Jana Judisch, spokeswoman of the Studierendenwerk Berlin, a public institution to provide the necessary services for studying at the Berlin universities, accepted a donation cheque in the amount of 5,800 Euros for the "Technikfonds" (technology fund). This fund enables needy students to participate in the corona-related new online semester offers of Berlin's universities and colleges.
The cheque was presented by Anke Boerdgen, head of product management and marketing at KNAUER. The Berlin based company manufactures high-tech laboratory instruments that are used for a variety of analyses and for the purification of active ingredients, for example.
"I would like to thank the Knauer company on behalf of the Berlin students for the donation and would be very pleased if other companies and alumni would follow this example", appeals the spokeswoman of the Studierendenwerk.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the technology fund "online campus participation" or to support it can find information at www.stw.berlin/technikfonds.
"When our managing director Alexandra Knauer heard about this fund of the Studierendenwerk and its financing needs, she was quickly determined to support it. After all, she herself and many of our employees studied at a Berlin university. Corporate social responsibility is a high priority at KNAUER," says Anke Boerdgen.
As a systemically important manufacturer and thanks to many precautionary measures, KNAUER was able to maintain operations and production during the Corona crisis. It is therefore possible for the company to help those affected by the crisis. In recent weeks, KNAUER has also provided numerous schools, kindergartens, and other institutions with its own hand disinfectant free of charge, produced according to a WHO recipe, Anke Boerdgen continued.
What is the background of the technology fund mentioned? As a result of the corona pandemic, all Berlin universities have switched their courses to online operation. It is not unlikely that the winter semester will also mainly take place online. There are many students who are financially not well-off and therefore technically not yet sufficiently equipped to successfully complete online studies.
According to a survey by the Studierendenwerk, 2 percent do not own a personal computer, 24 percent stated that their computer is too old to be used for video events and another 14 percent stated that they lack additional equipment such as a webcam or headset, reports Jana Judisch.
Students who finance themselves solely through jobs are particularly affected, as many of these temporary jobs have disappeared in the crisis. New purchases of PC hardware or additional running costs for fast Internet access are almost impossible to cope with.
Studierendenwerk and the State of Berlin have created the technology fund "Online Campus Participation" to provide targeted support for these students. Donors are, for example, the state with 100 thousand euros and the “Sparkassen”, a universal public bank group, with 25 thousand euros.
Payments by the Studierendenwerk can amount to 200 euros for the purchase of accessories or Internet access or 500 euros for the purchase of a suitable computer. The conditions for approval are very strict, so that really only those in need are considered.
Of the approximately 700 applications approved, only 285 have so far been paid because the funds have already been exhausted.
The Studierendenwerk Berlin supports students from a total of 20 universities. As an institution under public law, it has the legal mandate to provide the necessary services for all aspects of study. This includes the canteens as well as the dormitories or advisory services concerning studies and their financing. The Studierendenwerk Berlin is financed by the so-called social contribution that students pay with their semester fee and a subsidy from the state of Berlin. It must cover its costs, but may not make any profits.