third "relief package" was already decided in September 2022 and should be paid out as winter aid. When will Santa Claus come to the BMBF? That is far too late! We are expecting money for 5 months - and are also waiting for further assistance!
3. Too complicated
The application is supposed to happen only online, with access code of the university and identification via BundID (OnlineID or ELSTER certificate). Do we have to pass basic modules in administrative science to understand this? The whole procedure is probably intended to prevent as many as possible from receiving their 200 euros.
4. Too insecure
Compulsory online application with BundID verification, controversial legal basis for data processing, questionable fail-safety and additionally only in German language? Sounds like the latest digital prestige project of the federal government.
What could go wrong, right?
Dear people in charge, you can do better.
Most students are already considered at risk of poverty - others say poor. Many have already had to postpone or even abandon their studies in order to be able to finance their living expenses. A one-time payment of 200 euros is a sad joke. So how about things that really help students?
Structurally eliminate the state of emergency of students!
The financial and psychosocial burdens on students are currently reaching record levels. The one-time payment is just a drop in the bucket. It needs nationwide at least:
- Preventing price increases in dormitories, dining halls and social services
- Expansion, renovation and subsidization of student dormitories
- Creation and preservation of cost-effective, socially just mobility
BAföG must be sufficient for living!
The basic need of BAföG is 452 euros, which is 50 euros less than the basic need estimated for the subsistence minimum of the Bürgergeld. Students only need pasta with ketchup, right? We demand:
- BAföG basic need: Adjustment to inflation development, at least to subsistence level
- BAföG independent of parents: Honestly, whose parents are able to finance their children at the moment?
- Structural reform of BAföG: Orientation towards the reality of students' lives, reform of the flat-rate housing allowance and a return to full subsidies
- BAföG expansion: Access for all foreign students from so-called third countries and EU citizens (regardless of employment)
Uncomplicated emergency aid!
The emergency aid provided up to now was far too complicated and was allocated unrealistically. The student unions already have well thought-out hardship funds and individual counselling, but they are chronically underfunded and unknown. Loans often discourage those in need by the fear of falling into the debt trap. That's why we need:
- Grants instead of loans and other uncomplicated and unbureaucratic offers of assistance
- Significantly increases of hardship funds, abandonment of severely narrowed definitions of "hardship"
- More funding for social and psychosocial counselling
- Massive increase in STIBET-I funds for the DAAD to support foreign students and decoupling from performance criteria
Useful information campaigns!
Instead of investing a lot of money in making sure that students understand super complicated BundID systems, they could also be informed about how to get out of their predicament.
- Supra-regional advertising of the counselling systems, comprehensible overviews of the various financing options for studying
- Regional, comprehensive information by the university administrations about all support offers
- No student is left alone" should be the message and not: "By the way, this is how our complicated tool works. (We secretly hope you don't get the application done)."