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Germany: BAföG hits a record

The German Federal Minister of Education and Science (BMBF), Annette Schavan, recently presented the government’s 19th BAföG report. This document summarises progress made, over a period of two years (2008-2010), on implementation of the Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (the federal education and training assistance law, which is often abbreviated as BAföG).

The report documents success on all fronts. Notably, total funding allocated for the implementation of BAföG increased from EUR 2.3 billion to EUR 2.9 billion. (BAföG is funded through both federal and regional contributions: 65% of costs are born by the Bund and another 35%, by Länder). In addition, average student loans demonstrated a solid 10% growth (from EUR 398 in 2008 to EUR 436 in 2010), in line with an 11% increase in average loans provided to students enrolled in secondary education . Overall, 386 000 students within German higher education were supported with BAföG loans in 2010, compared to 333 000 in 2008, which represents nearly one fourth of the total student body in Germany. As far as international student mobility is concerned, a total of 43 200 German students (at the level of both schools and higher education institutions) were supported with BAföG loans during their study abroad in 2010, which is 54% more than in 2008. Also, the number of foreign students provided with BAföG loans during their study in Germany increased by 28% from 2008 to 2010, reaching 60 000.

Minister Schavan seems keen to build on the growth demonstrated in 2008-2010 and has speculated on the possibility of further expanding BAföG support, specifically through an invitation to the Länder to contribute more. So far, there is little progress to report with regard to the discussions between the Bund and Länder in this respect.

Ministry of Education and Science Studis Online