According to the Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW), support for students who have fled Ukraine needs to be increased. If necessary, you will have to obtain Bafög in an unbureaucratic way, said Matthias Anbuhl, DSW general secretary of the German press agency.
“The German education and science system must prepare very quickly for the integration of many war refugees from Ukraine,” Anbuhl said. Overall, a generous program of support for daycares, schools, universities and vocational training is needed.
In addition to incoming refugee students, around 6,200 Ukrainian students were already in Germany before Russian troops invaded Ukraine. These too were in dire straits as a result of the war.
Very few Ukrainian students can fully finance themselves through a scholarship. Besides educational prospects, most of them also need financial support, a roof over their heads, food, counseling and psychological support.
In many places, universities, students and student unions are already using emergency funds, renting hours, offering free canteen food or setting up special counseling hours for Ukrainian students. “It’s good and it helps. But now we need a rapid expansion of aid,” Anbuhl said.
Solidarity also with Russian students
The student union had already pointed out last week that it should also be possible to support needy Russian students in Germany. DSW President Dr. Rolf-Dieter Postlep said, “These students should not be punished for the crimes of their government.” Solidarity and humanity are the fundamental values of the Studenten- und Studierendenwerke; they support according to need, not according to nationality and show solidarity with all the students who are suffering from this war.
The presidents of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Professor Peter-André Alt and Professor Joybrato Mukherjee, on Thursday called on members of German universities to stand together for the opening of spirit and tolerance. Solidarity applies to Ukrainian students and researchers and to all refugees in the country.
On the other hand, it is also important to distinguish between the Russian state and its war of aggression and Russian students and researchers, who often speak out against the war at the risk of their lives. “Universities are places where xenophobia, nationalism and exclusion have no place, even in times of international conflict,” organizers said.
Meeting of Ministers of Education of the Federated States
The ministers of education of the Länder meet in Lübeck this Thursday and Friday for the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK). The meeting will also discuss the consequences of the war in Ukraine, including how refugee children can be quickly integrated into school lessons in Germany.
KMK President Karin Prien stressed that the aim was to offer protection to children, young people, students and scientists in Germany. “First of all, of course, it is about the protection of life and physical integrity”, explained Prien (CDU), but also about integration into the German education and university system. Regarding the leaked scientists, Prien announced that the federal and state governments, but also the alliance of major scientific organizations, will jointly set up a point of contact to give those seeking information and help access to all programs and aids.
Ukrainian Consul General Iryna Tybinka thanked the KMK for the promised help and called for a further tightening of sanctions against Russia as well as the closure of airspace over Ukraine and the delivery of more defensive weapons. Tybinka stressed the importance of continuity in the education and training of Ukrainians in Germany.
last update on 03/11/2022 at 9:50 a.m., first publication on 03/10/2022 at 14:00 p.m.