Our history

We have been providing support to students for more than 90 years, and in that time we’ve been on hand to assist and advise many thousands of students on a wide range of issues. Accommodation, meals, student finance, counselling services und child care – for fellow students these are now all considered to be just a natural part of successful tertiary studies. In 1922, however, when our institution was founded as a self-help service for students, by students, things were very different indeed. We invite you to find out more about our history, from way back then, up until the present day …

  • Difficult beginnings: 1918

    In the difficult political and economic climate following the First World War, Münster was experiencing an extreme shortage of accommodation, a situation that was further intensified by the large numbers of returning soldiers. Creeping inflation was further aggravating the already dire economic circumstances.

    Employment was tight and fewer and fewer students were able to finance their studies through manual work. Because no assistance was provided by the state, self-help for students was conceived of as a way of overcoming these hardships. The “Studentenhilfe e.V.” was founded. With the acquisition of the “Café am Aasee” and its conversion to a student building – subsequently, and still today, the headquarters of Münster’s Support Services the Studentenhilfe (Student Assistance) was finally established in 1932.

    Eat at reasonable prices at student canteens

    After the end of the First World War, Student Assistance turned its attention to providing cheap meals for students. Münster’s first student canteen served 1,919 hungry budding university graduates. Every lunch and dinner time 300 meals were served from the basement of the old university building at Münster’s “Domplatz” (Cathedral Square). Student numbers grew rapidly during this time. In 1920 there were 4,722 students enrolled at the Westphalian Wilhelms University.

    armenkueche-in-muenster-um-1920

    Soup kitchen at Münster around 1920

     

    The student canteen needed to be, and luckily was able to be, extended. Around 900 midday meals were consumed daily by hungry students, although they had to eat quickly, because there was only room for 130 people to be seated at any one time. This meant that diners had to eat and then vacate their seats quickly to make room for fellow students waiting for their turn.

  • Self-help in times of hardship: 1922

    New structures were created when the “Studentenhilfe Münster e.V.” was founded on 17 February 1922. In its charter the association defined one of its goals as “to create and maintain establishments that will alleviate the hardship of students”. This was because the German empire was still suffering from the consequences of the First World War and the country was heading for the economic crisis. Besides this, efforts were directed towards funding the aspiration of student self-help. Apart from providing affordable dining options and offering free meals, the self-help organisation concerned itself with financial assistance, health care, job placement and an affordable option for selling textbooks to students at reduced prices.

    The organisation had set up a translation service and a typing pool that provided students with a way of earning an income. In addition, a rental accommodation agency operated, and in later years the organisation itself became a provider of affordable rental accommodation. After joining forces with the relevant umbrella organisation, the Studentenhilfe in Münster was able to offer long-term loans. Prior to this there was only short-term financial assistance available, made possible by student contributions and donations.

    A health care service was established in cooperation with the university medical clinics in the early 1920s. Students were required to undergo X-ray tests in their first and fifth semesters. Rural health retreats and tuberculosis cure treatments were financed by Student Assistance in cooperation with the Municipal Health office.

    Parallel core services then and now

    The core services offered by Student Services today have not changed significantly since those times. The former student self-help organisation has, however, evolved into a contemporary service provider with a social charter within the state of North-Rhine Westphalia – a service provider whose more than 600 employees from more than 20 nations are on hand to provide outstanding support and advice in the areas of meals, accommodation, student financial assistance and child care to the almost 50,000 students and 3,000 staff at the five tertiary institutions in Münster and Steinfurt. The availability of accommodation in the city was scarce following the First World War and this was a significant issue for students in the university town. In those turbulent times, the few student residential colleges such as the Catholic Collegium Borromaeum and the Protestant “Hermann-Stift” only offered accommodation for theology students. In 1919 the university Vice-Chancellor’s appeal was published in the local daily newspaper under the headline “Even rooms without heating will be gratefully accepted by our students”. Parallels to the current day situation are not hard to see.

