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New measures to mitigate the impact of the corona crisis for students and higher education institutions in Germany
Winter semester 2020/2021 at German universities starts later, summer semester 2020 as planned
At the beginning of April, the Standing Conference of the Ministers of the Länder in Germany has decided to postpone the start of the winter semester 2020/2021 to the 1 November 2020 (for all Länder). Deadlines for application and admission procedures will be adapted. The summer semester shall take place, but universities have been granted flexibility regarding the start of lectures and courses – the same flexibility applies to the start of lectures and courses of the winter semester. Many institutions have temporarily suspended their teaching activity and will offer their courses online during the summer semester.
Federal chancellor Merkel and the heads of government of the German Länder have decided on 15 April that exams can be held at universities and that university laboratories, libraries and archives can open – under condition of fulfilling the official “Corona” requirements and regulations.
Support for BAföG recipients and scientists
After last month’s commitment that BAföG (federal training assistance) will continue to be paid during the corona crisis, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has announced additional supporting measures for BAföG recipients and scientists. Students, who become actively involved in sectors relevant to ease the impact of the corona crisis, can keep what they earn, without the income being set off against their BAföG grant. Young scientists (docs and post-docs) at universities and research institutions will receive more time to finish their research projects.
Call for “Green Talents” – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development
Until 19 May, young scientists from all over the world can apply for the “Green Talents” Award 2020 of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the field of sustainable development.
News from DAAD:
DAAD calls for support to international students during the corona crisis
The German Rectors‘ Conference (HRK) has proposed compensations for students during the corona crisis, for example by not crediting the semester towards the standard course duration or by postponing examination dates. In the interest of students, the HRK, however, considers the 2020 summer semester to count as a regular part of the course of study or qualification.
The DAAD endorses these proposals and calls, in addition, for special support to the 300,000 international students in Germany. Many international students face financial difficulties as part-time jobs have been cancelled in light of the crisis. DAAD recommends that universities receive funds to assist students in need in order to allow them to successfully pursue their studies in Germany. This is currently being discussed with the relevant DAAD sponsors.
DAAD continues to inform its scholarships holders, international and German students via a dedicated Corona website, which is regularly updated.
HOPES-LEB: Support for local and refugee students in Lebanon via EU project
The DAAD has launched a follow up initiative to the successful HOPES programme (Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians). The new HOPES-LEB initiative - sponsored by the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the EU Madad Fund with 8.4 million Euro - aims at enabling vulnerable members of the host community and Syrian refugees in Lebanon to pursue higher education and acquire additional skills.
HOPES-LEB follows a comprehensive approach which covers the entire educational pathway for higher education, from preparation for university studies to the access to the labour market. One of the main activities is the provision of scholarships for vulnerable young Lebanese and refugees from Syria. The intended 1,000 scholarships comprise a broad spectrum of offers ranging from preparation courses for high school students to regular university studies and further qualification courses for graduates. The project also offers support for the implementation of small projects by local institutions, aiming among others at improving the students’ chances on the labour market after graduation.
Like in the previous HOPES project, the DAAD cooperates in HOPES-LEB with European partner institutions, namely Campus France and Nuffic from the Netherlands.
DAAD supports digitalisation for internationalisation
With the programme “International Mobility and Cooperation Digital” (IMKD) the DAAD, with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is supporting further six major projects of German higher education institutions with around 13,5 million EUR until 2023. The projects aim to improve the international profile of universities by supporting teaching and student mobility digitally.
The goal of the IMKD programme is to set new standards in linking internationalisation and digitalisation at German higher education institutions. The so-called “Student Journey”, the cycle that students go through during their studies, is at the heart of the programme. The projects accompany and expand this cycle with the use of digital elements, for example with online study offers, the expansion of digital service infrastructure for student exchange and transnational teaching or the optimisation of digital student administration.