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Photo: Paderborn University

One year of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund

Some 200 students at Paderborn University have benefited from financial support

In May 2020, Paderborn University set up a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund, to help students facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. With the support of the Paderborn University Society and German General Students’ Committee (AStA), a total of 199 applications were approved over the course of one year, with more than € 88,000 in emergency financial assistance awarded in the form of grants. As demand from students has, however, declined significantly, the scheme’s organisers and supporters have now decided to close the fund.

A successful scheme

Professor Birgitt Riegraf, President of Paderborn University, is pleased with the success of the funding scheme: “With the money from the Emergency Support Fund, we were able to help students through this difficult time quickly and without any of the usual red tape. It was important to us to show our students a visible sign of solidarity during the pandemic.”

The success of the funding scheme is down to the over 180 individual donors, including university employees, private individuals and companies from the region, as well as local associations and organisations, who joined forces to facilitate the award of grants of up to €450 to some 200 students. To benefit from a grant, students had to provide proof that they were experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. A large number of applications were also received from foreign students who were continuing their studies in Paderborn despite the challenging circumstances.

Rapid turnaround from idea to implementation

“The idea for the COVID-19 fund came about in mid-April 2020, and students were able to start submitting applications for the grant as early as the beginning of May. I’d like to thank everyone involved for the rapid implementation of the scheme,” says Sharlene Frammelsberger, Chair of the AStA Paderborn, praising the AStA’s co-operation with the Executive Board, Central University Administration, Alumni Paderborn e. V. and the Paderborn University Society.

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