    Calls from politicians and the city administration for citizens to make unused living space available are still today, just as they were back then, regularly announced at the start of the academic year. In the most recent case, emergency accommodation was set up by Student Services at its residential buildings on Wilhelmskamp at the beginning of the winter semesters in 2011 and 2012. In the 1920s student volunteers ran an accommodation exchange. And even now, student representatives from AStA and ASV still assist with finding affordable accommodation which, with predictable regularity, becomes scarce every time the residential student accommodation places offered by Münster’s Student Services are full.

    Being able to finance their studies was then, as it is now, another key concern in a student’s everyday life. Statistics tell us that 44% of students in Münster have to work part-time to support themselves financially while they study. This statement could easily be quoting current figures, but it may surprise you to learn that this statistic originates from the summer of 1922. In those days, the student self-help service supported the search for employment. Waiting on tables in the student canteen ensured free meals, and students with good foreign language skills could earn money at the “Aküdo”, the Academic Translation and Interpreting Service.

    And back then, even for students close to the poverty threshold, cultural pursuits were important. The price reduction office of the student self-help service sold discounted tickets for the theatre, concerts and the cinema, a benefit that is still available today for students buying tickets for the cinema or theatre.

    And finally, the term “Freitisch” (free meal) is still used today. As already mentioned, in the 1920s students were asked to assist in the student canteen in exchange for a free meal. Today the Student Counselling Service offers the “Freitischkarte” (free meal voucher) to students who are able to demonstrate that they are experiencing financial difficulties – their Mensa Card is then loaded a credit of 50 euros.

  • The student building at the Aasee: 1929

    In retrospect, 1932 would have to be one of the highlights in the activities of Münster’s Student Self-Help Service with the festive grand opening of the student building at the Aasee. Besides its three large function rooms, the new large student canteen made providing meals a much better prospect with seating for 400 in dining rooms that had plenty of natural light.

    Around 1929 the institution’s plans to purchase a dedicated student building were taking shape. A former lakeside cafe at Bismarckallee at the Aasee was being used by the telegraph service as a stores depot. It took tough negotiating and the solid backing of the University Trustee to manage to obtain the financial assistance necessary for the purchase and subsequent conversion of the building at number 11 Bismarckallee. German Student Services (Deutsches Studentenwerk), the City of Münster and the Province of Westphalia all participated.

    Finally, the grand opening took place in 1932. With its main functions room, its auxiliary hall and the terrace room with its beautiful view of the Aasee, by the standards of the day the building had a generous amount of space. The kitchen area and multiple side rooms were on the ground floor. On the top floor a large functions room was constructed with a terrace area overlooking the Aasee, and this floor included a library with reading room as well as the offices of the Student Self-Help Service. In the basement there was a large cloakroom as well as storage rooms needed by the kitchen and for building maintenance purposes. The centrepiece of the building was the student canteen (“Mensa”) that always ensured a speedy meal was served.

  • The enforced incorporation commences: 1934

    In the 1920s the local economic organisations always remained independent from their umbrella organisation. This changed from 1933. The legally independent Student Services organisations were dissolved by the Minister of Science, Education and National Culture, and from 2 November 1934, on the basis of legislation issued by the new government, they were transferred as dependent constituent organisations and incorporated into the newly formed Reich Student Services with its headquarters in Berlin. During the time of the National Socialist government, within the space of a few years there was a complete restructuring of the former system of local student self-help services. The Münster student self-help service was not spared the politics of the centralisation and enforced incorporation of the time, and was now being operated as a local branch of the “Reichsstudentenwerk”. The central authority reserved the right to appoint the manager of the local branch office. The transformation into “Studentenwerk Münster e.V.” (Student Services as a registered association) legislated with effect from 6 July 1938, with the legal structure of an institution subject to public law was not the only indication of the changing political climate. The Münster Student Self-Help Service, which had begun life as an initiative of the students of the day, was now issued with a decree, ordered by the “Reichsstudentenwerk”, to adopt a new charter. This was intended to ensure a close working relationship with the National Socialist Student Body. The impact of the organisational and operational collaboration between the “Reichsstudentenwerk” in Berlin and the Reich Student Body was obvious in view of who was appointed to leading roles within the organisation – the Chairman of the “Reichsstudentenwerk” also held the office of the Reich Student Leader.

