RWTH: AStA of RWTH receives award from the Foreign Office

Student representatives are recognized for excellent support for international students.

The General Student Committee (AStA) of RWTH Aachen University was awarded for its special performance during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as for its continuous services to the care of international studentsnow awarded the Foreign Office Prize for excellent support for international students. The selection committee of the German Academic Foreign Service particularly praised how quickly the initiatives were developed out of the emergency situation that suddenly arose. The voluntary student engagement “with impressive and targeted activities” was highlighted. “The members of the AStA at RWTH Aachen then rolled up their sleeves in an exemplary manner and helped quickly and unbureaucratically,” congratulated DAAD President Professor Joybrato Mukherjee. In particular, two aid projects were set up within a very short period of time: the “Free table” and #RWTHhilft campaigns.

The “Free Table” project made it possible for students who are in a particularly difficult financial situation to get one free meal a day. It was created in spring 2020. While the Studierendenwerk, as a cooperation partner of the project, bears the costs, the AStA takes care of the application, the processing of the documents and the communication with the students during the entire process. Since April 2020, RWTH students can apply for the # RWTHhilft scholarship in addition to the regular social loan. The scholarship was initiated jointly with RWTHextern and the ProRWTH association. It is a grant of 600 euros that is paid out once to help out in financial need. International students in particular are often dependent on a sideline, particularly in the catering trade, at trade fairs or in retail. Exactly these jobs suddenly disappeared with the pandemic. Over three quarters of the loans and scholarships have so far been paid out to international students.

More offers

Further offers of the AStA included special housing advice, laptop rental and offers to facilitate the start of studies. The prize is endowed with 30,000 euros and the prize money is used for the #RWTHhilft and emergency accommodation projects. On behalf of the former AStA officials Ana Zhivkova, Marc Gschlössl and Johann Vohn accepted the award.

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