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Refugees who are studying or following vocational training courses in Germany shall receive quicker funding through the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG). Until now, they had to wait four years in order to apply for financial support. From 1 January 2016 onwards, they can already apply after 15 months.
The programme, which will be fully managed federally to ensure an equal and more efficient distribution of funds, has seen its budget increase to more than EUR 2 billion per year.
Minister for Education Johanna Wank cites the dramatic increase in asylum seekers as the reason for the change, arguing that the best way to integrate them into German society is through quality education. The German Federal Government has made these efforts in the previous years through budget increases for education and policies with a clear focus on integration measures through education, such as the 2007 National Integration Plan, Qualification Initiative (2008), or the “Recognition Act” in 2012.