RWTH Students’ Committee Receives Award From DAAD

Three students in front of SuperC © Andreas Schmitter

RWTH Students' Committee recently received an award for their excellent support of international students.


AStA – Students' Committee of RWTH was recently presented with the award by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD for short, in recognition of their excellent support of international students, particularly their special offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as continuous services supporting international students. The DAAD particularly appreciated how quickly AStA developed different initiatives out of the sudden emergency situation. AStA received particular praise for student volunteering "with impressive and purposeful activities". "The members of RWTH’s AStA set a great example, rolling up their sleeves and quickly and straightforwardly offering their assistance," says DAAD President Professor Joybrato Mukherjee. In particular, they set up two aid projects in no time – the "Freitisch" and #RWTHhilft campaigns.

The "Freitisch" project, created in the spring of 2020, saw students in particularly difficult financial situations receive a free meal each day. While Studierendenwerk bears the costs as the project cooperation partner, AStA deals with the applications, processing the documents, and communicating with the students during the whole process. Since April 2020, RWTH students can apply for the #RWTHhilft aid in addition to the regular social loan. The campaign was jointly initiated with RWTHextern and ProRWTH. It entails a one-off grant of 600 euros to help in financial need. International students, in particular, are often dependent on side jobs, especially in catering, at trade fairs, or in retail. These are precisely the jobs that suddenly disappeared with the pandemic. So far, over three-quarters of the loans and scholarships have been disbursed to international students.

Other Offers

AStA also provided other services, including special housing advice, laptop rental, and offers to make it easier for students to start their studies. The award comes with 30,000 euros in prize money, which will be used for the #RWTHhilft and emergency housing projects. Former AStA officers Ana Zhivkova, Marc Gschlössl, and Johann Vohn accepted the award on behalf of the students.


AStA of RWTH – here with the former AStA representatives (from left) Ana Zhivkova, Johann Vohn, and Marc Gschlössl – has been awarded for their services in the pandemic.