    The close relationship planned by Berlin to the National Socialist Student Body also meant close physical proximity for Münster’s Student Services. The District Leader as well as the District Student Association Leader were very close neighbours. However, the local Student Services in Münster was able to keep a certain degree of independence and continue their work assisting students of poor financial means. The core services offered by the organisation were serving midday and evening meals in the “Mensa” (student canteen), providing free meals for those who needed them, running an accommodation and employment agency, providing health care, and offering rural health retreats and stays in cure clinics, especially for students with tuberculosis.

    However, the ideological indoctrination could not be completely avoided. Student Services was given the job of organising six months of “voluntary” manual labour in close collaboration with the German National Labour Service (Arbeitsdienst). However, as a former long-term employee of Student Services recalled in an earlier commemorative publication, the requirement for a dedicated labour camp came to nothing because work on the project was only sporadic.

    Financial support for students under the National Socialists was classified into so-called levels of “comrade assistance” for the first three semesters, “tertiary assistance” from the fourth semester and “Reich assistance”, which replaced the previous German National Academic Foundation. Besides this, as mentioned, short-term and long-term loans could be granted, the latter, however, only for the final examinations semesters.

    The guidelines for providing financial assistance were a sign of the times, such as this one: “The role of Student Services is to make it possible for needy and worthy comrades to complete tertiary studies so that they can contribute to renewing the nation and sciences. The criteria for worthiness were for example “physical and mental wholesomeness, absence of one-sided tendencies, a lifestyle of good character, such as that which emerges from participation in the Hitler Youth, the Storm Troopers (SA), school and National Labour Service. Female students shall only be financially supported in courses of study that train them for professions that are available to women”.

    From 1936 onwards, each applicant had to undergo compulsory medical examinations before being accepted into university. Schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and similar conditions led to being excluded from studying, as did severe physical abnormalities. Soon after 1933, Jewish people and dissidents were banned from attending university.

    In this period Student Services Münster took over the task of administering applications for financial assistance and loans, as well as payment of amounts granted to students at technical colleges in the Westphalian region. Those included were the State Engineering College in Hagen, the Textile Technical School in Wuppertal, the Engineering College in Lage/Lippe and the Cabinetmaking and Carpentry Vocational Training College in Lemgo. In addition, Student Services administered the assets from the student associations that had been dissolved and who had almost all owned a building in the city and often a boathouse on the Werse River. The assets were seized by the state and rented out where possible, which added to the responsibilities assigned to Student Services.

  • Student building in ruins: 1939-1945

    Following the outbreak of the war student numbers diminished rapidly. Eventually there were only a few hundred medical students left who had been given leave from their troop and drafted into studies. These were two companies of medics, one of them from the army and one from the air force, who were housed in the Collegium Borromaeum and Collegium Ludgerianum. Both companies of medics always turned up for meals at the student canteen marching in step and in formation.

    During bombing raids in 1941 the student building at the Aasee that had been upgraded two years previously was badly damaged, as was a large section of the student canteen. In the middle of the war the thought of any rebuilding work was quite out of the question. However, makeshift maintenance work continued to be carried out on the facility. A new wave of bombing attacks in the autumn of 1944 was followed by an evacuation of Student Services. They moved to Bad Salzuflen together with the university clinics and the university administration. In the spring of 1945 further bombing destroyed the student building completely.

    They moved to Bad Salzuflen together with the university clinics and the university administration. In the spring of 1945 further bombing destroyed the student building completely. Following the capitulation in May 1945 the university was closed, and subsequent to this, the staff who had been relocated to Bad Salzuflen were dismissed. Only a bookkeeper with many years of service and a secretary stayed on in Münster in their roles at Student Services to wind up the rest of the operation.

