The Corona pandemic also presented us students with a major challenge. Existing problems became much more visible and many short-term solutions showed that these problems were neither perceived nor understood by the broad political community. With the project “Corona Stories” we want to formulate demands with the help of real fates to improve the situation of students and the younger generation.
There are too few therapy places in Germany. Waiting times are several months and it is difficult for those affected to get help. We call for an increase in the number of health insurance places in Germany in order to ensure good care throughout the country. Mental health is a fundamental right and a service provided by the statutory health insurance funds. The pandemic, at the latest, has shown that this right is not being sufficiently fulfilled.
Psychological counseling at universities
Psychological counseling and student advising at universities is not financially provided for in the basic funding of universities by the Länder. The universities and student unions finance this counseling, if it exists at all, from other funds, such as the semester fees of the students. We call for funding or support of such counseling structures at every university by the Länder.
In 2020, only 11% of students were still supported by BAföG (in 1971 it was still 45%), often even for those who receive support BAföG is not enough to live on. Further problems with the BAföG can also be read here: https://bafoeg50.de/reform/. The government’s planned changes do not go far enough in addressing the glaring deficits.
Students in the mainstream have neither financial reserves nor crisis-proof jobs. Support options, such as the Corona emergency aid for students, have been paid out too late, irregularly and too little, which is why many students have fallen into financial hardship. Studying should not be a luxury or a financial choice. We call for the development of financial safety nets for students, even outside the Corona period.
Voice of students and younger generations
The pandemic in particular has shown that students, as well as pupils and trainees, are often neither heard nor understood by politicians. Unlike other generations, associations and interest groups, there is no lobby group with enough influence to bring the needs of these generations to the right, decisive places. We call on politicians to pay more attention to these groups.