The federal education ministry in Germany has announced that it will offer financial support of up to 647 euros to Kenyan students studying in Germany. The ministry added that aside from struggling with the coronavirus the students are also struggling to deal with the financial problems that the outbreak has created. A survey conducted by the studying in germany.org reported that a whopping 90% of international students in Germany are financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
A lot of students in the Diasporas make ends meet working while they study and this is common practice, but the pandemic has made getting any form of work or even going to work impossible hence this weighs heavily on their livelihood. Three quarters of international students are financially dependent on their part time jobs. “And unfortunately, as a result of lockdown, numerous students have lost their jobs because of many industries temporarily closing their business activities,” added the statement by Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek.
The minister announced that they will be providing financial assistance to students who have been affected by loss of jobs and even those who are not eligible for BAföG, the regulation governing financial assistance for students of higher education or other forms of income like scholarships or an Erasmus grants. According to the Federal Education Ministry, these students will have the chance to apply for an initially interest-free loan from KfW, German state-owned development bank. The application form for the loan was opened on the June 1st and Kenyan students will be able to apply for an interest-free loan.
The Federal Education Ministry will also be providing the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW) with a total of Sh12 billion (€100 million) for emergency funds in local student services. The money is accessible to those who are suffering from acute hardships and have no other form of support. Dr Günther Bräunig, CEO of the KfW group, said that he is positive that the new measures will help all students who are financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “Students will be able to proceed with their studies even if their part-time work dries up or they receive less support from their parents, who are probably faced with similar difficulties,” he said.