The Studierendenwerk Vorderpfalz addresses its future issues to politicians.

Second term 2022 - 2023 for Andreas Schülke on the Association Council of the German Student Union in Berlin
  • As spokesperson for Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Hesse, he will continue to take over the Personnel and Legal Affairs Committee for a further two years from January 2022.
  • The Studierendenwerk Vorderpfalz addresses necessary measures to the new federal government.

"It is of course a very nice confirmation for me and my work to be able to take on a second term for the association just now, when there is so much political, social, ecological and economic awakening in the air with the new federal government."
At the federal level of the federation, he will be particularly committed to the following issues in the next two years:

The Studierendenwerk Vorderpfalz addresses its future issues to politicians.
Sustainable action must be worthwhile.
Needless to say, sustainability will and must become a strong topic. Here we are fully in line with the new federal government. Our activities in this direction have already been rewarded with the receipt of the Rhineland-Palatinate Environmental Award 2019. We advocate that sustainable action - especially at the educational beacon of universities - must also be rewarded for those who act sustainably. A very concrete proposal in this direction is: additional federal or state funds for sustainability for sustainable purchasing in the refectories beyond the current food subsidies for refectory meals. These additional funds will only be paid out if student unions can prove that they purchase sustainably. We are prepared to make our purchasing so transparent that our sustainability in purchasing is also verifiable.

Student housing must finally be strengthened.
The fact that in the long term, after the pandemic, perhaps 20% of all teaching will continue to be delivered digitally does not change the fact that students need affordable, modern halls of residence with excellent internet for the other 80% of their student life. We are lagging extremely behind in this respect, both in terms of the number of halls of residence and the provision of high-performance internet. The Studierendenwerk Vorderpfalz achieves a dormitory ratio of just 5.4 percent in three of its four locations. The national average is about 10 per cent. So only one in 19 students has a chance of finding a place in a hall of residence - far too few in attractive cities with a highly competitive housing market.
And - student housing must remain affordable. This can only be achieved either with subsidies, free leasehold land or realistic state loans that enable the construction of new halls of residence. Unfortunately, this is currently not the case in Rhineland-Palatinate, for example.

Digital formats are becoming increasingly important in education.
The pandemic has accelerated what was to be expected even without the pandemic: studying is becoming more digital. Germany has a lot of catching up to do in this area, even if it was possible to maintain university operations to some extent during Corona. However, this often worked out not because of the excellent infrastructure, but because of the creativity and commitment of the teachers, students and IT staff and the hope that the pandemic will end soon. If you want digital education, you have to invest in digital education. At the universities themselves, of course, but also in the students' dormitories and in the WLAN cloud on campus, the cafeteria and the refectory. The Studierendenwerk cannot handle this infrastructural expansion alone. The area of IT in particular needs to be expanded much more in the student unions. The biggest problem at the moment is that with the collective agreement of the Länder, it is almost impossible to recruit IT staff on the labour market. In the long term, this threatens to lead to the out-sourcing of IT services, which will certainly not be cheaper than adequately paid IT teams.

The university is a social place.
From our consulting work, we know first-hand: the consequences of three to four failed semesters are and will remain a major problem on a social level - especially for "Corona first-year students" - that will continue to have an impact. We note: Socialisation in one's own "student life" seems to be at least as important as good teaching at the university. Knowledge without socialisation loses much of its value, and the leaders of tomorrow must not draw their life experiences from their parents' WLAN cloud. Aftercare and financial help for aftercare in counselling and emergency financial funds will be necessary here. We are urgently asking for this support because it is about the leaders of tomorrow. We have been striving for a budget title "student counselling" in the state budget for some time, unfortunately without ministerial feedback so far.

Student financing must be modernised.
Bafög must urgently adapt to the changed circumstances of studying and - especially in Rhineland-Palatinate - finally be embedded in holistic student financing. With the awarding of bridging aid, we were able to see how important "study financing from a single source" is for students - regardless of whether it ends up being Bafög, bridging aid for students or money from the student unions' own emergency aid funds financed on the basis of solidarity. There is also an urgent need for an upward adjustment of the Bafög rates, because rent prices in particular, and recently also energy prices, are making much bigger holes in students' budgets than they are being filled by Bafög. We are also prepared to engage in a dialogue if the federal funds from the education subsidy should be allocated by the student unions in Rhineland-Palatinate in the future, analogous to all other federal states. From our point of view, only then will student financing and counselling from a single source be effectively possible and truly purposeful.

About the DSW Association Council
The student unions in the umbrella organisation DSW look after almost 2.9 million students from more than 300 public universities in about 200 university towns and provide social, economic, cultural and health support. The German Student Union (DSW) is the umbrella organisation of all 57 student unions in Germany and represents the interests of the student unions vis-à-vis politics, the economy and the universities.
News from 15/12/2021Back to overview