  • A new beginning with 1200 students: 1945

    In the winter semester of 1945/46 the university in Münster was able to begin admitting students again. The British military permitted the enrolment of 1,200 students. The remaining staff in Bad Salzuflen had already returned to Münster in August 1945. Some of the former employees were reinstated, although at first without any salary. The administration moved into one-room premises in the Hüfferstift which would serve as the office for a number of years. In the autumn of 1945, professors, students and patrons joined forces to breathe life back into the former student self-help service as a registered association.

    After the reopening of the university in the autumn of 1945, the business of providing sustenance for students proceeded at a lively pace. As early as November 1945 a provisional emergency student canteen with room for 98 diners was opened in the basement rooms of the regional courts in Roxeler Strasse, with the assistance of the British military government, who with no concern for any later potential legal ruling, released the frozen monetary assets of the former Student Services. Around 1,000 portions, all cooked on one coal-fired oven, were served each day to grateful diners. This meant that every seat had to be used ten times. This is how one oft-quoted student ditty of the time put it: “Inside here we just swallow quickly and then vacate the spot, outside we have time to chew and think about what’s what.” Whoever wanted to attend university in the period directly following the Second World War had to first lend a hand with the six-monthly clean-ups or equivalent duties to obtain permission to study. This applied to female students as well, although their numbers were small.

    It is common knowledge that all kinds of food were in short supply directly after the war. The sale of meal stamps was only possible in exchange for food stamps, for which the student assistance received food ration stamps from the Regional Authority for Food and Agriculture in Unna. Students from rural areas – unless they had access to food stamps – often brought their own produce with them. Besides the food provided in the student canteen on Roxeler Strasse, needy students would also head to the Franconia Building on Münster’s Himmelreichallee. Thanks to a donation from Sweden free stew was dispensed from there four days a week. Generous donations of foodstuffs and clothing were received from the USA, and both Norway and Ireland also sent donated foodstuffs.

  • From the bunker to the student building at the Aasee: 1948

    In a city that had been razed by bombing such as Münster, accommodation posed a problem not just for students. It was a time of emergency accommodation in bunkers, camps and barracks. Just one example was a cold, damp air raid bunker in Gievenbeck that housed 80 students – two were living in every seven-square-metre windowless room – in emergency accommodation. 50 female students were living in a draughty old army barracks on the grounds of Buldern Palace. Students and families of students moved into the former mounted troops barracks, into what is now the Leonardo campus on Steinfurter Strasse, and the Franconia Building.

    For the first time in its history, following the Second World War, Student Assistance Münster took on the job of fitting out and administering these four makeshift student residences. The Board of the Student Assistance in Münster saw the rebuilding of the student building at the Aasee that had been destroyed in the war as its first most pressing priority.

    Under very difficult circumstances the rebuilding began as early as 1946. On 18 December 1947 the building’s “topping out” ceremony was held and the reopening followed just in time for the beginning of the winter semester on 8 November 1948. The State Education Ministry had granted financial assistance up to 100,000 Reichsmark. Anything over and above this, whether in the form of money or building materials, had to be sourced as donations.

    When completed, the building boasted a number of communal rooms: a large festivities hall with stage, a functions room with a terrace facing the Aasee, as well as the “Westfalenstube” and the “Münsterstube” complete with bars for serving beer. These rooms were used by Student Services at lunch and dinner time as dining rooms. The top floor had a library and reading room as well as a room with an open fireplace and the administrative offices. A married couple who, as wardens, looked after the 50 students housed in the attic floor also lived here, as did the janitor.

    This student residential accommodation which housed its first tenants in 1949 was, incidentally, the first student residential accommodation offered in a building owned by Student Services.

