DAAD: Summer semester should not count as standard period of study

March 24th, 2020 | by

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) supports the initiative of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) for the summer semester 2020 that this should not be credited towards BAföG or counted as a standard period of study, as the corona epidemic will foreseeably make normal classroom teaching impossible. At the same time, the DAAD suggests that the approximately 300,000 foreign students in Germany should receive more support in the current situation. “We emphatically welcome the HRK’s considerations,” said DAAD President Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee in a statement issued by the service. “In these difficult times, we must all work together to ensure that German and international students do not suffer any disadvantages as a result of the postponement and cancellation of courses and examinations in connection with Corona”. The DAAD would like to call the summer semester an ‘optional semester’, which, in contrast to the obligatory regular semester, offers a wide range of opportunities to try out digital teaching and examination formats and to expand existing models.

In addition, the DAAD President suggested that international students and their social situation in the corona crisis should be given more attention. “We can see that financial emergencies are arising which could lead to a large number of international students no longer being able to afford their studies and livelihood in Germany,” said DAAD Secretary-General Dr. Dorothea Rüland. This must be prevented, she said. The DAAD therefore proposed that the universities be provided with appropriate funds, which would allow them to provide bridge money to students who are particularly affected, in accordance with clear guidelines.

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