Press release 2020/139 from

A fundraising campaign for international students in need, otherwise known as SIS, has been instituted by the rectors of the four publicly funded higher education institutions in Leipzig and the association “Hilfe für ausländische Studierende in Leipzig e.V” (Aid for international students in Leipzig e.V.). About 5000 international students are currently enrolled at the higher education institutions in Leipzig, of which more than 3500 are at Leipzig University.

University students have been hard hit by the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. “But for international students, in particular, the costs of rent, health insurance, semester fees, public service broadcasting fees and teaching materials are now becoming an insurmountable obstacle to continuing their studies. Unlike many German students, they are not entitled to BAföG or social benefits from the state. We know of students who have found themselves in dire emergency situations,” said Professor Beate A. Schücking, Rector of Leipzig University, who instituted the fundraising campaign. A number of refugee students are now also in a precarious situation. They have no access to student loans and in some cases no entitlement to other state funding, and there is no hope of receiving financial support from their families.

Sebastian Gemkow, Saxon State Minister for Science, Culture and Tourism and alumnus of Leipzig University is the patron of the fundraising campaign: “International students and academics have traditionally not only been a boon to research and teaching; for centuries, they have also contributed to the outward-looking, vibrant and diverse city of Leipzig, helping shape the cultural and intellectual life of the city. And we don’t want this to change!”

This is why Professor Hans-Bert Rademacher, chair of the association “Hilfe für ausländische Studierende e.V.“, also hopes that fellow Leipzig residents will take the initiative and donate: “Since 1993, our association has been able to provide financial assistance for about 850 young people from abroad so that they could finish their studies here. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the need for help is now greater than ever, and we hope that even in these difficult times Leipzig will continue to see itself as an outward-looking city and live together in solidarity.”

With a donation of €10,000 from the Universitätsstiftung Leipzig e.V. (Leipzig University foundation), the fundraising campaign is off to a good start. Other donors from Leipzig and the higher education institutions here have already agreed to support the fundraising campaign for international students in need.
Together with its partners, the association “Hilfe für ausländische Studierende e.V.” will conduct a transparent application and allocation procedure to decide how to distribute the donations to international students in need.

Please send your donations for SIS to:
Bank account: Sparkasse Leipzig
IBAN:  DE16 8605 5592 1181 1344 86
Payment reference: Emergency fund

SIS: Fundraising campaign for international students in need

  • Professor Beate Schücking, Rector of Leipzig University
  • Professor Mark Mietzner, Rector of Leipzig University of Applied Sciences
  • Thomas Locher, Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig
  • Professor Martin Kürschner, Rector of the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig
  • Professor Hans-Bert Rademacher, chair of the association “Hilfe für ausländische Studierende e.V.”