    Following this in the same year was the student residential college “Lindenhof” that offered 59 double rooms for female students. In April 1950 students also moved in to the 33 double rooms in the student residential building “Gartenhaus” on the property behind 11 Bismarckallee. The emergency accommodation could at that point then finally be vacated.

  • Renaming as Student Services Münster, a registered association (Studentenwerk Münster e.V.): 1953

    The handover of the bombsite that was 3–5 Bismarckallee marked an important step in the history of Student Services Münster. There, in the direct vicinity of the student building, was where the District Headquarters of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) once stood. On the occasion of the festive handover of the deed of donation by the City of Münster, the land officially passed into ownership of the student assistance organisation. Two student residential colleges – the “Aaseehaus-Kolleg” and the “Westfalenhaus” were built on the site. The “Aaseehaus-Kolleg” with room for 107 students had its opening ceremony on 1 October 1952 and the opening ceremony for the “Westfalenhaus” followed soon after on 1 April 1953

    At the same time, the Franconia building that had been used as a student residence was vacated. 1953 is also the year that saw the next step in the name of the association – Studentenhilfe Münster (Student Assistance Münster) was renamed as “Studentenwerk Münster e.V.” (Student Services Münster, Registered Association).

  • The social charter shapes the business policy: 1994

    The revision of the Student Support Services Legislation of 1994 was the basis, the incentive and the obligation with which the Student Support Services was able to develop further and become a truly modern service company. Simply with the change from a shortfall funding to a fixed sum funding and the introduction of the criterion “revenue per student”, a restructuring of the business operations which aimed more at growth, initiative of the Student Support Services and a diversification of what we offer was required. The State of North Rhine Westphalia has not only withdrawn gradually from the general subsidy funding but since the mid-90s has only made investments in exceptional cases.

    In principle the legal amendment of 1994 gave the Student Support Services Münster a limited entrepreneurial freedom. The framework conditions with a previously insufficient range of marketable housing and catering services were, however, anything but favourable. At that time it was only possible at first – with out-dated production and service technology – to offer a very limited range in the canteens, cafeterias and refreshment rooms. The renovation backlog for the housing was also considerable. The new entrepreneurial aims could only be achieved if the residential facilities were modernised. We succeeded in making the Student Support Services more competitive with our own investments of millions and the establishment of new business fields in conferences and accommodations and new catering services.

    The newly adopted aims required particularly creative business policies. Despite the need to orientate ourselves consistently towards the market and customers and develop our staff and quality assurance more intensively, these policies could not make us lose sight of our original social charter. For one thing should not be forgotten: Student Support Services may be service companies, but with their legal status as “public law institution” they fulfil a social assignment of the state of North Rhine Westphalia. The fact that representatives of the students and the colleges are integrated in the committees that make decisions and can contribute directly to the conception of the range of services guarantees an orientation of the business policy that focuses on offering services in the areas of university catering, accommodations, financial study assistance, childcare and social counselling. And they will continue to do so in the future and render a true social charter.

    Starting in 1994, about 13.1 million euros of the institution’s own capital was invested in modernizing the production and service facilities of the canteens and the refreshment areas at that time. Moreover the Student Support Services Münster has had to adapt to the changing demands of its customers since the mid-90s. Younger generations of students no longer wanted to live in the ten square metre single rooms with communal sanitary facilities. The result was vacancies in the no longer modern residence halls from the 60s and 70s. Since then until today the trend has been to generously designed and better equipped flats and single or double apartments each with their own kitchen and bathroom. In the time period of 1994-2016 the Student Support Services own investment amounted to approximately 89.9 million euros due to the immense investment backlog and the very low level of financing offered by the state of NRW.

