Student jobs lost: Many students got into financial difficulties during the Corona crisis. A so-called emergency mechanism is intended to remedy future crises.

Students and pupils should have better financial security in future crises. On Wednesday, the federal cabinet introduced a law for a so-called emergency mechanism in student loans.

This authorizes the government, in crisis situations, to open the Bafög to students and schoolchildren who would not normally receive it.

The background is the experiences from the Corona crisis. “Students could no longer buy a liter of milk, it’s hard to imagine, but that’s how it was,” said Ulrike Tippe, Vice President of the University Rectors’ Conference, on Wednesday at a hearing on student loans in the Bundestag. Student jobs had disappeared and those affected got into financial difficulties. The federal government at the time had launched a so-called bridging aid. According to student representatives, however, this came much too late.

Emergency should allow temporary opening

It is now planned that in a “nationwide emergency situation that significantly affects the labor market for secondary employment alongside training”, the BAföG will be temporarily opened without any major detours through an ordinance. However, according to the draft law, such a nationwide emergency must have been determined by the Bundestag beforehand by resolution.

Parallel to the emergency mechanism, the government has already launched a student loan reform, which the Bundestag is currently discussing. The Bafög rates are to increase by five percent for the winter semester. In addition, the parents’ allowances are to be increased by 20 percent in order to expand the circle of those entitled to student loans.