In its meeting on 25.11.2022, the Administrative Board of the Studierendenwerk Siegen decided to increase the social contribution from € 90.50 to € 120.00 from the summer semester 2023 onwards. The social contribution is a component of the students’ semester contribution along with the costs for the semester ticket, the solidarity contribution and the AStA contribution. The social contribution goes to the Studierendenwerk and is used, among other things, to subsidise canteen meals. It has remained unchanged at €90.50 per semester since 2012. The Administrative Board of the Studierendenwerk is responsible for deciding on changes to the contribution regulations in accordance with § 6 (1) No. 2 of the “Studierendenwerksgesetz” of North Rhine-Westphalia (StWG). The increase in the social contribution was decided unanimously by the Administrative Board (with one abstention). It is necessary in order to maintain the quality of student services.
The personnel and material costs of the Studierendenwerk have increased significantly over the past 10 years. The Studierendenwerk has also been massively affected by increases in energy costs, especially in catering production, and by rising food prices. Inflation is expected to remain high in the coming year. In addition, a wage increase is imminent, which will also cause personnel expenses to rise again.
Unfortunately, the state subsidy that the Studierendenwerke in NRW receive annually does not cover these cost increases by a long shot. On the contrary, the recent decision by the federal state to put the calculation of the state subsidy for the Studierendenwerke in NRW on a new basis from 2023 results in an even significantly lower subsidy for the Studierendenwerk Siegen than before.
During the Corona period, the rescue package from the federal state of NRW and the possibility to take advantage of short-time work helped the Studierendenwerk a great deal financially. However, this support will come to an end on 31.12.2022 and the Studierendenwerk will have to act on its own.
It is certain that the Studierendenwerk’s decision to increase the social contribution was anything but easy. Especially at the current time, when life is becoming more expensive at all levels, this was not an easy step to take. At the moment, however, the contribution increase is the last adjustment screw that can be turned.
Despite the increase in the social contribution, the Studierendenwerk must expect a negative annual result for 2023. This is bearable because a small reserve cushion was built up in the past, which can now be melted down. Of course, this is not a permanent solution. In 2023, the Studierendenwerk will therefore have to start consolidating.
In doing so, it is very important for the Studierendenwerk to keep the needs of the students in mind. How should the social infrastructure be designed? What is currently particularly important to students? The Studierendenwerk is always happy to receive feedback, ideas, thoughts and experiences so that it can continue to support the students in Siegen with the most suitable catering and accommodation offers, financial aid and daycare places possible!