  • Unconventional concepts are needed: 2000 - 2012

    The Student Support Services has undertaken a number of unconventional concepts for many years – e.g. via measures to discharge the budget – for the most part to preserve the price stability of social services. In the years 1998, 2000 and 2003 – during the extensive modernization of the two large canteens at the Aasee and at the Ring – two rows of shops with service points for health insurance companies, copy shops, hairdressers and travel agencies were established. The revenue received from the rentals served the proportionate refinancing of the modernization and at the same time there was a complementary expansion of the services offered the students. Moreover in both canteens two out-dated cafeterias – “Uferlos” and “Viva Sport & Culture Café” – were converted into two modern catering establishments. With the Uferlos café linked to the canteen at the Aasee, a large gastronomic complex was created which has gained an excellent reputation among students and university members with its varied range of meals.

    Three best practice examples illustrate the unconventional form of the reactions to the investment backlog in accommodations.

    Gebäude an der Scharnhorststraße 10 (Aussenaufnahme) Foto: MünsterView / Heiner Witte

    Foto: MünsterView / Heiner Witte

    A public private partnership concept made it possible to rebuild   the new residential complex at Scharnhorststrasse 10 finished in 2004, which provides housing for female students exclusively. Instead of renovating the more than 60-year-old building   for a lot of money and without increasing its value or its attractiveness, the new construction was implemented with an investor without public subsidies. The advantages: the property still belongs to the Student Support Services and the construction was carried out according to the specifications of the Student Support Services, which is also responsible for the maintenance and management.

    The investor is responsible for risk protection and grants a repurchase option after the expiration of the contract period. So a residence with a contemporary feel was created near the centre of town and its apartments are highly sought after and have been fully rented since the building was opened.

    Following the above-mentioned PPP model a solution was also found to extensively renovate the Wilhelmskamp student hall of residence after 40 years. This was also done without public aid. Another investor was involved in a so-called “sale and lease back” contract. The result was that the housing and the facilities were modernised so that they are viable for the future. In March 2007 students moved into single rooms as well as newly customised apartments and shared flats.

    The project Bismarckallee 47-51 also stands for the creative way of dealing with the external conditions. The principle was quite simple: “the front finances the rear” and prevented the complete loss of three halls of residence from the 60s and 70s. The complete remodelling of the houses at the best location near the Aasee alone would have consumed a double-digit million sum. Because heating systems, windows kitchen and toilet facilities, pipes and the façade were in such decay that the hall of residence would not have withstood the winter of 2006 without a complete restoration that would have made little sense from the financial point of view. “No students would have been able to afford the resulting rent increases. Therefore we were basically forced to be creative and to have the courage to take risks”, is the way Achim Wiese, the commercial manager of the Student Support Services at that time, put it.

    Complementary: Guest house and conference offer:
    When the project idea for Bismarckallee 47-51 was developed in 2004, another concept emerged. Along with attractive housing, it had been decided at the same time in 2002 to expand into the complementary business field of “conferences and overnight accommodation” by opening a second guest house, the “SeeZeit”.

    Foto: Münsterview/Tronquet

    Foto: Münsterview/Tronquet

    The expected revenues served and still serve to refinance the modernisation of the student residence in the rear part of the building complex. In the front part of the complex 56 residential units with a balcony facing the lake were built to be rented on the free market. In addition there are reasonably priced guesthouse rooms at the “SeeZeit” as well as new single rooms and apartments for students.

    In hindsight the investment was worthwhile: all of the flats are rented and since 2008 the “SeeZeit” has achieved above-average occupancy. The idea for a guesthouse business came up when the “Westfalenhaus” (Bismarckallee 3) and the student hall of residence “Aaseehaus” (Bismarckallee 5) which, with its 8m² rooms, was no longer up-to-date and could not be economically renovated, were rebuilt.

    It had long been the desire of the management to centralise the administrative sectors of the Student Support Services. This goal was also achieved between 1995 and 2002 when the two houses were successively rebuilt. After the management and the administration had moved into the rooms on the ground floor and the first floor of the “Aaseehaus”, the area of the second floor and the top floor could not be architecturally, economically or logistically transformed – according to prevailing fire safety regulations – into student housing. However the university’s desire for another guesthouse had also already been discussed for a long time by the board of directors of the Student Support Services. They were able to fulfil this desire by reconstructing the second floor, expanding the previously unused top floor and establishing the first guesthouse under the direction of the Student Support Services: the “agora: at the Aasee”.

