Education and research politics have been a concern of mine for many years. I was involved in university politics during my studies, worked for the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and at various institutes of the RWTH after my studies, and am a member of the Committee for Education, Research and Technology Assessment in the Bundestag.
And even though my focus there is on research and transfer, advocacy for the situation of students is still important to me – especially during the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war against Ukraine.
That is why, together with my fellow parliamentarians in the SPD, I have campaigned extensively for the one-off payment of 200 euros for students and trainees. We were also able to ensure that the energy price allowance of up to 300 euros was also paid to mini- and midi-jobbers, which also benefited numerous students.
We have taken the first steps in reforming the BAföG. As of the winter semester 2022/2023, we have increased the maximum funding rate from 861 to 934 euros. We have also raised the age limit, the allowances and the flat-rate housing allowance. We have also raised the age limit, the allowances and the flat-rate housing allowance. And we want to continue by making BAföG more independent of parents as a further step.
These reforms led to support a group that was particularly hard hit by rising prices, especially during a difficult period.
But politics for students are also important to me beyond that. Because as young people, they belong to a group in our society that often does not have a strong enough lobby and is not listened to enough. The years of the Corona pandemic were a cautionary tale of this.
I would like to do that differently. That’s why I’ve been offering an anger session for students since 2022. Of course, I can’t always solve all problems immediately in these conversations. But I want to listen, even if it’s criticism of our policies.