Foreign Students Disappointed by Lübeck Declaration of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK)

Federal Association of International Students critical of the result

The Federal Association of International Students (BAS) is disappointed with the Lübeck Declaration issued by the academic side of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK). “The KMK still has a lot of catching up to do and needs to get things moving as quickly as possible,” says Fabian de Planque, a member of the BAS board, about the resolutions. Apart from a central contact point and information platform, which is to be located at the DAAD, nothing was decided in the higher education sector. BAS criticises that the student bodies and student associations were not included in the decisions.

“There is a need for action and regulation in many areas,” said Fabian de Planque from the BAS board. Students who have fled Ukraine need language courses, preparatory courses and places to study, to which there must be unbureaucratic and rapid access. New study places may have to be created in subjects such as medicine. But psychosocial counselling centres and student advisory services must also be expanded. The capacities in the halls of residence are far from sufficient – and this is not all.” It was a mistake, he said, to scale back and partially discontinue the services that were set up when the refugees from Syria arrived.

Due to misguided policies of the last decades, there is a lack of basic offers and structures. Universities, for example, are already unable to offer German courses, or can only do so with great effort, due to a lack of DaF lecturers. From the experience of the past years, nothing has been improved in the area of student financing and the mutual exclusions and conditions between BAföG and social benefits. Students from Ukraine will probably receive a residence title according to § 24 AufenthG. This means that they do not receive BAföG, but as students they also do not receive social benefits. Immediate follow-up taxation is not only necessary here in order to make studying possible.