The organs of the Studierendenwerk Stuttgart are the Representatives' Meeting (Vertretungsversammlung), the Governing Board (Verwaltungsrat) and the Managing Director, who, since first of September 20202, is Marco Abe. Elected students can influence our work and represent the interests of the student body through the Representatives' Meeting and the Governing Board. If you are interested in this honorary office, please contact us!
Our own revenues account for about 74 percent of our funding. Other important sources are semester fees (12 percent) and government grants (6 percent). The use of the funds is regularly monitored by the organs of the Studierendenwerk Stuttgart, the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, as well as, if need be, by the Court of Auditors.
Why do students have to pay a Studierendenwerk fee?
The contribution to the Studierendenwerk Stuttgart is a solidarity fee. All students pay this fee every semester and so contribute towards the basic funding of the student services. This also applies if you do not want or cannot use the services offered (e.g. during a semester abroad or a holiday semester). The contribution makes it possible for the rents in the dormitories, the prices in the canteens, and the care costs in the daycare centres to remain affordable for everyone and to provide free counselling services.
What does the Studierendenwerk fee consist of?
The Studierendenwerk fee is partly a contribution to the Studierendenwerk and partly a charge for the use of the public transport system (“VVS-Studi-Ticket”).
Why is there an increase of the Studierendenwerk fee?
We support 15 universities and more than 60,000 students in Stuttgart. We provide them with subsidised meals in the canteens, affordable accommodation and childcare close to the universities. We provide advice on the topic of financing studies and process their BAföG applications. We also offer free social, legal and psychotherapeutic advice.
As a Studierendenwerk, we act primarily in a demand-oriented manner. In doing so, we plan for the long term and continuously expand our range of services at all locations. For example, in the next few years we will create about 1000 new, urgently needed places to live, investing almost 90 million euros in affordable housing for students. We maintain or renovate facilities that are already in our portfolio. This applies to dormitories as well as to our canteens and cafeterias. The planned investments in the dormitory projects are to be financed primarily through loans and grants, but the Studierendenwerk must make advance payments, especially in the project development phase, in order to get the measures underway.
When and by whom was the contribution increase decided?
Since 2015, the Studierendenwerk fee has remained stable at 55 euros. As part of the strategic planning, the financing requirements for the next few years were reviewed in 2018. It became apparent that without an increase in contributions, the planned investments in the future will not be feasible.
Contrary to what might be assumed, we cannot increase the student union contribution arbitrarily. It always requires the approval of the administrative board. At the board meeting in December 2018, future investments and the increase in the student union fee were discussed. Especially the student members of this board questioned the decision. After intensive discussion, the increase of 19 euros was unanimously approved and also supported by the students. In order to mitigate the cost increase of 19 euros for students, the administrative board decided that the increase in contributions should take place in two stages: For the winter semester 2019/20 by 12 euros and for the winter semester 2020/21 by the remaining 7 euros.
Why is the increase coming despite the Corona pandemic?
The contribution increase was decided in December 2018 and is already being collected via the universities. When planning for 2018, nobody could have known, of course, that we would be surprised by a pandemic in 2020 and what impact it would have on everyone's everyday life. It was therefore not foreseeable that the second stage would come into effect at an unstable time.
Despite the pandemic and online semesters at the universities, we continue to be there for students in all areas: our day-care centres are open nine hours a day, student accommodation continues to be rented and administered, BAföG applications are still being processed and, in addition, applications for bridging assistance are being processed. Personal counselling takes place in a slightly different form or via other media - by telephone, video chat or e-mail instead of on site. Some of the canteens and cafeterias are currently open again, but here too we expect to be able to resume full operation - because the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic will not last.