The semester fee increases to 125 euros per semester

The economic situation at Studierendenwerk remains very tense. This is mainly due to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact of the war in Ukraine. It is already certain that the year 2024 will also be economically challenging.

For this reason, your student union fee will rise from 105 to 125 euros per semester from winter semester 2024/2025 in order to more or less offset further deficits.

Increase in the semester fee
The Studierendenwerk Administrative Board - consisting of students, professors and public figures - approved the increase of 20 euros per semester at its meeting on 12.03.2024. The Ministry of Science and Health Rhineland-Palatinate - as the supervisory authority of the Studierendenwerk - has already approved this long overdue increase.

This means that all students will have to pay 125 euros per semester to the Studierendenwerk when they register / re-register for the winter semester 2024/2025.

The Studierendenwerk contribution is used to co-finance non-commercial services for students such as the management of canteens, the operation of daycare centers for students' children, student social counseling, counseling for students with children, counseling in psychological matters and the promotion of cultural, social and ecological events for students and for financial aid for students in need.

Essentially, the following factors have led to an increase in the semester fee:

Falling student numbers and lost revenue
Since the 2019/2020 winter semester, the number of students at our universities has fallen sharply. If fewer students pay the solidarity-based student union fee, it becomes more expensive for the individual. Falling student numbers also mean falling sales in the canteens and cafeterias. The Studierendenwerk is particularly affected by the large proportion of online teaching and home office arrangements for university employees. Those studying online or working from home are not taking advantage of our catering services. Average sales at all our locations have fallen by around 40% in the cafeterias and by 30% in the canteens compared to 2019/2020.
Unfortunately, we cannot predict the level at which student numbers will settle and the level at which online teaching will settle.

Lack of subsidies
Despite intensive efforts by the management of all Rhineland-Palatinate student unions, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Health has not succeeded in adjusting the subsidy to reduce the price of student meals at least in line with the inflation trend of recent years. Just to compensate for the loss of purchasing power over the last decade, the state subsidy would have to increase by a total of more than 1.5 million euros for Rhineland-Palatinate.

Exhausted reserves
The Studierendenwerk has been using up its financial reserves since 2020 to compensate for a lack of income and increased costs. However, we have no further reserves that we could use in the future.

Increased costs
In recent years, the cost of energy - as a result of the war in Ukraine - and the cost of food have risen sharply. Energy costs have risen by around 30% and food purchases for the canteen by 71%. In addition, the average collectively agreed wages for our staff have risen by 28% in the last ten years. Even the already completed, socially responsible job cuts at the Studierendenwerk cannot close this financial gap. A further reduction in staff would mean the closure of individual services at our locations (canteens, cafeterias, etc.), which we want to avoid at all costs.

Cheaper purchasing
Studierendenwerk has been committed to sustainable nutrition for years (Environmental Award 2019). However, purchasing sustainable food is generally more expensive than purchasing conventionally produced goods and products. Only by abandoning this purchasing and production philosophy and "wild cross buying" could costs be reduced. We want to avoid this at all costs, as we firmly believe that we need more sustainability, not less.

Commitment to lunch break-friendly lecture times
For some time now, the Studierendenwerk has been lobbying universities for better break times during the lecture period. We have received reports from many students that going to the canteen cannot be reconciled with their own lecture schedule and that we are losing a significant number of potential guests as a result. The aim must be to make it possible for all students to go to the canteen.

As we have seen, there are many factors that are forcing us to increase your semester contribution.

Financial support for students
The increase in prices in many areas of life has caused financial hardship for some students. The Studierendenwerk will not leave you on your own if these additional costs exceed your monthly budget. If you run into financial problems, we can help you with grants and loans before your studies are jeopardized. Simply contact our Counseling department. You can find out what it can do for you at [LK_N ][/LK_N].

The Studierendenwerk is very much hoping for a turning point in the declining student numbers, more face-to-face teaching at universities, increasing state subsidies for canteen food and a calming of the sharp price increases of recent years.

If you want to support us, then come to the canteen more often or enjoy a fair coffee in one of our cafeterias on a regular basis.

We look forward to seeing you!
Your Studierendenwerk team
News from 28/05/2024Back to overview