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Student Support Services Münster

Founded in 1922 as a ‘self-help organisation for students by students’, as a modern service provider we make a significant contribution to actively shaping the social institutions of tertiary studies, i.e. universities and colleges. To be successful in their studies, the students of today need, in particular, social support to an increasing degree. Reason enough for us to readjust the form in which we provide support for students in a social, financial and cultural sense in accordance with the students’ own changing circumstances and needs.

With more than 600 employees from 21 different nations we provide support and advisory services of superior quality in the areas of food services/catering, financial study assistance, accommodation and childcare for more than 46,000 students enrolled in tertiary institutions in Münster and Steinfurt. We operate 6 student canteens, 10 bistros and three fully licensed cafés ­– ‘Café Uferlos’, the "Viva Sports & Culture Café" and the "RELAX Restaurant and Café". The "Uferlos" and "Viva" cater mainly for students, while the “RELAX” is popular with all those looking for a sophisticated menu at a great price. We maintain 20 student residence buildings with more than 6,000 apartments. In our office for financial study assistance, we actively advise in all areas of student grants and we approve student assistance payments according to the relevant government legislation for financial study assistance. And, we are able to respond to the children of our students who ask, "And who will look after me?" by offering child care facilities.

Social services for students have to be fully funded. Besides the partial funding through grants from the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the students of Münster’s tertiary institutions themselves make a significant contribution to the funding of our services through payment of the social component of their student fees. Even after the latest increase in this amount, students in Münster pay less on average than their counterparts in other parts of the country. However, while state grants have remained static or decreased and yet the price of power and food and the cost of maintaining our unit complexes have continually increased, as an enterprise, Student Services Münster faces the ongoing challenge of remaining within budget.

The particular challenge we face is to continue – despite adverse financial circumstances – to act in the best interests of the students, to whom we have a duty through our social charter, by developing new ideas for a sustainable business into the future. Sustainability for us means to maintain prices where we can as a contribution towards achieving some cost stability in what we offer. Having this goal since the mid 1990s has meant we have been able to develop new areas of operation on the basis of the latest revision of the legislation governing student support services. In this way, profits achieved through, for example, our agora: Conference Centre and Hotel or the cafés open to the public such as "Uferlos", "Viva" and "RELAX" help to maintain price stability according to our original social service charter for students.

Further information can be found in our Business Report 2009 - Geschäftsbericht 2009.



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