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Coronavirus: New measures to help students in Germany

Coronavirus pandemic has seriously affected many students and academics with limited-term employment contracts in Germany.

The Cabinet has therefore approved some measures to help them during this period of crisis.

Students who are recipients of student loans will be entitled to work during the coronavirus pandemic to supplement their income. This will not be deducted from the assistance available to them under the BAföG student loan scheme.

BAföG stands for more equal opportunities in the German higher education system. This need-based state student finance has been in existence since 1971. More than four million people have been able to study since 1971 thanks to BAföG. Today, almost one-fifth of students benefit from the Federal Education and Training Assistance Act.

The Cabinet has also decided to extend the maximum length of a limited-term contract for academics in the qualification phase leading up to a doctoral degree and in the immediate period thereafter. Their contracts will be extended by the length of time for which the pandemic results in restrictions being imposed on the operating of universities and academic facilities.

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“The German government intends to cushion the adverse impacts on the pandemic on academics swiftly and unbureaucratically, as well as creating additional incentives for recipients of BAföG student loans,” said Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek.

The new measures have already entered into force.

Meanwhile the government has agreed to modify the existing Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) loan programme. The aim of the new “KfW rapid loan 2020” is to support small and medium businesses in particular with swift liquidity assistance. Up to a ceiling of 800,000 euros. KfW loans totalling up to three months turnover will be awarded, with 100 per cent exemption from liability.

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