  • Future-oriented decisions: 2012 - 2016

    In 2012 the “agora: at the Aasee” was once again redesigned to meet demand. The old building Bismarckallee 5 had been built on piles. The necessity for a façade renovation led to the creative idea of combining the required partial renovation with the construction of a new breakfast room. The terrace at the front, which is supported by pillars, has offered a wonderful view of the Aasee since September 2012. The new breakfast room, which is used intensively for internal events of the Student Support Services, is an enormous gain for the guests. At the same time it adds a special architectural accent to the Bismarckallee.

    The reasonably priced 3-star Superior House has 26 classically furnished modern rooms. The house with its pleasant design is not only popular among the conference guests. The Student Support Services offers university staff and students special conditions. Since it was opened it has been visited by an above-average number of guests. Only a few feet away at Bismarckallee 11 B, the Student Support Services has its well-known “agora: the location for conferences at the Aasee”. Since 2002 it has offered various opportunities for congresses, training courses, seminars and receptions. This is an offer that especially public institutions or sponsors for initial and further training use as the best environment for their events.

    The Student Support Services was put under more considerable pressure as a result of the double school leaving exams in Germany from 2012 and the renewed amendment of the Student Support Services legislation (SGV) in 2014. According to initial preliminary figures, 506,600 new students began to study at universities in Germany in the academic year 2013 (summer semester 2013 and winter semester 2013/2014). As the Federal Statistical Office  announced the number of new students thus rose by 2% in comparison to 2012 and reached the second highest level ever achieved since the record number of 2011 (518,700).

    In NRW alone the number of students in the academic year 2013 rose by 7.9% compared to 2012. Münster is, of course, an attractive place to study, and the rising number of students put the Student Support Services in a very challenging situation because two halls of residence – with over 1,000 student accommodations – were to be lost completely. Two residence halls had been used for almost 40 years and it would have made no sense to renovate them. They had to be successively demolished. At the same time, the tenants had to be offered – as far as possible – socially acceptable alternative accommodation with a finely adjusted construction time planning.

    With the construction of the new hall of residence at Horstmarer Landweg, which was completed in 2012/2013, and the new construction of the hall of residence at Boeselagerstrasse (completion May 2014) this was managed in an excellent way. In both of these residence halls today 843 students have an up-to-date, affordable and attractive home for the time being. The new student hall of residence at Boeselagerstrasse is currently (as of 2016) Europe’s largest passive house settlement. The residence hall won an award for concept form in the NRW state-wide competition for innovative types of housing in 2009. The new passive house settlement – built according to the blueprints of the Kresings’ architectural office – now offers attractive living space in four blocks of buildings with a sophisticated design for residential groups of 3 or 5 people, but also for single persons and student couples with a high level of housing quality and flexible layouts.

    The legislature stipulated with the Student Support Services Law of September 16th, 2014 that all Student Support Services in NRW must have a gender-neutral name. The reason for the name change was due to the legal mandate of the Student Support Services to render social and economic services for the students in North Rhine Westphalia.  About 50 per cent of all those currently receiving services are female students. With the Student Support Services Law of NRW, the legislature has stipulated that the reality of the gender distribution be reflected in the designation of the organisation.

    In accordance with § 4 LGG (i.e. State Equality Act), the generically masculine noun “Studentenwerk” became the gender-neutral designation “Studierendenwerk”.  This is a clear decision of the legislature for the use of a gender-neutral designation for persons within the framework of the designation of the organisation. The “Studentenwerk Münster” in accordance with the statutory requirement changed its name to “Studierendenwerk Münster”. The process of changing the name, for which the legislature has granted a generous transition period until the end of 2017, is still on going. Having changed the ephemeral print media and having just re-launched the websites, the building guidance system is currently also being completely updated.