Students must finally be helped! That is certain, but the Federal Government does not seem to care. Therefore, the national alliance of different student bodies and BAS i.e. Bundesverband ausländischer Studierender (BAS) or Federal Union of International Students; calls for a demonstration in Berlin on June 20, 2020 at 2 pm. Starting point is the main station (Washingtonplatz). The motto: “One billion for One Million”
One million students are in direct financial problems and even after three months, the beginning of the COVID 19 crisis, no real help is seen. Only 12% of all students receive BAföG. After 40% of students have lost their jobs since March, hundreds of thousands are left with the choice between dropping out of university and over-indebtedness. This has nothing to do with educational justice. Something must happen, otherwise the Corona crisis will turn into an educational disaster!
Federal Minister of Education Karliczek probably sees things differently. Their “bridging aid” consists of loans with high interest rates and a mini emergency fund.
WE REJECT LOANS FOR THE FINANCING OF STUDIES! Only a needs-based subsidy without repayment can really help.
Nevertheless, here is our criticism of the credit advertised by Karliczek in short form:
TOO LITTLE: Those who choose the credit can only receive up to 650€ per month. You can hardly live on it anywhere! TOO RESTRICTED: A large number of students are excluded from the loan from the outset! TOO HIGH INTEREST: The loan announced as interest-free will bring high interest rates starting next year, which can be up to 3.500€! TOO ‘STARR’: The repayment of the loan often has to start during the studies – dropouts will be the result! TOO WRONG: If you don’t have rich parents who can step in when in doubt, you can’t take out such a loan – that’s not educational justice!
Our criticism of the mini emergency fund:
TO SMALL: At 100 million euros, the emergency fund is far too small to help one million students – that’s only 100 euros per person!
LOW: Students can only receive up to 500€ per month – you can’t live on that!
LATE: The crisis started in March, soon it will be July – students without any reserves and rich parents already had to drop out of their studies!
TO RESTRICTIVE: Only those who have less than 500€ on their account will get money – for many this is already the rent alone!
BRIEF: The fund only covers the months of June, July and August – the crisis began earlier and will not be over by then!
OFFICIAL: Every month a new application for assistance must be submitted and the corona-induced appliction must be proven!
For months hundreds of student representatives have been criticising the federal government’s actions. It’s time we were heard! We must not allow the Corona crisis to ruin the life plans of hundreds of thousands of students, and higher education to be accessible only to those who can afford it.
AT LEAST ONE BILLION FOR ONE MILLION: The increase of the emergency aid fund to one billion euros and the relaxation of the application guidelines are urgently needed! Yet one billion is still a very modest estimate of the actual demand!
OPEN BAFÖG: Opening BAföG to all students, streamlining the application process and making it repayment free at least for the time of the crisis would be a quick help and easy to implement!
ALGII OPEN: It would be just as easy to grant students access to ALGII, because students can not only live on air and love, but also deserve a basic financial security – just like everyone else! So we’ll see you on the street on 20.06. – for educational justice and financial help that deserves its name!